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Why Refrigerator Making a Clicking Noise?

When a refrigerator makes a clicking sound, it’s usually because the compressor switch, which starts the compressor, is broken. This problem can lead to bad cooling, so it’s best to have a technician check it out and, if necessary, repair the bad relay.

Why Refrigerator Making a Clicking Noise

The modern refrigerator is an important part of every home because it keeps food and drinks cold and fresh. But there are times when you might hear strange sounds coming from your refrigerator, like clicking sounds. These sounds can be scary, but don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll look into the possible reasons why your refrigerator is making clicking sounds and look at ways to fix the problem.

Common Causes of Refrigerator Clicking Noises

Defrost Timer

A defrost cycle is built into refrigerators to keep frost from building up on the evaporator coils. The defrost timer starts this cycle at regular times, usually once every 6 to 12 hours, based on the model. When the defrost timer goes off, the motor and cooling fan stop, and a heating element turns on to melt any frost that has built up. If you hear a clicking sound, it could be the defrost timer switching the device from cooling to defrosting and back again. This is a normal part of how the fridge works and is nothing to worry about. When the timer changes between these settings, it usually clicks.

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Start Relay

The start switch is an electrical part that is very important for getting the cooling process started. When you turn down the thermostat, the refrigerator’s motor has to start working to cool down the inside. It is the job of the start switch to send an electrical signal to the compressor to get it going. If the start switch is old or broken, it might not be able to turn on the compressor properly, making it click over and over as it tries. In this case, the fridge might not be able to keep its cool temperature, and you might notice a drop in how well it cools.

Temperature control

The thermostat is in charge of keeping the refrigerator at the right temperature. It checks the temperature and tells the blower when to turn on and off based on what it finds. If the thermostat is broken, the fan might turn on and off quickly, making clicking sounds as it does so. This can also cause the temperature inside the fridge to change, making it harder for it to keep your food and drinks at the best temperature all the time.

Condenser Fan

The condenser fan is near the compressor and is very important for getting rid of the heat that is made when cooling. If dirt or other things are in the way of the fan or if it is broken or having other problems, it might not start or turn easily. So, when the fan tries to turn on or meets pushback from something, it might make a clicking sound. If the condenser fan isn’t working right, it may not get rid of enough heat, which can affect how well the cooling system works as a whole.

Ice Maker

If your fridge has an icemaker, it will fill the ice tray with water from time to time. You might be hearing a clicking sound because the water valve is opening and shutting as it lets water into the ice tray. This is a normal part of making ice, and you might also hear the ice cubes falling into the storage bin once they’re frozen. Most of the time, these noises are safe and mean that your icemaker is working as it should.

Failed or Faulty Compressor

Defrost TimerClicking sounds can be caused by a broken or faulty compressor, but, as we’ve already said, the clicking might not come directly from the compressor. The compressor is a motor, and for it to work right, it needs specific electrical and mechanical parts. If any of these parts breaks, the compressor might be hard to start or might stop working altogether. 

Here’s how a broken compressor could cause sounds like clicking:

  • Hard to get going: Problems with the motor windings, valves, or other internal parts could make it hard for a compressor to start. When the compressor tries to start but can’t, it may make clicking sounds over and over as it tries to get going.
  • Relay Problems: The compressor’s start relay or run capacitor can break down, making it hard for the compressor to start up easily. This can cause the switch to click as it tries to turn on the compressor.
  • Thermal Overload Protection: Thermal overload protection keeps modern fans from getting too hot. If the engine gets too hot, this safety feature can shut it down for a short time. When it cools down, it will try to turn back on, which could make clicking noises as it turns on and off.

Dirty or Faulty Condenser Coils

Defrost TimerThe condenser coils let the refrigerator’s heat out, which cools the inside. When these coils get dirty or aren’t working right, it can affect how well they cool and could cause clicking noises:

  • Dirty Coils: The condenser coils can’t get rid of heat well if they are covered in dust, dirt, or grime. This can make the blower work harder than normal to keep the temperature where it needs to be. As the compressor tries to make up for the waste caused by the dirty coils, it may make clicking sounds because it is under more stress.
  • Fan Problems: The condenser coils are usually close to a fan that helps move heat away. If the fan is broken, blocked, or not working right, it might be hard for it to start or turn easily. This can cause the fan to make clicking sounds as it tries to work but meets resistance.

Defrost TimerIt’s not always a bad thing if your fridge makes noise. Many freezers make different sounds as part of how they work. Modern freezers have many parts, like compressors, fans, and motors, that can make different kinds of noises.

For example, when the compressor moves the refrigerant around to keep the right temperature, it often makes a soft humming sound. Fans may also make a soft whirring sound as they move air around inside the device. Most of the time, these sounds are normal for a fridge and shouldn’t be a cause for worry.

But there are times when strange or too loud noises could be signs of a problem. If a device makes loud banging, clanking, or rattling noises all of a sudden, it could mean that something has come loose inside or that a part needs to be fixed.

