Sometimes your refrigerator, especially if old enough, can produce a sound like a buzzing. This annoying sound can just be a nuisance but sometime it can signal a problem, perhaps a major problem.

In most cases there is no reason for concern.  If you don’t have any cooling problem with your refrigerator then this buzzing sound is only the signal that your fridge is quite old and nothing more. However, if the noise is a disturbing element in the atmosphere of your home, then maybe it would be a good idea for your fridge to be fixed.

Let’s see how we can find out the source of the sounds and what they mean.

Buzzing on the Fridge Outside

Buzzing on the refrigerator outside can be pretty tricky, because the sound can come from several sources.

a) If panels are not fastened tightly, they can vibrate when the fridge is running.
b) Your stuff placed or stacked on the unit top could buzz or even the magnets that hold your pictures or notes on the unit sides could buzz when your fridge is running.

Solution:  You can check if this is the source of the noise pressing with your hand each side to see if the noise stops.

Buzzing near the Fridge Bottom

Couple Looking in Refrigerator

Checking The Refrigerator

Noise coming from the bottom of the refrigerator means more than likely that the unit is unbalanced. Perhaps one of its leg touch only slightly the kitchen floor and when your refrigerator is running it will sway hitting rhythmically the floor.

Solution: Move and lean your fridge slightly to one side or another to see if the noise stops. If it stops then this is the source of buzzing and you need only to adjust its feet.

Buzzing Inside the Fridge

Buzzing is nevertheless a common sound for ice makers and self-defrosting refrigerators. Your fridge buzzes when its valve periodically opens for water to refill the ice maker. It is also the case of self-defrosting fridges.  They make a buzzing sound when the water enters into the heated coils. However, the buzzing noise is only temporary, stop when the refrigerator stops working cycle. If the buzzing persists then really is something wrong with your refrigerator.

Buzzing from the Fridge Behind

In most cases, when the compressor starts making this annoying noise then it means that your refrigerator is quite old and worn out. However, if the buzzing is not disturbing for you and you cannot afford at the moment, a new fridge, you should not be worried. A used compressor that wheezes can still work many years.

Another solution is to call a technician to see if he can replace the compressor.

The Fridge Drip Pan

Every refrigerator has a drip pan that is located beneath it and is usually installed on a rubber gasket, which is designed to protect it to vibrate when the unit is running.

However, nothing is perfect. Sometimes the drip pan can move slightly from its position and touch a metallic piece such as a radiator fin or a cooling line. In this case when your refrigerator is running you can hear this buzzing.

Therefore, make sure that the drip pan is in its position and does not touch any other metallic piece.