December 9, 2015

How to read a wiring schematic video

By Sears PartsDirect staff
How to read a wiring schematic.
How to read a wiring schematic.

This Sears PartsDirect video shows where you can find a wiring schematic, also called a wiring diagram, for your appliance. The video also takes you through the process of deciphering what the lines and symbols mean so you can figure out what’s wrong with your appliance and buy the right part to fix it.

The video is the second in a series of videos on schematics.

When you're troubleshooting an electrical problem in an appliance, a multimeter is an essential tool. How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video shows you how.

Once you’ve figured out which part needs replacing, look for step-by-step instructions for the appliance in our DIY repair help section.

Where can I find my wiring diagram?

Knowing how to read an appliance’s schematic helps make sure you buy the right part when something goes wrong with the appliance. First things first: Where do you find the wiring schematic on your appliance? You can find some right on the parts diagram page of Some appliances have a sticker on the top or back of the cabinet that shows the wiring schematic. Other appliances have a paper copy of the wiring schematic stashed behind the front toe panel or in the control console. You might also find the wiring diagram in the owner’s manual. If you can’t find the schematic, you may be able to order one from the replacement parts diagram page on

What do lines and symbols on diagram mean?

Once you’ve found the wiring schematic, you’ll need to know how to decipher all those lines and symbols. The lines represent wires that connect electrical components in the appliance. Follow the lines from the power cord and you’ll come across a control with the on/off switch for the appliance, such as this cold control thermostat on a refrigerator. You’ll notice a wire color abbreviation labeled on the line going to the thermostat. There’s a chart that shows wire color abbreviations right on the schematic. The color chart will help you check the right wires so you can figure out what’s causing the appliance failure.

For example, a broken black wire going to a thermostat can prevent the refrigerator from cooling. If the wiring is okay, you may need to replace the thermostat. Follow the wires, and you should be able to figure out exactly what’s wrong with your appliance. That way you can get the right parts to fix it and have it working properly again.

For more DIY help, head to

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