Tip & How-To about Refrigerators
There have been many questions asked on FixYa.com about a refrigerator that has a clunking sound from the back of the unit. I will explain what is happening and why it is happening.
The refrigeration system that cools your refrigerator/freezer is run by a motor in a can that is enclosed with a small compressor. This motor/compressor combination is what turns the refrigeration gases back into a high pressure gas and is then cooled to a liquid. This liquid then expands and gets very cold which cools the inside of the box. That is a very simplified view of how a refrigerator works.
Now the motor that runs the compressor has a strong twisting torque (motion) when starting or stopping. To keep the unit quiet when starting and stopping the compressor is mounted on rubber. This allows just a bit of a twisting movement without causing a lot of noise. Sometimes the compressor is just setting down over pins with spring clips to hold it on, and other times they are actually bolted down with rubber bushings between the compressor and the base to cushion the compressor from the base.
Now after many times of starting and stopping a few different things can happen which will cause the starting and stopping motions to make noise.
As with any type of rubber product they can get old, hard and brittle and can crack with age. If this happens the rubber cushioning is gone and the compressor frame is now rubbing directly on the pan or bracket that is holding the compressor. If there are pins or bolts they will soon wear through and break. This will cause even more noise then before. This also will allow the compressor to move enough that the refrigerant lines are in danger of breaking.
Another possibility is that the bracket that holds the compressor or the compressor frame it's self may break and allow the compressor to flop around without any restraint except the refrigeration piping to hold it down. This will cause all kinds of clunking and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
So the bottom line is that if you are hearing crazy clunking or thunking noises coming from behind your refrigerator, you better pull it out and investigate the causes before you have much bigger problems. The parts to fix many of the problems are available through many appliance repair sites. Look for your model number and then look for the parts you need in the compressor section of the diagrams.
How to Buy Appliance Parts Online
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