How to Replace a Refrigerator Thermostat

Man repairing a refrigerator
  • 2 hours
  • Advanced
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What You'll Need
Replacement thermostat
What You'll Need
Replacement thermostat

If you discover that your refrigerator is not getting cool enough or not cooling down at all, one possible solution is to replace your thermostat. If you wish to test the refrigerator thermostat to make sure whether it is working or not, change the refrigerator temperature to something a bit cooler than normal. If the thermostat is working okay then it will take a few hours to maintain a steady temperature. However, if it doesn’t then it will need replacing.

Step 1 - Prepare to Replace Thermostat

The first thing you should do before undertaking this work is to turn off the appliance from the mains. This is something that should be done with all appliances of an electrical nature for safety reasons. If you find that the plug is hidden away behind cupboards or panels then you should turn off the circuit breaker assigned to that outlet.

Step 2 - Locate the Thermostat

person opening a freezer

Next, you need to find the thermostat and where it is positioned inside the refrigerator. For the majority of refrigerators where they have a freezer on the top level, the thermostat will be right at the back of the fridge or on the roof of the fridge underneath the freezer panel. If you have a refrigerator that is next to the freezer then the thermostat should be found at the back of the freezer.

Step 3 - Remove Shelving

Ensure that you take out all frozen food and shelves that may limit your mobility within the workspace. In order to take out shelves on the inside, you may have to loosen a few screws and take out clips holding them in place.

Step 4 - Remove Wires

There will be some wires that are attached to the thermostat and these need to be pulled away gently using the pliers. You should make sure that you are extremely careful doing this as if you pull too hard or grip the wires in the middle then they could break under the pressure.

Step 5 - Take Out the Broken Thermostat

man repairing a refrigerator

Once you’ve removed any remaining screws or clips holding it in place, you are now in a position to take the old faulty thermostat out of the refrigerator. If the thermostat is around an evaporator tube then you should take care when removing as this may cause damage.

Step 6 - Install the New Thermostat

Once you have gone through all the steps, install the new replacement thermostat into the refrigerator in the same place as the old one. Ensure that you screw it into place and reconnect all the wires. Put the panel back over the thermostat securely. Next put back any shelving you took out before replacing the thermostat.

Step 7 - Test the Refrigerator

Finally, turn the power to the refrigerator back on and wait for the refrigerator to cool down again to a lower temperature. If the new thermostat is working correctly it will kick in and maintain a steady temperature within your refrigerator.