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Why is my refrigerator clicking?

Refrigerators are quiet, efficient appliances that fall silent when they're not actively cooling. Even so, some noises are part of the normal operation of a refrigerator: clicking, buzzing, humming. A clicking sound could be the defrost timer switching on and off, the icemaker filling up, or the compressor trying to restart itself after a power shortage.

But not all clicks are benign. It could be a sound that indicates a problem behind the scenes. If you suspect that's the case, it's time to talk to the trained local technicians at GE Appliances Factory Service. We know GE refrigerators inside and out — including which noises are normal and which noises indicate that a repair is required. All you have to do is schedule your service online at any time to get started.

The causes of clicking

Although refrigerators are relatively static compared to other household appliances like washers and dryers, they do have moving parts that eventually experience the wear and tear of everyday use — and start to make new sounds. For a clicking noise specifically, the cause usually lies with one of these three refrigerator components:

  • Compressor: Clicking could mean your compressor is on its way out. If the start relay struggles to get an electrical current to the compressor, overheating may result. When that happens, the compressor shuts off and makes a clicking sound. You may be able to replace only the start relay, but it's also possible that the whole compressor unit will need to be replaced.
  • Condenser fan: This fan keeps the compressor cool and clear of water during normal operation. If it's not working right, the compressor may overheat and start to click.
  • Control board: If the clicking sound is coming from the rear of your refrigerator — and you've also noticed that your fridge runs too hot or cold — there's a good chance the problem lies with the control board, also referred to as the motherboard. When that happens, you should have the entire board replaced by a professional.

A quick response for a quiet appliance

If you're finding it hard to tell if a clicking sound is normal or the sign of a bigger problem, it's time to arrange a visit from your local specialist at GE Appliances Factory Service technician. We have the expertise to remedy virtually any refrigerator problem — and because we travel with a full inventory of genuine GE parts, we can normally get the job done on the first visit.*

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