new noisy thermador refrigerator/freezer columns

rockybirdFebruary 2, 2012

I just installed new thermador refrigerator and freezer columns. There is a constant high pitched whine. These things are louder than the old ge monogram I was using before that I bought on craigslist. I plan to call the co. and ask the installer, but I was wondering if anyone might have an idea for a quick fix. Thank you!

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They make a different noise than a traditional fridge. Some people find the pitch/ freq. objectionable.

I seriously doubt it is actually louder than an older fridge , but that is entirely different from a noise that drives you bananas.

There are a few threads on this subject around here, just do a search.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 2:51AM
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We have had a Therm freedom column fridge and freezer for three years. They are as close to silent as I can imagine. There is definitely no objectionable high pitched whine (and my daughter, who can actually hear sounds over 8K Hz, agrees). I'd be concerned that there is something wrong. If the installer gives you a hard time, I'd ask to see a working demo model in action. I suspect you'll find there is no whine. That's the best way to be sure it's not just inherent to these units, though my experience argues otherwise.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:12AM
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I have twin 30" columns and they are as close to silent as I would hope for. The only noise I get from time to time is the filling of the ice maker. The water lines are right at the front of the freezer and as such you can hear the water moving through the system. Other than that they are inaudible unless you are right up against them with a totally quiet room...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:15AM
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The chance of both a separate fridge and freezer having something wrong out of the box at the same time - especially the same exact problem are pretty slim.

Now, I'm not saying it's impossible , or that bird's units aren't absolute crap - just that the odds are slim.

I'm betting its just an objection to the waa waa sound these things make, which is valid.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Antss- do you know for sure both are making a whining noise? If they are mounted right next to each other it would be impossible to tell if both are making a high pitched noise unless you got on your hands and knees to listen to them. I bet one of them is having an issue. Without any question there is something wrong with the unit, there should be no high pitched sound.

I don't know what you mean by a waa waa sound- mine are much quieter than my last sub Z and GE monogram...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Someone awhile back also had a problem with Miele, which has the same basic box. The thinking at the time was that there might be something about the installation that amplified the noise. Recently, I've found that a change to the decorative toekick seems to have amplified a sound that I think is coming from my Miele freezer (though I can't hear it if I put my ear to the door).

Do you have a wood floor? Do you have a tile floor? I think I remember you have slab foundation? Does your decorative toekick touch the floor? Is it anchored to the floor? Or just to the unit(s)?

Oh, and are the units perfectly level?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:57PM
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Thank you for the responses! I should clarify that it is more of a high pitched hum. It is not super loud, but constant. I dont know which unit it is. I do hear one of them kick on every now and then in addition to the hum. I have not been home much since they were installed a few days ago to really investigate the noise and which unit it is coming from, but I will look this weekend.

The floor is concrete and they are mounted side by side. Not a great picture below, but you can see them in the back.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I will preface this response as follows: I am by *no* means an expert on appliances...
...but what strikes me as odd is that the way the OP describes the phenomenon, it seems the units, or unit, is making the high pitched hum constantly. My experience thus far in the world of refrigerators are just not-trendy, not-counter-depth, no door dispensers, top-freezer, bottom-fridge, combo units. Cheapo. As far as I can tell, they make noise when the motors (compressors? evaporators? whatever-the heck the proper term is?) kick on, and are silent otherwise. Perhaps built in units or these Bosch-Therm-Miele-Gagg-whoever-else-is-slapping-their-name-on-Bosch-fridges has a always-running aspect. Hopefully somebody with more knowledge than I can elaborate. And I'm not even sure if this is relevant. Hope this helps, haha.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Hi, me again. Sorry, I promise I am not trying to take-over your post. While I am no expert in appliances, I am in my final year of my Masters degree in Architecture (put down your pitchforks, I know how much everybody on this forum loves architects) and have relatively decent knowledge of acoustics. In the picture you posted, it looks like there are a lot of hard surfaces in a pretty large and open space: concrete floors, glossy veneered cabinets, some sort of solid-surface counters, drywall, and glazing. Maybe, as antss suggested, this is a noise these units always make, and because of a lack of sound-absorbing material in the space, the noise just bounces around thus becoming evident to your ears in an everyday setting. The space is very beautiful as is, but if it is deemed that the units are operating correctly, you may need to decide between aesthetics (throw in some rugs and/or drapes) and acoustics.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Is there an icemaker? My Liebherr made some strange louder-than-usual noises the first 24 hours, I remember being told they were for the icemaker even though it didn't sound like making ice.

Or there may be a motor for the icemaker jammed from frozen water or an overlooked piece of shipping tape?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:22PM
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I think Arch13 is on the right track, as well as Antss. In other words, it's probably supposed to make that noise, but you're not supposed to be bothered by it. I'm wondering if there is any kind of sound dampening material that could be put in, especially underneath, that would keep the noise in check. Even a thin sheet of cork might do it. I know that would be reinstalling for a maybe, but if it's annoying enough it might be worth it.

I've always loved concrete for the great ringing tones it gave my tap shoes. A festival of sound! Not what you want from a fridge. I think the concrete might be the main culprit.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Rather than arguing about :
"is it/isn't it making a high pitched noise" why not record the noise with your video camera, rockybird?

If you have a fairly decent video camera with good audio sensitivity, said camera will pick up the noise.

I recorded the sounds (or actually a lack thereof) that my Elux induction unit makes, even on boost, with the mic right next to the boiling pot. My camera has a readout display that shows the intensity of basicaly any sound/sounds that it pics up and yes it picks up high frequencies as most better cameras should, and in fact one of my cats "passed gas" during my test and the camera picked it up! I also whispered so folks could get an "idea" of the camera's mic sensitivity.

As far as telling which appliance is the "Culprit" turn off the power to one, long enough so you can determine which one it is.

In a unit that has "dual compressors" or in your case a compressor for the fridge and one for the freezer,(and using variable speed compressors), it is "very likely"
that the compressor "rarely, if at all" shuts fully off.
More than likely it will run at it's mininum speed until cooling demands require that the compressor speed up, hence the circuitry that drives the compressor is operating most of the time, and an oscillator in the circuitry is what you "may be" hearing--not saying that you should hear it thou, maybe the circuit board, is not propertly mounted, or insulation aroumd it lacking so it feeds into the frame of the unit, and thus amplifies the sound.

Anyway hope you have a good video camera, and at least that will end the arguement "Is it/isn't it making a noise"!

Good luck, hope you get it resolved.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:14AM
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