Why does my Samsung refrigerator sound like an owl? [Causes and Fix]

Why does my Samsung refrigerator sound like an owl [Causes and Fix]

Refrigerators, no matter the brand, produce all sorts of humming and gurgling sounds, which are perfectly normal. But what if the fridge is making a noise like an owl?

The hooting noise from your fridge can be completely normal. But if you notice other issues like ice build-up, it’s most likely a sign of malfunction.

We made this guide to help you figure out the cause of your fridge’s owl noises and how to troubleshoot it at home.

With our guide as your reference, you can resolve most of these issues in no more than five steps. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might have to seek professional help.

Why does my fridge sound like an owl?

Owl noises from a Samsung fridge don’t necessarily indicate failure. Water dripping on the defrost heater, which is normal, can cause this noise.

If these noises occur alongside issues like ice buildups, it could indicate a problem with the evaporator fan, ice maker, condenser, or defrost system.

Why does my fridge sound like an owl

Causes and Solutions for Your Fridge’s Owl Noises

Loud and repetitive owl noises can be a sign that your Samsung fridge needs to be repaired. Fortunately, they don’t always indicate a serious problem.

With our help, you can perform a quick fix at home and stop the fridge from making these alarming sounds.

We’ve listed the potential causes behind your fridge’s owl noises in the table below. We’ve also included quick solutions for each one.

CauseQuick Fix
Dripping WaterIt doesn’t require troubleshooting because the sound is a result of the fridge’s normal operation.
Frozen Evaporator FanUnplug the refrigerator. 

Unscrew the plastic panel at the fridge’s back wall to access the evaporator fan. 
Clogged Ice MakerTake out the ice maker from the freezer, and remove clumpy ice from the storage bin, the raker, or the dispenser by hand.
Dirty Condenser CoilsUse a condenser brush to remove dust and dirt from the coils. 

Get a damp towel and wipe the grime off the coils. Then, wipe it dry before plugging the fridge back in. 
Lack of Ventilation SpaceMove the fridge to promote proper ventilation. 

Maintain a 2-inch gap between the fridge and the walls. As for the top and back part of the fridge, it must have at least an inch of ventilation space.
Faulty Evaporator FanUnplug the fridge and remove all the shelving. 

Unscrew the plastic panel covering the evaporator fan. 

Take out the faulty evaporator fan, and replace it with a new one.
Malfunctioning Defrost SystemCall a Samsung refrigerator technician to diagnose and repair the defrost system. 

Dripping Water

One of the most common causes of a fridge’s owl sounds is dripping water. If you hear the noise often, there’s probably nothing wrong with your unit.

When water drips into your Samsung fridge’s defrost heater, it causes a low hissing noise, similar to a hooting owl. It’s no cause for concern as it is part of your fridge’s normal operation.

If the owl noises become too loud and consistent, then you’re most likely dealing with a different issue.

Frozen Evaporator Fan

Ice build-up around the evaporator fan can cause a Samsung fridge to produce obnoxious owl-like noises. If the sound disappears when you open the fridge doors, you most likely have a problem with the evaporator fan.

The good news is that you can resolve the issue by yourself. 

Solution: First, take out all the perishable goods and transfer them to a temporary cooler to prevent them from spoiling. Unplug the fridge and defrost it overnight to remove the ice buildup.

Or, you can access the evaporator fan at the fridge’s back wall and pour warm water to melt the ice faster.

If ice build-up around the fan is causing the loud owl noises, follow these steps for a quick fix:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator.
  • Step 2: Remove the sliding tray (if there is any).
  • Step 3: Unscrew the plastic panel from the fridge wall.
  • Step 4: Pour warm water to defrost the fan faster.
  • Step 5: Place the screws back and close the panel.
  • Step 6: Plug in the refrigerator.
Quick Note:

Evaporator fans are usually made of plastic, which is why we recommend pouring hot water instead of using a hair blower or heat gun for melting ice. They might cause the plastic to warp and damage the fridge.

Clogged Ice Maker

An ice maker may produce loud owl noises right before it stops working. It usually indicates a clog either in the dispenser, raker, or chute.

If you leave old ice in the bucket for too long, it can cause all sorts of issues with the ice maker. 

Solution: The quickest way to resolve this would be to defrost the ice maker with a steamer. Or, you can run warm water over the bucket to remove the clumps.

Check for ice clumps.

Clumpy ice starts to form in the bucket when you leave old ice for too long. Due to the clumps, it becomes harder for the fridge to dispense new ice into the bucket.

  • Step 1: Take out the ice storage bin from the freezer.
  • Step 2: Remove the ice clumps in the bin by hand.
  • Step 3: Empty and clean the ice bucket if the clumps are frozen solid.
  • Step 4: Wipe the ice bucket dry before placing it back inside.

Clear a jammed ice raker.

More recent Samsung refrigerators have built-in rakers, which disperse ice in the storage bin. Sometimes, the ice gets jammed into the raker, producing grinding noises as it attempts to move the ice around.

  • Step 1: Remove the jammed ice cubes from the raker by hand.
  • Step 2: Take out ice from the bucket if it’s too full.
  • Step 3: Wipe the bucket dry before placing it back inside.
  • Step 4: Place a glass under the ice dispenser and check if it works.

