Not every con­sumer knows that repairs of any home appli­ances, includ­ing a refrig­er­a­tor, can be done inde­pen­dent­ly with­out con­tact­ing a ser­vice cen­ter. Even a novice mas­ter can deal with sim­ple break­downs. Today we will try to fig­ure out how to replace the refrig­er­a­tor ther­mo­stat with our own hands. And also let’s talk about what kind of device it is and what are its char­ac­ter­is­tics and pur­pose?

What is a thermostat and why is it needed

First, let’s fig­ure out what it actu­al­ly is. A ther­mo­stat is a device that con­trols the t˚C in your refrig­er­a­tor and sig­nals the com­pres­sor, caus­ing it to turn on and off depend­ing on the degree of cool­ing in the com­part­ment. It works very sim­ply. The ther­mo­stat is a relay. On one side of it there is a spe­cial her­met­i­cal­ly sealed tube filled with fre­on. On the oth­er hand, there are elec­tri­cal cir­cuit con­tacts, with their help the com­pres­sor is con­trolled.

See also — How to adjust the ther­mo­stat (ther­mo­stat) in the refrig­er­a­tor

Principle of operation

Every­thing works very sim­ply. The end of the cap­il­lary tube is attached to the evap­o­ra­tor. Since it is filled with a refrig­er­ant, for exam­ple, fre­on, with an increase in t˚C inside the refrig­er­at­ing cham­ber, the pres­sure in it increas­es. This clos­es the cor­re­spond­ing relay con­tacts and turns on the com­pres­sor. After some time, t˚C in the refrig­er­a­tion com­part­ment decreas­es, the pres­sure in the bel­lows tube drops and the con­tacts open. Com­pres­sor turns off.

Anoth­er impor­tant com­po­nent of the ther­mo­stat is a spring that com­press­es and unclench­es its con­tacts. It depends on her how and when they will work. For exam­ple, in order to open the con­tacts at a low pres­sure in the sys­tem (low t˚C), less effort is need­ed, for a large one, more. The ten­sion of the spring is adjust­ed using the ther­mo­stat switch knob. This is how the tem­per­a­ture regime changes in the Atlant refrig­er­a­tor and oth­er mod­els with mechan­i­cal con­trol.

In some mod­els of refrig­er­a­tors, an elec­tron­ic ther­mo­stat is installed. It con­sists of a tem­per­a­ture sen­sor and a con­trol mod­ule. In mod­ern mod­els, sev­er­al sen­sors can be installed for each cool­ing zone. If your refrig­er­a­tor has elec­tron­ic tem­per­a­ture con­trol, you may need spe­cial­ist knowl­edge to repair it.

See also — 5 mod­els of refrig­er­a­tors that we do not advise you to buy

Where to find a refrigerator thermostat


Well, we have dis­as­sem­bled the device and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the device, let’s move on to the next ques­tion. In order to repair the ther­mo­stat with your own hands, you first need to find it.

refrigerator thermostat

It’s easy to do. The ther­mo­stat is always asso­ci­at­ed with a knob or but­ton for set­ting the tem­per­a­ture in the cham­ber. Depend­ing on the mod­el of the refrig­er­a­tor, the ther­mo­stat can be installed:
  • inside the refrig­er­a­tor;
  • out­side of the refrig­er­a­tor.


This arrange­ment is typ­i­cal for ear­li­er mod­els of refrig­er­a­tors of the Atlant brand and oth­ers. If you open the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment, you can see a small plas­tic box placed on one of the pan­els. This is the ther­mo­stat. To get to it, you just need to remove the tem­per­a­ture switch knob and unscrew the pro­tec­tive hous­ing.


Mod­ern refrig­er­a­tion units are arranged a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly. In them, the device we need is placed out­side the refrig­er­a­tor cham­ber. It is usu­al­ly locat­ed at the top of the refrig­er­a­tor, above the door. But it may be else­where.
In any case, the prin­ci­ple is the same — the tem­per­a­ture con­troller is locat­ed in the same place as the switch knob. To get to it, you need to remove all pro­tec­tive parts.

See also — Why does a refrig­er­a­tor need a volt­age reg­u­la­tor?

Signs of a broken temperature relay

Do we real­ly need a tem­per­a­ture con­troller? Maybe the cause of the break­down is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent? Most often, the signs of a ther­mal switch fail­ure are obvi­ous: (See also: Why the refrig­er­a­tor does not freeze — what to do?)

  • the refrig­er­a­tor works with­out stop­ping and does not turn off on its own;
  • the unit begins to freeze heav­i­ly in the refrig­er­a­tion com­part­ment, where in nor­mal mode it should be, although not high, but still pos­i­tive tem­per­a­ture;
  • the refrig­er­a­tor spon­ta­neous­ly turns off and no longer makes any sounds.

Each of these faults can be caused by the tem­per­a­ture con­troller. In order not to spend mon­ey on call­ing a spe­cial­ist, we will try to fix the break­down with our own hands.

