Your refrigerator is there to keep your food cool and stop it from going bad. Usually, throughout a refrigerator’s lifetime, you shouldn’t notice any problems with it. When problems arise, it’s uncommon and it can be hard to find out where it’s coming from. Refrigerators commonly make noises whilst they’re running 24/7 and these noises can be high-pitched squeaks, buzzing, clicking, or humming. Although it’s common to hear a humming noise from your refrigerator, it’s uncommon to hear other weird sounds. Sometimes refrigerator can develop a high-pitched sound and it can be hard to find out where it’s coming from. Down below, you can find out how to diagnose your refrigerator by checking out a few of its components.
Before you check anything, you first need to assess what type of noise your refrigerator is giving off. Listen out for a squeaking noise, buzzing noise, humming noise, or clicking noise. You can also hear rattling noises, whistling noises, high-pitched vibrations, and humming. You’ll need to assess how loud these noises are, how often they occur, and whether the sound is continuous or not. Are the noises affecting the way your refrigerator functions or is the noise just annoying? Assessing all of these factors will let you know if the problem is severe and what you’ll have to do to fix it.
Why Is My Fridge Making A High Pitched Noise
1. Circulator Fan
You’ll need to open your refrigerator and check if the noise is coming from inside the refrigerator or outside the refrigerator. If the noise is coming from inside the refrigerator¸ then it’s the circulating fan. The circulating fan circulates cool air from the freezer to the refrigerator.
After functioning for a long time, this fan can start to make noises. In some cases, you can take out the fan, clean it, and straighten it to stop the noises. In other cases, the fan will need to be replaced. In most cases, this part will need to be replaced and if you’re familiar with repairing refrigerators, you replace the circulating fan yourself.
2. Compressor Fan
If the noise is coming from the back of the refrigerator, it’s either the compressor or the condenser fan. The compressor fan has a motor and if this becomes faulty, it can make high-pitched whistling noises. If the compressor is making b need replacing. If not, you’ll just have to buy a new refrigerator. In most cases, a failing compressor fan can mean that your refrigerator is too old and needs to be replaced anyway.
3. Condenser Fan
If it’s the condenser fan, it’s likely that its filled with dirt that just needs to be cleaned off. This dirt can clog up the fan and when air goes through it, this can cause the high-pitched noise that you’re hearing. The condenser fan is located near the compressor and you’ll find it at the back of the refrigerator.
The condenser fan circulates air through the condenser coil to remove heat and air over the drain pan to evaporate defrosted water from the freezer. The condenser fan runs at the same time as the evaporator motor and the compressor. If there’s a problem with the condenser fan, there’s a chance that the refrigerator itself isn’t working correctly. You may notice that your fan turns on and off regularly.
If you want to inspect the condenser fan motor:
1. Disconnect the refrigerator from the power source and remove the access panel on the back.
2. Find the condenser fan motor which is near the compressor at the bottom of the refrigerator at the back.
3. Inspect the condenser fan for any signs of wear, damage or dust that could be obstructing the fan and prevent it from turning freely. If you find the condenser fan (View on Amazon) is worn out, you’ll need to replace it.
4. Evaporator Fan
If you can hear the high-pitched noise coming from the back of the refrigerator, it could also be the evaporator fan. The evaporator fan pulls air over the evaporator coils when the compressor is running. If you’re constantly hearing a high-pitched noise coming from the freezer, it could be the evaporator fan motor. In line with the evaporator fan, your refrigerator may not be as cold as normal, and your freezer may not be freezing. If you want to inspect the evaporator fan for issues:
1. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the evaporator fan cover. You’ll find the evaporator fan inside the unit in the freezer compartment.
2. You’ll need to inspect the evaporator fan for any wear, damage, and dirt that could be restricting airflow. If you find any ice on the motor, you should turn off your freezer and allow it to defrost. When allowing your freezer to defrost, you should make sure that it’s not done for too long – if some foods are left thawed for too long, they could spoil.
3. You can try turning the motor shaft yourself to see if it can move freely. If not, you need to check for anything that’s obstructing it. After checking again, if you still can’t turn it easily, you need to make sure that you replace the evaporator fan motor (View on Amazon).
5. Evaporator Fan Motor Gromet
The evaporator fan motor grommet is used to isolate the evaporator fan motor from the bracket it’s mounted on to reduce the vibration noise and friction. If you’ve had your refrigerator for a long time and the gromet has been exposed to wear and tear and become detached, it can increase the vibration noise causing you to hear a high-pitched whistling noise. If you want to inspect the evaporator fan motor:
1. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the evaporator motor fan cover.
2. You need to check to see if the grommet has fallen off or if it’s been exposed to wear or damage. If the grommet has been damaged, you’ll need to replace it.
6. High-Efficiency Compressor
New refrigerators have high-efficiency compressors and they run faster than regular compressors. They do the same job but in a quicker and more efficient way – they also use less energy, but they make more noise. You may hear a high-pitched whine or hum coming from the compressor. Since this is part of the refrigerator, you should be able to live with it as it does help your refrigerator operate – there’s nothing you can do about this sound other than getting a new refrigerator that hasn’t got a high-efficiency compressor.
7. Ice Dispenser
Another culprit for the noise you’re hearing is the ice dispenser. The ice dispenser is the attachment on your refrigerator that dispenses ice to cool your drinks down. Although they tend to work fine and have no issues, they can be noisy in some circumstances. If your ice dispenser is making sounds while the ice is being made, but if the noise continues after the ice has been made, your dispenser is either not connected properly or it’s faulty. In this case, you should contact a repair technician because it can be hard to fix these by themselves.
