Refrigerator repair guides

These easy-to-follow repair guides and videos help you complete refrigerator repairs, including replacing the ice maker, installing a new evaporator fan and replacing the defrost heater. These guides cover major refrigerator brands such as Kenmore, Samsung Whirlpool and GE. The DIY repair help section's symptoms and error code charts provide troubleshooting tips and expert advice for fixing common refrigerator failures. Search your model number to find a complete list of parts for your fridge and order the part you need.

refrigerator

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

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

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
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 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
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator door gasket

The door gasket seals the gap around the door to keep the cold air in and the warm air out. It’s easy to replace a worn or torn gasket.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Repair guides for top-mount refrigerators

How to replace the defrost bi-metal thermostat in a top-freezer refrigerator

The defrost bi-metal thermostat is a safety device attached to the evaporator coil. The defrost bi-metal thermostat shuts off the refrigerator defrost heater if the heater gets hot enough to damage the evaporator.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the thermistor in a top-freezer refrigerator

The thermistor monitors the temperature inside the refrigerator compartment. Replace the thermistor if it isn't detecting temperature accurately.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the defrost heater in a top-freezer refrigerator

The refrigerator defrost heater melts frost from the freezer’s evaporator fins. Replace the defrost heater if it doesn't heat when activated.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace the water inlet valve in a top-freezer refrigerator

The water inlet valve controls water flow to the ice maker. Replace the water valve if it doesn't open or shut properly.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the compressor run capacitor in a top-freezer refrigerator

The run capacitor sends electric current to start the compressor motor. Replace the run capacitor if it's defective.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator temperature control thermostat

This helpful refrigerator repair guide explains how to replace the temperature control thermostat in a refrigerator.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace the condenser fan motor in a top-freezer refrigerator

The condenser fan is in the machine compartment of the refrigerator next to the compressor. It moves air across the condenser coils to help cool the hot refrigerant coming out of the compressor.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace the light switch in a top-freezer refrigerator

The light switch turns the refrigerator light on and off and monitors door position. Replace the light switch if it doesn't work.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the electronic control board in a top-freezer refrigerator

The electronic control board is the "brains" of the refrigerator. Replace the electronic control board if it fails.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the compressor start relay in a top-freezer refrigerator

The compressor start relay starts the compressor and shuts it off if the motor overheats. Replace the start relay if it's failed.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the evaporator fan motor in a top-freezer refrigerator

The evaporator fan motor blows air across the evaporator coils and through the refrigerator cabinet for cooling. Replace the evaporator fan motor if it won't run when activated.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace the defrost thermistor in a top-freezer refrigerator

The defrost thermistor attaches to the evaporator coil and measures the evaporator coil temperature during defrost.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to install an ice maker kit in a top-freezer refrigerator

The ice maker kit is an optional accessory for refrigerators. Install the ice maker kit in a refrigerator that doesn't have an automatic ice maker.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less

Repair guides for side-by-side refrigerators

How to replace a defrost sensor in a side-by-side refrigerator

If frost is building up in the freezer of your side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost sensor could be at fault. You can replace it in about half an hour by following these instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
How to replace a defrost heater in a side-by-side refrigerator

If frost is building up in the freezer of your side-by-side refrigerator, the defrost heater could be faulty. Follow these step-by-step instructions to replace the defrost heater.

Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
How to replace an ice dispenser motor in a side-by-side refrigerator

If your side-by-side refrigerator isn’t churning out ice, replacing the motor could fix the problem. These steps explain how.

Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator electronic control board

If your refrigerator isn't running, the electronic control board could be the problem. A service technician can do tests to diagnose the cause. If the electronic control board has failed, replace it following the instructions in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace an ice maker in a side-by-side refrigerator

Learn how to replace the ice maker in a side-by-side refrigerator with these step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace an evaporator fan motor in a side-by-side refrigerator

If your refrigerator isn't as cold as it should be, it could be that the evaporator fan motor isn't circulating air. This repair guide shows how to replace a failed evaporator fan motor.

Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator thermistor

The thermistor senses the temperature inside the refrigerator. If the actual temperature and the temperature you set are different, the thermistor could be the problem. You can replace a refrigerator thermistor by following these simple instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
How to replace a diffuser in a side-by-side refrigerator

The diffuser controls cold air flow from the freezer to the refrigerator. You can replace it yourself, following step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
How to replace a dispenser core control board in a side-by-side refrigerator

If your refrigerator dispenses ice or water even when the door is open, replace the dispenser core control board—it takes less than an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
45 minutes or less
How to replace ice maker optic boards in a side-by-side refrigerator

If the ice maker in your side-by-side refrigerator is not producing, replacing the optic boards can fix this system.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Repair guides for bottom-mount refrigerators

How to replace an in-door ice maker on a French door refrigerator

Follow these step-by-step instructions how to replace the in-door ice maker in Kenmore TRIO and LG French door refrigerators.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator defrost control assembly

Follow these steps to replace the defrost control assembly if your Kenmore or LG French door refrigerator displays an error code and the freezer won’t defrost.

Repair difficulty
Time required
120 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator electronic control board

If your refrigerator isn't running, the electronic control board could be the problem. A service technician can do tests to diagnose the cause. If the electronic control board has failed, replace it following the instructions in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator thermistor

The thermistor senses the temperature inside the refrigerator. If the actual temperature and the temperature you set are different, the thermistor could be the problem. You can replace a refrigerator thermistor by following these simple instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

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

August 2, 2016
How to diagnose a faulty refrigerator water inlet valve
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to tell if the water inlet valve in your refrigerator is bad.

August 2, 2016
Troubleshooting a refrigerator not cooling video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what to check if the inside of your fridge is wayyyy too warm.

January 27, 2016
How to purge air from a refrigerator water dispenser video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Follow the steps in this video to remove air from the water line connected to your refrigerator's water dispenser so the water dispenses smoothly.