July 20, 2015

How to replace a refrigerator electronic control board

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator electronic control board

This refrigerator DIY repair guide shows how to replace an electronic control board in bottom-freezer and side-by-side refrigerators. The electronic control board is the "brains" of the refrigerator that controls major components such as the compressor and fans. If the electronic control board fails, the refrigerator can't cool correctly. It won't cool at all if the control board relay that turns on the compressor fails, which is the most common problem with a refrigerator control board (other failed parts can prevent the control board from running, such as the start device or overload fuse). Another symptom of a failed control board is that fans, lights or other components aren't working. For a reliable diagnosis, have a service technician test the electronic control board. If you need to replace it, use the manufacturer-approved replacement part that fits your model.

This repair procedure works for Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux, GE, Bosch, JennAir and Daewoo refrigerators that have the electronic control board mounted on the back cabinet panel.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Slot screwdriver
Needle-nose pliers
Work gloves
Grounding strap (optional)
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the electrical power

    Carefully pull the refrigerator forward and unplug the refrigerator. The refrigerator will be without power for about 30 minutes, which shouldn't affect most refrigerated or frozen foods. However, you may want to move highly perishable food to a cooler.  Move the refrigerator so you can easily reach the control board cover on the back of the refrigerator. 

    Tip: If the water supply line for the ice maker isn’t long enough for you to pull the refrigerator out, shut the valve and disconnect the line.
  2. 02.

    Remove the cover on the electronic control board

    Locate the control board cover—depending on the model, it could be on the back of the refrigerator, or inside the refrigerator on a side wall or the ceiling.

    Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws from the control board cover. Support the cover as you remove the last screw so it doesn’t fall. Remove the cover.

    Remove the electronic control board cover screws.

    Remove the electronic control board cover screws.

    Remove the control board cover.

    Remove the control board cover.

  3. 03.

    Detach the wires

    Label the wires or take a digital picture before detaching them so you can reconnect them correctly later.

    Depending on the connector type, you might have to pry the connectors off with needle-nose pliers or release a locking tab with a slot screwdriver. Detach all the wires from the electronic control board.

    Disconnect the control board wires.

    Disconnect the control board wires.

  4. 04.

    Remove the electronic control board

    Using a slot screwdriver, release the plastic locking tabs that secure the electronic control board and then remove the electronic control board.

    Release the locking tabs.

    Release the locking tabs.

    Remove the control board.

    Remove the control board.

  5. 05.

    Install the new electronic control board

    Insert the new electronic control board and snap it into the locking tabs. Referring to your notes or digital photo, connect the wires to the new control board.

    Tip: To dissipate static discharge that can damage to the new control board, touch the metal cabinet or wear a grounding strap.
  6. 06.

    Reinstall the cover

    Position the cover on the control board compartment and line up the screw holes. Insert the screws and tighten them firmly.

  7. 07.

    Restore electrical power and connect water

    Plug the power cord into the wall outlet. Reattach the water supply line and turn on the water valve.

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 refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

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

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