July 20, 2015

How to replace the evaporator fan motor in a top-freezer refrigerator

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the evaporator fan motor in a top-freezer refrigerator

This DIY repair guide gives detailed instructions for replacing the evaporator fan motor in a top-freezer refrigerator. The evaporator motor blows air across the evaporator coils and through the refrigerator cabinet for cooling. The refrigerator compartment won't cool well if the evaporator fan motor fails. Replace the evaporator fan motor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part if the fan motor doesn't run when activated.

This basic repair procedure works for some Kenmore, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, GE, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley and Haier refrigerators.

Quick links
Tools required
Work gloves
Nut driver set
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace a top-freezer refrigerator evaporator fan motor repair guide video.

Replacing a refrigerator evaporator fan motor video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Move your frozen food from the freezer to the refrigerator section during this repair.

    Remove the freezer shelf.

    Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

  2. 02.

    Remove the freezer shelf

    Remove the spacer in the freezer shelf.

    Push the shelf to the left to release the right side of the shelf from the holes.

    Pull the shelf out of the freezer.

    Remove the freezer shelf spacer.

    Remove the freezer shelf spacer.

    Remove the shelf.

    Remove the shelf.

  3. 03.

    Remove the evaporator cover

    Remove the mounting screws from the evaporator cover.

    Pull the top of the evaporator cover down and unplug the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Push the evaporator cover to the left side of the freezer and disconnect the green ground wire and the ice maker wire harness from the evaporator cover.

    Pull the evaporator cover out of the freezer and lay it on a work surface.

    Remove the evaporator cover screws.

    Remove the evaporator cover screws.

    Pull down the top of the cover.

    Pull down the top of the cover.

    Unplug the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Unplug the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Push the evaporator cover to the side.

    Push the evaporator cover to the side.

    Disconnect the green wire.

    Disconnect the green wire.

    Disconnect the ice maker wire harness.

    Disconnect the ice maker wire harness.

  4. 04.

    Remove the evaporator fan cover

    Remove the metal locking rings from the two upper tabs on the back of the fan cover.

    Push the evaporator fan cover up and disengage the 4 locking tabs.

    Remove the evaporator fan cover.

    Remove the locking rings.

    Remove the locking rings.

    Remove the evaporator fan cover.

    Remove the evaporator fan cover.

  5. 05.

    Remove the evaporator fan motor

    Pull the fan blade off the motor shaft.

    Lift the 2 locking tabs on the fan motor retainer.

    Rotate the motor retainer counter-clockwise pull it off.

    Lift the motor out of the mounting bracket.

    Remove the fan blade.

    Remove the fan blade.

    Release the fan retainer.

    Release the fan retainer.

    Remove the fan motor.

    Remove the fan motor.

  6. 06.

    Install the new evaporator fan motor

    Place the new fan motor in the mounting bracket.

    Reinstall the motor retainer and rotate it clockwise, engaging the two locking tabs in the mounting bracket.

    Reinstall the fan blade on the motor shaft.

    Install the new fan motor.

    Install the new fan motor.

    Reinstall the fan motor retainer.

    Reinstall the fan motor retainer.

    Attach the fan blade.

    Attach the fan blade.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the evaporator fan cover

    Position the evaporator fan cover on the front of the evaporator cover and push the 4 tabs through the rectangular slots.

    Push the evaporator fan cover down into position.

    Reinstall the metal locking rings on the two top fan cover tabs.

    Reinstall the fan cover.

    Reinstall the fan cover.

    Reinstall the locking rings.

    Reinstall the locking rings.

  8. 08.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover

    Position the evaporator cover in the freezer compartment and reconnect the ice maker wire harness and ground wire.

    Push the evaporator cover to the center of the freezer compartment and reconnect the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Position the evaporator cover over the evaporator and reinstall the mounting screws.

    Reattach the ice maker wire harness.

    Reattach the ice maker wire harness.

    Reattach the green wire.

    Reattach the green wire.

    Connect the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Connect the evaporator fan wire harness.

    Push the evaporator cover into place.

    Push the evaporator cover into place.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover screws.

    Reinstall the evaporator cover screws.

  9. 09.

    Reinstall the freezer shelf

    Push the shelf into the mounting holes on the left side of the freezer compartment wall.

    Slide the shelf to the right and reinstall the shelf spacer.

    Reinstall the freezer shelf.

    Reinstall the freezer shelf.

    Reinstall the shelf spacer.

    Reinstall the shelf spacer.

  10. 10.

    Restore power

    Plug in the refrigerator to restore power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable 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 or maintenance, however, 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
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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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