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Why is My Refrigerator Making Clicking Noise?

James Elder
Last Updated on
by James Elder

Refrigerators are known to create unusual noises, with one common complaint being the occasional clicking sound.

While this may seem like a minor issue, it’s essential to investigate and address the source of the clicking sound to avoid any potential damage to your appliance.

In this article, we will explore the possible causes behind the clicking noise your fridge is making and provide some solutions to help you fix the issue.

Is the Clicking Noise From the Refrigerator a Bad Thing?

Some clicking noises refrigerators make are normal and part of their regular operation. For example, refrigerators make a clicking sound when the compressor starts up or shuts off, which is considered part of their normal functioning.

On the other hand, if the clicking sound is loud, ongoing, or combined with other unusual sounds, it could point to a problem that has to be addressed.

The abnormal clicking sounds may be caused by a number of issues, including a filthy or malfunctioning condenser fan, a malfunctioning start relay, a dirty or faulty compressor, a bad thermostat, loose parts, or a malfunctioning ice maker.

In general, it’s always a good idea to investigate any unusual sounds or behaviors in your refrigerator to ensure that it’s operating correctly and to prevent any potential damage or safety hazards.

Common Reasons Why Refrigerator Is Making a Clicking Noise

Let’s investigate all the possible underlying issues that might cause the clicking noise.

The Refrigerator Clicks Because of a Dirty or Faulty Condenser Fan

A filthy or broken condenser fan is one of the most common causes of clicking sounds in refrigerators. The condenser fan is responsible for drawing hot air out of the fridge and cooling the compressor. If the fan is dusty or broken, the compressor will overheat and make a clicking sound.

To resolve this issue, use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to clean the condenser fan blades and motor. If this does not fix the problem, you should replace the condenser fan.

The Refrigerator Clicks Due to a Defective Start Relay

The start relay is a minor component in your refrigerator that assists in starting the compressor. If it fails, the compressor will not start and will make a clicking sound.

To determine if the start relay is the problem, you can try to hear if the compressor is humming or vibrating. If you don’t hear anything, the compressor isn’t running, indicating that you need to replace the start relay.

The Refrigerator Clicks Because of a Dirty or Faulty Compressor

Your refrigerator will make a clicking sound if your compressor is dirty or defective. This is because the compressor gathers dirt, dust, and debris over time, causing it to malfunction.

Furthermore, the compressor might wear out and acquire internal damage, again causing it to malfunction.

To resolve this problem, you may need to clean the compressor with a vacuum cleaner or replace it entirely.

The Refrigerator Clicks Due to a Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat regulates the temperature within the refrigerator. If it’s broken, your fridge will most likely start clicking.

To see whether the thermostat is the issue, turn the temperature control knob to the coldest setting and listen to see if the compressor will start. If it doesn’t start, you need to replace the thermostat.

The Refrigerator Clicks Due to Loose Parts

Clicking noises can also be caused by loose parts in your refrigerator. The vibrations of the fridge can loosen the screws, bolts, and nuts in your appliance. As a result, they will make a clicking sound.

To resolve this issue, inspect all visible parts of your refrigerator and tighten anything loose.

The Refrigerator Clicks Because of a Malfunctioning Ice Maker

A faulty ice maker can generate a clicking sound in a refrigerator. The ice maker has a motor and gears that revolve to eject the ice into the bin.

If there is a problem with the motor or gears, the ice maker may click or produce other strange noises. Furthermore, if the ice maker is not receiving water as it should, the water valve may click on and off constantly.

If you suspect the ice maker is causing the clicking sound, try turning it off or removing it from the refrigerator to see if it stops.

Is Ignoring the Clicking Sound a Good Idea?

The clicking sound does not always indicate that something is wrong with your refrigerator. If you ticked the boxes above and examined all the compartments that could be causing the clicking sound, chances are your refrigerator is fine, and the clicking sound is just part of its usual operation.

If you’re unsure if the clicking sound in your refrigerator is typical or an early indication of a problem, err on the side of caution and look into the issue further.

Listen for any accompanying sounds or unexpected changes in your refrigerator, such as temperature or moisture fluctuations. If in doubt, seek the assistance of a competent expert who can diagnose the problem for you.

What if You Don’t Address the Clicking Noise?

Ignoring the Clicking Noise

If you don’t address the clicking sound in your refrigerator, it may cause further damage and pose a safety hazard. Some of the negative effects of failing to address the issue include the following:

Decreased performance: If a component in your refrigerator isn’t working properly, it can impair the appliance’s efficiency. This will result in higher energy bills and potentially the complete breakdown of your refrigerator.

Food rotting: If the temperature in the refrigerator rises due to a problem, food will degrade faster, resulting in spoiled and wasted food.

Safety hazards: Certain flaws with the fridge, such as loose parts or a malfunctioning compressor, may represent a safety risk. These problems, if ignored, can cause damage to the refrigerator or possibly a fire.

It’s critical to solve any clicking sounds or weird noises in your refrigerator as soon as possible to avoid these problems. If you are unsure about how to troubleshoot the problem yourself, seek the assistance of a competent professional who can diagnose and repair the problem for you.


Some clicking noises may be a natural part of your refrigerator’s operation, but others may indicate a problem with one of its components.

James Elder
James Elder
James Elder has been fiddling with gadgets and using tools from a young age. His father was an excellent craftsman and James enjoyed spending time with his dad and learning all he could about working with wood, drywall, electronics, and various household projects. James has worked professionally for many years and his passion is to share knowledge that is especially useful to aspiring handy men & women to get more done around their homes.
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