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WHY DOES MY FRIDGE KEEP CLICKING ON AND OFF?

Refrigerator clicking can have lots of causes, some of which are easier to resolve than others. But you may be able to pinpoint the source when you consider other symptoms. For instance, if your fridge isn't as cool as it should be and the clicking happens at intervals of five minutes or less—coinciding with the fridge running and going quiet—then there are likely only a couple of parts that could be to blame: the start relay and the condenser fan.

FANS RUNNING OKAY? CHECK THE START RELAY

The fans are running, so it sounds like your refrigerator is okay. But the compressor—which constricts refrigerant to cool it—is doing nothing, even though that clicking sound is supposed to be the start relay turning the compressor on and off depending on the thermostat reading.

The problem is that the start relay isn't triggering the compressor into action. So, whatever else you can see and hear, there's simply no refrigerant being cooled and circulated.

Depending on your appliance’s make and model, you may be able to remedy this issue yourself by installing a replacement part:

  • Unplug your refrigerator from the power supply.
  • Move the fridge away from the wall so you can access the rear panel.
  • Locate the compressor; the start relay will be mounted to the side.
  • You should be able to remove the start relay by hand.
  • Shake the relay gently; if it rattles, it is almost certainly faulty.

FANS NOT RUNNING? CHECK THE CONDENSER FAN

Certain types of refrigerators use condenser fans to force air through the condenser coils and create that all-important cooling effect. If that fan malfunctions, it's more than likely that the compressor will eventually overheat. That's when you'll hear it clicking off and clicking on again.

DIY—OR SCHEDULE SERVICE TODAY

If you're confident in your appliance DIY skills, you can order and install a new condenser fan to solve this problem. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with one of our local specialists, who will likely be able to get the job done in the first visit.*

*GE Appliances technicians carry an extensive parts inventory on their service trucks. In the event a part is not available on the service truck, a follow-up service call may be required.
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