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Refrigerator - Sounds and Noises a Refrigerator Makes

The normal operation of your refrigerator will cause some sound. The following list contains sounds that are normal.
  • A Chirping/barking/woof/howl sound can sometimes be heard as the damper door opens/closes.
  • A change in fan speed as the refrigerator responds to changes in temperature due to door opening.
  • A clicking/tic toc noise can be heard when the defrost timer switches on and off.
  • A click can be heard when the temperature control unit turns the unit on and off.
  • A boiling, gurgling, or knocking sound can be heard when the unit is running. This is caused by the circulation of refrigerant.
  • Gurgling sound in the door. This sound can be heard just after the door is closed because of the water in drain tube trap area. It can last several seconds.
  • A drip may be heard when defrost water is dripping into the pan beneath the refrigerator.
  • The icemaker will make a loud noise when cubes are dropped into the bucket.
  • A hum or click can be heard when the icemaker fills with water. This sound may be heard once or multiple times.
  • A cracking or popping sound can be heard when evaporator coils on Top Mount No Frost models are cooling after defrost.
  • Buzzing noises can be heard after getting water from the door dispenser. The noise should not last longer than 7 seconds.
  • A snapping sound will be heard about 4 seconds after removing a glass from a dispenser. This is the sound of the dispenser chute closing.
  • A clicking noise may be heard after a power shortage. This stems from the compressor trying to re-start itself. The noise could last for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • A hissing, sizzling, buzzing, or arching noise may be heard on self-defrost models. This is produced when water drips on defrost heaters.
To view a short video about normal bottom freezer refrigerator sounds:
Play Video


To view a short video about normal top freezer refrigerator sounds:
Play Video

Any other sounds may require a service technician for diagnosis. To obtain in or out of warranty repair on Major Appliances, you may call 1-800-GE-CARES (800-432-2737) or schedule service online.