Refrigerator Knocking Sounds? Here’s What to Do

Authorized Service
May 8, 2023
Refrigerator Repair

Nobody wants to hear weird knocking coming from their refrigerator. If you’ve lately noticed your refrigerator making these kinds of noises, you’re not alone. There are a variety of different issues that can cause this problem, and many of them can be sorted out by a DIY enthusiast. In this article, we’ll look into the probable sources of those annoying refrigerator knocking sounds and offer practical, step-by-step solutions to help you quiet the ruckus. 

Your refrigerator is not level

This might sound too simple to be the cause of your issues, but did you know that an unbalanced refrigerator can cause knocking sounds? To identify if this is the problem, check if the fridge appears tilted or uneven. Use a bubble level on the top and sides to confirm if it’s not level. An unlevel fridge may cause uneven pressure on its components, leading to unusual noises.

To fix this issue:

  • Adjust the refrigerator’s leveling feet or rollers, typically found at the bottom front corners of the appliance. You might need a wrench or screwdriver to adjust them. 
  • Raise or lower the feet or rollers until the fridge is leveled both side-to-side and front-to-back.
  • Use the bubble level to verify the adjustments. 
  • Once the refrigerator is level, check if the knocking sounds have stopped. If they persist, investigate other potential causes for the noise.

Evaporator fan motor problems

To identify if evaporator fan motor issues are causing your fridge’s knocking sound start by locating the evaporator fan, which is typically found behind the freezer compartment’s back panel. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the panel to access the fan. Signs of fan motor problems may include visible damage, difficulty spinning the fan blades, or excessive noise when the fan is running. You should be able to identify pretty easily if the knocking sound is coming from the evaporator fan or not. 

To solve the issue:

  • First try cleaning the fan blades and removing any debris that might be obstructing the fan’s movement. 
  • If the problem persists, consider replacing the evaporator fan motor. You can either purchase a new motor and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement, or contact a professional.
  • After replacing the motor, plug the refrigerator back in, and listen for the knocking sound. If the evaporator fan motor was the issue, the noise should now have stopped. 

Condenser fan motor malfunction

Locate the condenser fan, which is normally near the bottom rear of the appliance, to determine if a condenser fan motor issue is causing your refrigerator’s knocking sound. To access the fan, unplug the fridge and remove any protective covering. Visible damage, debris obstructing the fan, or the fan not spinning smoothly are all signs of a malfunction.

To solve this issue:

  • As with the evaporator fan, first clean the fan blades and remove any debris that might be causing the obstruction. 
  • If there is no visible debris but you can tell that the sound is coming from the condenser fan, try replacing the condenser fan motor. You can purchase a new part online.  
  • Plug the refrigerator back in and check if the knocking sound has stopped.

Ice maker complications

To check if the ice maker is causing knocking noises in your fridge, listen carefully to pinpoint the sound’s origin. If it’s coming from the ice maker area, that’s likely the culprit. Common issues include ice buildup around the ice maker, a jammed ice cube tray, or a faulty motor.

To solve this problem:

  • Start by unplugging the fridge and removing any ice buildup using a hairdryer or warm water. Be cautious not to damage any components. 
  • If the ice tray is jammed, gently release any trapped ice cubes. 
  • Check the ice maker motor for visible damage or loose connections. 
  • If you suspect a faulty motor, consider replacing it. You can either follow the manufacturer’s instructions to replace it yourself or consult a professional appliance repair technician for help. 
  • If the knocking persists after you’ve fixed or replaced the part, look into other possible causes on our list. 

Damper control assembly faults

If you notice the knocking sound is coming from the area where the fresh food and freezer compartments meet, the damper assembly might be the issue. Damper control problems can cause the flap or motor to create knocking sounds.

To fix this issue:

  • First unplug the fridge for safety. 
  • Locate the damper control assembly, usually behind a plastic cover inside the fridge. Inspect it for visible damage, debris, or a stuck flap. 
  • Gently clean the assembly, removing any debris, and ensure the flap moves freely. If the motor appears damaged or worn out, consider replacing the entire damper control assembly. You can order a replacement part from your refrigerator manufacturer. 
  • After addressing the issue, plug the refrigerator back in. The sound should now have stopped.

Water inlet valve concerns

If your fridge connects to a water supply, this might be the culprit for the knocking sound. To figure this out, first, listen for the source of the noise. If it’s coming from the lower rear area where the water supply connects, the valve might be the issue. Problems with the valve can cause irregular water flow, leading to knocking sounds.

To fix this issue:

  • First, turn off the water supply to the fridge and unplug the appliance for safety. Inspect the water inlet valve for visible damage, debris, or loose connections. 
  • If it’s clogged, clean the valve by removing any debris. If it’s damaged or worn out, consider replacing the valve. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement or consult a professional appliance repair technician for help. 
  • After the issue is sorted, reconnect the water supply, plug the refrigerator back in, and check to make sure the noise has stopped.

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