What Should I Do if My Refrigerator Makes Loud Popping Noise?

Few things beat the excitement of buying a new appliance – especially a brand new refrigerator. You remove the film, tuck the appliance into the countertop and switch it on, ready for some chilled beer. Then, Boom!! You hear a loud popping sound coming from your fridge. Should you be worried?

Well, take it from the experts. No refrigerator is a graveyard. Once you switch it on, there will be some buzzing, hissing, dripping, and whirring. But, one specific annoying noise stands out from the rest. No-frost fridges are notorious for producing a burst of annoying popping or “cracking” noises.

Stay with us to learn the different kinds of noises you’ll hear from your refrigerator, including their sources and how to handle them.

What Sounds Can You Hear from Your Refrigerator?

All fridges make some noise. Bear in mind; not all noises are a cause for alarm. Please keep reading to find out the different types of sounds you’ll hear from your refrigerator and their causes.

Humming or Buzzing

If your refrigerator is humming, you need to determine if the sound is coming from the outside or inside the appliance. If from outside, this can result from the objects you’ve placed on the fridge, such as a microwave or electric kettle.

If you’ve removed all the items on the fridge and can still hear the noise, not to worry. The compressor is simply doing its job of maintaining the cooling cycle by expanding and contracting as the temperature changes. But, the humming should be mild. Anything loud and obtrusive is a sign you need to call a technician.

Rattling or Vibrating

It is entirely normal for your refrigerator to vibrate. The appliance does so when the compressor is working. Also, installing your fridge in a tight, narrow space will create a rattling sound. Ensure the sides of your refrigerator are 50 mm and the top 25 mm away from any surface.

Also, if the appliance is not leveled, you’ll hear vibrations. So, level the door and floor by adjusting the legs or using an anti-vibration mat.

Hissing or Sizzling

A hissing or sizzling sound in your refrigerator can be caused by a punctured hole in the condenser or evaporator coil. The hissing is because of a gas leak known as “Freon leak.” When you suspect a gas leak, turn off the appliance and call an expert.

Also, when the freezer is defrosting, you’ll hear a sizzling sound when the water on the evaporator coil melts and drips on the element. Finally, as the thermostatic valve expands to allow the refrigerant to flow through to the compressor, your fridge will produce a hissing sound.

Sloshing or Gurgling

Gurgling noise is part of a refrigerator’s normal operations. If you defrost your fridge, you’ll hear water sloshing and gurgling in the freezer area as it flows into the drain pan

Also, when the compressor is releasing the refrigerant, the flow can produce a typical gurgling sound. A simple trick to reduce the gurgling is making fewer trips to the fridge. When you open the fridge, hot air flows in the compartments, and the compressor has to work extra hard to chill your food.

Additionally, inspect the water supply line for any deformities. If air is pulled into the water valve together with the water, this can create a sloshing sound. You can repair the damaged hose or call an expert for help.

Ticking or Cracking

Every refrigerator makes a cracking sound at some point. This is common with new fridges as they adapt to the temperature and humidity of your home.

Also, when the ice melts and falls off during the defrost cycle in no-frost fridges, you’ll hear the cracking sound.

Moreover, large fridges are more likely to produce cracking sounds because they have more plastic parts.

Why do Refrigerators Produce Popping Sounds?

If your refrigerator is popping and you’re worried about it, we’ve got you covered. So far, we’ve explored the normal sounds to expect from your fridge. Now we dive into what causes the cracking sounds and what you can do about it.

Thermal Expansion

The cracking is primarily due to thermal expansion in the freezer, which is familiar with no-frost fridges. As the heater melts off the frost from the evaporator, the inner walls of the freezer compartment will expand, and you’ll hear a banging noise.

Furthermore, the walls contract when the compressor pumps the refrigerant to cool things down. Pressure build-up and release when the walls expand, and contract is what causes this noise. This is common with new fridges when you first install them, but with time the noise should subside.

Alternatively, you can buy one of those old-fashioned units with the fridge and freezer in a single compartment. But, you’ll need to defrost it over time, manually.

Defrost Heater

The defrost heater ensures frost doesn’t build up on the fridge coils. When it turns on, you’ll hear a popping sound.

This element turns on about four times in a day, though there are days it will turn on more or less. Keep an eye out for any sudden changes, as these could signify either the defrost timer is broken or there’s an excess frost build-up.

Water Valve Issues

If you are experiencing problems with the water dispenser or ice maker, there’s a high chance the valve could be damaged. When the water inlet valve is broken, it will produce popping sounds.

How Can I Stop the Loud Popping Sounds from My Refrigerator?

Don’t let that irritating popping sound worry you. The good news is that you can handle some of the issues that cause this noise on your own. This can save you some money while helping you learn crucial handy skills.

As we have learned so far, the regular popping sounds are due to the defrosting cycle’s normal operation. So if you want to eliminate the noise, you’ll have to do so at the expense of this feature. You can disable it to get rid of them.

Alternatively, if it’s too much of a convenience to lose, you can opt for a separate quiet appliance to make ice.
You can also try putting it in an insulated, soundproof compartment. Or better still, you can give the moving parts a deep clean.

Troubleshooting the Water Supply

If you’re using a refrigerator hooked to a water dispenser or ice maker, then a constant water supply is a no-brainer. Sometimes the water valve opens vigorously, producing a sudden snapping sound. Don’t be alarmed – this is very normal. But, if it becomes frequent, you have a reason to panic.

Probably there’s a build-up of mineral deposits from regular use of hard water. When this happens, get a new water inlet valve.

Remember – There’s No Shame in Calling in the Calvary

Let’s keep it real. There’s no chance you can get around fixing your refrigerator’s popping sound for good – especially by yourself. It could be that some parts of the damaged evaporator coil are scattered in the cooling cycle. The best thing is to stick to appliances with an in-built defrost feature or opt to have a separate freezer section.