Why Do Refrigerators Make Popping Noises? (with Effective Solutions)

Fridges make noise, mostly the humming noise because of the air compressor. And it is okay! However, things get a bit scary when the fridge makes popping noises in place of humming.

Generally, there are several causes responsible for such popping like a broken water valve, a flat fridge, etc. likewise, the popping noise issue is not very unusual and very solvable.

All you need is to know how to do it. And this guide we have prepared will lead you to the way of finding the causes of fridge popping noise and how to fix it. Read on!

6 Reasons Your Fridge Makes Popping Noise and How to Fix

You can solve any problem only when you find the origin or cause of the problem. And so we’ve tried to figure out what is causing that popping sound for your convenience. So you can solve this problem yourself and save money by not hiring a service.

1. Vibrating Fridge May Be the Cause

When you investigate and see that it is not the thermal expansion of your fridge, then your fridge may be vibrating and making these popping sounds. It is normal for your fridge to vibrate while it is working. However, if your refrigerator vibrates frequently and makes popping noises, it could be because it does not sit evenly on the floor. Or it may sound like a popping sound when two plates tap against each other. It is also possible for the fridge to vibrate because of the imbalance that can cause popping sounds.

What You Can Do As Solution:

In this case, you just have to rebalance your fridge, and to do this you need to follow these steps.

  • First, unplug the fridge to turn it off.
  • A bubble layer helps keep the fridge balanced. So, place a bubble layer on top of your refrigerator. Ensure that your fridge is level by checking the reading.
  • If your fridge has no sitting level, then adjust the feet of your fridge. Remove the bottom covers of the refrigerator to adjust the leveling feet on each corner. In case you are unable to locate the exact location, consult the owner’s manual.
  • Replace the covers on your fridge once they have leveled it, turn it on, and check to see if the popping noise has stopped.

2. A Possible Cause Is a Thermal Expansion

We can assure you that popping sounds are not uncommon for your fridge before we discuss any potential faulty components. In this case, the cause is thermal expansion, a process in which an object changes shape as it heats up. There is no consistent temperature in your refrigerator throughout the day. During this cycle, your food stays at a constant, safe temperature while varying between a few different temperatures.

If we explain thermal expansion, we can say that things change shape as they heat up. Your fridge is basically made of different materials, such as metal, plastic, and rubber. The refrigerator heats up and expands at different rates when you turn it on. If you open your refrigerator door and you have plastic containers in the refrigerator, their temperature suddenly changes, and they may pop. Your refrigerator’s various components operate similarly.

What You Can Do As Solution:

It is perfectly normal to hear popping for thermal expansion, and it does not pose any danger. It is a normal part of how the appliance works every day. So there is nothing to fix.

3. Possibly A Defective Defrost Heater

Refrigerators come with a component called a defrost heater that heats them. Removing frozen frost from the refrigerator is the main function of the fridge. Defrost heaters make popping sounds when they turn on. It turns on several times a day, and each time there is a popping sound which is not a sign of a problem. In contrast, if the popping sounds occur more frequently than this, this indicates a problem that needs to be resolved. Such a problem can have several causes.
There is a possibility that your defrost timer has broken and no longer instructs your defrost heater when to turn it on and off. It is also possible to have excessive frost buildup that requires your defrost heater to operate constantly.

What You Can Do as a Solution: 

Regardless of the case, mind it, the defrost heater is an important and crucial component of any refrigerator. So it can be a bit dangerous, which you can not solve yourself. There is no substitute for an expert in this case. Before you hire an expert, you can check a few things yourself.

  • First, move the defrost timer to the defrost zone after locating the defrost timer. Turn on the heater. If it does not, it indicates that the timer is faulty.
  • After That, make sure there is no frost covering the defrost heater. If you find it covered in frost, you need to call a technician to repair the heater. And if the heater is not defrosting, the defrost heater is probably not the problem. The problem is somewhere else.

4. Perhaps It Is Because of A Broken Water Valve

Your fridge may have a broken valve if your water dispenser and ice maker are not working. And if it happens, it makes a pretty loud popping sound. Normally when your ice maker needs water, the valve opens, but sometimes it can malfunction. In that case, you need to change the water valve of your fridge.

What You Can Do As Solution:

It is simple to replace the water valve. All you have to do is:

  • Turn off your circuit breaker or unplug the fridge.
  • In the lower back of the fridge, find the water supply valve and place a towel underneath it.
  • Remove the back cover to turn off the water supply.
  • Remove your fridge’s lower cover by pulling it out of the wall.
  • Find the water valve and remove it, then disconnect the lines to the water dispenser and ice maker
  • If any water drips out, be sure to put a towel on the floor.
  • After that, attach the new valve to the water line.
  • Connect the water supply and power again, then put your fridge back together, and put it against the wall

5. It Might Be a Dirty Condenser Coil

Condenser coils on the back of the fridge are as much a part of your fridge’s normal operation as they move the coolant around. These can sometimes cause loud popping noises when handling the hot coolant in them. Many times, the dust accumulates in the coils and becomes dirty. Sounds may emanate from there.

What You Can Do as a Solution:

There is an access panel on the back of the fridge that allows you to access this compartment at the back or bottom of your fridge. It is best to pull the fridge out of the wall. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove dust and dirt. You should always keep in mind that dust can cause more unwanted noise in your condenser coil if it gets stuck there.

6. Possibly Another Sound-Alike

Besides popping, many other sounds may sound similar but are actually distinct from one another. It is possible to hear these sounds all the time when you have a refrigerator.

For example, the ice maker in your fridge can make a similar sound. It may sound like popping when your ice maker is collecting ice or settling.
Again, it could be from the door seal. Your refrigerator’s door seals help to maintain the temperature inside. So, a popping sound is very common when you open the door.

Your fridge fan can also be another cause of the popping noise. You may hear popping sounds that are actually coming from a few fans scattered around your fridge. You may have a problem with the fans in your fridge if that popping sounds like scraping or clicking.


Whatever the cause of the popping noise, knowing the solution is essential. Your refrigerator’s coolant constantly changes temperature as it circulates. As a result, you may hear a lot of sounds like popping, gurgling, and other fluid noises that are pretty normal. But, if the nose becomes louder or the temperature changes, it may indicate a bigger problem, and you may need a mechanic to fix it quickly.

Patricia Mattice
Patricia Mattice

I'm Patricia Mattice, and I'm currently employed as a soundproofing engineer. I'm still acquiring knowledge about sound and soundproofing procedures. Furthermore, I am very good at noise management and like sharing soundproofing ideas and methods for any situation. Through our writing, we want to promote the best approach to making things soundproof.

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