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11 Ways To Stop A Refrigerator From Buzzing (2023 How-To)

My Refrigerator Is Making A Buzzing Noise

A refrigerator may produce a soft humming sound while running.

But if you notice that the buzzing noise is getting loud and constant…

Your fridge might be telling you that something’s wrong.

So, what is it?

And what can you do to stop the noise?

Continue reading to discover:

  • 11 reasons why your refrigerator is buzzing.
  • 11 easy ways how to put an end to this buzzing problem.
  • When you should consider replacing a part of your refrigerator.
  • The steps on how to change a fridge light bulb and control board.
  • And so much more…

Why is my refrigerator making a buzzing noise?

Your refrigerator is making a buzzing noise because it’s not leveled properly. It may also have loose shelves or too many items inside. This could be due to a faulty light bulb, defrost timer, or compressor as well. But sometimes, its condenser coils, drain pan, or gasket might also need cleaning.

Aside from these, other possible causes are:

  • Slipped drain pain.
  • Broken evaporator fan.
  • Defective control board.

My refrigerator is making a buzzing noise: 11 reasons + how to stop it

#1: Uneven surface

There are many reasons why your refrigerator is buzzing.

But, let’s start with the easiest ones to fix first.

One of these is an uneven floor surface.

“How does it affect a refrigerator?”

First, an uneven floor will cause vibrations.

So if your fridge isn’t leveled, it’ll produce buzzing noises.

The unbalanced surface can affect its function too. Most especially its thermostat and ice maker.

So this is also one of the main causes why a smart fridge isn’t cooling.

In that state, your unit will work extra hard as well. And this can also be the reason for the humming.

How to stop it

It’ll be hard to fix your uneven flooring right away.

So here are some alternatives that you can do:

One, adjust your fridge’s legs.

  1. Put a level on top of your refrigerator. (This is to check if your unit is lopsided and to see which leg you need to adjust more.)
  2. Detach your fridge kick plate. (This can be removed by either taking out its screws or pressing its locking clips.)
  3. Look for your refrigerator’s legs.
  4. Adjust them based on their current leveling. Do this as many times as needed to get your unit perfectly leveled.

Note: Usually, to raise the leg you have to rotate it clockwise. Then turn counter-clockwise to lower it. For rollers, the direction is the same. But you need to use a screwdriver to rotate the screw that adjusts the leg.

Another thing, your refrigerator must be leveled from side to side. However, it should be slightly sloping to the back. This is to ensure the doors will be shut tightly.

So raise the front legs 0.25 to 0.5 inches (6 to 13 mm) higher than the rear ones.

Once you’re done, reattach the kick plate you removed.

Two, you can create a level platform for your refrigerator. Preferably made of wood so it’s easy to make and durable.

Three, if you’re not handy, try putting rubber mats below your fridge.

These can buffer the noise produced by the vibrations. 

So it may help reduce the buzzing sounds that you hear. As it could get annoying over time.

Learn more: 15 Best Ways To Maintain Your Refrigerator (Checklist)

#2: Loose fridge shelves

“Why is my fridge making a buzzing sound?”

Aside from your unit, it could also be that the shelves inside it aren’t positioned well.

If this is the case, they may also vibrate and cause a buzzing noise. Especially while your fridge compressor is running.

How to stop it

Take out the shelves that seem to be the cause of your problem. As well as the contents they hold.

Inspect the brackets and your shelves. See if there are parts that are broken or loose.

Fix them based on their issue. Then wipe and reinsert them inside your refrigerator.

Look if your shelves are level. Make sure to put them on their respective brackets.

If they’re not perfectly level, you may use small pieces of foam to tighten the loose areas.

#3: Overstocking


Is your fridge full?

If so, its vents are possibly blocked.

These help the air circulate well inside your unit. So if they’re obstructed, it may also cause your fridge not to function properly.

It’ll be hard for your unit to keep its interior cool at all times. 

Plus, it might also cause it to produce unusual sounds – like buzzing.

How to stop it

To stop your fridge from buzzing, scan its contents first.

Get rid of the leftovers that have been staying there for days. As well as all the discarded goods that you forgot you have.

Search for the air vents inside your fridge.

These can be found at the back of its wall. But you may also find some near your freezer.

Move all your items away from the vents. Rearrange them in a way that they’re not blocking any of them.

Monitor your refrigerator if it still produces a buzzing noise or not.

Don’t forget to check out: 15 Refrigerator Do’s And Don’ts (Avoid #7 At All Times)

#4: In need of a reset

Sometimes, if your appliance is creating weird noises…

It might be telling you to give it a short break.

Refrigerators need to function 24/7. But, this doesn’t mean that its compressor doesn’t need a reset once in a while.

So to be sure, try this easy possible fix first.

How to stop it

Force reset your refrigerator.

  1. Unplug your fridge from its power source. (Move your unit away from the wall if the outlet is behind it.)
  2. Wait for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Plug your unit back in.
  4. Adjust its temperature and wait for it to cool a bit.

