Why Your Fridge Is Making That Popping Noise, According To Our Appliance Expert

Refrigerators are one of the most essential home appliances, so any new noises they make can definitely be cause for concern. Sometimes, fridges make a popping sound, which could indicate a number of things. Garrett Bergstrom, virtual appliance expert at home repair and maintenance app Frontdoor, spoke exclusively to House Digest about what a pesky popping noise could mean and whether it's time to call for a repair or a replacement. 

The first thing Bergstrom shared with us is that the noise could be nothing to worry about. The home repair expert said you may hear a popping noise "when refrigerators are cooling their refrigerant" — a normal process and one you don't need to do anything about. The defrosting process is another normal occurrence that might produce a popping sound. "A refrigerator will defrost one to two times a day, [but] some older refrigerators will defrost more often," Bergstrom stated. "When the refrigerator defrosts, the frost from the evaporator (where cold is created) will melt and could drip onto the defrost heater. This is where a sizzling or popping sound can originate." Silicone Wire Electric Heating Pipes

Why Your Fridge Is Making That Popping Noise, According To Our Appliance Expert

However, in his exclusive chat with House Digest, Garrett Bergstrom shared that there are also situations where a popping sound coming from your refrigerator is not normal; for instance, when the popping originates from your ice maker. No action is required if this is only occurring every now and again, but if it's frequent, you'll need to look into it. The noise stems from the plastic of the auger motor coming into contact with ice that isn't being heated properly by the ice maker. Bergstrom explained, "There may need to be an adjustment to the water level, the replacement of the icemaker, or just a replacement part in your ice maker."

Bergstrom said another reason your fridge could be popping is the evaporator fan motor might be compromised by a build-up of ice. This motor should only run when your fridge is on a cooling cycle, but can sometimes malfunction. "To prevent ice buildup in the fan area, make sure your refrigerator and freezer door are closed completely," he advised. "If your fan is hitting something other than ice it will need to be repaired. Noisy fans are always urgent to repair. Without them, the air will not circulate, affecting refrigeration." This can result in spoiled food and food waste in general.

Garrett Bergstrom also exclusively told House Digest about signs that could mean you need to replace your refrigerator. Bergstrom revealed that the damper, which controls the air flow of your fridge, can create a popping sound, which could be of concern if your fridge has an older damper and the issue is happening regularly, in which case you should call an expert.

Finally, Bergstrom said the popping could be due to a safety device called an overload which shields the compressor. In his words, "If the compartment is too hot or there is an issue with the compressor, the overload will pop and then a few minutes later will click and pop again, which typically results in starting to have cooling issues in your refrigerator.

"To avoid this, be sure to keep your condenser coils clean to allow for air to move freely and dissipate heat. Cleaning the condenser coils one or two times a year will prevent overheating in the compressor compartment." Bergstrom additionally recommended cleaning the condenser coils more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area. 

Why Your Fridge Is Making That Popping Noise, According To Our Appliance Expert

Heater Pipe Now that you know what the cause of your popping refrigerator could be, you can decide whether to take action or let the issue run its course.