Samsung Refrigerator Making Owl Noises? (how to fix)

Refrigerators make lots of different sounds during normal operation and unless those sounds are overly loud, they don’t pose any problems. One of the common complaints we often hear is that some Samsung refrigerators are making noises like an owl.

If you know anything about owls you’ll know that they make various sounds including;

  • Barking
  • Whistling
  • Howling
  • Hooting
  • Hissing

If your Samsung refrigerator is making any sounds similar to these, keep reading. In this article we take a close look at all of these annoying sounds, explain what causes them and how to fix whatever issue is causing the noise.

Why Is My Samsung Refrigerator Making Owl Noises?

Apart from a low hissing owl-like sound, which indicates water is dripping, owl-like noises often indicate some sort of malfunction. The reasons include;

Probable CauseSolution
Water Dripping Into The Defrost SystemLet it drip, this is not a problem unless the sound becomes too loud or is continuous
Fan Iced UpDefrost the refrigerator manually
Dirty CondenserClean the condenser
Ice Maker JammedFree any ice cubes blocking the ice maker
Circulation Fan BlockedEnsure there is clearance all around the fridge
Defective Evaporator Fan Clean and lubricate the evaporator fan 
Defective Defrost SystemGet the defrost system checked out by an expert

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Water Dripping Into The Defrost System

A person opening a refrigerator

As water drips onto the defrost heater, it can sound similar to the low hissing noise that owls often make. However, this particular sound isn’t indicative of a problem.

It is the regular operating sound for that particular function and only becomes a problem if it is overpoweringly loud or is continuous. If it does become so loud that you can’t ignore it, or there doesn’t seem to be any let up in the noise, you should contact Samsung directly if the appliance is still under warranty or a technician if not.

Fan Iced Up

If your Samsung fridge sounds like an owl when the door is closed and the sound stops once the door is open, it’s likely to be caused by a buildup of ice around the fan. 

As ice builds up around the fan, it stops the fan from turning freely and the owl-like noise is the sound of the fan blades brushing against the ice buildup. 

This is typically caused by the defrost cycle failing. Which means you’ll need to manually defrost the unit to remove the ice that’s preventing the fan from turning properly.

How To Manually Defrost A Samsung Refrigerator

The best way to defrost a Samsung refrigerator is not a quick fix, but it is safe. You should;

  1. Remove all of the contents from the fridge & ice bucket
  2. Disconnect the appliance from the power supply
  3. Place a dry towel underneath the appliance (to catch any water that drips)
  4. Keep the fridge door open for as long as it takes to defrost (around 12 to 24 hours)
  5. After the fridge has fully defrosted, reconnect the power supply

If you decide to speed up the defrost process, you can place bowls of hot water on the shelves of the fridge. Or carefully use a hairdryer to melt the ice. 

However, you will need to be extra careful if using a hairdryer as it could damage the plastic interior of the fridge unless you keep the nozzle moving constantly and ensure that the nozzle is never closer to the fridge’s surface than 5 inches.

Dirty Condenser

If the condenser or the condenser fan becomes clogged with an accumulation of dirt and dust, it will not function as it should and might sound like an owl.

If the fan can’t spin freely it can cause damage to the condenser which will need to work harder to force the refrigerant around the system which then produces that annoying owl-like sound.

You will need to inspect the condenser and condenser fan and remove any dirt, dust or grime. We recommend cleaning the condenser and condenser fan once every six months. You can use a condenser cleaning brush which is designed specifically for this purpose.

Ice Maker Jammed

If the ice maker accumulates too much ice it can cause operational issues like the ice maker’s motor struggles to force the ice from the tray. That is typically what causes the owl-like sound.

To fix it, you’ll need to free whatever has caused the ice maker to jam. The first thing you should do is remove the ice bucket and then start breaking up the chunks of ice and remove them from the ice maker.

Circulation Fan Blocked


Unless you allow a 1 to 2 inch clearance all around the refrigerator sides and top, the circulation fan could struggle to spin properly which would produce that owl-like hissing noise.

You must ensure there is a 1 to 2 inch gap all around the fridge including above it to allow the circulation fan to function properly and prevent any owl-like noises.

Defective Evaporator Fan 

If the evaporator fan starts making noises that sound like an owl, it could indicate that the fan is faulty. Once there is a problem with the evaporator fan, it starts to make a lot of noise and is often compared to that of an owl.

You will need to inspect the fan and if it looks worn, it will need to be replaced. However, sometimes all it needs is lubricating, so this is a good place to start. 

If you’re not confident in your DIY abilities, we recommend contacting a technician to investigate and replace the evaporator fan for you.

Defective Defrost System

The owl-like noises could have been caused by the defrost system not functioning properly. A faulty defrost system could explain the fan icing up and the ice maker jamming.

Unfortunately, the defrost system is quite a complicated system. Which is why we recommend contacting an expert to investigate and repair any faults.

SEE ALSO: Loud Samsung Refrigerator Fan Noise? (just do this)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my Samsung Refrigerator sound like an owl?

If your Samsung refrigerator is making owl-like noises it is often an indication that there’s something wrong. It could be; the fan has iced up, the condenser is dirty, the ice maker has jammed, the circulation fan is blocked, the evaporator fan is defective, there’s a problem with the defrost system or it could just be water dripping into the defrost system (which is a normal function unless it is continuous or exceptionally noisy).

How can I manually defrost my Samsung refrigerator?

The best way to manually defrost your Samsung refrigerator is to; completely empty the contents of the fridge and freezer as well as the ice bucket. Then place a towel underneath the appliance to catch any water. Then disconnect the power supply and leave the door open for 12 to 24 hours until all of the ice has melted. You can speed up the process by placing bowls of hot water on the shelves of the fridge.

Why is my Samsung refrigerator making hissing noises?

If your Samsung refrigerator is making hissing noises, it is most likely to be caused by the circulation fan. The problem is likely to be a lack of clearance around the appliance. You should allow at least 1 to 2 inches of clearance all around the sides and top of the fridge.

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