Tip & How-To about Refrigerators

Refrigerator Clunking in back

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.

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2 Answers

My Kenmore refrigerator is making a loud noise when running and when it shuts off it makes a loud clunking noise. Also, it is running about every 10 minutes. The refrigerator is 7 years old.

it sounds like the compressor insides are loose and you will be needing a new compressor, but just check and make sure the rubber mounting feet on the outer compressor base where its mounted to the refrigerator base are all tight and the rubber shocks are all good

Nov 17, 2009 | Hotpoint HTS16HBR Top Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

Refrigerator door clunk

1 personal question... Do you have small children. Why I ask this is usually an indication of excessive weight put on the door at one time or another causing the hindge to either misadjust or possibly it has broke. I have used repairclinic to replace my parts on my home appliances
by the way your parts are relativly inexpensive for your LG

make sure you ID the part by having it in hand while looking on the net


May 26, 2009 | LG LDC22720 Bottom Freezer French Door...

1 Answer

A clunking sound like ice cubes dropping. No ice maker in fridge.

there is a damper door assy that allows the cold from the freezer to the refrigerator,this may be sticking from shipping foam or tape that has never been removed from shipping, the install team almost allways rush and never really install correctly no do they explain how to use and care for the appliance, so check these things. in addition there is a know issue of the refrigerant lines having a slight restriction in them thus causing a autable sound coming from the evaporator and capillary line,this is located in the frezzer and will sound like its coming from all over. call bake the service co. & have them remove & reinstall the evaporator.

Apr 12, 2009 | Samsung RB2155 Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

1 Answer

I bought a Hotpoint refrigerator in early 2004 but did not have it delivered until late 2005. After about a year the water dispenser quit working. Ice dispenser would just drag at times. Then the water dispenser just started working again. I recently went out of town and my roommate informed me that it just quit, other than the lights in dispenser compartment that just kept flickering. Now up to this point there were time when I would hear a whirring and clunking sound and then it would stop after a while. My roommate claims he did some research and beleives it is the Main control board and that there is a recall on this particular part for my particular frig. Problem is.....he cannot remember how he got to that forum....how do I find out about this recall....I have gone to Hotpoint.com but cannot find any forum that would give me this info I bought a Hotpoint refrigerator in early 2005. After about a year the water/ice dispenser quit working. Ice dispenser kept making ice but would not dispense it. The lights in the back of the freezer part wear the ice is just keep flickering. Now i am hearing a whirring and clunking sound and then it would stop after a while. The whirring and clunking noise is back and the refrigerator is not cooling. What can i do? Has anyone found out if these parts are recall.

ngfam1 At your service!

I came to your service on fixya.com some days ago!
And gave you some good advice!

But, I did not receive a rating from you yet!
Can you please give me a rating at our fixya.com site!

Bless, You ngafm1

Jul 09, 2008 | Hotpoint HSS25GFP Side by Side...

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