Note: Most refrigerators stabilize after 24 hours. So check your fridge again after a whole day to see if the problem is still there.

#5: Busted light bulb or control board

When do you usually hear the buzzing noise?

Is it every time you open your fridge door/s?

If so, you might have a busted light bulb.

In this case, your fridge’s interior light will also flicker or not turn on at all. 

How to stop it

Examine and clean the light bulb socket

  1. Unplug your fridge first.
  2. Look for the light bulb inside your refrigerator.
  3. Take it out.
  4. Examine its socket. Check if there are burns or corrosion around it.
  5. If you spot any, gently scrape it using an old toothbrush. Dry it with a clean towel.
  6. Apply dielectric grease all over the socket threads.
  7. Put the light bulb back in.
  8. Plug your fridge and see if your bulb is working.

If the buzzing still persists, you may need to replace your light bulb.

But if a new one is already installed, your control board might be at fault.

“What is it?”

If computers have a ‘motherboard,’ refrigerators have a ‘control board.’

As its name implies, it controls almost all the functions of your fridge.

Over time, it may malfunction and this might also cause a buzzing noise.

How to check your fridge control board:

  1. Keep your fridge unplugged.
  2. Move it away from the wall so you can access its backside.
  3. Take out the rear access panel by removing the screws that hold it.
  4. Search for the control board. (It’s usually placed at the lower left part of a fridge.)
  5. Look for any loose solder connections and burn marks.

If you notice any of the signs above, you have a bad control board. And the only option to solve this is to get it replaced.

But before anything else, look for the right replacement part for your fridge.

Visit the official website of your refrigerator brand. Enter its model number then purchase a new control board.

Note: If it’s currently out of stock, you can list your control board’s part number. Then search for it in other local hardware or online stores.

Now, if you’re handy and you already have the replacement part, check out the video below:

#6: Damaged evaporator fan

Did you trace the source of the buzzing noise?

If you hear it on top of your fridge, this issue might be caused by a faulty evaporator fan.

“What is it?”

It’s located at the back of your freezer wall.

Its job is to draw air from the evaporator coils. Then disperse cold air inside – both freezer and fridge compartment.

“Why does it cause a buzzing sound?”

If the evaporator fan of your fridge is faulty, your unit will not cool properly.

Now, this could lead to other issues. Say, damaged components or overheating.

And these may cause your fridge to suffer and make unusual noises.

How to stop it

Check your fridge evaporator fans.

  1. Remove the plug of your fridge.
  2. Using your refrigerator’s manual, search for the location of its evaporator fan. (You can download this online.)
  3. Once found, remove the panel that covers it.
  4. Turn the fan blades manually using your finger or any object.
  5. Clean them using a damp cloth.
  6. Dry the blades with another clean cloth.
  7. Reinstall the panel (if you removed any).
  8. Plug your fridge back into its power outlet.

Observe if it still produces a loud buzzing noise.

If so, you have to replace it. To be sure, contact an experienced repairman to solve the issue.

#7: Fridge door gasket issue

See the rubber seal on the inner side of your fridge door?

That’s called a ‘gasket.’ And it keeps your fridge door completely closed.

By doing this, the gasket prevents cold air from escaping. Also, it doesn’t let warm air in.

So if it’s dirty or warped, it’ll not provide enough seal for your door. 

This is why warm air may go inside your unit and cause an excessive frost build-up.

When this happens, it’ll mess up your unit’s temperature. Then your compressor will be under so much pressure.

So in the long run, it may malfunction. And this might be the cause for your fridge’s buzzing.

How to stop it

Open your fridge and inspect its door gasket.

Are they dirty or damaged?

If it’s the former, do the steps below to clean it:

  1. Prepare warm water and a mild detergent.

Note: You can also use a water and baking soda solution. To make this, add about 1 to 2 tbsp (14.3 to 28.3 g) of baking soda per quart of water.

  1. Soak a soft clean cloth in the solution.
  2. Wipe your fridge door gasket. Make sure you remove all the stains and debris.
  3. Dry it with a clean cloth.

But if it’s the latter, do a test first to verify if it needs a replacement.

Here’s what you need to do:

Get a dollar bill. Trap it between your fridge’s door and body.

If it slides or can be taken out easily, you need to change your door gasket asap.

How to change your fridge’s door seal:
  1. Buy a new door gasket for your fridge.
  2. Expose it under the heat of the sun until the warped areas (due to packaging) are gone.

Note: You may also put the new gasket in a tub filled with warm water. This also does the same thing. Plus, it can also make the installation faster.

  1. Detach the old fridge door gasket.
  2. Wipe your new door seal with a clean cloth. Then position it on your refrigerator.
  3. Start installing it in any of the upper corners.
  4. Push the gasket to the fridge to fasten it firmly.
  5. Repeat step #6 along the other sides of the door seal.
  6. Close your fridge door.

