Skip to Content

Troubleshooting Loud Humming Noises in Refrigerators

A refrigerator makes a humming noise when it is operating. The sound results from the motor working to cool the compressor and the rest of the appliance.

If you have been hearing strange noises from your refrigerator, it may be time to troubleshoot and fix the problem. You should know that not all humming sounds are bad, but if your appliance is making loud noises or not cooling properly, there could be a problem.

Fridge is Making a Loud Humming Noise: Common Problems

Loud Humming Noises in Refrigerators

This article will cover some common reasons why your refrigerator is making a loud humming noise.

Water in the Drain Pan

If your fridge is making a loud humming noise, it’s probably because there’s water in the drain pan.

To fix this problem, remove the drain pan from your fridge and empty it. If this doesn’t work, check to see if there’s any food stuck in your drain pan preventing it from draining properly.

If neither of these solutions works, you can try cleaning out the drain hole with an old toothbrush and some baking soda to eliminate any debris that might be blocking it.

You should also check to ensure nothing is blocking the fan motor on the back of your refrigerator; if so, unplug it and carefully remove any obstructions with a screwdriver or pair of pliers.


If your fridge is making a loud humming noise, it could be due to condensation. Condensation is when water vapor in the air turns into liquid water on the surface of something, like your fridge. When that happens in a refrigerator, it can cause problems with the compressor and other components.

To fix this problem, you’ll want to take out all of the food and place it in another refrigerator or freezer. Next, unplug your refrigerator and let it sit for several hours. When you return, wipe down all surfaces with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. 

You should also check the coils on top of your refrigerator for ice build-up and clear those off; if necessary, you may need to use an ice pick. Finally, plug everything back in and turn up the temperature settings until it reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius for 24 hours before putting food back into the fridge again.


A leak is a situation where there is a break in the integrity of a system. This can be caused by many things, including corrosion, a crack or hole in the wall of the container, or perhaps something that was simply left off and not properly sealed.

Leaks will cause your fridge to run longer than it should. This means your energy bill will be higher than normal. If you do not fix the leak, your fridge could also cause damage to other appliances in your home, such as your dishwasher or washing machine.

Defrost Timer

If your fridge is making a loud humming noise, it’s probably because the defrost timer needs to be replaced.

The defrost timer is a simple device that turns off the refrigerator’s compressor when it detects that ice has formed on the evaporator coils inside the freezer. It turns back on after about 30 minutes and runs until it detects more ice.

Over time, this process can wear down the wires in the defrost timer, which may cause them to vibrate or break when they get wet. This can result in a loud humming noise from your fridge.

Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor is the most likely cause of a loud humming noise coming from your refrigerator.

If you hear a loud hum or buzzing coming from your refrigerator, it could be due to the condenser fan motor. The condenser fan motor is responsible for pushing air through the condenser coils and cooling the refrigerant gas inside them. When this part breaks down, it may start generating a high-pitched buzzing sound, which can be very annoying.

Most of the time, this problem can be remedied by simply replacing the fan motor with a new one. However, if your refrigerator has been making this noise for too long, you will need to call a technician to troubleshoot and repair it properly.

Evaporator Fan Motor

The evaporator fan motor is a component of your refrigerator that helps to distribute cold air throughout the refrigerator compartment. When your fridge makes a loud humming noise, it is often due to an issue with the evaporator fan motor.

The most typical reason of a humming refrigerator is a broken evaporator fan motor. This can happen if your refrigerator is used often or left on. If your refrigerator is creating loud humming noises, contact an appliance repair professional immediately to diagnose and replace any defective parts.

Start Relay

Loud Humming Noises in Refrigerators

This is a common problem with the fridge. It is caused by the start relay not working properly or the compressor not starting. The start relay is located on the left side of the compressor, near the front and just above it. You will need to remove some screws to get access to it. Unplug the power cord from the fridge before proceeding with this repair.

Unplug your refrigerator’s power cord and remove the two screws to test your start relay. Next, detach one wire from each start relay terminal and contact them without load. If your compressor turns on, replace this part since it failed and you don’t want to run down your new compressor.If nothing happens, check if your compressor started when you turned off your circuit breaker for a few seconds while testing fuses. If it didn’t, your compressor may have broken and needs replacement.

Final Word

When a fridge runs on power, it’s natural for the unit to make some noise, so you must isolate your fridge’s key components and identify its source. The easiest way to do that is by turning off each piece of equipment until the humming stops. 

You should start by unplugging the fridge if you have a socket near the appliance but not underneath it and use a possible extension lead. You should then disconnect and remove other appliances in your kitchen so that you are left with just the fridge.