Question about KitchenAid KBFA25ER Bottom Freezer French Door Refrigerator

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Knocking/banging sound on compressor start up

When the compressor starts up the fridge will make a knocking sound like someone knocking on wood or the front door. the knocking is of differing intervals and happens only on compressor start up, and not shut down. i have had technicians out several times to evaluate the problem, and it is always the issue of it not doing it while the tech is there. during the one time the tech was there and it made the noise, he dismissed it as "normal function." i have owned a fridge or two in my life and do not accept this as normal function. the knocking is so loud it will wake us up at night. some observations: 1. it seems to happen more at night than daytime. perhaps this is just due to fact that there is less ambient noise at night - but it really seems worse at night. However, i have been noticing it at all times of the day now. 2. i feel it has something to do with the freon at start up of the compressor - but this is just my supposition. 3. the fridge was laid down flat when it was being carried into the house. i remember way back when someone telling me never to lay something down flat. could that be part of cause for this issue? i am giving up on factory help, please assist me in being able to fix myself. Thanks, Todd.

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  • Todd Richardson Nov 17, 2007

    following up on this problem, the issue is the thermal expansion of the evaporator when the compressor turns on. i spent on year listening to this thing, so i have had some time to experiment.



    it is not the compressor coming off the springs or mounts.



    It happens more at night because the condenser coils are cooler thus meaning a more efficient cooling and a more pronounced thermal shock to the evaporator.



    how to fix it, i don't know. i wish i returned the thing when i could like soultion #2 person



    i might try using some small rubber pads inbetween the evaporator cover and the evap. coils to try to isolate the evaporator or reduce the resonance when it starts making the thermal expansion noises.



    would a re-charge to proper pressue of the coolant fix this problem?

  • Anonymous Mar 02, 2008

    My fridge knocks pretty loud at times as well. Sometimes I wonder if the darn thing isn't gonna blow. It happens in all cycle intervals. Some, "pop" sounds are louder than others. I could hear 4 or 5 in succession in a matter of a minute or go hours without hearing anything. Never have any trouble with freezing or cooling.

  • hickorywood Apr 13, 2008

    Whenever the compressor on my Kenmore Elite double french door, bottom-mount freezer, $1500 refrigerator starts up, it sounds like a maniac wood-****** in there for 20-30 seconds, in by the evaporator coils. I have also been told that it is "normal". Been told also it's the refrigerant entering the evaporator coils. The noise started 4 months or so after purchase of the new machine from Sears. Long enough that I can't return it. I too can't believe this is a normal noise especially since it didn't occur at first when I received the unit. The owners manual talks of various expected noises, but nothing like this. Who else has had this problem? What have you done to solve it? How would you proceed in dealing with Sears? I still have5 months of warranty left, but have already had the serviceman here twice for the problem. I have an audio file of the noise, but not sure where I could post it for others to listen to. Thanks in advance.

  • hickorywood Apr 13, 2008

    Found a place to post an audio file of my similar noise: http://www.zshare.net/download/10470203e...
    Please help!

  • Anonymous May 31, 2008

    I have the same problem with a knocking refrig, is there anything to do in terms of calling a repair person or is this just a waste of time?

    thanks!

  • Anonymous Sep 18, 2008

    I have the same problem on a Maytag. Again, a bottom freezer unit.

  • David Cooper Mar 29, 2013

    refrigerant enters your evaporator in your car when you have the a/c turned on but does not or should not make a knocking sound so probably not that. most likely a bushing on your compressor

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I have a GE ZIS480D - side by side with compressor on top. It had an even tempo knockng sound coming from comprssor area. I asked my repair guy (at his shop) wat it could be. He shruggs and says "dont know, I'll have to come out and see it for $65." Just give me an idea of what it might be. He says "could be the timer or the motor knocking on something. I'll have to come out and take a look".. I'm a very highend custom homebuilder and have built hundreds of homes with every possible issue imaginable. When a repair guy says "dont know need to see it" it means I have no idea but by the time I leae your house I'll come up wih something. When something doesn't make mechanical sense I just pound on it or give it a good smack. I do it with my truck, my computer, my doors that stick and even sometimes my wife (kidding about the wife, she'd take me out in a heartbeat. Anway, I got up in the compressor ares and smacked it a couple times from every direction and sure enough it stopped knocking. I have been called a genius before but all I do is force into submission and it works. A good smack with the palm of your hand will not hurt the unit. Give it a shot