Refrigerator won’t turn off by itself

Refrigerator-does-not-shut-off-on its own

To make sure that the tem­per­a­ture con­troller is the cause of the mal­func­tion of the Atlant refrig­er­a­tor or any oth­er, you need to do this:
  • dis­con­nect the refrig­er­a­tor from the pow­er sup­ply;
  • remove all food from it and defrost well;
  • move the ther­mo­stat knob to the “Max” posi­tion or turn on the freeze, if any;
  • place a ther­mome­ter on the mid­dle shelf of the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment (not in the freez­er), it is best if it also has a neg­a­tive mea­sure­ment scale;
  • turn on the refrig­er­a­tion unit (emp­ty, with­out food);
  • wait 2 hours, then quick­ly remove the ther­mome­ter and eval­u­ate its read­ings.
    On the “ther­mome­ter” you should see at least 6–7 ° C. If this is not the case, repair is inevitable. And if the ther­mo­stat in your refrig­er­a­tor is elec­tron­ic, then it is unlike­ly that it will be pos­si­ble to car­ry out repairs with your own hands.

Disconnected and silent


There can only be 3 rea­sons:
  • bro­ken ther­mo­stat;
  • motor start relay burned out;
  • the refrig­er­a­tion unit burnt out.

The last two rea­sons are, of course, very seri­ous. But we are now inter­est­ed in the first. To make sure that you need to replace the ther­mal relay, you need to check it:

  • unplug the refrig­er­a­tor;
  • find the loca­tion of the ther­mal relay and remove the pro­tec­tive cov­ers;
  • inspect the device care­ful­ly.

Most often, the tem­per­a­ture con­troller has three or four mul­ti-col­ored wires. One of them is usu­al­ly yel­low with a lon­gi­tu­di­nal green stripe. This is ground­ing. We won’t need it, so put it aside so you don’t acci­den­tal­ly catch it. All wires that fit the ther­mo­stat hous­ing, close direct­ly to each oth­er. If, after turn­ing on the refrig­er­a­tor, you hear a steady hum of the engine, it means that it was the tem­per­a­ture reg­u­la­tor that failed and you will have to replace it with a new one.
By the way, the wires suit­able for the ther­mo­stat have the fol­low­ing pur­pose:

  • orange, red or black — con­nects the ther­mo­stat to the motor;
  • brown — zero, wire lead­ing to the out­let;
  • white, yel­low or green — leads to a light indi­cat­ing that the refrig­er­a­tor is on;
  • striped yel­low-green — ground­ing.

Snow coat in the refrigerator

If you find such a nui­sance, the rea­son for this may be sev­er­al fac­tors. So first you need to do all the steps described in the first para­graph. If the ther­mome­ter read­ings were +6˚С or less, quick­ly turn the ther­mo­stat set­ting knob until the refrig­er­a­tor turns off.
If the refrig­er­a­tor is turned off — every­thing is in order. Not? It is to be replaced. In the event that the refrig­er­a­tor is turned off, leave it to work with­out food for at least 5–6 hours. After that, we begin to detect the time inter­vals between turn­ing on and turn­ing off the com­pres­sor. For a prop­er­ly func­tion­ing refrig­er­a­tion unit, this peri­od should be approx­i­mate­ly 40 min­utes. If you get less, “add” a lit­tle cold, that is, turn the switch a lit­tle to the right, clock­wise.
If every­thing went well, you can down­load the prod­ucts. Not? The tem­per­a­ture con­troller will still need to be replaced.

Temperature switch replacement procedure


Repair­ing a ther­mo­stat with your own hands will not take much time. For exam­ple, take a refrig­er­a­tor brand “Atlant”:
  • remove the top hinge cov­er and unscrew the bolts under it;
  • remove the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment door;
  • fur­ther, remove the plug in the roof of the refrig­er­a­tor and unscrew one screw (most often it has a built-in hexa­gon);
  • we unscrew the screws hold­ing the roof (locat­ed at the back) and remove it;
  • remove the tem­per­a­ture con­trol knob;
  • take out the tem­per­a­ture con­troller by unscrew­ing 2 screws that secure the brack­et;
  • we change the node to a new one and per­form all the steps in the reverse order.

See also - How to replace a light bulb in the refrig­er­a­tor: types of light bulbs and how to replace them


In prin­ci­ple, wher­ev­er the ther­mo­stat is locat­ed, repair­ing it will look about the same:

  • get to the details;
  • dis­con­nect the cap­il­lary tube from the evap­o­ra­tor body;
  • care­ful­ly pull it out of the case;
  • dis­con­nect the relay itself;
  • insert the new bel­lows tube care­ful­ly and fas­ten it secure­ly to the evap­o­ra­tor;
  • con­nect all the nec­es­sary wires and attach the relay in place.


If you are doing this kind of work for the first time, take pic­tures of your every step with your phone or cam­era. Pho­tos will help a lot dur­ing assem­bly if you for­get what and where it was attached.

See also: