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Appliances Appliance-sounds-that-mean-trouble

Published on June 19th, 2014 | by Terry Spencer


Appliance sounds that mean trouble

It’s extremely important to pay attention to changes in performance of your appliances. Changes in operational sound indicate that key components are worn or damaged. Taking fast action to fix these issues may prevent expensive repairs and protect other components from premature failure.





Possible cause: A drum roller is worn out.
Possible solution: Inspect drum rollers for wear and replace as needed.


Fast, rattling

Possible cause: A zipper, button, coin or other small object may be trapped in the blower wheel.
Possible solution: Remove blower wheel and inspect. Remove object, test operation and return to position.



Possible cause: A worn drum support roller and axle.
Possible solution: Inspect for wear or damage and replace if needed.



Possible cause: A fast, high-pitch squeal could be a faulty belt idler wheel. A slower, lower toned squeal may be caused by worn roller bearings or a faulty rear drum bearing.
Possible solution: Inspect the idler wheel rollers and drum bearings and replace as necessary.

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General loudness

Possible cause: Clogged or malfunctioning drain pump.
Possible solution: Remove debris from pump and replace as necessary.


Roaring or “freight-train” during wash cycle

Possible cause: Bad bearings in the circulation pump motor.
Possible solution: Inspect and replace the circulation pump motor or pump and motor assembly if necessary.


Squealing or chattering during water fill stage

Possible cause: Low, insufficient water pressure or clogged orifice or diaphragm in water inlet valve.
Possible solution: Check your home’s water supply. Dishwasher water pressure should be at least 20 psi. If the water pressure is sufficient, replace the water inlet valve.

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Central air conditioner with home in background

Central air conditioning system

Condensing unit notably louder

Possible cause: Worn or damaged fan blade or fan motor.
Possible solution: Replace these parts as needed.


Possible cause: Broken compressor motor mount.
Possible solution: Make sure the condensing unit is level and the compressor’s mounting bushings are intact. Adjust as needed. If the noise continues, the compressor’s internal motor mounts may need to be replaced. In some cases, it may be more cost effective to replace the entire condensing unit rather than replace those individual parts.

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General increase in noise level

Possible cause: Debris in blower or faulty blower motor.
Possible solution: Clean debris from the blower wheel or replace blower motor.


Possible cause: If your furnace is equipped with a cooling coil or a combustion blower, water may be backing up from a clogged drain.
Possible solution: Check for obstructions in the drain line and clear as needed.

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Modern new refrigerator - small


Periodic squeaking, squealing, chirping or rumbling that is noticeably louder when the refrigerator door is open.

Possible cause: Worn evaporator motor.
Possible solution: Replace the evaporator motor.


Possible cause: Faulty defrost timer.
Possible solution: Replace it.

Popping and hissing/sizzling

Possible cause: Popping and hissing sounds are part of normal operations. If you open the freezer door, you may hear the frost melting into water and hitting the defrost heater, causing a hissing or sizzling sound. This noise may last for about 20 to 30 min.
Possible solution: N/A – it’s normal.

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author

Terry Spencer is an in-house appliance and HVAC expert for He has 29 years of expertise in appliances and HVAC equipment repair. Prior to joining RepairClinic in 2011, Terry was a respected, well-known technician at one of metro Detroit’s top residential appliance and HVAC repair businesses. Enthusiastic about fixing things and helping people, Terry enjoys his position with RepairClinic. He has a leading role in the development of RepairClinic’s how-to repair videos and repair help content. He’s also frequently called on for technical advice and press information for journalists and bloggers. He regularly completes extensive manufacturer training for appliances, HVAC equipment and outdoor power equipment. Terry has a refrigeration license and holds multiple certifications for an array of products. As a child, Terry was known to take appliances apart simply to see how they worked. While growing up on a farm, he taught himself how to repair small engines. Terry enjoys creating content that reaches and helps so many people solve problems on their own. In collaboration with colleagues, he develops and leads frequent Customer Care staff training programs for appliances, HVAC equipment and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not at RepairClinic, Terry spends time with his wife and children. An avid outdoorsman, Terry also enjoys Michigan’s seasons. He and his family reside in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

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