Also, if the noises are followed by problems like inconsistent cooling, water leaks, or unusually high energy use, it could mean that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

How to fix refrigerator clicking noise?

A fridge is an important part of any home because it keeps food fresh and drinks cold. But if you hear clicking sounds coming from your fridge, it could be a sign of a bigger problem that needs to be fixed. Here are the steps you can try to fix the clicking sound coming from your fridge.

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Check the Compressor Relay

One of the most common reasons for a clicking sound coming from a refrigerator is a broken compressor switch, an electrical part that starts the compressor. Step-by-step troubleshooting is the only way to figure out what’s wrong and maybe fix it.

To start, make sure the refrigerator isn’t plugged in. This will keep you safe during the process. The next step is to find the compressor relay, which, depending on the type of your refrigerator, may be on the side or back of the compressor. If you need to see the relay, you can take off the access panel.

The next step is to carefully look at the relay for signs of damage, such as burn marks, melting, or rust, which can be seen. The clicking noise is probably caused in large part by the fact that these signs are there. If you notice any of these things, it’s likely that the relay is the cause of the trouble.

To fix a broken circuit, you have to replace it. You can find a good replacement relay online or at a store near you that sells appliance parts. For the correct installation of the new relay, it is important to follow the directions given by the manufacturer.

Warm up the freezer

When ice builds up around the evaporator fan in the freezer, the refrigerator may make a clicking sound. As ice builds up, it can rub against the fan blades as they turn, making the clicking sound. To fix this, unplug the refrigerator first to make sure it’s safe. Empty the freezer and get rid of any ice that you can see. It is important to let the freezer defrost fully so that any hidden ice also melts. Once the defrosting is done, plug the fridge back in and listen to see if the noise level has gotten any better.

Clean the fan in the condenser

A dirty or blocked condenser fan is often the cause of clicking or rattling sounds coming from a refrigerator. Over time, dust and dirt can build up on the condenser fan, which is generally near the compressor at the back or bottom of the appliance. These buildups can stop the fan from running smoothly, which makes noise. Start by taking the plug out of the refrigerator. You can get to the condenser fan by taking off the right panel. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the fan blades and remove any dirt or dust. Once the fridge has been cleaned, plug it back in and listen to see if the clicking noise has stopped.

Look for loose parts

Vibrations from the refrigerator’s motor and other parts can sometimes cause parts inside the fridge to come loose and make clicking sounds. To fix this, start by taking everything off the shelves of the fridge so you can get inside. Check the contents carefully to make sure that containers, bottles, or tools that are loose aren’t making the noise. Also, check the refrigerator for shelves or parts that are loose and fix them as needed. By securing any open parts, you can stop them from making clicking sounds.

Inspect the Evaporator Fan

Clicking sounds can also come from an evaporator fan in the freezer section that isn’t working right. This fan is very important for keeping the room at the right temperature because it moves the air around. To make sure it’s safe, unplug the fridge so you can check and possibly fix the problem. To get to the evaporator fan, you have to take off the back panel of the fridge. Check to see if any debris or damage is on the fan blades. If you spin the fan blades by hand, you can see if they turn easily. If the fan seems stiff or doesn’t turn right, you may need to change it to get rid of the clicking sound.

Rearrange things

If you can believe it, the way things are put in the fridge can sometimes cause clicking sounds. Putting things in the fridge so that they touch the inside walls can cause movements that make noises you don’t want. Take a moment to rearrange the things on the shelves so that nothing is hitting the walls and everything is in a safe place. This simple change can lessen vibrations and maybe even stop clicking sounds.

Regular Maintenance

Prevention is key to avoiding future clicking noises and other refrigerator issues. Perform regular maintenance, including:

  • Cleaning Condenser Coils: Dust and dirt can accumulate on the condenser coils, affecting the fridge’s efficiency and causing noise. Clean them using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Checking Door Seals: Ensure that the door seals are intact and sealing properly. Damaged seals can lead to temperature fluctuations and excessive noise.
  • Leveling the Fridge: A fridge that’s not level can create vibrations and noise. Use a leveling tool to make sure it’s balanced.

Final Thoughts!

Clicking noises in your refrigerator might seem unsettling, but they often have identifiable causes and solutions. Many of these problems can be avoided with regular cleaning and upkeep, but some may need the help of a trained technician. By figuring out what could be causing the clicking sound and taking the right steps, you can make sure that your refrigerator keeps working well and your food stays fresh for years to come.

About Author

Muhaiminul is the insightful article’s author on and a fervent DIY living enthusiast. Muhaiminul has spent countless hours learning about and exploring the world of soundproofing techniques and products because he has a deep fascination with creating peaceful and noise-free spaces. Muhaiminul shares helpful advice, detailed how-to guides, and product reviews on out of a desire to help others cultivate peace in their lives.

Quiet Hall Author

Muhaiminul Anik