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Why is my refrigerator buzzing?

Modern refrigerators are quiet appliances, often running for hours on end in near-silence. In fact, it's easy to forget that they're constantly working to keep your food fresh and cool. So what does it mean when your refrigerator is buzzing?

Some buzzing noises are harmless. If it's more of a hum, it could just be the compressor running as normal — perhaps with a few glass bottles gently rattling inside the fridge, causing a buzzing-type noise. But that noise would disappear when you rearrange the contents of your fridge. When the buzzing persists or gets louder, you may have a minor problem that should be addressed before it gets worse.

So let's take a look at the most common causes of refrigerator buzzing. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, all you have to do is contact GE Appliances Factory Repair — your local GE refrigerator experts — or schedule your service online at any time to get started.

Some buzzes are normal; others are not

Okay, so your refrigerator doesn't move around a lot, but it is still a mechanical device. That means it has a multitude of moving parts that enable it to do its job day in, day out. As time passes, these parts gradually experience wear and tear. Unusual noises, such as clicking, are often the first signs of trouble.

So if you suspect a buzzing noise is not part of your fridge's normal operation, it's time to look (and listen) a little harder. Fortunately, buzzing is usually specifically related to two parts in particular:

  • Condenser fan motor: In most refrigerators, the condenser coil is cooled by a fan at the bottom rear of the unit. It also circulates air across the drain pan to help evaporate defrosted water. If there's any dust, debris or visible wear, the condenser fan motor could be to blame for that annoying buzz.
  • Evaporator fan motor: Working in tandem with the condenser fan motor, this component pulls air over the evaporator coils in the freezer section. If your fridge is not only noisy but also fails to cool properly, this part could be to blame. Ice or frosting may be affecting its operation — and can be easily remedied — but anything else will require some professional attention.

A timely response for your trusty appliance

Your fridge is a significant investment, so it's important to not only keep it running smoothly with some regular maintenance, but also respond quickly to unusual noises. After all, a quiet buzz today could be your first clue that a larger problem is just around the corner. Prevent that unwelcome development by calling in GE Appliances Factory Service. Our local experts have the training to address any refrigerator problem — and travel in trucks fully loaded with genuine GE parts to ensure the job is normally completed on the same day.*

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