DIY top-freezer refrigerator repair

Our DIY troubleshooting help covers common top-freezer refrigerator failures such as not making ice, a fridge that doesn't run at all and a freezer that's not cold enough. Find your refrigerator symptom below to see what part might be broken.

Our refrigerator repair guides give you step-by-step directions on how to install replacement parts once you figure out the cause of the problem. Get additional advice and tips on how to keep your appliance working better and longer on our refrigerator articles and videos page.

To find the owner’s manual or a complete list of replacement parts for your top-freezer refrigerator, search for your model number.

Top-Mount Refrigerators
Symptoms for top-mount refrigerators

Main causes: frozen or clogged defrost drain tube, cracked water system tubing
Repair guides for top-mount refrigerators

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 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 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 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 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