3 Reasons Your Whirlpool Fridge Making Loud Popping Noise.

Consider this for a second, it’s at night, and you suddenly hear a popping sound from the kitchen. Then you try to check it out only to realize that it’s your Whirlpool fridge making loud popping noise but do not know why. 

Often, a whirlpool fridge makes a loud popping noise due to ground vibrations, dirty condenser coils, or a faulty component such as the valve, defrost heater, compressor, defrost timer, or fan.

Note that not all fridge-popping sounds are bad. Not all point to a fridge problem apart from the loud and long-running ones.

If the popping sound is brief and not loud, it’s likely due to a normal fridge operation such as thermal expansion, unit defrosting, coolant circulation, and running components.

For example, components like the defrost heater, ice maker, compressor, water valve, fan, and evaporator coils will make a brief popping sound when running. Expect the same popping sound when closing the dispenser or opening the refrigerator. 

I’ll help you differentiate the two sets of fridge noises so you can know when the popping sound is typical. Let’s get into it!

Whirlpool fridge making a loud noise

In a hurry? Below is a quick troubleshooting guide for a whirlpool fridge that makes a loud pop sound. 

Quick Troubleshooting Guide for A Whirlpool Fridge Making Loud Popping Noise

Likely Cause  Recommended Fix 
1. Ground vibration (unlevelled fridge) Adjust the fridge’s legs to ensure the refrigerator is resting uniformly
2. Dirty condenser coils  Clean the dirty condenser coils, preferably with a vacuum cleaner 
3. Failing component (water valve, defrost heater, defrost timer, compressor, or fan) Replace the failed component. But just to be sure, have them checked by a fridge pro

Whirlpool Fridge Making Popping Noise – Normal Popping Sounds

As mentioned, not all whirlpool refrigerator noises are nasty. Some are pretty normal, more so when they aren’t tough. If your Whirlpool refrigerator is making a brief popping sound that’s not too loud or too distracting, the reason could be any of the following:

1. Thermal Expansion 

The fridges’ internal walls and plastic components change in size when they get hot, which we call thermal expansion. However, they don’t stay that way, as they are likely to return to their original shapes when they cool. So, they contract. 

The alternate expansion and contraction of the plastic parts result in a popping sound, but it’s never loud. 

2. Defrosting Process 

Expect the fridge to produce a popping sound when the defrost heater turns on and when the timer kicks in during the defrosting process. 

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That may happen several times during the day and even at night, but it usually indicates a normal process. The sound becomes loud when the defrost heater fails. (  

3. Coolant Circulation 

The coolant (circulating refrigerant) produces a variety of fluid noises, such as gurgling, blowing, and popping. The noise is, however, not loud and is brief.

But once the noise becomes too loud and is accompanied by an abrupt temperature drop, then that could indicate a significant problem that Whirlpool or a local fridge professional can fix. 

4. Running Component 

Sometimes the popping sound happens when a fridge component kicks on or stops running. That’s the case of the following:

  • Defrost heater – While a regular running defrost heater produces a brief low-pitch popping sound, the sound is loud when the heater fails. Expect a quick low popping sound when the heater cycles. 
  • Ice maker – The ice maker sometimes makes a popping sound when making the ice or settling it. The popping sound is low-pitched and brief, so you don’t need to act. 
  • Compressor – Expect the compressor to make a popping sound when it starts to kick in following a power outage. That, however, does not make the compressor terrible. 
  • Water valve – The water valve’s job is to allow water into the dispenser and ice maker, often producing a popping sound when water goes through it. But since the ice maker fills up quickly, the popping sound is brief. 
  • Fan – The fridge fans can also produce a popping noise when they start to run. The sound only becomes louder when the fan breaks.
  • Defrost timer – The defrost timer’s job is to run the defrost heater on and off. Once that’s the case, the refrigerator makes a brief popping sound. 
  • Evaporator coils – During defrosting, the evaporator coils may produce a pop sound when cooling after defrosting. 

5. Closing Dispenser 

Sometimes the water dispenser makes a popping sound when you open it. The sound doesn’t suggest that the dispenser is faulty since it’s short-lived and low pitch. It only concerns when it’s too loud. 

6. Closing Door 

Sometimes the fridge door seal produces a popping sound when you open the fridge door. The reason is that the door seal allows cold air to escape when the door opens, and since the cold air forces its way out, it’s likely to produce some loud noise (often a pop sound).

Why does my refrigerator make a loud pop noise

Abnormal Whirlpool Fridge Popping Noise (Loud Popping Noise)

Now, if your Whirlpool refrigerator is making an abnormally loud popping noise, the reason could be any of these 3:

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1. Ground Vibration 

If your Whirlpool refrigerator is unlevelled or sitting on shaky ground, it may vibrate slightly and make a popping sound. So, it’s essential to check if your fridge is stable. 


