Hand on Ear Trying To Listen

What’s That Noise? – Part 1: The Humming Refrigerator

The refrigerator is an appliance that as homeowners we all trust. It’s one of the only appliances that when we go away on our summer holiday we leave plugged in at the wall, whilst the TV, lamps, etc are turned off – why is this? Perhaps one of the reasons that fridges are seen as a trusted appliance is because despite being in constant use, they rarely gain a fault.

On the rare occasion that a fault does occur with a refrigerator it is normally easy to spot as the fridge will not be cooling your milk and other items as well as it should. Being aware there is a fault with the appliance and finding out what is causing the fault are two different things; but our friendly team at eSpares are on hand to offer our expert advice, enabling you to locate and fix the problem yourself – saving you money, and helping the environment, by preventing another appliance ending its life in a landfill!

If your fridge is making a loud, audible humming noise, it is highly unlikely that you will have little monsters sitting in your fridge eating (and enjoying) your food. In reality, the cause of the noise is likely to be a fault with one of the electrical components, and more specifically the condenser fan motor.

***The technical bit: Most modern refrigerators have a coiled cooled condenser fan motor, which circulates air through the condenser coil to remove heat, whilst also circulate air over the drain pan to evaporate defrost water.***

Now don’t panic, although this may sound scary and technical, I promise you it is not as bad as you think; and with our help (by help, I mean advice and tips, we cannot come and do the work for you – but we can supply any spare parts you may need), you could solve the problem within 30 minutes; whilst also saving you the need to purchase a new fridge unnecessarily.

As with all DIY and appliance repair work, before you start we seriously recommend ensuring that you have all tools you are likely to require, nearby. For this particular job, you’ll need:

Tools in hand, first thing first, unplug your fridge and move it out so that you have access to the back, as this is where the condenser fan motor should be located, next to or near to the compressor.

With the condenser fan motor located, the first thing you should do is make sure that there’s no debris or obstructions to the fan, which could be preventing the part from moving freely. When we talk about debris, we don’t just mean solid items which may have fallen behind your fridge, but also the build of dust which will occur behind all refrigerators (and appliances for that matter).

The best way to clean away dust and other small pieces of debris is to use the attachment on your vacuum to suck it up. For larger build up of dust, you may be required to wash this away using the warm soapy water.

With the dust, debris and obstructions cleared away from the condenser fan motor, you should now be able to clearly see the part; and before moving the fridge back into its rightful home within your kitchen, we recommend that you check the blades on the fan to ensure that they are not damaged or dented, and that there’s no damage to the motor.

Hopefully, your motor and refrigerator fan will be in perfect condition, but remember, even in the smallest crack, chip or dent on a fan blade could cause your fridge to underperform (and make a humming noise).

Thankfully, if there is damage to the fan, it is not a difficult or expensive task to replace it; and you can fix it yourself in no time by following the simple steps below.

Step 1: You’ve guessed it, ensure you have all the tools you’ll require for the task at hand; and for this task you’ll need pliers and a screwdriver.

Step 2: Disconnect the wires from the terminal block using pliers.

Step 3: Using your screwdriver remove the screws which attach the fan assembly and bracket; this should enable you to carefully remove the motor and fan.

Step 4: With the motor and fan carefully removed, undo the nut which is securing the fan to the motor, before removing the rubber washer and damaged fan.

Step 5: Attach the replacement fan (purchased from eSpares) to the motor and reverse steps 3 to 1 above to reattach the motor and fan.

Step 6: Manually spin the fan to check that it moves freely and doesn’t catch on any wires.

With the condenser fan motor cleared of debris, dust and obstructions, and damaged fans replaced, your refrigerator can now be returned back to its rightful place, plugged back in and left to get on with its job; without making a sound – job done!

NB: Should you need some more hands-on assistance we can recommend visiting Repaircare.co.uk. Repaircare are appliance repair experts and their engineers have already successfully repaired kitchen appliances for more than 1 million households nationwide.


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