Here’s Why Your Samsung Refrigerator Makes Noise

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A Samsung refrigerator isn’t immune to unusual or unexpected noises. 

After being transported and manoeuvred into position, new fridges require a few days to settle. However, after that, the noises should be minimal. 

Unexpected noises from any refrigerator may suggest a problem with the appliance, but what’s important is to consider the possible causes of the noises and how to remedy them. 

8 Reasons Why Your Samsung Refrigerator is Making Noises

A Samsung fridge can sound like a rumble in your tummy, hum along, or even sound like an Owl at times. It’s all very confusing!

This video demonstrates the various noises you may hear, and you can run through the troubleshooting below.

Here are the 8 reasons why your Samsung refrigerator may be producing strange noises:

  1. The fan blade is misaligned
  2. The condenser fan motor blade or blade bearings are damaged
  3. Frozen fan blades
  4. The evaporator fan motor is failing
  5. The condenser fan requires cleaning
  6. The water inlet valve has failed
  7. The compressor has been damaged internally
  8. Improper refrigerator placement

Safety Tip: Do turn off the refrigerator at the mains before examining it and beginning any repair. Don’t take risks with electricity. 

Samsung refrigerator evaporator fan blade
Photo Credit: JhonZy tatay

Evaporator Fan Blade is Misaligned

The evaporator fan blade could have either rubbed on something or have something trapped inside the blade. 

Either situation can cause the fan blade to shift, leading to repeated loud noises emanating from the inside rear of the refrigerator, typically where the freezer section is located. 

This is typically the cause if opening one of your refrigerator’s doors causes the sound to become instantly louder. 

How to Fix

Remove perishable food items, collect spare ice from the ice box, lay towels in front of the refrigerator to collect any water leakage, and turn the refrigerator off at the mains.

Once the unit is turned off, access the evaporator fan blade (refer to your owner’s manual if you can’t locate it easily). Move it manually to see if it can turn fully 360 degrees. If it catches on an object, determine what this object is and whether it should be there. 

A poorly fitted part may be out of alignment. If so, it may be causing the fan blade to hit it with each rotation. 

First, see if any protective casing around the fan blade area is at fault, then remove any obstruction in the fan blade’s path. 

You should also examine the blade to determine if it’s been bent or if part of the blade has snapped off. In this case, it’ll need replacing. 

Samsung refrigerator condenser fan motor
Photo Credit: Weekend Home Projects

Condenser Fan Motor Blades or Blade Bearings Are Damaged

Motor blades are durable but are not built to withstand prolonged abuse. When something is caught between a condenser blade, causing it to strike another object and ricochet inside the blade, it can cause significant damage. 

It’s also possible that the bearings for the condenser fan motor have worn down and are no longer usable. This may be either through normal wear and tear or blade damage and subsequent extra wear on the bearings. 

How to Fix

The condenser fan motor is often found at the underside of the refrigerator. Therefore, it isn’t easy to get to. Typically, access is achieved via the rear panel, which must be unscrewed first. 

Ultimately, it’s recommended you leave this one to the experts

Condenser fan motor blades and bearings are specialized parts. Therefore, a service call is best to get the problem professionally assessed, the correct replacement parts ordered, and subsequently installed.

Frozen Fan Blades

The evaporator fan motor pushes air over the cooling evaporator coils, which is then distributed inside the refrigerator by the blades.

Problems arise in damp, cold environments where moisture remains inside the fridge and near the fan blades for too long. As a result, frost can develop and later ice blocks.

Eventually, these can get in the way of the fan blades, causing them to repeatedly strike the ice. This creates a grinding or chop…chop…chop sound near the rear of the appliance.  

Read also: Samsung Refrigerator Freezing Up – Causes and How to Fix

How to Fix

To clear the ice on and between the fan blades, the best approach is to remove your contents, open the door, and turn off your Samsung fridge for 24 hours. This will let the refrigerator fully defrost and therefore melt the frost and ice which are causing the problem.

You may be tempted to speed up the process using a hairdryer on low heat or another focused heat source. However, I’d advise against this because the heat could warp or otherwise damage the internal parts of your Samsung fridge.  

If you’re still having issues, refer to problem number 5 – as this can often come as a secondary fault as a result of the frozen blades.