Power off the fridge and use a bubble level to see if the fridge is sitting on a uniform surface. If it’s not, adjust its legs and then power it on. 

2. Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils become noisy when they are too dirty, as the dirt makes it hard for the coils to cool the fridge. In most cases, however, they produce a loud popping sound, which is quite strange. 


Clean the condenser coils, preferably with a vacuum cleaner, to eliminate the dust and dirt. That should stop the loud noise. 

3. Failing Component 

Interestingly, some of the components (already discussed) produce a loud popping sound when they start to fail. The components in question include:

  • Water valve – While the water valve produces a low popping sound when allowing water to enter the ice maker, the popping gets louder when the valve breaks. You can tell a failing water valve if it fails the multimeter/multitester continuity test. 
  • Defrost heater – Both a working and non-working defrost heater produce a popping sound, but the difference is that the heater’s popping sound is deafeningly loud. 
  • Defrost timer – A defective defrost timer causes the evaporator coils to become cold too soon, and the fridge starts to produce a popping sound immediately after frost mode kicks in. 
  • Compressor – While a functional compressor makes a popping sound when trying to kick in, the sound may become overwhelmingly loud during a compressor overload. 
  • Fan – The fridge fans may become misaligned and thus unable to spin smoothly. In such a case, the fan makes some noise which ranges from pop to a loud humming sound


If the water inlet valve, defrost heater, compressor, or fan is defective, replace it. However, don’t be too quick to do the replacement. You may need to get confirmation from a fridge expert.

Whirlpool Fridge Popping Noise at Night

A Whirlpool fridge makes a popping noise at night for different reasons. In most cases, the noise is normal as it indicates thermal expansion (resizing plastic parts and walls due to heat change). The popping sound could also indicate a regular running operation, such as:

  • Defrost mode 
  • Running fan 
  • Starting compressor 
  • Working inlet valve 
  • Closing dispenser
  • Refrigerant circulation 
  • Running ice maker 
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However, if the popping noise is too loud, the issue could be excessive ground vibrations, dirty condenser coils, or a defective defrost heater, water valve, defrost timer, compressor, or fan. So, you may need to have all these components checked by a fridge expert and change the faulty one.

Fridge popping noise at night

Whirlpool Refrigerator Makes Popping Noise When Compressor Shuts Off

Refrigerators typically make a popping sound when the defrost mode kicks in. That shows the defrost timer has activated the heater. However, the popping noise is never too loud. It’s usually the sound of the ice popping out, which also means it’s brief. 

People Also Ask 

1. What Does It Mean When Your Refrigerator Makes Popping Sound?

A popping sound on a refrigerator often means that the plastic parts, including the inner walls and cabinets, undergo thermal expansion (resizing due to heat changes). However, if the popping is so loud, it could point to an issue such as ground vibration or dirty coils. 

2. Why Does My Refrigerator Make a Loud Pop Noise?

Your refrigerator makes a loud pop noise because of heavy ground vibrations (related to an unleveled fridge) or dirty condenser coils. 

If that’s not it, the water valve, defrost heater, compressor, or fan could fail and therefore need replacement. 

3. How Do You Fix a Popping Noise On a Refrigerator?

You can only fix a popping noise on a refrigerator if you first know its cause. For one, if the popping noise is brief and not loud, it indicates a routine operation or event such as thermal expansion, defrosting, or refrigerant circulation. 

But if the popping is too noisy, then you should fix it as follows:

  • First, ensure the fridge is not vibrating; if it is, adjust its feet to level the unit. 
  • Inspect the condenser coils for dirt clogging and clean them if they are dirty 
  • Then check the defrost heater, water level, compressor, and fan for faults and replace the faulty fridge component 

4. Why Is My Fridge Making a Really Loud Noise?

Your fridge is making a really loud noise because it’s shaking heavily (for being unlevelled), failing ice maker, dirty condenser coils, or falling objects (inside the fridge). 

So, it’s essential first to ensure the fridge is resting on flat ground, the condenser coils are clean, there are no falling objects, and the ice maker is working. If you can’t silence the refrigerator, talk to a fridge pro.

Concluding Thought On the Whirlpool Fridge Making Loud Popping Noise:

Generally, a loud popping noise points to an issue with your Whirlpool fridge. The problem could be ground vibration (due to an unleveled fridge), dirt-caked condenser coils, or defective fridge components such as the defrost heater, water level, compressor, or fan. 

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