Repairing And Replacing Your Refrigerator Thermostat

352893_33603576-kitchen-from-far.jpg    When your refrigerator is not getting cold enough, or perhaps is not running at all, it may be that your thermostat is not running properly.  To test this, start by turning the refrigerator’s thermostat up one degree, this should kick on the cooling devices.  If it does come on, check in 24 hours to see if it is still working properly.  If not, then you’ll want to consider several other methods of repairing or even replacing your refrigerator thermostat.
 Determine What’s Needed
Before replacing the thermostat outright, consider if any of these conditions can be done to repair it.

  • Is there anything blocking the air flow outside of the refrigerator?  You should have some space surrounding the entire unit on all sides.  Three inches of clearance on all sides, including the top is necessary.  Remove anything blocking this clearing.
  • Check the condenser coils at the back of the unit.  Are they clean and working?  Is there enough space next to them to allow them to draw air in and out?  Vacuum this area out to remove any debris.

Replacing The Thermostat
It is often the case that if the thermostat is not working, the best route to take is to replace it rather than try to fix it, unless you have the necessary knowledge to do so.  Most of the time, these are not as expensive as you would think and can be easily installed into the refrigerator.  Here are some steps to follow to find out what the best route for you to take is in repairing or replacing your thermostat.

  1. Locate the thermostat and get all necessary model numbers, serial numbers and model codes.  This information should be available for the refrigerator itself as well.  Use this information to find and purchase the correct thermostat for your refrigerator.
  2. Next, remove all power from the unit.  Unplug the unit completely and make sure that it is not running before moving forward.  Then, remove the old thermostat by cutting through the wiring. 
  3. To install the new thermostat, trim the lead wires to the right length.  They are generally too long to start with.  Terminate back into the circuit.  The device will act as if it is a switch.  This means that the direction or the coloring of the wires is not important.  So long as you can cut off the current moving through them to the main defrost element you have no problem.
  4. Make sure to properly dress the wires to insure that no part of them comes into contact with the defrost elements as this can cause them to melt.

Replacing a thermostat doesn’t have to be a lot of work, when you know what the problem is and can get easy access to the parts you need.  Determine if your thermostat is bad by running through those tests first.  When you do replace it, make sure to test to make sure it is working properly by allowing the unit to cool for several hours and testing the temperature within it.

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