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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. Our almost new Performa Whirlpool refrig makes a knocking sound a number of times a day. It is no esthetic problem, but I want to be sure it is not interfering with the operation and lifetime of the refrig.

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  • Ken Bledsoe May 11, 2010

    After moving the unit how long before you started it up?

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Check the compressor mounts. They are usually springs mounted with rubber. If they are two loose the compessor wil hit some other metal part when starting up. Shakle it and see what it is hitting. Ajust accordingly. 

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

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Remove the cover located at the rear/bottom of fridge. Check that the bolts holding the compressor are tight. Sometimes just tightening these bolts will solve a compressor knock problem. If that does not sure the problem try replacing the rubber cushions under the compressor bolts.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009

  • mmttnnman Jan 03, 2012

    I had the same problem. I removed the back panel to the compressor, sure enough it was worn rubber mounts. I shimmed all four mounts with a plastic zip strip. Good as new in less than an hour ;)

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2 Answers

6 y/o E381T fridge. Last 6 mths, started making knocking sound. Motor not running. Occurs when room temp cool - at night etc. If power off then on, it stops and motor starts. Else continues a minute.


from your description of the problem it is impossible to accurately diagnose the fault
Best advice is to get a technician out to check it out as it could be a failing compressor or compressor mounts
get a quote for any major repairs as a compressor replacement generally costs more than a new unit

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I have had my wine fridge for 16 months & it was running all the time and it started making a loud clanking noise from the fan area. I haven't had it that long. What is causing this problem?


I would start by checking to see if anything is touching the fan blades. Believe it or not, mice typically get decapitated by them. Also wires can get in the way. However, About Appliance.com says: "Clicking, banging and knocking: These sounds can come from the compressor telling you there is a problem with it. Normally, it can make a whining or pulsating noise"

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How do I stop the loud knocking noises coming from my refridgerator?


Pull the fridge away from the wall and inspect the compressor. Your description sounds like the compressor is hitting something. It is rubber mounted and usually can be pushed away from whatever it is hitting.You do not want to jamb something to stop the noise, as the compressor needs to move freely. Many compressors shake during start up and shutdown, and this is considered normal. Abnormal if the compressor hits something during this movement.

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My refrigeratro makes a knocking noise and it is getting more frequent and louder. What causes this?


The knocking noise will be from the compressor in the back of the fridge. It is a (typically) black object a little smaller than a soccer ball, situated at the bottom of the unit in the rear). It will have pipes connecting it to the hear exchanger (a black radiator that covers most of the rear of the fridge). The knocking will happen when the fridge is in a cooling cycle and the compressor is running.

There are 2 reasons for the compressor to "knock":

1) It is positioned on rubber mounts and one of these may have become dislodged if the fridge was moved recently. Or one or more of the mounts may be worn, or the compressor may have been slightly moved by something and is knocking on another component or the chassis of the fridge. It may be simple enough to check this out and move the compressor on its mountings slightly to aviod the knocking.

2) Far worse, the knocking may be from an internal component in the compressor. Sadly, this is a sealed unit and while it is possible for a professional to replace the compressor and then re-gas the fridge (Re-fill the coolant gas that will escape when the compressor is removed), the cost of doinf this will probably mean that the fridge is beyond economical repair.

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The knocking noise when cuts off , is a compressor internal motor support spring , broken . This does not mean the compressor is bad , only noisy for the rest of the compressor life , but should be covered under the 5 yr warranty . The gurgling sound is the refrigerant being pumped thru the system . The buzzing could be from the compressor also . My suggestion , would be to call a factory warranty company , to see if they can replace the compressor under warranty .

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Knocking noise


it could be the compressor

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Knocking noise occurs about 20 seconds after compressor starts. Sounds like someone knocking on a wood door. It last about 8-12 knocks and then stops. It does not occur everytime the compressor starts but...


its Freon expansion at the part where the lines come in to the evaporator in the freezer its a nuisance but supposed to be normal go to your local appliance parts and ask for some sound damping pads and wrap them around the lines where they come into the evaporator lots of times this stops it

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Knocking noise coming from Whirlpool Gold refrigerator


I also have a new Whirlpool Gold fridge (bottom freezer with French doors) and it was making a knocking sound. The knocking sound would start when the fridge kicks in and starts running to cool, and would last for about a minute or less and be a slow knock.
I called Whirpool customer service since it is new and on warranty. They sent out a technician and he said the knocking is from gas/air built up in the copper tubing for the freezer because the copper tubing is too cold, and when the fridge first turns on it forces the air through, making the knocking sound.
His "fix" was to adjust the copper tubing so that it is closer to the heat of the motor/compressor and heat of another copper line so that the cooler line stays warm so the air/gas doesn't build up. His fix worked slightly, but the fridge is still knocking, just not as bad and not as long - it knocks fast for about 5 to 10 seconds instead of a minute.
Going to call customer service again soon and see where to go from here.

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The compressor could be a little lose from shipment from factory, to warehouse, to your home. If the bushings are lose, when the compressor kicks on, it can cause a jarring or vibration in the system lines. Disconnect the power from the wall before you attempt to touch the compressor and see if there is any play in the mounting bushings for the compressor.

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Knocking/banging sound on compressor start up


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

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