How to Replace a Thermostat in a Refrigerator

    If your fridge is cooling intermittently, over-freezing or simply not functioning, the problem may be due to the fridge thermostat. This article should help you to diagnose and replace a faulty thermostat.

    For information on how to tackle and resolve faults and problems on a wide range of appliances see our other articles »

    Advice Articles

    The thermostat is essentially a switch that turns the refrigerator motor on when cooling is required and off when the temperature has lowered to the required level. This is achieved with a thermally sensitive capillary (which looks like a silver wire) coming from the thermostat body and passing to a point in the fridge cabinet where it can monitor the temperature inside.

    If a thermostat is faulty it will show one of the following symptoms:

    1) The thermostat does not switch on, the light inside (if fitted and the bulb has not failed) will light up but the motor will not try to start.

    2) The fridge will not switch off, the motor runs continuously and everything is freezing solid inside.

    3) The fridge works correctly but after it reaches temperature and cuts off it does not restart or it gets too warm before it restarts.

    However, if the fridge does not start to cool and the motor is very hot or a faint click can be heard approximately twice every minute, this may indicates the fridge thermostat is trying to start but the compressor may be faulty.

    To replace the fridge thermostat, locate and remove the temperature adjustment knob and unscrew the nut holding the thermostat in position.

    Then, if the thermostat is in an assembly inside the fridge, remove the screws holding this to the fridge wall. Please note that many have a hidden fixing that will hold this cover in place. Once all screws are removed, try moving the assembly slightly forward or backward to release and lift it off.

    Turn the cover over and remove any cover inside to access and disconnect the thermostat. It's a good idea to take a photo of the wiring before disconnecting, so you have a reference when fitting the replacement thermostat.

    Follow the capillary from the thermostat body - if it runs to a cold plate or evaporator ensure that the fixing holding it in place is released. If it runs into a tube in the lining, gently pull the thermostat away from the fridge, which will draw this capillary out.

    To refit the new thermostat, start by placing the capillary back into the tube in the lining or reattaching to the evaporator in its original place. Reconnect the wiring, referring to the photo previously taken to ensure the correct connections.

    Refit the locating nut and knob and ensure all cables are pushed into their correct position in the cover. Finally, locate the cover onto any hidden fixings and screw into place, now the fridge should be ready to reconnect and test.

    If after reading this article you have identified a faulty fridge thermostat and require a replacement then you can find the perfect replacement part, through our range of fridge thermostats.

    Fridge and Freezer accessories

    When moving fridges or freezers try not to tilt onto their side or lie down as this may cause oil from the compressor to block the pipework.

    * All information provided is a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems occurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.