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Why Is My Fridge Making a Clicking Noise?

refrigerator maintenance

Most appliances make noise as they run, and refrigerators are no different. However, you may have wondered whether your fridge making a clicking noise could indicate something is wrong.

While some clicking is common, you should troubleshoot the issues as soon as possible.

In this article, we’ll help troubleshoot why your refrigerator is making a clicking noise.


Why Is My Refrigerator Making a Clicking Noise?

If you listen carefully to your refrigerator as it works, you might notice some faint clicks in addition to the regular whirring and humming noises. In most cases, hearing your refrigerator clicking is nothing to worry about.

Refrigerators will make clicking noises when going through cycles. For example, when the fridge is in a defrost cycle and when the ventilation system turns on, you will hear a clicking noise.

You should only be concerned if the clicking gets louder and more frequent. Several parts of the refrigerator could be behind the clicking noises, and troubleshooting those parts can help you get to the bottom of the problem. We’ve listed some of the most common problems below. 

Compressor Start Relay Problems 

The compressor is one of the most important parts of the refrigerator. It circulates the refrigerant through the appliance, which keeps the inside cool. The compressor start relay is the part that tells the compressor when to turn on. If you hear a faint click, that’s often a sign that the compressor is starting another cycle.

However, if those clicks get louder or more frequent, that’s probably a sign that the compressor start relay is having problems. 

Another way to test this is to check if the temperature of the refrigerator changes. If the fridge is suddenly hotter or colder without adjusting the thermostat, the compressor is not properly running the heating and cooling cycles.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Another common source of clicking noises is the condenser coils. Coolant circulates through these tubes and lets off heat, which allows it to circulate the cold air in your refrigerator. However, if dust and debris cover the condenser coils, the heat can’t release effectively.

Unplug your fridge and clean the coils with a duster, rag, or gentle brush to fix this issue. Cleaning your condenser coils can also prevent several other common fridge problems, so try to do it once a year.

Dirty Condenser Fan

Like the condenser coils, the condenser fan helps keep the coolant at a low temperature. Also, like the condenser coils, the condenser fan is prone to picking up dust. However, clicking noises from the condenser fan could also indicate that the fan is jammed or that the electronic components are broken.

You can identify a problem with the condenser fan by listening. For example, if the clicks are fast when the fan rotates. Then, check if anything is blocking the rotation of the blades or if the blades are bent.

Ice Maker Problems

Having an ice maker is convenient, but these parts of the fridge are the most prone to breaking down.

Check for problems with your ice maker if the clicking persists. Ask yourself if you’ve had any other problems with this part recently, such as the machine not dispensing ice. Check the water inlet valve and arm, is something blocking them?

Water Dispenser Problems

Like ice makers, water dispensers are prone to breaking down. Clicks, when the water dispenser is not operating, are signs of blockages or leaks. Check the water valve and tubing for any problems.


Clicking noises from your refrigerator is normal. However, if the clicking gets louder or more frequent, check your compressor, condenser, ice maker, and water dispenser for the issues listed in this article.

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