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How to Replace a Fridge Thermostat Yourself

Hand turning dial to refrigerator thermostat

Appliances are machines. When you own a machine, you know that it can break down at the worst possible time. For fridges, it can be any number of parts that break down. usually, it doesn’t take too much to replace the broken part.

The problem is that with a fridge, you need to move quickly, or you will lose a lot of good food you spent money on. Time is of the essence, so you need to diagnosis the problem, get the part, and put it in quickly.

To learn how to do that, just continue to read our article. It provides the instruction s you need to fix your fridge fast and preserve your food.

Do a Thermostat Test First

Small round thermometer in a fridge next to a bowl of white eggs

If your fridge is not cooling like you think it should, chances are it is the thermostat that has gone bad. To be sure, you should do a thermostat test. All this test entails is having you set the fridge temperature to a level that is about 10 degrees cooler than the current reading.

You need to feel the difference between the temperatures and anything less than 10 degrees may not do it. Once you have reset the thermostat, you sit back, read, watch t.v. or do other chores for a few hours.

After that time is up check your fridge and if it is maintaining a steady temperature, the thermostat is not broken. If it isn’t doing that, then you need to replace the thermostat.

How to Replace the Fridge Thermostat

Tool belt laying on wooden deck with variety of tools sticking out of the belt

Now that you have done the test, you move onto the replacement stage. Make sure to use the model number of the thermostat to find and buy a replacement part. Then have it next to your tools for when it is time to insert it into position.

Step 1: As always, unplug the fridge and move it away from the wall. You will need room to maneuver as you work so give yourself plenty of room.

Step 2: Now you need to locate the thermostat’s position. For some models, this can be at the back or on top of the fridge underneath the freezer panel. Side by side units may have a thermostat behind the freezer section. You should use your owner’s manual to help you find the right location.

Step 3: Remove all the food in your freezer as well as the interior shelving. You will need lots of room to work so get all possible obstructions out of the way. Sometimes, you may have to remove screws to remove some of the shelving.

Step 4: Once you have found the thermostat, you will see that there are some wires attached to it. Remove those wires carefully using pliers and be gentle but firm as you can break the wires or ruin the connections if you pull too hard, etc.

Step 5: This is the time to remove the thermostat. Check for any screws or clips holding this part in place and remove them or maneuver them out of the way. If your model of the fridge has an evaporator tube next to the thermostat proceed with the removal with caution. You do not want to bang into that tube and cause more damage.

Step 6: Install the new thermostat. To do this you need to be careful that you do not damage tubes, wiring, clips, or lose any screws. Put the thermostat in place, replace the screws or clips, then the wires, and finally the access panel. Once that is done, replace any shelving and food you removed from the freezer.

Step 7: Turn the power to the fridge back on or plug it in and set the temperature level where you want it to be. Wait a while to see if the new thermostat is working properly and maintains that temperature level.

If it does you are done. If it doesn’t you may have bought a defective part and you should remove it, return it and get another one. The steps will be the same to do this task.

Most fridge repair chores are more tedious than they are complicated. It takes minimal mechanical skills to correctly replace a thermostat so most people can do it without calling the repairman.

Take your time and make sure you are firm but gentle when you do this task. The key is to replace the part without breaking any other part along the way.

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