Refrigerator Buzzing Not Cooling

ice cream cone vanilla with chocolate dripping flowing on dark background

A quick but informative post where our refrigerator repairman explains what to do if your refrigerator is buzzing and not cooling.

Most will agree, ice cream and summer time in Long Island NY are a good match.

When your refrigerator is buzzing and not cooling however, ice cream (and Olaf from Frozen – yep we have kids too) is subject to melting.

Don’t panic just yet but rather try these 3 tips first:


Refrigerator Repair Man Tip # 1

Check the easy stuff first

Noises like a buzzing sound may not not actually stem from an appliance malfunction.

Many times people optimize their space by stacking things on top or around the refrigerator.

At times these things may fall or move into just the right position to cause a buzzing or rattling sound.

That being said, please check for items any placed on or around the unit which may actually be the buzzing sound cause.

black number 2 with boxed outline
Refrigerator Repairman Tip # 2

Refrigerator not cooling – Have you cleaned your condenser coils?

The condenser on a refrigerator comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

Some refrigerators like the Sub-Zero brand will often stage the condenser at the top of their appliance.

Many other brands like GE, LG, Maytag and more will have the condenser at the bottom of the refrigerator or in the back of the unit.

Do you have an LG refrigerator that is not cooling? Learn LG no cooling advice or a dry ice repairman tip that can help no matter the brand.

Most times access to the condenser will require removing the appliance out from the wall.

The owners manual is an excellent place to understand more about cleaning the condenser on your refrigerator.

Did you lose or toss out your refrigerator owners manual?

Knowing the appliance model number and accessing the appliance manufacturer website will often get you access to a digital copy.

Our friends @ Precision Appliance put together a very helpful article all about appliance model numbers.


Refrigerator Buzzing – How is the electrical power in the house?

When you hear a buzzing sound in the kitchen, verify the sound is in fact coming from the refrigerator.

According to a licensed electrician we spoke with @ Nello Electrical, a buzzing sound in the kitchen, may be an electrical power fault in the home.

If you know the buzzing sound is coming from the refrigerator itself, lets talk about refrigerator motors.

The Compressor

refrigerator compressor
That big black metal thing is a compressor – The typical refrigerator “buzzing sound” maker

While many can be variable speed, refrigerator compressors are more commonly built to work with a starting device.

This little gizmo helps the big motor [compressor] start properly.

Most the time when a refrigerator is buzzing, the compressor is trying to start, but is failing.

Shortly after the buzzing sound a “click” may be heard. The clicking sound is the “overload” shutting the unit off on safety.

Compressor Buzzing Sound Note**

Sometimes the compressor will buzz because the voltage [power] being delivered to the appliance is not enough.

This happens often in the summertime when everyone and their dog is seeking relief from the NY heat.

When the electrical utility is experiencing a high demand, many homes will not receive the proper amount of voltage to start a refrigerator compressor.

At times this will only be temporary and the unit will bounce back on its own when the utility can carry the load.

At other times, refrigerator electrical components will fail from over use with improper voltage supply.

The best way to know the difference will be simply waiting it out, or calling a repairman to check things out for you.

Hey we know an appliance repair company we think is pretty neat and effective – Their name is East Appliance. Give them a call @ 631-263-1961

Condenser Motor / Evaporator Motor

Evaporator and condenser motors are needed for proper cooling.

They may also be the cause of refrigerator buzzing sounds.

The condenser motor is found near the compressor.

The evaporator motor is traditionally found in the freezer but may be in the refrigerator too.

If you have found yourself on a DIY quest, we think you are now powered with quality technical information.


If you have followed all instructions so far and made it to this point, 1 of 3 things likely occurred.

  1. You found the issue and fixed it yourself. – Bravo!
  2. Localized the issue to a general area but want a repairman to help.
  3. After reading, decided it would be easier to have someone else do all of that, since it seems a bit involved.

If you decided scheduling a refrigerator repairman diagnostic appointment made the most sense, we would love to help!


Our appliance repair service can help in CommackEast IslipOakdale and many other Suffolk County Long Island NY towns too. 

If you have a refrigerator in Long Island that is not working remember:

“This too shall pass.”

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Email:  info@eastappliance.com

Phone: 631-263-1961

East Appliance Repair Inc.

“We Help Suffolk County Long Island NY people make the best possible repair decisions with their home appliances.”

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