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 ownerโ€™s manual or a complete list of replacement parts for your top-freezer refrigerator, search for your model number.

top-mount refrigerator: Step by Step parts

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:

SImple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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


Repair difficulty:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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:

Simple


Time required:

30 minutes or less


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:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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


Repair difficulty:

Simple


Time required:

15 minutes or less


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


Repair difficulty:

Simple


Time required:

30 minutes or less


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

Repair difficulty: Simple

Time required: 15 minutes or less

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

Repair difficulty: Simple

Time required: 15 minutes or less


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: Simple

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: Simple

Time required: 30 minutes or less