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Seeking Quiet Refrigerator - Help!!!
Old 02-18-2015, 07:47 PM   #1
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Seeking Quiet Refrigerator - Help!!!

We recently replaced our old, energy hog Kenmore refrigerator with a new fangled, "linear compressor" equipped LG French door model that CR rated as being among the quietest available. Holy crap, if this is the quietest model available I'm in big trouble. Sure this thing reads around 40 dB with the compressor running but it's not the dB level that's the problem, it's the frequency of the compressor that is driving me crazy. It's just the right pitch to permeate every pore of my body and can be heard throughout the house, it rarely if ever stops running. Does anyone have a suggestion for a truly quiet fridge. I'm at the point now where money is not an object, I want peace and quiet from all my appliances
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:53 PM   #2
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Vibrations from an appliance can often be dampened by standing the unit on flexible, sound-absorbing material, something that reduces the amount of energy that is otherwise transmitted to the floor.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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We have a Subzero; I do not notice the noise of the compressor. In fact, it is on right now, about 4 feet away, but I had to stop and listen for it. Of course, I don't have much with which to compare it, so you might feel differently.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:58 PM   #4
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A recycled RV refrigerator at my camp is totally silent. No moving parts or motors. It runs on Propane, or can be converted to Nat gas.

It has flame size akin to a pilot light.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Vibrations from an appliance can often be dampened by standing the unit on flexible, sound-absorbing material, something that reduces the amount of energy that is otherwise transmitted to the floor.
Believe it or not I have already tried that also tried some other tips from YouTube about replacing the factory clips on the compressor with real screws and rubber washers. The compressor itself or the condenser fan is the culprit. I have read other reviews about the noise associated with these linear compressors ( too bad I read them after the purchase) and hope that someone has had better luck with a different model/manufacturer/technology...
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:09 PM   #6
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Have you contacted the mfg? You're right though, a dB reading doesn't tell the whole story. If most of the sound energy is in a specific frequency range, it can be annoying. And the if the mfg is sticking to the 40dB limit, that might be a dead end.

You might want to try the approach Trombone-Al used - tell the mfg you like the fridge, but the noise means you'll need to write a negative review on Amazon (or some other review site), but if they can resolve the noise problem, you can write a positive review.

Like other's said, there might be something vibrating, it might be fixable.

Our mid-range GE is reasonably quiet, I don't connect the ice maker - those are intermittently noisy, and an energy hog (the energy stickers don;t include the ice maker - and that can negate most of the energy savings over an older, less efficient, but non-ice-maker model).

The gas powered model suggested would be the quietest though.

-ERD50
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:23 AM   #7
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A recycled RV refrigerator at my camp is totally silent. No moving parts or motors. It runs on Propane, or can be converted to Nat gas.
It has flame size akin to a pilot light.
They really are fantastic, my parents bought an old used one, and then we used it for 40 yrs before giving it away.

It had developed a bubble and you had to turn it upside down (roll to side, wait 10 min, roll to top, wait 10 min, etc, until it was back right side up).

The old one had rounded edges so it was hard to hold, and it was heavy.

After it did it a few times over weeks, we got impatient and bought a new one.

But they are completely silent...
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:30 AM   #8
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High frequencies are not generally structure borne, but are rather air borne. I quieted our refrigerator by standing a piece of absorbent material behind the refrigerator in line with where the fan exhausts the air from the heat exchanger. The material I used was what they line the underside of automobile hoods, but you could get creative and use some towels on a rack initially to see if it helps.

If it works for you, there are various inexpensive materials to use for an absorber panel such as fiberglass ceiling tiles.

http://acousticsfreq.com/blog/?p=62
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:33 AM   #9
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..........It had developed a bubble and you had to turn it upside down (roll to side, wait 10 min, roll to top, wait 10 min, etc, until it was back right side up). .............
My understanding is that they don't actually develop a bubble, but rather have the tiny orifice plugged by dislodged solids inside the pipe. Rolling it around temporarily unplugs it, but eventually the stuff works its way back into the orifice.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:35 AM   #10
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... that CR rated as being among the quietest available. Holy crap, if this is the quietest model available I'm in big trouble.
...
I also was dissapointed in CR's noise ratings for refrigerators. I got an Amana based on quiet ratings, and yes, the compressor is quiet. But the occasional changing of the position of the motorized air baffles is horrible! CR didn't bother to report on that . Luckily, it's like a clock with a chime...after a while you don't even hear it anymore.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:10 AM   #11
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We have a counter depth LG linear compressor model with cafe doors and bottom freezer and the compressor is very quiet. I'd call LG and have your unit checked out.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:36 AM   #12
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I've got one of these, it's very quiet


Thermador T36BB820SS 36" Built-in Fully Flush Bottom Freezer Refrigerator with 19.7 cu. ft. Capacity, Full Extension Drawers, Cantilever Racks, Internal Ice Maker, LED Interior Lighting and Professional Handles
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:12 PM   #13
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This may sound crazy. But have you tried moving the fridge about 1 inch?

I had the same problem. My quiet fridge was sending a low frequency boom through the entire house. I found there was resonance. Moving the fridge just 1 inch made a difference.

Otherwise, I feel your pain. This low frequency thing is a real issue beyond even appliances. It never shows up on a dB meter, but instead permeates your brain.

As for CR, I gave up on them a while ago.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:25 PM   #14
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Can you put the fridge in an enclosure?

Mine is silent as can be, it's built-in in the kitchen. Can't even tell whether it's on or not without opening the door.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:59 PM   #15
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This may sound crazy. But have you tried moving the fridge about 1 inch?

I had the same problem. My quiet fridge was sending a low frequency boom through the entire house. I found there was resonance. Moving the fridge just 1 inch made a difference.
I'd forgotten about that but I've seen that before too with window air conditioners and a set of stereo speakers once. I had them on a shelf that produced awful sound. Moving the speakers to the floor cured it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:04 PM   #16
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I have a Samsung which is very quiet running, however when the ice maker dumps ice it sounds like it dumped it on the floor from 5 feet high. Amazing this made it through R&D.

Also had a washing machine that made a racket when spinning, and these things, available at Lowe's ($35), worked great. Sounds like you have already gone this route though. You would have to have clearance above to use these on a fridge in any case.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:15 PM   #17
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This may sound crazy. But have you tried moving the fridge about 1 inch?.
Yep, I've moved it a couple of different times thinking maybe it was hitting a resonance, no luck though. I have also tried different sound proofing materials behind it and beside it, it's in a little alcove that does act somewhat like a horn in projecting the sound even further. Funny thing, the wife can't hear it and it is within the manufacturer's specification, guess I'm just to sensitive to that particular frequency... Looks like I have my work cut out for me in convincing her to let me buy a Thermadore or Subzero
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:49 PM   #18
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The problem with CR and other testing on sound, they often use the "A " scale on the sound meter and the db levels on the A scale are mostly for 250 hz. Most ac inverters by nature use very high frequencies . May not be picked up much on the A scale. CR needs to review their sound testing on new tech appliances of all types IMO.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:57 PM   #19
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We bought a fridge with a high frequency squeak that sounded to me and one of the kids like a dog whistle must sound to a dog, yet no one else noticed it. I think we paid a restocking fee, the store took it back and we replaced it with a different model, that goodness, didn't have the constant squelch.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:36 PM   #20
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Wow, at $7400 that must be one nice and quiet refrigerator. I re-did my kitchen (solid counter top and all appliances) for well less than that.
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