How to replace a refrigerator thermistor

replace a refrigerator thermistor

This DIY repair guide gives step-by step instructions for how to replace a refrigerator thermistor. The thermistor senses temperature changes in the refrigerator and sends the control board a signal about the temperature change. If the thermistor fails, the refrigerator won’t stay at the temperature you set, resulting in items either freezing or spoiling because it’s too cold or too warm. Replace the thermistor with the manufacturer-approved fridge part that fits your model.

Watch our troubleshooting video to determine whether the thermistor in your refrigerator is working. Although the thermistor in this video might be in a different location, the troubleshooting is the same.

Use this basic procedure to replace the thermistor in Kenmore, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, GE, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley and Haier refrigerators.

Tools required:
  • 1/4-inch nut driver
  • Screwdriver
  • Work gloves
Repair difficulty: 2
Time required: 15 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. Disconnect electrical power

    Unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator.

    Tip: Move highly perishable food to a cooler or other cooled space. The refrigerator will be without power for about 30 minutes, which shouldn’t affect most refrigerated or frozen foods.
  2. Remove the thermistor cover

    Locate the thermistor in the refrigerator section; it’s under a small plastic cover attached to the surface of the back wall, side wall or ceiling.

    Release the thermistor cover and pull the thermistor out of the cover.

    Tip: See the parts list diagram for your refrigerator for help locating this component.

    Remove the thermistor

    Pull the thermistor out of the mounting clip and unplug the wire harness. Remove the thermistor.

  3. Install the new thermistor

    Attach the thermistor to the mounting clip and then to the wire harness.

  4. Attach the cover

    Reattach the thermistor’s cover and reinstall any shelves you removed.

  5. Restore electrical power

    Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Don’t proceed until you’re confident that you understand all the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

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