Refrigerator - Normal Sounds and Noises Made

The normal operation of your refrigerator will create some sounds or noises. The following list contains sounds that are normal.

  • A chirping/barking/woof/howl sound can sometimes be heard as the damper door opens/closes.

  • A change in fan speed as the refrigerator responds to changes in temperature due to door openings.

  • A clicking/tic-tock noise can be heard when the defrost timer switches on and off.

  • A click can be heard when the temperature control unit turns the fridge on and off.

  • A boiling, gurgling, or knocking sound can be heard when the unit is running. This is caused by the circulation of refrigerant.

  • A Gurgling sound in the door. This sound can be heard just after the door is closed because of the water in the drain tube trap area. It can last several seconds.

  • A drip may be heard when the defrost water is dripping into the drain pan beneath the refrigerator.

  • The icemaker will make a loud noise when cubes are dropped into the ice storage bucket.

  • A hum or click can be heard when the icemaker fills with water. This sound may be heard once or multiple times.

  • A cracking or popping sound can be heard when the evaporator coils on a Top Freezer, No Frost refrigerator model are cooling after a defrost cycle.

  • Buzzing noises can be heard during and after getting water from the door dispenser. The noise should not last longer than 7 seconds after you stop using the dispenser.

  • A Buzzing noise not related to dispensing water (above). The icemaker will make a buzzing sound when it is trying to fill with water. If the buzzing noise can be heard approximately every 15 minutes, check and make sure the water is turned on to the icemaker.

  • A snapping sound will be heard about 4 seconds after removing a glass from a dispenser. This is the sound of the dispenser chute closing.

  • A clicking noise may be heard after a power outage. This comes from the compressor trying to re-start itself. The noise could last for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • A hissing, sizzling, buzzing, or arching noise may be heard on self-defrost models. This is produced when water drips on defrost heaters.

  • On new refrigerators it is not unusual for the door to whistle or squeak. This occurs because the gasket (rubber material around inner perimeter of the door) is sealing very tightly. This noise will stop in a few days once the gasket becomes more pliable.

  • Water lines supplying water to the refrigerator may make a loud bang due to a condition called "water hammer". Water hammer is a knocking or banging noise in a water line that occurs when the water valve opens and closes on the refrigerator. This is caused by high water pressure in the house water supply line connected into the refrigerator.

  • A rattling or vibrating noise will be heard if the icemaker is turned on but water is not supplied to it. If the unit is not hooked up to water, it is recommended that the icemaker be turned off.

  • Refrigerators with the Keurig® K-Cup Brewing System can make various noises and sounds related to the Keurig and Hot Water system. Refrigerator - Keurig K-Cup Brewing System Sounds.

  • For additional troubleshooting, you may want to check out Refrigerator - Unusual Noises.


To view a short video about normal Bottom Freezer refrigerator sounds:



To view a short video about normal Top Freezer refrigerator sounds:



Any other sounds may require a service technician for diagnosis. For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.