Informational Guide

Ice Maker Making Knocking Noises

It’s a very common question with multiple answers. We look at common causes & the easiest fixes.

by Ian Haynes

Ice makers are an incredibly common and convenient investment for your home. Whether you love having people over for parties or refuse to have non-iced drinks, they are great to have around.  

While all types of ice makers tend to make a little noise, some sounds are a bad sign – knowing the good sounds from the bad and how to fix them will help you increase the life of your ice maker.

Read our handy guide to learn the dos and don'ts of ice maker noises. 

  • Buzzing Or Sizzling 
    A buzzing or sizzling sound is typically heard when your ice maker is in self-defrosting mode. This mode can be found on more expensive and high-tech ice maker models. 
  • Gurgling 
    A gurgling sound will often be heard when your ice maker is processing water from the reservoir to the freezing chamber. The gurgling sound happens as the water falls through the drain. It may also happen when the refrigerant is being transferred to the right places in the machine. 
  • Fan Speed 
    Fans are designed to circulate cold air throughout the ice reservoir and chamber. The cold air helps the ice freeze faster and stay frozen for longer. If your fan sounds loud, it may have picked up speed to cool down the internal parts of the ice maker. 
  • Loud Click 
    Hearing a gentle hum and then a click typically means that the inside of the ice maker has reached the freezing point and is stopping the cooling process. It may also mean that the temperature control unit is turning on to cool down the inside. 
Ice Maker Making Knocking Noise

Why Does My Ice Maker Make A Knocking Noise? 6 Common Causes 

An ice maker that makes knocking sounds can be easy to sort out without help. If you are wondering to yourself, 'why is my ice maker knocking?', we have a few suggestions on causes and how to deal with them below.

However, if the below suggestions do not help, we recommend calling in a professional. 

1. The Compressor  

Your ice maker making a knocking sound may be due to the compressor. The compressor is in a self-contained unit and is often responsible for spreading cold air, depending on the model. When the compressor stops and starts, it can make a knocking sound. If you have a portable unit, the compressor is often built-in and can make loud knocking sounds.  

2. Heating Element 

All ice makers have an internal reservoir that is full of water. When ice is created, two prongs submerge themselves in the water and cool down to make ice. As the ice forms, the spikes at the bottom heat up to move the ice into the bucket. The knock typically points to this temperature change; if it lasts more than a minute, call a professional.  

3. Vibration From Incorrect Placement 

As an ice maker starts up, it will often vibrate; if it is not on a stable surface, it may make sounds as it moves. Try putting it on an even surface and booting it up. If the sound continues, try one of the other techniques we describe in this guide.  

4. Too Large Of A Cube Size 

On many ice makers, it is possible to control exactly how large you want your ice cubes to be. Some ice makers, however, do not live up to expectations and struggle with larger sizes. The knocking sound comes from the ice cubes blocking the entrance to the ice bucket. Try switching to a smaller ice cube mode and seeing if that helps.  

5. Insufficient Water 

If you have a portable ice maker, you may find that it makes a knocking sound when the water level is at half capacity or empty. It can be hard to tell where the water level is without a line at the back, so the noise can be a good indicator. Try refilling the water. 

6. Issues With The Water Inlet Valve Or Pump 

For fridges with ice makers, the knocking may indicate that the water line is clogged or improperly fitted. Try refitting the line and adjusting the water levels to see if that helps. While refitting the line, check the filters and other parts for dirt or debris.

Those can be cleaned with a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar on a toothbrush. To remove and refit your pump or valve, we recommend consulting the product manual. 

Why Is My Ice Maker Knocking

Refrigerator Ice Makers Making Knocking Sounds Also? 

LG Refrigerator Ice Maker 

LG’s advice regarding LG ice maker knocking noises from your refrigerator was difficult to find, but we made Sherlock proud and put the pieces together. In short, LG suggests turning the power off and checking the water supply, the water pump, and other parts. If the noises are happening more than every 90 minutes or are loud enough to hear in another room, you should call a professional. 

GE Refrigerator Ice Maker 

In terms of advice regarding GE refrigerator ice maker knocking noises, GE suggests cleaning the ice maker and pump parts with LG-approved cleaner as discussed in the manual. If this does not get the knocking noises to cease, they recommend calling a professional. GE has plenty of sources on their website if you want to schedule a service, find an appliance manual, or check maintenance videos. 

Samsung Refrigerator Ice Maker 

Samsung suggests that most knocking sounds are ice falling into the ice bucket. However, if the thumping or knocking sounds are consistent and very loud, try defrosting the ice maker, or contact their support center to book a service. To get help with your Samsung ice maker making knocking noises, you can find contact details for Samsung’s team on their website. 

water and ice

When Should You Call A Professional To Help? 

Broken Water Pumps 

If there is no debris in your water pump and it is fitted correctly, it may be that your water pump is broken. In this case, we recommend contacting a specialist rather than fixing it yourself. Replacing it properly requires experience with wiring and parts. 

You can find customer support details for your brand in the manual or on the brand’s website. However, for some older models, it may be cheaper to replace your ice maker entirely. 

A Faulty Compressor 

LG Ice Maker Knocking Noise

If the knocking is consistent, the compressor may lack refrigerant, or it may be faulty. To replace refrigerant, it needs to be recharged by a professional as only they have access to the refrigerant by law.  

Faulty Manufacturing Issues 

For new ice makers, you may find that if there are no issues that were caused during set-up, that there may be a manufacturing issue. Most ice makers are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty that can help you get a refund or replacement.

You can typically find details of this in the manual or on the brand’s website.  


People also Ask (FAQs)

Do all ice makers make noise? 

Yes, all ice makers will make noise during the ice-making process. This means that most noises are just indicators that the machine is doing its job correctly. As you get used to having one in your home, you will find that you get used to certain noises, and bad noises will stand out. 

Can a noisy fridge cause a fire? 

A noisy fridge can cause a fire due to a variety of reasons, including: 

  • An overheated compressor 
  • Electrical shots 
  • Overcurrent in your home’s wiring 

Be careful and keep proper maintenance to help prevent fires. 

How do you reset an ice maker? 

How you reset an ice maker depends on the model you have. We recommend looking at your ice maker’s manual for specific instructions, but most will typically involve: 

  • Pressing the reset button 
  • Pressing the on/off switch 
  • Unplugging the appliance for 30 seconds 
  • Adjusting the feeler arms 

Conclusion

An ice maker can make a wonderful addition to any home. As with many things in life, take care of it, and it will take care of you. Keep an eye out for any issues and call a professional when necessary to keep your ice maker in top condition. 

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.

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