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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 81159
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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I have a Maytag refrigerator that is making a clicking

Customer Question

I have a Maytag refrigerator that is making a clicking followed by a humming/buzzing sound (like a timer trying to come on) in the lower back of refrigerator. I just replaced the relay/starter unit but that did not fix the problem
JA: Can you guesstimate how old your Maytag is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?
Customer: I think about the neighborhood of 7-10 years, it is PBF1951HEW
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: tRYING TO
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: The sound comes on about every 2 to 5 minutes and last about 5-7 seconds
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to just answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be the one who will try to assist you. One moment while I pull up some service manuals on your unit.

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

I am wondering if this is a problem with your water inlet valve or a possibility of the fan motor making the noise?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is not coming from the fan and fan is running fine. It is like a timer that comes on for 5-10 seconds then goes off. A water inlet valve would make a noise like that?
Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

It can when its coming on and off especially if its starting to go out.

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any codes popping up or flashing lights coming on?

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Another possibility is the defrost timer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you tell me where the defrost timer is located on the particular model?
Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Here is some other information from your manual.

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Typically it is somewhere around your evaporator coils or compressor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ice make is not hooked up, the compressor is not making this noise so that manual info does not help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I found where the defrost timer is located and it is not on the bottom of the frig where the sound is coming from.
Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Ok give me just another moment please.

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

Sounds coming from the bottom

So the only other possibilities I can think of would be If the sound is coming from the bottom of the fridge, this it could be because your fridge is off balance. Make sure your fridge is level and all the feet are bearing pressure equally. If one foot is only lightly touching the ground, it could create a humming sound as the fridge vibrates against the floor. Also, clean out the coils with a vacuum cleaner with a brush wand.

Sound coming from the back

If the humming sound is coming from the back of the fridge, it’s either due to your compressor or the motor fan. A broken compressor is a big deal, as your fridge won’t cool properly. If your compressor is broken, you won’t be able to fix this yourself and should get a professional trained in sealed systems to replace it. A dirty motor fan could also be causing the problem, so check the fan or make sure it’s not dirty, frozen, or stuck on another object. This loud humming could also occur when the fridge door is open for an extended amount of time, as ice will build up on the evaporation coil. Turn off the fridge for 24 hours and then start it up again to see if that fixes the problem.

Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

If you do not find this information helpful please do not rate negatively I can opt out and open this up to other experts.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is not from being off balance, it just started about several weeks ago and off balance doesn't make a clicking noise followed by a buzzing/humming sound like a timer coming on, lasting only 5-10 seconds then another click and it then stops. Cleaned the coils and this helped to prolong the sound for a little bit then was back to normal within several hours. Fan is working properly and has been cleaned. From what I have read about compressors, the sound that is being made is not the sound a compressor makes when dying, the compressor is making no noise that I can tell. The freezer and refrigerator a working just fine other than this intermittent sound.
Expert:  Webb-Guy replied 1 year ago.

I will open this up to other experts to see what they may think

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I can help you with this problem. That loud humming and click means that your compressor is overloading and cutting out. It will turn off for a few minutes and then try again over and over. Pull the refrigerator forward and unplug the refrigerator. Remove the lower back access panel and locate your large black round compressor. There is a small plastic box attached to the side of the compressor with several wires going into it. This is your overload relay. Pull the overload relay off the compressor and shake it. If it rattles, then it needs to be replaced. If it doesn't rattle, then you likely have a bad compressor and you'll need to call a technician in order to replace the compressor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Getting down and listening very closely to the where the sound is coming from and it is coming from the brand new relay I just installed.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

If you installed a new relay and it's still overloading then your compressor is bad I'm sorry to say. There are no other options if you already replaced the relay, you need to replace the compressor now. The piston is seized inside the compressor so it just locks up and overloads.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cost of replacing probably isn't that far from a new frig. Well thanks for your help.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 1 year ago.

Probably not. A new compressor would be about $650 if you wanted to replace it. I'm very sorry about the bad news but if you replaced the relay already then I'm certain there is nothing else that can cause your problem. We are on the honor system here. Please remember to rate my service by selecting a star at the top of the screen before you leave today and reply back here letting me know with a rating of 1-5 stars (5 being the best). If you need anything else, just let me know. You can continue asking follow-up questions at no additional charge after rating my service if you still need assistance.