Check if there are gaps or uneven areas between the door and your fridge’s body.

If you notice an opening, see if it can be adjusted from the inside.

Ensure that your door seal is attached properly. Then blow-dry the uneven areas.

Note: Be careful when using a hairdryer. Don’t put it too close to the door gasket to avoid it from getting warped any further.

#8: Dirty condenser coils

Besides a dirty door gasket, there might be another part in your fridge that needs some cleaning.

To know this, where do you hear the buzzing noise?

If it’s around the middle part of your refrigerator…

It could be the condenser coils.

These release the heat that’s absorbed inside your fridge. And these coils also cool the refrigerant.

So if these are covered with dirt, they won’t be able to release all the excess heat.

If you have dirty condenser coils, they may overexert themselves. Then this might be the source of the buzzing noise.

Also, your coils may be loose as well.

They’ll vibrate and create a buzzing sound.

To fix this, make sure that the tubes and connections are all secured.

But if they’re dirty, do the following steps.

How to stop it

  1. For your safety, unplug your fridge first.
  2. Move your unit away from the wall to access the coils at the back.
  3. Take out the rear access panel of your refrigerator.
  4. Find the condenser coils. (These are the black bars at the back or under your fridge.)
  5. Vacuum the coils for a few minutes. (Just enough to remove some of the dirt on the surface.)
  6. Scrape the hair and dirt on your coils using a long flexible cleaning brush.
  7. Vacuum the coils once again. But this time, do it as thoroughly as you can since it’s the final step.
  8. Reattach the rear access panel.
  9. Return your fridge in its original position.
  10. Plug it back into its power source.

Then, check whether your fridge is still humming or not.

#9: Disconnected ice maker

Did the tips above work?

If not, you might have another problem in the middle part of your fridge.

And the last thing you may consider is a faulty ice maker (if you have one).

It might be disconnected or have a loose connection to the water supply. So it creates vibrations and buzzing sounds.

If this seems to be the cause of your problem, the fix will be easy.

How to stop it

Reconnect your ice maker to its water source. Turn on the shutoff valve.

If everything’s fine, the buzzing noise will slowly disappear.

But if you still hear it…

Inspect its connections next.

Check the tube for any leaks. And if you spot one, you may need to replace it.

#10: Slipped drain pan

If you hear the buzzing noise at the bottom part of your refrigerator…

This might be it.

Usually, there’s a drain or drip pan under your fridge to collect any condensed water.

If this is positioned properly, you won’t hear any sounds coming from it.

But if this slips close to the radiator or cooling line, it may cause vibrations.

Also, if it slipped, it would not be able to collect condensed water. 

And this may also be the cause of some failure in your unit. Which will then produce a rattling or humming sound.

How to stop it

Make sure that your fridge’s drain pan is placed correctly..

To check this, locate it first.

If your fridge model has a kick plate, remove it to see your drip pan. Then to find it, look for the drain line (a tubing from the drain hole.)

Once you’ve found it, get a flashlight and light the area under your fridge.

Search for a wide metal or plastic pan – that’s your drain pan.

If you see it, it must be placed directly on its support brackets. So if it slipped out of them, take it out.

Drain the pan if it has water inside, dry it, then return it back to its place.

Note: If your drip pan is too loose, you may secure it with good electrical or duct tape. But if it’s worn out, buy a new one.

#11: Stuck or broken defrost timer

Modern fridges are now frost-free.

So if yours is also like this, the culprit might be your defrost timer.

It turns on and off automatically when your unit needs to be defrosted. It powers the heater on so that the ice inside will thaw.

So if this is defective, your unit will have a frost build-up. Then it may prevent your fridge from working smoothly.

And it may cause it to produce a loud buzzing noise.

How to stop it

Check if your defrost timer needs to be replaced or if it’s only stuck.

To do this:

  1. Remove the plug of your fridge from the outlet.
  2. Look for the defrost timer in your refrigerator.

Note: This can be found behind the rear access panel or kick plate. It’s usually beside the compressor. And it’s mostly white in color.)

  1. Turn its dial clockwise.
  2. Plug your unit back in.
  3. If you hear a click and your fridge is cooling well, the timer is only stuck.

But if your fridge is still buzzing and not cooling, you have to replace it. The good thing is getting a new defrost timer won’t cost that much.

#BONUS: Defective compressor

If nothing seems to work on your problem…

You may have a bigger fridge issue.

You might have a faulty compressor. And it’s the one producing the buzzing noise.

“What is a compressor?”

If the control board is the ‘brain’ of a fridge, this one is the ‘heart.’

It works along with the thermostat. So it’s the one responsible for most of the refrigeration cycle.

“Where is it located?”

You’ll see this at the back of your refrigerator.

How to stop it

If you’ve recently bought your unit, the compressor will make a noise while adjusting. And this is only normal.

But if the sounds are too loud, it calls for a fix. So contact your trusted repairman to assess and solve the issue.