Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Strange Noises and Open Freezer Doors

Refrigerator troubleshooting

Common problems like strange sounds and the freezer door popping open may be fixed with these refrigerator troubleshooting tips.

Nobody likes it when refrigerators have problems, but unfortunately many appliances do have issues from time to time. Some of the issues can be easy to fix, some need a repairman, and other times the refrigerator just needs to be replaced. Our Refrigerator Troubleshooting series will give you some ideas and tricks to try before having to make that phone call to the repairman.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: What are those strange noises?

Normal refrigerators do make a little noise from time to time in a day. You may hear the water dispenser fill with water, or ice adjust and crunch in the freezer, or even a fan turn on. But, sometimes you hear other odd noises.

If the noise is coming from the back of the refrigerator it may be your compressor. The compressor is in a black box in the back of your fridge. The sound you should hear from the compressor is a high-pressure sound that normalizes as it gets going. If it just humming and the refrigerator isn’t cooling properly then there may be some problems with the compressor from the parts inside. If the compressor is the issue then unfortunately, you must call a repairman to have it replaced.

The condenser motor and evaporator fan motor should also be checked. Make sure that it is not dirty and that nothing is hitting it. (Remember that if you are cleaning it you will need to turn off the power first). If there are still noises (or the noise is getting louder) coming from these motors you won’t be able to fix them. You may just have to replace the whole unit.

Strange noises can also be caused from dishes vibrating on shelves inside of the refrigerator. Check to see if this is the case and move dishes as needed to get the sounds to stop. This can be the simplest fix.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Why is my freezer door popping open?

Freezer doors tend to be more likely to pop open than a refrigerator door because a freezer door is lighter. There are two things you should do. First is to put some heavier items in the door to help weigh it down. But you should also check the gaskets on the door. Over time they may not be holding as well as they once did. Gaskets work the best when they are clean and lubricated. To clean the gasket it needs to be cleaned with baking soda and water and then dried completely. To lubricate it you can just put some Vaseline on the surface of the gasket covering the whole thing. This will help the doors to stay shut instead of opening on its own.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Why is the refrigerator is cycling more than usual?

Fortunately this can be an easy fix. This can be due to the condenser coils underneath the refrigerator being dirty. If you have pets in your home, or don’t clean your kitchen floors very often, it is easy for those coils to get clogged. A vacuum can be used to clean the coils and then put a lightweight filter in the vent panel to prevent the coils from getting dirty again. If the condenser coils are damaged, or if it continues to cycle after you have cleaned the coils, you need to call a repairman to replace the condenser coils.

Another thing to check is if the thermostat is set at the right temperature. If it is, and it still continues to run, it may be because a gasket on the door has become loose and is letting cold air out of the refrigerator. If this is the case it is fairly simple to just clean/lubricate the gasket or replace it.

The other thing to think about is if the door has been opened/closed a lot prior to the cycling and if there has been hot food put in the refrigerator. If that is the case the refrigerator may be cycling more to regulate the temperature back to normal, and when it has done so it will sound normal again.

Hopefully these tips are able to help you fix up your refrigerator in a cost-effective way.

If all else fails, and you need to get a new refrigerator, we hope you will come back and review it on Viewpoints to share your views with others.

Jackie Conn Jackie Conn (28 Posts)

Jackie Conn is a penny pinching, stay-at-home mom who has researched and written reviews for 7 years.