This Sears PartsDirect video shows how to interpret common symbols in a wiring schematic, also called a wiring diagram. A schematic is a "map" of the wiring and current flow through the various components of an appliance. Understanding the symbols and layout of a wiring schematic will help you test each component so that you can buy the right part to fix the problem.
The video is the first in a series of videos on schematics.
In the second video, you’ll learn where to find the wiring diagram on your appliance and
and how to decipher the lines and symbols.
In part three, see how to trace a circuit on a wiring diagram.
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.
Common symbols found in a wiring diagram
Reading a schematic can feel overwhelming—like a foreign language. But once you learn the basics, you’ll understand how schematics work. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symbols you’ll find in a refrigerator schematic and what they mean. The lines are wires. They connect the symbols, which represent components of the appliance. Following the lines will help you determine, the cause of a failure and buy the right part to fix the problem. Many appliances have at least one light. Here’s what that symbol looks like. You’ll often see a switch that controls the light.
So let’s say your refrigerator light doesn’t work, even after you changed the bulb. The wiring schematic helps you figure out which part to replace: the light socket or the switch.
If your refrigerator is too warm, but the freezer section is cold, you’ll want to look for this symbol: the defrost heater. It’s connected to a thermostat. That symbol looks like this. It’s also connected to a timer. Look for this symbol. You may need to check the evaporator fan motor. Motors look like this. If your refrigerator isn’t cooling at all, you’ll likely want to hunt down this symbol for the cold control adjustable thermostat.
If the ice maker doesn’t fill with water, you may need to check the water valve. Understanding the symbols and layout of a wiring schematic will help you test each component so that you can buy the right part to fix the problem. For more DIY help, head to SearsPartsDirect.com.
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Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.
Learn some of the most common symbols found in a wiring diagram and what they mean.