Kenmore Refrigerator Making Noise? (try this)

All refrigerators make a certain amount of noise, it’s all part and parcel of owning a fully functional refrigerator. You might hear humming, whirring, dripping, clicking or even a whooshing sort of sound at various times of the day and night. These are all normal and quite acceptable when it comes to any working refrigerator.

If any of these noises becomes louder than normal, or seems excessive to you it might signify a change in the normal operation of your Kenmore refrigerator. In this article we’ve listed all the possible noises often associated with Kenmore refrigerators and we’ll advise you on how you should react to those noises. 


Before undertaking any of the investigative processes mentioned in this article, check whether the appliance is still covered by a warranty. If it is, tampering with any of the electrical components could void any warranty. Also never tackle any electrical investigations unless you are fully qualified and competent, for your own safety.

Kenmore Refrigerator Making A Humming Noise

If you can hear a humming noise emanating from your Kenmore refrigerator which stops once you open the freezer door, it could be caused by a faulty evaporator fan motor. It could also be caused by the condenser fan motor or even a faulty compressor. If it is any of these, it’s advisable to contact the manufacturer if the appliance is still on warranty, or an electrical engineer if your warranty has expired.

Another reason your Kenmore refrigerator could be making a loud hum is if the ice maker or damper control within the fresh food compartment has failed. Either one of these could be responsible for creating a loud humming sound and should be investigated further. If it is one of these it will need replacing which should then eliminate the hum.

If you need to reset your Kenmore refrigerator follow this link to read our article on how to reset any Kenmore refrigerator.

Refrigerator Not Cooling Accompanied By A Clicking Noise

Any time a fridge stops cooling you have to assume it’s a mechanical issue. Most likely it’s a fault somewhere in the cooling system. This includes the compressor, condenser and the evaporator.

Dirt Buildup

The clicking is likely to be caused by a buildup of dust and dirt on one of these components. If the condenser coils have a thick layer of dirt covering them, take a vacuum cleaner fitted with the brush attachment and remove as much dirt and dust as possible. Repeat this with the evaporator fans and the compressor. This should stop the clicking and the fridge should start to cool again.

If this did solve the noise issue it was probably caused by the compressor becoming overloaded because of the dirt and dust . The compressor would be trying to start up but fails and then retries and fails which would explain the clicking noise. This malfunction would prevent the correct operation of the fridge thus preventing it from cooling.

Start Relay

The start relay supplies power to the compressor and is a quite small component attached to the side of the compressor. Remove the start relay and lightly shake it, if it rattles it’s likely to be faulty and should be replaced. If it doesn’t rattle, check the start and run terminals by using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, the start relay is defective and needs replacing.


Kenmore Refrigerator Making A Beeping Sound

If your Kenmore refrigerator is making a beeping noise it could be a number of issues mostly connected to the fridge door. If the fridge door is left open the door open alarm will start. This alarm makes a beeping sound and can be triggered even if the fridge door is only slightly open.

It’s possible to move one of the contents of the fridge out of place just enough to prevent the door from fully closing. Over time, the warm air entering the fridge through the partially open door will trigger the door open alarm. 

Door Seal

If the door is fully closed, check the door seal or gasket for dirt buildup or damage. A slight gap in the door seal will cause the same effect as a partially open door. 

Refrigerator Not Level

If the refrigerator isn’t sited on level ground, the door could easily be forced by gravity to open slightly. To correct this place a spirit level on top of the fridge and adjust the level of the fridge via the adjustable screws on the appliance’s feet.

Ice Buildup

Another reason for an alarm that beeps on a Kenmore refrigerator is a buildup of ice which could be caused by one of the following being faulty;

  • Defrost Thermostat
  • Defrost Timer
  • Defrost Heater
  • Defrost Control Board

Your first course of action should be to defrost the refrigerator to remove any excess ice buildup and then check all of the above for any defects. 

Gas Leak

The gas used in refrigerators (freon) can find its way out of the pressurised system through the smallest of holes. As the gas level falls within the system, the refrigerator will not be able to cool as quickly as usual and the alarm will sound. However freon has a distinct aroma and would therefore be easily detected if this was the case.

Freezer Fault

It is possible for the freezer to develop a fault like only one of its cooling shelves operating, this would be a job for an expert however, and not one to tackle yourself.

Faulty Control Panel

If there are no problems with any of the items already mentioned, it could be that the control panel has developed a fault. Which is causing it to sound the open door alarm. Alternatively it could actually be the door alarm that has developed a fault.

This video shows 7 common reasons for fridges making noises

Kenmore Refrigerator Making A Buzzing Sound

There are quite a few components capable of making a buzzing sound once they develop a fault. Some of the more common include;

Ice Maker

If the ice maker is struggling to fill with water, it will make a buzzing sound. If this is the problem, you’ll need to check the water supply valve and the water inlet valve. Check both are unobstructed and fully open.

Evaporator Fan

Sometimes, ice can get built up around the fan blades or sometimes the fan just doesn’t run correctly. If you can see no visible obstructions you’ll probably need to replace the evaporator fan if this is where the buzzing is coming from.

