My GE Profile Refrigerator Is Making a Loud Clicking Noise on the Back Panel

When your GE Profile refrigerator starts making noises that it shouldn’t, it can be a major concern.

Start Relay

Assume that any unusual racket is a sign of needed repair. A clicking noise from the rear panel of your refrigerator could be one of several issues that require your attention. The exact location of the noise should tell you a lot about what the issue is. In some instances, clicking may simply be a normal operating noise.

One of the common reasons you might notice clicking from behind the refrigerator is a faulty start relay. The start relay is attached to the compressor and is responsible for starting it when needed. The device makes a clicking noise normally when starting the compressor, but it should do so only every so often as the refrigerator begins a cooling cycle. If the noise continues every couple of minutes and the compressor isn’t running, it is likely in need of replacement. This isn’t a major repair unless the compressor itself is the problem.

Water Inlet

Since your GE Profile has an ice maker built in, there is a water inlet valve that feeds water into the ice making mechanism and the water dispenser. When the ice maker or water dispenser calls for water, a snapping or clicking noise accompanies the valve opening and closing. If you do not have the water supply turned on or there is no water connection to your appliance, then the clicking noise will be louder and more noticeable.

Main Board

One of the most common problems you’ll discover when a GE refrigerator isn’t running is a malfunctioning main circuit board. This board is located behind the back panel of the appliance and may produce a constant clicking noise when it is not working correctly. You’ll have to replace a malfunctioning main board to stop the noise, and you may have to install a new board to get your refrigerator to cool properly or at all.

Normal Clicking

Your GE Profile refrigerator might make clicking noises for several reasons, and some of them are perfectly normal. In addition to the occasional clicking of a properly working start relay, other typical sounds from a refrigerator might be described as a clicking noise. The defrost timer clicks when it switches on and off. The temperature control unit makes a clicking noise when it turns on and off. Clicking, cracking or popping noises are also associated with the evaporator coil when it is in defrost mode. These noises may not all center around the back panel of the refrigerator, but it may be difficult to determine where they are coming from if you don’t know where to look.

About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.