GE Refrigerator Thermostat Not Working — What to Do
If you discover that your GE refrigerator thermostat is not working, inspect the following components and fix the faulty one:
1. Thermostat Dial
Perhaps, the reason why the thermostat in your GE refrigerator appears not to be working is that the thermostat dial was bumped by food items or someone inadvertently turned it to the wrong temperature setting.
Whichever the case, you just need to adjust the thermostat dial to get the optimum temperature.
However, if the thermostat dial is set properly and the thermostat is still unable to keep the refrigerator in the right temperature range, you need to replace the thermostat, since it cannot be repaired.
2. Main Control Board
Most components of your refrigerator including the thermostat are connected to the main control board. If the main control board has issues, the connected components will have issues as well.
If your refrigerator is experiencing temperature fluctuations with freezing and cooling, fan motor speed inconsistency, and dim light, the main control board is most likely the source of the issues.
Test the control board for continuity and check for any signs of burns. If the main control board is burnt or/and does not have continuity, replace it.
Note: Before you begin the inspection process on your GE refrigerator, ensure you disconnect the power cord from the wall socket to prevent electrocution.
How to Test a Defrost Thermostat on Your GE Refrigerator
To test the defrost thermostat on a GE refrigerator, do the following:
Step 1: Disconnect the Power Supply
Before you begin the continuity test, observe safety protocol by unplugging the GE refrigerator from its power source. This safety protocol will help to electrocution.
Step 2: Check for the Opening and Closing Temperatures
When you get a new defrost thermostat to replace the old one, check the side and you will see a label such as “L55–35F”. The number (55) next to the “L” indicates the minimum temperature to open the defrost thermostat.
To get the closing temperature of the defrost thermostat, subtract the first number from the second. That is 55 — 35, which gives you 20 as the closing temperature of this particular defrost thermostat.
You will need the opening and closing temperature of the defrost thermostat to test for continuity using a multimeter.
Step 3: Test for Continuity
To test the defrost thermostat for continuity, put it in a working refrigerator, so it is cold enough to close. Dipping the defrost thermostat in ice water will not suffice to close it.
Once you have the right closing temperature of the defrost thermostat, turn the multimeter to the continuity setting. Next, place both wires of the defrost thermostat on the terminals of the multimeter.
If the defrost thermostat temperature is lower than the closing temperature (20 degrees Fahrenheit), the multimeter will produce an audible beep indicating that the defrost thermostat has continuity.
On the other hand, if the defrost thermostat temperature is higher than the opening temperature (55 degrees Fahrenheit), you will not hear a beeping sound, since there is no continuity.
If the defrost thermostat does not pass these continuity tests, then it needs to be replaced.
How to Replace a Defrost Thermostat in a GE Refrigerator
To replace the faulty defrost thermostat in a GE refrigerator, take the following steps:
Step 1: Disconnect the Power Cord
The first and perhaps the most important thing to do before you start replacing the faulty defrost thermostat in your GE refrigerator is to unplug the power cord from the power source. This simple action will help to prevent electrocution.
Step 2: Remove the Rear Panel
The second thing to do when replacing the defrost thermostat is to remove any shelf or drawer blocking the rear panel of the refrigerator. Once that is done, lift the light bulb protective case and unscrew the bulb.
Also, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw securing the rear panel.
Step 3: Remove the Ground Wires
Carefully remove the ground wires connected to the rear panel and pull out the panel. Unclip the faulty defrost thermostat, which is attached to the refrigerant tubing.
Use a pair of scissors to cut the two wires as close to the thermostat as possible. After that, strip off about an inch of the insulation of the wires.
Step 4: Mount the New Thermostat
After removing the ground wires, you can start installing the new defrost thermostat by first connecting its wires to the stripped wires using wire nuts. Use a silicone sealant to seal the connection properly.
Next, clip the new defrost thermostat to the refrigerant tubing, and reattach the rear panel to its original position
Also, reattach the grounding wire, and reconnect the light bulb. Use your screwdriver to secure the screws you removed earlier and place the light bulb cover in its original position.
Put the drawers or shelves in their original position and reconnect the refrigerator to its power source. To learn more about replacing the defrost thermostat on a GE refrigerator, check out the video below…
How Much Does a Thermostat Cost for a GE Refrigerator?
Getting a new temperature control thermostat for your GE refrigerator from major online stores costs about $65 – $80. If you cannot afford such an amount, you can opt for a used thermostat, which costs about $30 – $40.
If you have more questions about your GE refrigerator, feel free to ask the appliance technicians on our website via the live chat feature.