Condenser Fan

If the condenser fan has anything caught on the blades you will hear a buzzing sound. It could also be the bearings in the condenser motor buzzing, if so it will need a new motor.


The compressor could make a buzzing sound if it is being overworked which is likely if the condenser or evaporator fan have problems. The trouble is, if the compressor is under too much pressure for too long, it could also become defective. This could be a tricky one if you’re not familiar with the sound of the compressor.

Compressors make a fair amount of noise that could be described as either a hum or a buzz during normal operations. So it doesn’t necessarily mean it has a defect if it’s making a noise. However, if that noise is quite loud or at least louder than usual, it probably has developed a fault.

Before you replace the compressor it is advisable to seek a professional opinion. 

Noises Present When The Refrigerator Door Is Shut

If there is a noise when the fridge door is closed that stops once you open the door, it’s likely to be a faulty evaporator fan. To check this you’ll need to remove the freezer’s inside rear panel and see if there is ice forming around the fan. If there is, it needs to be removed as fast as possible as it can damage the blades.

You must manually defrost the appliance immediately, however, if there is no ice, you’ll need to check the motor. Physically turn the blades on the evaporator fan by hand, if they are stiff and hard to spin, the evaporator motor probably needs replacing. Check the motor for continuity using a multimeter and if it shows none, replace the motor.

Grinding Noise

If your Kenmore fridge is making a grinding noise it will be coming from the evaporator fan in all likelihood. It is caused by a buildup of ice on the evaporator fan which as the blades hit it, makes a grinding sound. You will need to defrost the appliance as soon as possible to prevent any long term, lasting damage.

Glugging Noise

If you hear a glugging noise emanating from your Kenmore refrigerator, relax, it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. It is caused by the defrost cycle engaging the heater which melts the frost from the evaporator coils. The subsequent water drains into a tube and eventually flows into the drainage pan.

It happens a number of times every day to prevent an ice buildup and is therefore nothing to cause concern. That is, unless the glugging sound is non-stop as this would indicate the defrost cycle is running for too long which would prevent the fridge from cooling at all.

It could also be caused by the refrigerant (freon) gas which is under pressure. As it settles its pressure within the refrigerators tubing glugs, which is a normal part of the running process of your fridge.

What Causes A Knocking Noise In A Kenmore Refrigerator?


Knocking can be caused by a number of factors, but the most commonly reported are;

Water Pressure Too High

High water pressure can cause the water lines within the ice maker and tubing leading to it to make a knocking sound. All it often takes to remedy this, is to reduce the water pressure slightly. Also the actual ice cubes themselves can make a knocking noise as they fall into the bucket.

Fridge Location

It is possible for your fridge to be positioned too close to its adjacent wall. As the fridge naturally vibrates, it knocks against the wall causing the sound.

Condenser Or Compressor

Too much dirt buildup on the condenser coils and fan can lead to a knocking noise. Keep the condenser free from dirt and dust to prevent this noise from occurring. Likewise the compressor, although some compressor noise is inevitable, if it becomes louder or produces a knocking sound it probably needs cleaning, or it could be a sign of imminent compressor failure.

What Causes A Knocking Noise When The Fridge Shuts Off?

If the knocking noise only happens just before the fridge’s compressor shuts off, the compressor is the probable cause and will need to be replaced or at least looked at by a qualified engineer. 

Squealing Noise

If your Kenmore refrigerator is making a squealing noise, it’s likely to be coming from either the evaporator fan or the condenser fan. This is often a sign that the motor of either component is about to fail. Check and replace if necessary.

Popping Sound

The most common cause of a popping sound coming from a Kenmore refrigerator is the defrost mode. The drips of water that land on the defrost heater can make a hissing or popping sound. If the popping sound only happens on opening the fridge door, it’s likely to be caused by the bottom hinge of the door. 

More specifically the door cam which may be loose or broken. To resolve this issue, either tighten the cam or replace it altogether.

Other causes of popping sounds include, temperature changes within the refrigerator, the ice maker water valve, and also the continuous heating and cooling process of the evaporator coil can cause it to make a popping sound.

What Causes A Kenmore Refrigerator To Rattle?

Sometimes it can be the simplest of things that create a rattle. As the fridge vibrates it can make the drain pan rattle but this will be infrequent and therefore not too problematic. The water filter could be fitted slightly wrong, not wrong enough to malfunction, but enough to rattle. 

The springs that hold the compressor in place can also rattle. This is usually as the spring wears out due to relative old age. Replacing the springs usually solves this problem. Sometimes the sound made by the condenser fan blades hitting an obstruction has been described as a rattle. Be sure the fan is kept clean to prevent this noise from happening.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has my fridge freezer started making a noise?

Some noise from a fridge freezer is normal, if, however that noise is different from normal it is often a sign your fridge freezer has developed a problem. If it’s not dealt with, it could become serious. We recommend contacting a qualified electrical engineer to inspect your fridge freezer for you to determine what (if anything) is wrong with it.

How do you know if your refrigerator compressor is bad?

If the compressor stops working and you can’t hear a humming sound for a long time, your compressor is probably bad. Likewise if you hear a rattle it could be a sign of a bad compressor.

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