February 20, 2015

How to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the temperature control thermostat on a freezer. The temperature control thermostat—also called a cold control—turns the compressor on and off to maintain the freezer temperature. If the temperature control thermostat stops working, the freezer can be too cold or not cold enough. Replace the temperature control thermostat with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use this procedure to replace the temperature control thermostat on common Kenmore, Frigidaire, Gibson, Crosley, Kelvinator and White-Westinghouse chest freezers.

Quick links
Tools required
Pliers
Phillips screwdriver
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the electrical power

    Unplug the freezer or shut off the circuit breaker for the freezer.

  2. 02.

    Remove the control knob

    Pull the control knob straight off of the cold control thermostat.

    Pull off the control knob.

    Pull off the control knob.

  3. 03.

    Remove the grille cover

    Remove the screws securing the compressor grille cover to the freezer cabinet and pull the grille out.

    Squeeze together the 2 locking tabs that secure the cold control thermostat to the compressor grille cover and release the cold control thermostat from the grille.

    Tip: The cold control thermostat is still attached to the grille cover.
    Remove the screws.

    Remove the screws.

    Release the thermostat from the grill cover.

    Release the thermostat from the grill cover.

  4. 04.

    Remove the cold control thermostat

    Note the wiring connections on the cold control thermostat or take a digital photo to document the wiring connections.

    Pull the wires off of the cold control thermostat.

    Carefully pull the sensor bulb out of the freezer cabinet liner and remove the cold control thermostat from the freezer.

    Disconnect the thermostat wires.

    Disconnect the thermostat wires.

    Pull the sensor bulb out.

    Pull the sensor bulb out.

    Remove the thermostat.

    Remove the thermostat.

  5. 05.

    Install the new cold control thermostat

    Push the sensor bulb into the freezer cabinet liner.

    Using your digital picture or documentation, reconnect the wires to the new cold control thermostat.

    Position the new cold control thermostat on the compressor grill cover and push it into the grill cover. Make sure that the locking tabs on the new cold control thermostat snap into place on the grill cover.

    Push the sensor bulb into place.

    Push the sensor bulb into place.

    Connect the thermostat wires.

    Connect the thermostat wires.

    Snap the new thermostat into the grill.

    Snap the new thermostat into the grill.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the grille cover

    Position the compressor grille cover correctly on the freezer cabinet and secure it using the mounting screws.

    Reinstall the grill.

    Reinstall the grill.

    Reinstall the grill cover screws.

    Reinstall the grill cover screws.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the control knob

    Position the control knob on the front of the cold control thermostat and push the control knob down on the stem of the new cold control thermostat.

    Reinstall the control knob.

    Reinstall the control knob.

  8. 08.

    Restore electrical power

    Plug in the freezer or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all freestanding freezers

Choose a symptom to see related freezer repairs.

Main causes: lack of power, bad compressor, refrigerant leak, bad thermistor, defrost system failure, dirty condenser coils, control failure
Main causes: leaky door or lid gasket, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, defrost control failure, faulty compressor
Main causes: dirty condenser coils, condenser fan failure, dirty bottom front grill, leaky door or lid gasket
Main causes: burned out light bulb, bad door or lid switch, faulty LED light board, wiring failure, control system failure
Main causes: lack of power, control system failure, broken compressor start relay, locked up compressor, compressor motor failure
Main causes: damaged door or lid gasket, cracked cabinet liner, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer
Main causes: compressor failure, no refrigerant, faulty sensor, control failure, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat
Main causes: excessive frost, bad defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal, control system failure, low refrigerant charge, compressor problems

Repair guides for chest freezers

How to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat

The cold control thermostat regulates the freezer temperature. A defective cold control thermostat can prevent the compressor from cycling on or off. Follow these steps to replace a defective cold control thermostat.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer compressor start relay

The compressor start relay starts the compressor. If the compressor won’t start, follow these steps to replace a defective compressor start relay.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
February 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer lid gasket

The lid gasket prevents air and moisture from entering the freezer when the lid is closed. Follow these steps to replace a torn or damaged lid gasket.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all freestanding freezers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your freezer.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working

November 1, 2014

Freezer common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Benefit from other people's experience by checking on these frequently asked questions about freezers.