How to repair a refrigerator light switch

Written by dave donovan
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How to repair a refrigerator light switch
Hurry, fix that light switch--everything's spoiling. (Kühlschrank image by Elisabeth Bilewicz from

A refrigerator light switch is an important component in how the refrigerator works. While it doesn't impact how the cooling system works, it does play an integral role. Some foods, like milk, retain their freshness better when they are stored in the dark. If the refrigerator light switch isn't working and the interior light is staying on constantly, then the vitamins in some of your foods may be compromised. Not to mention that having the light stay on all the time will cause your refrigerator to run more often, as it has to work harder to keep the interior cool due to the heat-producing light. Luckily, replacing the refrigerator light switch is one of the easiest appliance repair jobs there is.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement light switch
  • Putty knife
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Pencil
  • Notepad

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  1. 1

    Unplug the refrigerator's plug from the wall outlet.

  2. 2

    Slide the edge of the putty knife under the plastic lip of the refrigerator light switch and start pulling the light switch down. The switch is held in place by plastic wings and by rocking the putty knife, you will eventually pop it out.

  3. 3

    Draw a schematic of the light switch before you disconnect the wires so that you will know how to install them to the new one.

  4. 4

    Pull the wires off of the old light switch using needle-nose pliers. Be sure to grasp the connectors by their necks when pulling. Do not pull on the wires themselves, or the sire could slip out from under the connector.

  5. 5

    Connect the wires to the new refrigerator light switch according to your schematic. Or as you take one wire off the old switch, connect it to the new one immediately so you're working with both switches side by side.

  6. 6

    Snap the new switch back into its hole once wiring is complete.

  7. 7

    Plug the refrigerator back in. Open the door of the refrigerator and press the light switch with your finger to test. The light should go off when you press the switch in.

Tips and warnings

  • Order your replacement light switch before you take the old one apart.
  • Always unplug the appliance before working on any electrical component to prevent shock.

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