Refrigerator - Unusual Noises

The normal operation of your refrigerator will cause some sound or noise. If you are concerned about a sound or noise, you can check the following to determine if it is a normal sound or an unusual sound:


  • The refrigerant after a defrost cycle can cause a normal tapping sound. However, if this is an older refrigerator or a newly occurring noise, this may not be normal and would require service to diagnose.

  • If a sound is coming from the freezer that sounds like a fan blade is hitting something, it is not normal, please contact GE Appliance Service.

  • If you hear a buzzing sound every 10 to 15 minutes lasting about 5 to 10 seconds, the home water supply line to the icemaker may be shut off. Check to make sure the water supply line is turned on to the icemaker. To stop the buzzing from the icemaker water valve, turn the icemaker off either by the on/off switch or by raising the feeler arm up to the stop position (on some models).

  • If you hear a short rattling, humming, buzzing or vibrating sound only lasting around 5 seconds about once every hour on a Bottom Freezer and Side-by-Side refrigerator with the XWF filter, this can occur if the icemaker is turned on but the water is not connected. The sound is caused by an isolation valve that is designed to help prevent major leaks from the filter. To correct this, turn the icemaker off until water is connected to the fridge.

  • A sound coming from underneath (like a playing card hitting bicycle spokes) may indicate something hitting the condenser fan blade on models without a NeverClean condenser. Most refrigerators manufactured since the year 2001 have condenser coils in a location that does not require them to be cleaned. This feature is called a NeverClean condenser. Unplug the refrigerator before checking underneath.

    1. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall.

    2. Unplug the refrigerator.

    3. Remove the cover at the bottom on the back of the fridge (this usually takes a 5/16" hex head screwdriver). If you do not have a NeverClean condenser, the fan blade will now be visible. Check the fan blade for an obstruction such as a cheese wrapper, a credit card slip, etcetera. If there is an obstruction which is a large rubber strip, this will require service. This rubber strip is an air divider that helps provide proper air flow underneath the refrigerator. It is very important that it gets correctly reinstalled. Otherwise, you can simply remove anything else that may be obstructing the fan blade.

    4. Reinstall the rear cover.

    5. Plug the unit back in.

    6. Push the fridge back in position.


For normal sounds and noises, visit: Refrigerator - Normal Sounds and Noises Made.


For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.