February 20, 2015

How to replace a freezer thermistor

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer thermistor

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the thermistor in a freezer. The thermistor senses the temperature in the freezer and then signals the electronic control board to turn the compressor on or off. If the thermistor stops working, the freezer won't keep the correct temperature. Replace a broken thermistor with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

This basic repair procedure works for Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE, Gibson, Kelvinator, Crosley and White-Westinghouse freezers.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Wire cutter
Wire stripper
Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
How to replace a freezer thermistor repair guide video.

Replacing a freezer thermistor video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the electrical power

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

    Tip: Move highly perishable food to a cooler or other cooled space. The freezer will be without power for about 45 minutes, which shouldn't affect most frozen foods.
  2. 02.

    Remove the evaporator cover

    Remove the drawers from the freezer.

    Remove the screws from the evaporator cover.

    Pull the evaporator cover out of the freezer.

    Remove the freezer drawers.

    Remove the freezer drawers.

    Remove the evaporator cover screws.

    Remove the evaporator cover screws.

    Pull out the evaporator cover.

    Pull out the evaporator cover.

  3. 03.

    Remove the thermistor

    Remove the thermistor mounting screw.

    Cut the wires close to the old thermistor and then remove the thermistor.

    Remove the thermistor mounting screw.

    Remove the thermistor mounting screw.

    Cut the thermistor wires.

    Cut the thermistor wires.

    Remove the thermistor.

    Remove the thermistor.

  4. 04.

    Connect the wires to the new thermistor

    Strip off 1/4 of an inch of the wire insulation from the end of the wires in the freezer.

    Cut the wires about 4 inches from the new thermistor and strip off 1/4 of an inch of the wire insulation.

    Connect the like-color wires together using wire nuts.

    Strip insulation from the wire ends.

    Strip insulation from the wire ends.

    Connect the thermistor wires.

    Connect the thermistor wires.

  5. 05.

    Install the new thermistor

    Position the new thermistor on the back wall and reinstall the mounting screw.

    Install the thermistor mounting screw.

    Install the thermistor mounting screw.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover

    Position the evaporator cover on the back wall and reinstall the mounting screws.

    Reinstall the drawers inside the freezer cabinet.

    Reisntall the evaporator cover.

    Reisntall the evaporator cover.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover gasket.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover gasket.

  7. 07.

    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: lack of power, control system failure, broken compressor start relay, locked up compressor, compressor motor failure
Main causes: burned out light bulb, bad door or lid switch, faulty LED light board, wiring failure, control system 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
Main causes: dirty condenser coils, condenser fan failure, dirty bottom front grill, leaky door or lid gasket

Repair guides for upright freezers

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer evaporator fan

Air won’t circulate to cool the freezer properly when the evaporator fan fails. Follow these step-by-step instructions to replace a defective evaporator fan.

Repair difficulty
Time required
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February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer thermistor

When the thermistor can’t sense the freezer temperature, the freezer is colder or warmer than the set temperature. Follow these step-by-step instructions to replace a defective freezer thermistor.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer defrost thermostat

These step-by-step instructions explain how to replace the defrost bi-metal thermostat in an upright freezer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

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