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How to Replace or Install a Refrigerator Thermostat

Updated February 21, 2017

Refrigerators rely on thermostats to keep food an appropriate temperature that is cold but not freezing. A malfunctioning thermostat may keep a refrigerator warm, causing food to spoil, or cold, acting as a freezer. As of September 2010, most new refrigerators have a digital thermostat. Refrigerators should stay between 2.22 and 6.11 degrees Celsius. If your refrigerator isn't in this range, adjust the small nob that alters the power of the refrigerator. These knobs typically feature a series of numbers that range from coldest to warmest.

Unplug the refrigerator from the socket.

Remove all items from the refrigerator. To keep items fresh, place them in an insulated cooler. Remove the shelves and drawers of the refrigerator and set them aside.

Locate the old thermostat. Often these thermostats are located in the middle of the refrigerator, against the back wall. If you struggle to locate the thermostat, check the manual of your refrigerator.

Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the wires from the thermostat. Press the pliers against the wire as close to the terminal of the refrigerator as possible. Tug gently. The wires should slip off. Use a screwdriver that attaches the clamps on the wires to the refrigerator.

Connect the clamps to the new thermostat using a screwdriver. Connect these clamps to the wires where you detached the original thermostat. Attach wires as close to the refrigerator terminal as possible.

Replace all shelves and drawers you removed from the refrigerator and plug the refrigerator into the outlet. Once the refrigerator is appropriately cold, replace the items you removed from the refrigerator.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Breann Kanobi has worked as freelance writer since 2010. Kanobi regularly submits content online to Gamer DNA. Kanobi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television from New York University in 2010.