How to Replace the Thermistor in a Top-Freezer Refrigerator

 

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This DIY repair guide gives instructions for replacing the thermistor in a top-mount refrigerator. The thermistor is inside the control box and detects the temperature in the fresh-food section of the refrigerator. The thermistor sends a signal to the electronic control board to tell it what the refrigerator temperature is. If the thermistor fails, the refrigerator won't stay at the temperature you set, resulting in items either freezing or spoiling because it's too cold or too warm. Replace the thermistor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Watch our troubleshooting video to determine whether the thermistor in your refrigerator is working.

This guide shows how to replace the thermistor in some Kenmore and Frigidaire top-freezer refrigerators. Although the location of the thermistor may differ, the same basic replacement procedure can also be used for some Whirlpool, GE, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley and Haier refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
     
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required:

  • Refrigerator thermistor

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

Tools Required:

  • Work gloves
  • Nut driver set

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Safely store any sensitive food items or medicine during the repair.

Instructions

 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.

How to Replace the Thermistor in a Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Step 1: Shut off the power

Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Step 2: Remove the control box

Remove the screw that secures the control box to the ceiling of the refrigerator compartment.

 

Pull the control box forward to disengage the tabs at the back of the control box.

 

Pull the control box down and unplug the control box wire harness from the ceiling of the refrigerator compartment.

 

Remove the control box and place it on a work table.

Step 3: Remove the thermistor

Pull the thermistor out of the support bracket.

 

Unplug the thermistor wire harness.

Step 4: Install the new thermistor

Connect the new thermistor to the wire harness.

 

Push the new thermistor into the support bracket.

Step 5: Reinstall the control box

Plug the control box wire harness into the refrigerator compartment ceiling connector.

 

Line up the drain tube spout at the back of the control box with the drain hole in the upper back wall of the refrigerator compartment.

 

Push the control box back across the ceiling of the refrigerator compartment, inserting the drain tube into the drain hole and engaging the tabs at the back of the control box.

 

Reinstall the screw that secures the control box to the ceiling of the refrigerator compartment.

Step 6: Restore electrical power

Plug in the refrigerator to restore power.