The most noise you ever want to hear a refrigerator make is a steady hum showing that it is doing its job of keeping your food cold. However, if your refrigerator starts making a gurgling noise, it might signal something wrong.
Any change in your refrigerator’s operations, such as an unusual sound, will cause you to worry—these appliances are quite expensive to replace! Luckily, a gurgling noise does not indicate something is seriously wrong.
Here is how to troubleshoot a gurgling refrigerator.
Why Is My Refrigerator Making a Gurgling Noise?
Some gurgling is normal because that happens when the refrigerator coolant, usually Freon gas, is boiled, compressed, and turned into a gas as the substance changes its state of matter.
Other Possible Causes:
If you notice your refrigerator gurgling abnormally loudly, there are a few possible causes.
Leaky Water Supply Lines
Gurgling could signify that water is getting somewhere it shouldn’t be. Check your water supply hoses for any leaks or holes. Leaks not only cause water to flow out, but they also cause air to flow in, causing the gurgling sound. You’ll know you have a leak if you notice mysterious puddles under your fridge or a hole in the hose. You can easily replace water supply lines or call in a professional.
Refrigerant Flow Gurgling Noise
As mentioned above, the most common source of gurgling is the flow of the refrigerant, whether it is Freon or something else. If you put your hand on the refrigerator and feel it vibrating as it gurgles, that’s just a sign that it’s working as it should. However, if the noise is more prominent than it usually is, that might be a sign you’re opening the door too often, which causes the fridge to work harder to cool the inside. Try to get multiple items on the same trip.
Air in the Drain Tube
If you notice your refrigerator gurgling more when you shut the door, that’s a sign that the drain tube is working hard. The drain tube carries melted water out of the fridge, and when you shut the door, you blow air through the tube, causing a gurgling noise. This noise is normal, and if you notice it picking up, it’s just a sign you have more humidity than usual.
As your fridge defrosts, the melted water has to go somewhere, usually down the drain tube, causing gurgling. Most fridges automatically run defrosting cycles, so there’s not much you can do about this noise source except limit trips to the fridge to prevent frost buildup.
Gurgling noises from your refrigerator are part of the everyday workings of your fridge, and unless you notice them getting louder or see water leaking, you don’t have to worry.