Clear a jammed dispenser chute.

One possible reason why your fridge isn’t dispensing ice is a jammed dispenser chute. To clear a jammed chute, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the freezer door.
  • Step 2: Check the dispenser chute for obstructions.
  • Step 3: Remove the ice clogging the chute.
  • Step 4: Pour warm water down the chute to clear out obstructions faster.
Quick Note:

According to Samsung, you should empty your fridge’s ice bucket every two weeks. 

Dirty Condenser Coils

A build-up of dust and dirt on your fridge’s condenser coils, which are responsible for cooling its refrigerant, causes them to exert more energy to stay cool. In the process, they produce this low hooting sound like an owl.

Cleaning your fridge’s condenser coils can stop the loud owl noises. It’s a quick and easy fix, which should take no more than 15 minutes.

By cleaning your condenser coils regularly, you can prevent this issue from recurring. More importantly, you can lower energy consumption, reduce energy costs at home, and extend the life of your fridge.

Solution: To clean a filthy condenser, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator.
  • Step 2: Move the fridge away from the wall to access the coils.
  • Step 3: Use a soft-bristled brush to sweep away dust and grime.
  • Step 4: Vacuum all the excess dust and dirt.
  • Step 5: Wipe the coils with a damp towel.
  • Step 6: Let the coils fully dry before plugging the fridge back in.
Quick Note:

Clean the fridge’s condenser coils twice a year. If you have pets that shed, you should clean it more often to prevent the owl noises from recurring.

Lack of Ventilation Space

Refrigerators need at least two inches of space between the unit and the walls. It also needs an inch of space at the top and back for proper ventilation. 

Without enough ventilation space, your fridge has to work harder to stay cool, which results in owl-like hooting noises. However, the loud noises might be the least of your worries.

Poor ventilation can lead to higher energy consumption and higher energy bills. More importantly, it can cause unnecessary food spoilage and affect food safety. 

Simply by promoting good airflow, you can improve your fridge’s efficiency and avoid all of these potential problems.

Solution: To ensure adequate ventilation for your fridge, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Maintain a 2-inch gap between the fridge and the walls.

Older fridge models might need three inches of space on all sides for proper ventilation. For newer models, two inches of ventilation space should be enough.

  • Step 2: Remove any items on top of the fridge.

Putting items like cereal boxes and cleaning products on top of the refrigerator can affect its ventilation. Although convenient, it’s not recommended because it can lead to different problems for your unit.

  • Step 3: Maintain an inch of space at the top and back part of the fridge.
Quick Note:

Keep your refrigerator away from high heat sources to promote good airflow and increase its efficiency.

Faulty Evaporator Fan

If the owl noises get louder when you open the fridge, you’re most likely dealing with a faulty evaporator fan.

An evaporator fan circulates cool air from the condenser coils throughout the freezer and refrigerator. Whenever it malfunctions, it produces hooting noises as it struggles to run properly.

Solution: The first thing you need to do is check the evaporator fan and rule out other issues like ice buildup. If it looks worn out, the only way to fix the issue is to replace the motor.

To replace a faulty evaporator fan, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Unplug the refrigerator.
  • Step 2: Remove the shelves and food compartments inside the fridge.
  • Step 3: Take out the plastic panels covering the screws for the evaporator fan cover.

Before you can unscrew the evaporator fan cover, you need to pry out the plastic panels covering the Phillips screws. You can use a small flathead screwdriver to detach them.

  • Step 4: Remove the screws supporting the fridge’s central shelving.
  • Step 5: Open the evaporator fan cover, and disconnect it from the fridge.

Once you access the evaporator fan cover, it’ll still be connected to the fridge through wire plugs. To disconnect them, just push down on the locking tabs and then gently pull them out. 

  • Step 6: Detach the sensor and fan motor wires from the plastic clips
  • Step 7: Unscrew the fan motor’s plastic housing from the cover.
  • Step 8: Take out the fan motor by gently pushing it out of its housing.
  • Step 9: Insert the new fan, and reinstall the screws.
  • Step 10: Reinstall the sensor and fan motor wires.
  • Step 11: Put the wire plugs back in place.
  • Step 12: Reattach the evaporator fan cover.
  • Step 13: Reinstall the two outer Phillips screws.
  • Step 14: Attach the shelf support and reinstall its screws with its plastic covers.
  • Step 15: Put all the shelves and food compartments back in place.
Quick Note:

When you’re looking for an evaporator fan replacement, make sure that it matches your specific fridge model. 

Malfunctioning Defrost System

If you’re constantly dealing with ice buildup on the condenser coils, the fan, and the ice maker, your defrost system is probably malfunctioning. 

Try to remedy these issues using the solutions we recommended above. However, if the problem keeps on recurring, you need to call for help.

Solution: There is no quick fix for a malfunctioning defrost system. All you have to do is call a professional who can diagnose the problem and repair it. 

Hopefully, our guide can provide you with a quick fix for your fridge’s hooting problem. If you aren’t comfortable performing any of the repairs, please ask for assistance from a Samsung fridge repairman.

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