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How to Quiet a Noisy Refrigerator Compressor?

by Nick Evans | Last Updated: June 22, 2020

Wondering how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor? We have you covered.

This article will talk about:

  • What a refrigerator compressor is
  • How it works
  • Tips for dealing with a noisy fridge compressor

And so much more!

how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor

You don’t fully appreciate a quiet refrigerator until you experience a noisy one. If your refrigerator is making odd noises you hadn’t noticed before, this is a sign that it needs some fixing.

What Is A Refrigerator Compressor?

A refrigerator compressor acts as a pump and a motor that circulates the refrigerant through the refrigeration cycle. 

There are four essential components in the refrigeration cycle including:

  1. The evaporator coils
  2. Condenser coils 
  3. Expansion valve 
  4. A compressor 

How Does A Refrigerator Compressor Work?

The compressor pushes refrigerant vapor into the coils inside the refrigerator while raising the pressure of the refrigerant. When in a gaseous state, the refrigerant meets the room temperature and turns into a liquid.

It cools down as it goes through the coils of the refrigerator and the freezer. It absorbs the heat inside your fridge, consequently cooling down the air temperature.

As the refrigerant ends its cycle, it evaporates in the form of vapor and flows back to the compressor. The evaporation process occurs at -33 °C (-27 °F).

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Refrigerator Compressor Noises

A regular functioning fridge makes noises you can barely notice. However, when the refrigerator wears and tears over time, the compressor becomes faulty, causing loud noises. 

There are several types of noises you may hear coming from your refrigerator that may or may not be related to the compressor. 

If you experience some gurgling noise, it’s probably due to the ice melting process. The fridge might also vibrate constantly; this happens when it’s not evenly placed on the floor.

When oil flows in the compressor, there’s a chance you might hear some dripping noise; however, sometimes water could be running into the drain pan during the defrost cycle.

You may hear other noises such as banging, whirring, grinding, rattling and popping noises may occasionally. All these highly depend on your type of refrigerator and may not necessarily indicate faultiness with your refrigerator. In fact most of the noises can be managed on a DIY basis. 

How to Quiet a Noisy Refrigerator Compressor 

Have a noisy fridge compressor? No worries. Here are some ways you can get rid of the noise and regain the regular performance of your refrigerator.

Identify why or where the noise originates

It would help if you found the root cause of the noise coming from your fridge’s compressor. Check for floor vibrations, which are a common problem for refrigerators that aren’t positioned evenly on the floor.

The legs of your fridge should sit on the same floor level.

The best way to deal with floor vibrations is to place a thick rubber mat underneath your fridge. You can also attach anti-vibration pads to the refrigerator legs.

Also, check whether the fans are faulty and replace them.

Soundproof the inside of the fridge

The noise emanating from the inside of your fridge could be from the compressor and the evaporator fans. Soundproofing your fridge’s interior can reduce refrigerator noises to a significant extent.

Use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) to cover the insides of your fridge. This material is the most effective solution for minimizing airborne noises. You can also cover the condenser motor with MLV.

Use white noises

As a temporary solution, you can use white noise machines to play melodies that cancel out the rattling and buzzing sounds of your fridge.

Reposition the refrigerator

Poor placement affects the functionality of a refrigerator’s compressor. Therefore, it’s recommendable to try and move your fridge to a different location.

Fill the fridge with items

Empty vessels make the most noise. Filling up your refrigerator with drinks and food can help minimize compressor noises. An empty fridge occasionally turns on and off while a filled one doesn’t as it has to keep its contents fresh.

Clean the compressor and the fans

Dirt and dust could accumulate around your refrigerator’s fans and compressor, causing malfunctions. It would be best if you regularly cleaned the fans and compressor to discourage the accumulation of dirt and avoid compressor noises.

Replace the fan motor

A condenser fan motor rotates the fan, producing a cooling effect for the condenser coils. The motor works simultaneously with the evaporator fan and the compressor, and when it becomes defective, it can increase refrigerator noises.

If you have a faulty fan motor, you might have to replace it.  You will need a socket wrench and a new fan motor. 

Here are the steps to follow when replacing a condenser fan motor.

  1. Disconnect your fridge from its power source.
  2. Turn off the water supply valve.
  3. Pull your fridge forward to access the rear panel.
  4. Disconnect the water line and take out the screws in the rear and bottom panels.
  5. Find the fan and detach the wires harness around the condenser motor.
  6. Use a socket wrench to remove the screws attaching the motor to its mounting bracket.
  7. Take your new fan and attach it to the mounting bracket using the appropriate screws.
  8. Reconnect the wire harness and slide back the fan blade to the motor shaft.
  9. Reattach the rear and bottom panels.
  10. Reinstall the water line to the inlet valve of the refrigerator. Be sure to tighten the valve to prevent leakage.
  11. Reconnect the fridge to its power source and carefully push it back to its original position, leaving a couple of inches between the wall and the rear panel for better ventilation.

In Conclusion

A refrigerator compressor can become noisy due to many reasons. Understanding how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor is essential for peace of mind!

It’s important to diagnose the cause of the noise before trying out various solutions to quiet the compressor. Using soundproofing material, anti-vibration foam, and Mass Loaded Vinyl can help tone down the noises.

Also, you could try moving your fridge to a different location and filling it with items to quiet a loud compressor.

If the noises persist, don’t shy away from asking for help from a professional. Feel free to contact us with any questions. Thanks for reading.

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