How to Replace a Refrigerator Dispenser Core Control Board



This DIY repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the dispenser core control board in a refrigerator. The dispenser core control board is part of the fast-fill ice and cold water system; it connects to the dispenser motor, ice door motor and ice door heaters. The core control prevents water and ice from being dispensed if the freezer door is open. If ice and water are dispensed when the door is open, it's most likely that the core control board has failed. Replace the core control board using the manufacturer-approved replacement part that fits your model.

Use this procedure on Kenmore, Whirlpool and KitchenAid refrigerators. The basic procedure for disassembling a dispenser also works on some GE, Samsung, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Haier refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 45 min.

Parts Required

  • Refrigerator dispenser core control board

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Slot screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • Grounding strap (optional)

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Properly store food that could deteriorate while the refrigerator is shut off.

Before handling the new core control board, touch the metal refrigerator cabinet or wear a grounding strap to dissipate any static charge, to prevent damage to the new board.


 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.

Step 1: Disconnect the electrical power

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

Step 2: Remove the drip tray from the dispenser

Slide the bottom drip tray out until it stops at the locking tabs. Lift the back of the tray to free the lock. Slide the drip tray out. 

Step 3: Remove the dispenser housing

Remove the 2 screws at the back of the dispenser housing. To remove it, carefully pull on the bottom of the housing while lifting the top.

Step 4: Disconnect the wires

Release the locking tab and disconnect the wires from the back of the dispenser housing. Remove the dispenser housing. 

 Tip: If your model has a green ground wire, disconnect it.

Step 5: Remove the core control board

Lift the plastic flap that covers the control board and tape it out of the way. Take a digital photograph of the wiring connections or otherwise document them so you can connect them correctly later. 

Release the locking tabs and disconnect the wires from the core control board—use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tabs if necessary.

Release the mounting tabs and pull the core control board from the door.


Step 6: Install the new core control board

Position the new core control board in the door and snap it into place.  Using your labels or digital photograph as a guide, correctly connect the wires to the new core control board. Reposition the plastic flap.

 Warning: Before handling the new core control board, touch the metal refrigerator cabinet or wear a grounding strap to prevent static from damaging the component.

Step 7: Reconnect the wire harness on the back of the dispenser housing

Reconnect the wire harness to the back of the dispenser housing. Push the dispenser housing into the door and secure it with the 2 mounting screws.

 Tip: If your model has a green ground wire, reconnect it.

Step 8: Restore electrical power

Push the drip tray into place and snap it into the locking tabs. Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.