A refrigerator making clicking noises is often a cause of concern and indicates that something is wrong with your machine. However, the good news is that the clicking noise problem can be solved at home most of the time, and very few cases require a professional inspection.
In this article, we will discuss how you can fix your fridge if it is making clicking noises. We will start with the basic fixes and then move to the more complex ones. Please note that the clicking sounds from your refrigerator may also cause cooling problems for your refrigerator.
Fridge Making Clicking Noise – Possible Causes and Fixes
Cause #1: Normal Operational Sounds
You may be surprised to know that your refrigerator making clicking sound can be 100% normal. Not all clicking noises mean danger. In fact, some indicate that your fridge is performing optimally.
For example, your fridge makes clicking noises when it enters defrost mode. Some internal switches in the refrigerator also make clicking noises, like the defrost timer. It makes clicking noises as it moves from one position to another.
Your refrigerator’s mainboard may also make clicking noises. The vents and fans may also make a clicking noise from time to time.
So, you see that clicking noises are quite common for refrigerators. However, if these clicking noises are accompanied by a loss of cooling or functionality problems, you need to take quick action. Moreover, if these clicking sounds are so loud that you hear them in other rooms and these sounds get frequent, you need to diagnose the problem as soon as possible and fix it.
Cause #2: Dirty Condenser Coils
One of the common reasons your fridge makes repeated clicking noises is the dirty condenser coils. Depending on the shape and type of your refrigerator, the condenser coils may be located on the back or at the bottom of the access panel located at the back of the machine.
The condenser coils dissipate the heat that builds up in the refrigerant. The heat acts as a magnet for the dust, debris, and hair in the surroundings, and these things attach to the coils’ surface. As a result, the condenser has to put in more power to constantly cycle coolant because no heat dissipates from the condenser coils.
Solution: Clean the Condenser Coils
It is a simple DIY cleaning task. All you have to do is clean the coils. You can do it with a vacuum cleaner or dust it with your hand. Using a vacuum cleaner is a better option because it will effectively remove the dust and keep your kitchen floor clean.
However, you must unplug the refrigerator in both methods and take necessary safety measures.
Cause #3: Defective Compressor Start Relay
The compressor is responsible for compressing the cooling gas in your refrigerator. A small component but a very useful one, the compressor start relay is responsible for firing up your refrigerator. If the compressor start relay goes bad, your fridge will start making loud clicking noises. It will be accompanied by cooling problems as well because the compressor will not start.
Solution: Replace the Start Relay
The start relay is located near the compressor in most models. It may differ in your model, so keeping the user manual handy with you while doing repairs on your machine is better.
Follow the directions given below to check and repair the star relay
- Unplug your refrigerator and pull it out so you can easily work on it.
- Remove the back cover and locate the start relay.
- Check if it’s working using a multi-meter. If the multi-meter shows continuity, there is no issue with the start relay.
- If there is no reading on the multi-meter, you need to replace the start relay.
- Identify the wire harness connecting the start relay to the refrigerator, and remove it.
- Pull out the relay carefully by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Install the new relay and connect the wire harness.
- Turn on your refrigerator and check for results.
Cause #4: Defective Compressor
The compressor compresses the gas that is used to cool your refrigerator. If it starts creating problems, your fridge won’t stay cool, and it will also make frequent clicking noises.
However, please remember that you should only replace the compressor once you have checked the other components and diagnosed what else could be wrong with the machine. Replacing the compressor is costly, so leaving it as a last resort is better.
Solution: Get your Compressor Inspected
If you think that the compressor has gone bad, we recommend you call a professional to check it. A compressor is a complex component in your refrigerator, and messing with it may worsen the problem. Hence, it is better to take professional help in cases where you can’t manage things on your own.
Cause #5: Faulty Defrost Timer
Defrost timer is responsible for checking when to put your machine in the defrost mode so that the ice can melt and your fridge can operate optimally. The defrost timer is like a dial that keeps rotating for a fixed number of hours for cooling, and then it moves to the defrost position.
Solution: Inspect the Defrost Timer
The location of defrost timer varies from one model to another. Therefore, you must use your user manual while checking the defrost timer. Once located, you can remove the timer and inspect it.
Cause #6: Damaged Evaporator Motor/Fan
The evaporator is responsible for keeping your machine cool by spreading the cold air. Its functionality is aided by a fan and motor that facilitates the cooling process. This motor/fan can go bad over time or if you don’t clean the fan after 6 months or yearly.
If the fan goes bad, but the motor is working, you may hear continuous clicking sounds. This will happen because the motor will be spinning, and the fan will not move either due to dust accumulation or some other issue.
Solution: Check/Replace the Fan
- Unplug your refrigerator and remove the back cover to check if the fan has gone bad. You will need channel-lock pliers and a flat head screwdriver to remove the fan from the motor.
- Clean the fan and its fixing point. Make sure you remove all the debris and dust from fan blades and other parts.
- Now install the fan back and test it by moving it with your hands to see if it is moving freely or not.
We have discussed the possible causes and fixes behind your refrigerator making clicking noises. 90% of the time, a fridge making clicking noises can be fixed at home if you know how to diagnose the problem. If the problem persists and your refrigerator doesn’t stop making clicking noises, it is time you get it inspected by a professional.