Samsung fridge 
evaporator fan motor
Photo Credit: JhonZy tatay

Evaporator Fan Motor Failing

As explained above, the evaporator fan motor is a key component in your refrigerator, as it’s responsible for pushing air over the evaporator coils, which is then cooled and distributed inside the refrigerator.

You may notice functional issues whereby the fan blades are noisier or slower than they were before, and in this scenario, a faulty evaporator fan motor is likely the problem.

How to Fix

To find out whether the evaporator fan is the cause of the problem, have a look at the fan blades when the fridge is turned on; does it spin and sound as expected, or is it spinning slower or with more noise than you recall? 

You should first turn the appliance off and check the wiring between the motor and the fan blade for any kinks or damage. If there’s no connection problem, it’s likely the motor. If you’re feeling confident in your electrical DIY skills, you can confirm that the motor is at fault by checking for continuity on a multi-meter.

The motor will be covered under warranty for newer refrigerators if it has failed early in the fridge’s life. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a quote to have the fan motor replaced. 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to repair a motor of this type. The replacement is not a small job and is best left to a professional. 

Samsung refrigerator condenser fan
Photo Credit: Weekend Home Projects

The Condenser Fan Needs Cleaning

Dirt can accumulate on the condenser fan blades and in the condenser motor too. This occurs when condenser coils haven’t been cleaned frequently enough, with debris reaching in and clogging the blade and/or motor. 

Note: You should clean your Samsung refrigerator condenser coils once or twice a year.

If your fan blades were frozen, this can create a secondary problem where there is backed-up dirt on the motor and fan.

This leads to the motor being overworked (and overheating) because the dirt clogs up its innards. This can result in the motor failing if it’s run too hot for too long.

How to Fix

The condenser fan will need a thorough cleaning to remove the dirt inside. Using a vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment will get some of it. A long, thin brush can help dislodge the dirt too. 

Beyond that, if the motor is fully clogged up, it’ll need to be removed, taken apart, and all parts individually cleaned. This is the only way to rectify the issues with a dirty motor, other than replacing it with a new one. 

Samsung refrigerator water inlet valve
Photo Credit: eSpares

Water Inlet Valve Failure

Water inlet issues manifest themselves in and around the water dispenser and ice maker. The water inlet valve opens and closes using electrical signals to manage the water flow into the refrigerator. 

Water with a high mineral content can cause sediment to block up the valve restricting water flow. Subsequently, high-pitched noises from around the valve (situated at the rear of the fridge) indicate the flow is impaired. 

How to Fix

Unfortunately, water inlet valves by design cannot be disassembled to remove the mineral deposits, and this very act prevents them from working ever again. 

Therefore, you’ll need to replace the water inlet valve with a new one. More information is available in the below video. However, if you’re not a confident DIY-er, it’s recommended you contact a professional.

Compressor Damaged Internally

Refrigerator compressors are durable and stay in operation for many years. However, sometimes one didn’t come off the factory line in perfect working order, which only becomes evident later. While compressors make some noises during normal operation, these aren’t overly loud or noticeable. 

Getting to the compressor is achieved by moving the fridge around to access the back and removing the rear panel. 

The compressor is a large object and will be obvious. You can then confirm whether the sound is coming from the compressor or elsewhere. 

How to Fix

The good news is that while a compressor cannot be repaired, they don’t necessarily fail immediately; years can pass between noticing a noisy compressor and its outright failure. 

Therefore, unless your refrigerator is within the warranty period, replacing the compressor immediately is unnecessary.

However, if it’s still under warranty, it’s best to lodge a service request and get the problem sorted whilst you’re still covered.

To replace the compressor, it’s best to contact a professional; it’s not typically a DIY job.


Improper Refrigerator Placement

A poor fridge location, with insufficient clearance on all sides, can lead to strange sounds from the fans as they’re unable to draw in enough air or get rid of warm air.

All Samsung refrigerators – and other brands, too – require enough space between their sides, top, rear, and the walls of a room.

Otherwise, the fans will struggle to draw in and move air around successfully. Due to clearance issues, fans produce hollow blowing sounds or whistles while spinning. 

This could also overwork the fans and motor, as they struggle due to limited space – leading to bigger and more costly problems in the future.

How to Fix

Move your Samsung fridge to allow for a couple of inches of clearance on each side and the appliance’s rear. Ideally, you should have an inch (absolute minimum 25mm) at the top, too.

Check your fridge’s manual to verify how much clearance Samsung recommends for your model. 

