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ET1FHTXMQ01 Continuous Knocking Noise

mahdinanaz

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Los Angeles
Model Number
ET1FHTXMQ01
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
More than 10 years
My fridge makes a loud continuous knocking noise from time to time and I believe it comes from somewhere around the compressor. This knocking noise could last for about a minute or so. The friend whom I bought this fridge from had the same issue, but I didn't have it for a few months. Recently, I'm facing this problem that he had told me about.

I'm not quite sure this is because the compressor is gonna be dead soon or the fridge is not balanced well or something else.

I have tried to balance the fridge with two screws in the front, but it's really hard to balance using only two screws. I cannot adjust the back of the fridge using these two.

The fridge cools as usual and there's no problem with that.

I assume most of the times this occurs when the motor turns off.

Could you please help me figure out what the problem is?
 
Last edited:

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,698
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Usually hear it by the evaporator. It has to do with the temperature of the saturated gas being piled up in the condensor and when it enters the evaporator at low pressure. It's actually refrigerant boiling. Some manufactures use a muffler on the low side and high side. It looks like a short fat filter/drier. It won't affect the cooling or damage anything. I don't know why some do it and others don't. I don't think anyone knows. Insulating the capillary tube before it goes into the evaporator will sometimes lessen the knocking noise but not always.
 

mahdinanaz

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Los Angeles
Thank you so much for your reply.
I'm not quite familiar with the things you mentioned. Is there something I can do to fix the issue or I should ask a technician to fix it?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,698
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Well, here's the problem; The repair can be expensive and there's a very good possibility it can't be repaired without replacing the compressor. Sealed system repairs are not as common as they once were because of the costs. Technicians now need to be certified by the EPA to work on sealed systems. High costs and certification make it hard to find a tech with enough experience to actually know how refrigeration systems work and do a good job on the repair.

My advise would be to pick up a roll of thermal mastic tape (any of the home centers) and insulate the capillary tube. See if that works first and avoid needing to open the system. I don't recommend a sealed system repair on a 10+ year old machine. The repair costs will most likely exceed the machine's value.

It's not difficult to insulate the capillary tube. I'll make a diagram for you but you need to unplug the machine and remove the evaporator cover. Wrap the tape around the capillary where it enters the evaporator, back to where it's joined to the suction line.
800x800.jpg
 

mahdinanaz

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
7
Location
Los Angeles
Thanks a lot for your explanation.

I have another question regarding this issue. Isn't the evaporator on the top of the fridge? I'm sure I hear the rattling/knocking noise from the bottom, probably the compressor. Do you think this workaround will still fix the problem?

I feel like the sound is because of something hitting the compressor's shell frequently.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,698
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Isn't the evaporator on the top of the fridge? I'm sure I hear the rattling/knocking noise from the bottom,...
It is on the top. I've had a balance spring break in a compressor and it makes a banging noise but only when the machine turns off and sometimes when it starts. When it's running it's quiet. There isn't too much in the compressor that would make a banging noise. The motor sits on four balance springs. Is there a way you can record the sound or make a short video and post it to youtube then post the link here? Insulating the cap tube on the evaporator doesn't always work. A few years ago I had customer with a Frigidaire refrigerator that had the same problem. It was still under the first year warranty so she had to go through Frigidaire. That was the first time I heard that noise. Frigidaire ended up exchanging it for her. Since then I've had three other machines with the same issue. I have a lot of friends in the appliance repair industry and the ones that heard it before didn't know what caused it either. A tech with Sunrock explained what he thought it was and he was the one that recommended insulating the cap tube. On one machine it did nothing. On the others it made it quiet but you could still hear it.
compressor 05.jpg
 

Econo Appliance

Appliance Tech
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
151
Location
San Diego CA
Bad compressor.

Is it worth it? Probably not for you. It's a basic $1000 fridge, vs. a $750 compressor job. I tell customers to get a new fridge, but some of them prefer repair anyways.

If your fridge was $8000 or more, then you'd be singing a very different tune.
 
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