Posted on Feb 19, 2010

  • MonogramSux Dec 02, 2010

    I have the same problem with my GE Monogram ZISS480DMSS. It still cools and works fine (for now) but it will wake me up sometimes in the night. I've had the repair guy out a couple times (for different problems), but as long as it's keeping everything cold, I won't call him in. The fridge was $5000 and has been nothing but a disappointment. DON'T BUY GE MONOGRAM!!! I have a kitchen full of the stuff. The fridge has quit before and knocks now. The microwave almost burnt my house down and the range has had one problem after another.

  • Nick Kennedy
    Nick Kennedy Apr 26, 2013

    Why do you use a mWhy do you use a microwave???? They were banned in Russia in the 1970s FFS!

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Search google and type why is my refrigerator clicking,most sights say the start relay switch has gone bad.mines doing the same thing,if so its a 30$ fix
http://www.repairclinic.com/SmartSearch/...could be the fanm motor hitting something i suppose or read about

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

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I have the same problem with my new Frigidaire. I'm positive on this problem, cause I'm only diagnosing by listening. I really don't think it is a mechanical failure of the compressor, cause it would make continuous noise or random noise, not just start-up. I think there may be something with the new units due to the refrigerant change. Keep in mind; the old freon used to be R12 or R22, the new is typically R134, and likely to use txv type expansion valves as opposed to fixed metering. I think there may be something to do with the performance of that valve. Whether or not it bleeds back on shutdown and then has to fully recirculate. Keep in mind, the R134 has a different saturation pressure/temp as well. Maybe a check valve or even a sump heater may help the problem. Like I stated earlier, this is speculation, since I have not truly diagnosed the problem yet.

Posted on May 07, 2008

  • mgenius May 07, 2008

    meant to say, NOT positive on the problem...

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This sounds like the unit s low on refrigeration. Sometimes there is a small enough leak that it isnt detectable over time and when the unit gets low on refrigerent *(even new ones) it will knock. The refrigerent often goes through a filter dryer and it sucks the oile down into the compressor on start up. In the meantime there is a small knock for about 30-60 seconds depending on how low it is. once the refrigerant *(which also acts as the compressor lubricant) gets into the compressor it quiets down. You would need a professional to come out and recharge it *(might need a schrader valve installed to do so) that would fix the problem more often than nought.

Posted on May 22, 2013

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ToddHB did you ever find out what was causing this issue? It sounds exactly what I am going thru and wondered if you ever figured out what was causing it. I had Sears out and they said it was the new refrigerant and depending on how much refrigerant was needed at the point when the compressor kicked on???

Posted on Jun 23, 2011

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I have the same problem with a GE fridge,according to the repair people this is normal in a newer fridge. It has to to with the change in refrigerant, apparently the thermoco-efficiency of expansion is different between the coolant lines and the coolant and when they expand at different rates, they cause a knocking sound.
I haven't been able to co-ordinate a time with the repair people as they want me to take a day off work and sit and wait for them which I won't do.
Sometimes bending some? line works they claim??By the dryer . But mostly they dismiss it as normal and is aproblematic.
I find the noise annoying, but so far no issues with the fridge.

Wayne

Posted on Jan 02, 2010

That myth about the refrigerator being layed down and not being any good after words is a lie , if its laid down sit it up and let it sit for half an hour before you plug it in to let allt he oil drip down.

Also the noise could be your pistons like tresilla said the springs can come out of place and make a clicking sound , if that is the case ( not sure never herd the sound ) then everything should be fine it's not a big problem.

Posted on Nov 02, 2007

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Fault is probably that the compressor is dismounted. the motor is mounted on springs. when laid down flat, motor can come of springs and foul side of casing. no cure except replkace compreessor. nothing to do with freon

Posted on Mar 20, 2007

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