Given enough space and time to return to normal, the fans will stop producing unusual sounds.

Samsung Refrigerator Noises – What They Mean

Many fridge noises are common to various brands. Here are some noises from Samsung refrigerators to be aware of:

Chiming or Beeping: This generally indicates an error with the refrigerator. The display blinking and beeping may indicate that the fridge’s temperature is currently overly high.

This is normal if the refrigerator is new or being restarted and is therefore getting down to the correct temperature. 

Alternatively, a beeping will commence when one or more doors are left open for too long. 

Also, refitted doors that haven’t been appropriately fitted will trigger a chime or beep to indicate this. It can sometimes be disabled under the Alarm section on the display. 

Deep whirring: A deep whirring noise indicates a piece of machinery is struggling, typically a fan motor.

Rattling: A rattle might be an object periodically knocking against the fridge. You can adjust the fridge’s position to see what it might be. You should also check any fans, as something may be loose or trapped. 

Otherwise, a compressor may cause a rattle as it winds down its operations. Beyond that, loud rattles that cannot be identified require a more serious review. 

Chop… Chop… Chop: A chopping sound at the rear of the fridge may indicate a fan blade striking ice or another item.

Loud banging noise from the rear: Significant loud or sledgehammer-like noises from the rear suggest that the evaporator fan blade is repeatedly striking something due to it being out of alignment.  

Lighter Whirring or Whooshing: Unclean fan blades struggle to spin as successfully, with added dust and dirt creating extra air friction. This makes a light whirring or whooshing sound as the fan blades struggle. 

Owl-like sound: An owl-like sound suggests a frozen blade. 

Water movement: The inlet valve can get clogged with mineral deposits from water supplies. As a result, the sound of water moving from the home supply to the refrigerator increases in volume as water struggles to find its path through a restricted valve. 

Vibration or Compressor Noise: Compressors make a general noise that’s familiar. They may produce a vibration noise as part of their normal operations too.

Where note should be taken is when the general compressor noise becomes far more pronounced, which can indicate a faulty compressor. 

Samsung Refrigerator Noise to Worry Less About or Ignore Completely

Some noises coming from your Samsung refrigerator are normal and not a concern. Here are a few:

Popping, Crackling, or Snapping: These short burst noises naturally result from temperature variations inside the fridge. 

A new refrigerator or an unplugged one that’s been plugged back in must reach the appropriate temperature levels in each compartment. The expansion of internal components or plastic parts because of the temperature changes can cause these noises. Once the refrigerator has reached normal operating temperatures, these should stop.

Humming or Buzzing: Refrigerators with an ice maker create buzzing or humming noises as the ice maker fills with water. 

A high-water pressure can contribute to the sound effect. Therefore, lowering the pressure level will reduce occasional noises. 

If you do not have a water source connected presently, disable your ice maker to remove ice maker-related noises. 

Compressors also sometimes make a quiet clicking sound; this is normal. 

Whistling and/or Blowing: This is related to clearance issues between the fridge and walls on either side, at the top and rear. Approximately an inch is usually required for proper clearance, but it can vary according to the specific model. 

Gurgling, Hissing, or Bubbling: Refrigerators rely on eco-friendly refrigerants to keep them cooler. 

The cooling process relies on turning coolant liquid into a gaseous form and then returning it to a liquid form.

As a result of this activity, some bubbling or gurgling sounds are expected. It shouldn’t be overly loud, though. Loud hissing sounds need to be investigated. 

Grinding: The ice maker produces a grinding sound when in operation. This originates from the motor that moves the ice to the front of the ice dispenser. 

Again, it’s normal. However, when not dispensing ice, grinding noises are not normal and should be reviewed by a technician. 

Thumping or Banging: Chunks of ice or even small ice cubes landing in the ice bucket make a thumping or banging sound, especially when several cubes simultaneously drop into the bucket. 

Thumping or banging sounds that occur regularly, loudly, and not when ice is on the move should be reviewed by a professional. 

Door Hinge Squeaks: An unlevel fridge in one corner or side can cause the fridge door to squeak. Doors contain a harness that takes time to settle into its best position. 

Once done, the squeaking usually stops. For genuinely squeaky doors on an older Samsung fridge, spray some food-grade silicone spray on the hinges (don’t use another type of spray).

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Niels Joensen is the founder and chief editor at Niels is a professional painter who runs his own painting company. When not painting he likes to write about home renovation and appliances.