Many modern fridges, fridge freezers and freezers are noisy compared with older appliances. Strange gurgling sounds and the sound of moving liquid can be heard as the gases are pumped around the system. Some of the noises come from fans (which switch on and off) to blow cold air around. You should get used to the sounds that your appliance makes quite quickly although it is possible for some sounds to change as temperatures get hotter or colder in the room. So for example a different noise could start up in winter, or in summer as it works harder to keep things cool. Generally speaking though you should usually pay attention to new sounds in case they are an indication of a fault.
Freezer makes loud cracking noise
Many modern freezers can make loud cracking noises and bangs. This is usually advised about in the instruction book so consult the manual. In modern refrigeration appliances the evaporator, which gets ice cold, is situated behind the back plastic wall. This plastic wall at the back can get frozen onto the evaporator and when it de-frosts you can get these cracking noises as it comes away from the ice behind it.
High-pitched noise when fan is running
If there’s a noise coming from your fridge or freezer which sounds like a fan catching on something, a sort of high pitched searing noise – it could be the fan catching on ice. This noise may come and go as the fan switches on and off.
Modern fridge freezers usually have a fan behind the back wall to circulate cold air. A fault can cause a build up of ice around the fan, which eventually starts to encase the fan (some models seem more prone to it than others). Eventually the fan will start to hit this ice. Such a noise may start off sounding one way as it starts to hit the ice, and get worse (or even stop altogether) as the ice encroaches on the fan. If the fan gets jammed appliance will stop reaching the right temperature and things will start to warm up.
One common cause of this problem is excess condensation getting inside and freezing up which can be caused by leaving the door open too long and too often – especially in a steamy kitchen, or a faulty door seal allowing air to be drawn inside. It’s worth defrosting the appliance, which may cure the problem. However, because they are heavily insulated behind the back wall it can take a long time to properly defrost a freezer compartment so to defrost it properly you really need to unplug it and leave the doors open (with towels to soak up melted water) for 24 hours.
If the noise disappears but comes back you need to find out why it’s happened again – call an engineer if you can’t explain it and the door seal seems ok. A faulty sensor inside can cause this fault, it’s been quite common in some Samsung fridge freezers. Also a faulty pcb could cause it.
See how to remove ice from around the fan
See my article on how I removed the ice from my own freezer caused by a blocked drain hole inside by removing the back wall and properly defrosting it – Ice in base of freezer