3 Reasons Your Whirlpool Fridge Making Loud Popping Noise

Take a moment to consider this scenario: it’s nighttime, and you suddenly hear a popping sound coming from your kitchen. Upon investigation, you discover that the source of the noise is your Whirlpool refrigerator, but you’re unsure of the cause.

Frequently, a Whirlpool refrigerator produces a loud popping noise due to various factors. These may include ground vibrations, dirty condenser coils, or a faulty component such as the valve, defrost heater, compressor, defrost timer, or fan.

It is important to note that not all popping sounds coming from a fridge indicate a problem. Some popping sounds are normal and do not signify any issues, except for the ones that are excessively loud and persistent.

If the popping sound is brief and not particularly loud, it is likely a result of normal fridge operation. This could be attributed to thermal expansion, the unit defrosting, coolant circulation, or the functioning of various components.

For instance, components such as the defrost heater, ice maker, compressor, water valve, fan, and evaporator coils may emit a brief popping sound when they are running. You can expect similar popping sounds when closing the dispenser or opening the refrigerator.

Now, let’s explore how to distinguish between these two categories of fridge noises, so you can identify when a popping sound is considered normal.

Quick Troubleshooting Guide

Likely CauseRecommended Fix
Ground vibration (unlevelled fridge)Adjust the legs of the fridge to ensure that it is properly leveled and resting evenly on the ground.
Dirty condenser coilsClean the condenser coils to remove dirt and debris accumulation. It is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush to gently clean the coils.
Failing component (water valve, defrost heater, defrost timer, compressor, or fan)If a component has failed, it is advisable to replace the faulty part. However, it is recommended to have a professional refrigerator technician check and diagnose the specific component that is causing the issue before proceeding with the replacement.

Why Does My Whirlpool Fridge Make Popping Noises?

When it comes to your Whirlpool fridge making popping noises, it’s important to distinguish between normal and abnormal sounds. Let’s explore the different scenarios:

Normal Popping Sounds

Thermal Expansion

As the fridge’s internal walls and plastic components heat up and cool down, they can undergo thermal expansion and contraction, resulting in a brief popping sound. This is a normal occurrence and nothing to worry about.

Defrosting Process

During the defrosting process, the defrost heater and timer may activate, causing a popping sound. This is a normal part of the defrosting cycle.

Coolant Circulation

The circulation of coolant can generate fluid noises such as gurgling, blowing, and popping sounds. These sounds are typically brief and not excessively loud.

Running Components

Various components of the fridge, including the defrost heater, ice maker, compressor, water valve, fan, and evaporator coils, may produce brief popping sounds when they start or stop running. These sounds are usually part of normal operation.

Closing Dispenser or Door 

Opening the dispenser or fridge door may create a popping sound, especially if the cold air forces its way out. These sounds are generally harmless.

Abnormal Popping Noises

If your Whirlpool fridge is making abnormally loud popping noises, there could be an underlying issue:

Ground Vibrations

Unlevel flooring or an unstable fridge can cause vibrations and result in popping sounds. Ensure that the fridge is stable and adjust its legs if necessary.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty coils can hinder cooling and cause the fridge to produce loud popping noises. Regularly cleaning the condenser coils can resolve this issue.

Failing Components

A faulty valve, defrost heater, defrost timer, compressor, water valve, or fan may produce loud popping sounds when they malfunction. If any of these components are defective, they may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional.

Dealing with a Noisy Whirlpool Fridge at Night 

When your Whirlpool fridge starts making popping noises at night, there are various reasons behind it. In most cases, these noises are completely normal and can be attributed to thermal expansion, which occurs when plastic parts and walls change size due to temperature fluctuations. Additionally, the popping sounds could indicate regular operations, such as:

However, if the popping noise is unusually loud, it may be a sign of excessive ground vibrations, dirty condenser coils, or a malfunctioning component like the defrost heater, water valve, defrost timer, compressor, or fan.

In such cases, it is advisable to consult a refrigerator expert who can inspect and identify the faulty part for replacement.

It’s worth noting that when the compressor shuts off and the defrost mode kicks in, refrigerators commonly produce a popping sound.

This indicates that the defrost timer has activated the heater. However, these popping noises are typically brief and not excessively loud, often caused by the release of ice.

People Also Ask 

What Does It Mean When Your Refrigerator Makes a Popping Sound? 

A popping sound from your refrigerator usually indicates normal thermal expansion of plastic parts. However, if the popping is excessively loud, it may indicate issues like ground vibrations or dirty coils.

Why Does My Refrigerator Make a Loud Pop Noise? 

A loud pop noise from your refrigerator can be caused by heavy ground vibrations (due to an uneven fridge) or dirty condenser coils. If these factors are not the cause, it could be a malfunctioning water valve, defrost heater, compressor, or fan that requires replacement.

How Do You Fix a Popping Noise on a Refrigerator? 

To address a popping noise on your refrigerator, it is crucial to identify the underlying cause. If the noise is brief and not loud, it is likely a normal occurrence related to thermal expansion, defrosting, or refrigerant circulation. However, if the popping noise is excessively loud, consider the following steps:

  • Ensure the fridge is placed on a level surface to minimize vibrations.
  • Check the condenser coils for dirt and clean them if necessary.
  • Inspect the defrost heater, water valve, compressor, and fan for any faults and replace the faulty component.

Why Is My Fridge Making a Really Loud Noise? 

A significantly loud noise from your fridge could be attributed to excessive shaking (due to an uneven surface), a faulty ice maker, dirty condenser coils, or objects falling inside the fridge.

In such cases, make sure the fridge is on a flat and stable surface, clean the condenser coils, remove any falling objects, and ensure the proper functioning of the ice maker. If the noise persists, it is advisable to seek assistance from a refrigerator professional.


If your Whirlpool fridge is making loud popping noises, it usually indicates an issue. This could be due to ground vibrations, dirty condenser coils, or defective components such as the defrost heater, water valve, compressor, or fan.

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