If your fridge isn’t balanced properly, it’ll vibrate while components like the motor and compressor are working. Your refrigerator needs to be stable on the ground in order for it to function. The vibrations that occur because of the unstable fridge can generate a high-pitched sound. The resonance of your fridge can be fixed by making sure all four corners of the fridge are firmly on the ground. Or if a specific object is vibrating while the fridge is unbalanced, you can fix its positioning.
9. The Motor
The motor is composed is moving parts that spin at high speeds and as it spins, it gives off a high-pitched sound that only a few can hear such as kids and teenagers. If the sound is so high-pitched that it is unusual to hear, then chances are it’s the motor. This is because the motor spins are such high frequency that it generates high-frequency sound waves that are uncommon to the human ear.
10. Main Control Board Faulty
A faulty main control board could cause a high-pitched whistling sound. The main control board is located on the back of the refrigerator behind a panel. The main control board is the source of many other problems, such as the compressor not running, Ice and Water through the door problems, and defrosting of the evaporator coil. So if you’re hearing a high-pitched noise from here, you need to replace the main control board or get a repairman to take a look at it. All of the connections to the board are normally easy to remove and re-install on the new board.
11. Capacitor Failing
A failing capacitor could also cause a whining sound in your refrigerator. When the capacitor on the fridge’s motherboard that controls the fan speed is dying, the fan speed can continuously speed up and slow down. When the capacitor is drying, instead of delivering a constant electricity supply, it delivers varying amounts of electricity. If you suspect that the capacitor is failing, then you need to replace the motherboard. Once the motherboard has been replaced, the capacitor will now be able to deliver a constant electricity supply. The whining noise will also go because the capacitor has been replaced on the motherboard.
Warning: You should know that your refrigerator isn’t a silent device. Because it’s a working device and has a ton of components that allows your fridge to function therefore it’s going to make a lot of noise. However, if the fridge is making a high-pitched noise that is unbearable and all attempts you’ve tried at trying to fix the issue has been unsuccessful, you should consider contacting the manufacturer to discuss the problem.
Other Noises You Could be Hearing
Rather than a high-pitched noise, you may be hearing other sounds coming from the refrigerator. Down below are a list of other sounds you could be hearing that would indicate your refrigerator isn’t functioning properly. The high-pitched noise can come with other noises and this can give you clues as to the problem is with your refrigerator is.
If your refrigerator is making a humming sound. As mentioned earlier, this is common and it’s a good sign that your refrigerator is functioning properly – it’ll be a problem if your refrigerator wasn’t humming because this would indicate that there’s a problem with it. The humming noise is coming from the compressor and this runs 80% of the time your refrigerator is running and there’s no way to get rid of it – the compressor fan can also make high-pitched noises.
If you have a refrigerator in your kitchen, it isn’t hard to ignore this noise as it happens in most people’s homes. If the noise sounds abnormal or it just started to happen long after you got the refrigerator new, you’ll need to contact a technician and get your refrigerator looked at. If your refrigerator is a new model, the compressor will be on all the time and you’re less likely to notice a sudden humming sound.
If there’s dirt in your compressor, it could also cause a whining sound. The compressor is located between your wall and the back of the fridge, it can easily get dirty over time. If there’s the presence of dirt and debris in the compressor, it can make a whining noise. To get rid of the whining noise, you need to disconnect power to your fridge and clean the compressor as well as the condenser fan. You can use a software brush to clean them so that you avoid damaging them.
If the air vent to your refrigerator is blocked, you might hear a whining sound. To stop this noise from happening, you need to organize your fridge properly so that the items aren’t blocking the airflow. Once the airflow isn’t being blocked, place the foods directly in front of the air vents so that the items in your refrigerator can be kept cool. Doing this will also increase the efficiency of your fridge.
Scrapping or Whirring
If you’re hearing a scraping or whirring sound, this will indicate that there’s a build-up of ice around the fans. There shouldn’t be anything obstructing the fans and they should be working smoothly. You’ll notice that your refrigerator isn’t as cool as normal, and this could indicate that you have a faulty fan motor. In this case, you’ll need to allow the refrigerator to defrost the ice – this means unplugging it for a few hours. You’ll also need to check the fan for any obstructions that stop air flow from moving freely.
if you hear a rattling noise, it could be the drip pan. The drip pan in a refrigerator is a receptacle that catches condensation flowing from the defrost drain in the freezer to the outside of the refrigerator where it can evaporate. You’ll find the drip pan at the bottom of the unit.
When to Contact a Refrigerator Technician
If you weren’t able to fix any of the fans or stopped the high-pitched noise you were hearing, then it’s best to get a certified professional to fix the problem for you. If you have home warranty, chances are your refrigerator will be covered and you won’t have to pay for it, however, this all depends on your warranty’s terms. To check, you’ll need to call your warranty provider and let them know that your refrigerator needs repairing. If your claim gets approved, an appointment will be scheduled, and a technician should come over to analyze your refrigerator.
During the analysis, they recheck everything mentioned in the article and determine whether the refrigerator needs repairing or a complete replacement. If it needs to be repaired, the contractor will likely repair it whilst they’re there. If you need a replacement, there will be a follow up appointment. All of this will be free if you have home warranty and refrigerators are part of the contracts.