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Mar 1, 2009 09:00 AM

Growling refrigerator

My G.E. fridge has started to make noise when it goes on that borders on obnoxious. I can even hear it in the middle of the night from upstairs. I was told that the filter needs cleaning but I can't find it. I was also told that the compressor is starting to go (after just three years?)The temperature, however, is fine in the fridge (about 36 degrees) and all is solid in the freezer. Any suggestions before I blow $80 to get G.E. out here?

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  1. Maybe you can get a local guy to come and check it out- sometimes they only charge if it needs fixing. Or call GE and ask them if a tech can get on the phone while you describe the problem. Maybe then they can 'diagnose' it for you.

    1. My GE -now 10 years old- has been making scary, rumbling noise when it shuts off. I,too, have been told may be condenser, but freezer and fridge are fine temperature wise so, in these days of throw aways, I'm just going to bear with it.. It has been doing this for a couple of years now.

      1. Hi Chefpaulo! i'm sorry your fridge is annoying you. My fridge used to do that and I would notice it more late at night when things were very quiet. Sadly, it has stopped now and is boring and normal I miss it.. What can I say, gamers who are also chowhounds are very strange. I saw it as having a fridge with personality. It was useful when I was dieting too. I would be like, do I really want to get near that fridge?

        1. As to cleaning, it's the condenser that needs it - there isn't really a filter anywhere. Cleaning the condenser on a regular (~annual) basis will make the compressor's job easier and extend the life of the appliance. Grab a flashlight and a vacuum cleaner with an extension "wand" and get down on the floor in front of the fridge. Pop off the grill below the door(s) (it should pull straight off), and use the vacuum cleaner to suck out as much lint as you can.

          But a dirty condenser won't make noise. The most likely culprits are the fan (open the freezer, push the switch that turns the light off, and listen - if the noise is coming from inside the freezer, it's probably the fan), the drain pan (while you're under the fridge, move the pan around and see if the noise stops), or, worst of all, the compressor.

          There was a bad batch of compressors that came out a few years ago; I know they got put in Maytags and Whirlpools; maybe GE got some too? Anyway, many of these compressors failed fairly early; my Maytag bit the dust after a year or so. If your fridge goes out, definitely call GE and ask them to pay for the replacement, even if the warranty is expired. (Check your warranty, though - the closed system may be covered for 5 years.)

          1. Chefpaulo, GE has amazing customer service. E-mail them, and they'll tell you if there's a home-maintenance fix to try first:


            I had the very best customer service experience of my life on a Profile range I used to own. Sadly, they no longer make that one, so I can't buy it for my impending remodel -- but I'll recommend them for the rest of my days because of how well they treated me in the past.