SOLVED: Mini-Fridge Makes Popping Noise: Possibilities

In the course of operation, most refrigerators including mini-fridges let out some noises from time to time. Usually, people don’t have to worry too much about the noises as it’s normal to hear them around refrigerators. Still, it’s common knowledge that the noises from the fridges could also indicate underlying problems. Unsurprisingly, when homeowners notice that their mini-fridge makes popping noise, many can’t shake the feeling that things have gone wrong.

An Analysis Of Popping Noise In Mini-Fridges

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Curious about the popping noise that your mini-fridge makes and desires an in-depth explanation? Then this article is exactly what you need. Down below is a list of causes that may be responsible for the popping noise of your mini-fridge.

Thermal Expansion 

People tend to associate refrigerators with cold but in reality, these appliances do change temperature every now and then. For your information, temperature changes take place when the cooling cycle turns on/off, when the defrost system is melting the frost of the evaporator coil, … During the raises and drops in temperature, items inside refrigerators regularly expand and contract as they get warmer/cooler. One tell-tale sign of thermal expansion of items is the popping noise that seems unusual but there is no need to bother about it.


Generally speaking, mini-fridges that come with powerful compressors for their size experience quite a few vibrations in use. The vibration level of mini-fridges that happen to sit on uneven ground is kind of high as well. On occasions, the vibrations could make dishes, cups and other stuff inside the fridges tap together continuously. To the outside, the constant tapping between items in the interior of fridges sounds a lot like popping noises.

If your mini-fridge makes popping noises because of vibrations, the noise would go away after you address the source of vibrations. A wide range of options exist but you should consider leveling your fridge, sliding vibration-absorbing mats under its feet, …

Water Valve 

Only a small number of mini-fridges have the ability to make ice and they all have a dedicated water valve for ice making. If your mini-fridge can make ice, it’s going to make popping noises periodically as its water valve lets water into the ice maker. For a fully- functional water valve, the popping noise is nothing out of ordinary so feel free to ignore it. On the other hand, if the popping noise repeats time and again to the point of being annoying, your water valve may be out of order.

While it’s possible to repair a malfunctioning water valve, you need to think about getting a replacement to be thorough. Refer to the owner’s manual of your mini-fridge regarding the replacement of water valve then proceed accordingly.

Evaporator Coil

The popping noise in your mini-fridge intensifies following the start of a defrost cycle? In that case, the evaporator coil is probably getting cold which leads to continuous popping until someone deals with it. Due to the difficulty of repairing an evaporator coil, it’s best to leave everything to a certified technician if you lack the tools and skills. Depending on the situation, you have to pay for a new evaporator coil to put an end to the popping noise.

Compressor Overload 

In layman’s terms, if the compressor of a mini-fridge overloads, popping noise is one of the consequences. To determine whether compressor overload is the reason why your mini-fridge makes popping noise, place your hand on the compressor. If you manage to “feel” the popping noise, there is a good chance that your compressor is enduring more strains than it’s designed for. Unless you relieve some of the strains on the compressor, the popping noise should persist.

A lot of issues would result in compressor overload from locked rotor to high pressure. Take your time to find the culprit, resolve it and your mini-fridge is going to resume operation without the popping noise.

Maintenance Of Mini-Fridges: Tips And Tricks 

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Different appliances have different requirements regarding maintenance but if you wish to keep your mini-fridge in top shape, remember the following

  • Create a cleaning schedule: Food crumbs, spilled drinks and so on not only lead to foul odor but also cause sanitation issues inside refrigerators. Because of that, you should schedule cleaning time for your mini-fridge so it never gets too dirty. The cleaning frequency is flexible but on average, it’s a good idea to clean refrigerators once per month. That being said, you must clean up messes in the interior of your mini-fridge as soon as they occur.
  • Avoid overloading the interior: If you put too many items in your mini-fridge, it would face significant strain while cooling everything, not to mention increases in power consumption. Instead of overloading the interior, space the items to optimize the cooling process.
  • Give the seals a look: The seals of a refrigerator help preserve the temperature in the interior. If the seals remain intact, your mini-fridge won’t have to work too hard to keep the interior temperature at reasonable levels. However, if the seals become compromised, your mini-fridge needs to run around the clock to compensate for cooling loss which shortens its lifespan. Therefore, it’s wise to keep an eye on the seals of refrigerators.


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How much power do mini-fridges consume? 

All in all, the power consumption of mini-fridges changes between models but it tends to range between 55 and 100W. If your mini-fridge is an Energy Star model, you don’t have to worry about spikes in the utility bills.

Could I put my mini-fridge in the bedroom?

While the noise may disturb your sleep to a certain extent, it’s safe to put a mini-fridge in your bedroom. Besides that, compared to full-sized refrigerators, mini-fridge occupy little space so you don’t have to rearrange your bedroom to squeeze one in. Nonetheless, to minimize the odds of problems happening, you should think about the position of your mini-fridge in the bedroom. In any case, keep your mini-fridge away from heat sources, close to an electric outlet, …

Is it wise to place mini-fridges on carpets?

Many homeowners have a habit of putting their mini-fridges on carpets to prevent scratches to the floor, absorb water leaks, etc. At first glance, the practice seems beneficial but it would do more harm than good in the long run. For instance, sliding a carpet underneath your mini-fridge restricts the airflow to the condenser at the bottom. In addition to that, carpets retain heat so their presence forces refrigerators to work harder than normal.

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