How To Replace The Temperature Control In A Refrigerator

If your refrigerator runs constantly or never gets food cold enough, check the temperature control. The temperature control, or cold control, maintains the coolness inside the unit by controlling the amount of electricity going to the compressor based on settings. Sometimes, all it takes is an adjustment of the dial to fix the issue, but when that fails, you will need to replace it. Here are some tips to replace a refrigerator temperature control.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • voltage meter
  • screwdriver
  • needle-nose pliers
  • pliers
  • putty knife
  • coolers
  • replacement temperature control

Disconnect the power cord to the refrigerator, and run a voltage meter to test for a current. If you can't access the cord, turn off the power from the breaker box. Store food from the top shelf in coolers. and detach the top shelf.

Remove the Old Temperature Control

Disconnect the knob from the temperature control by pulling it straight out of the thermostat. If your refrigerator has a freezer control near by, remove it, too. Loosen the screws from the housing with the screwdriver.

You may need to remove a face plate on some models after removing the screws. Place a putty knife in the seam on top of the face plate, and pull the top to disengage the clips to release the control. On some models, you may need to loosen two screws inside the housing to free the control.

Label the wiring, or take a picture of it. Loosen the wire connectors with the needles-nose pliers, disconnect the wires, then pull the control from the housing. Locate the sensing wire, which senses the temperature in the refrigerator.

This wire is either coiled in the housing, or runs along the compartment to the back wall. If it coils, make a note of its position before you unhook it. Otherwise, use the screwdriver to loosen the screws attached to the wall and air intake to detach the sensor.

Install the New Temperature Control

Some sensing wires have an insulation sleeve. If there is an insulation sleeve, remove the sleeve, and place it on the new control sensing wire. Set the new control in the housing, and hook the wires to the new control using the photo or labels as a guide.

The wires are placed so the housing won't pinch them. Reinstall the sensing wire, housing, and face plate. Tighten the screws until they stop, and rotate them firmly once more to secure them.

Reinstall the knobs and shelves, restore the power, then check for proper operation. If the refrigerator still doesn't cool properly, or you don't trust your skill, hire an appliance repair service like All Appliance Service Inc.