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Question DetailsAsked on 7/11/2014

Need cost estimate to repair/replace thermostat in a refrigerator.

Need an estimate to repair/replace thermostat in a refrigerator. Inconsistent temp range no matter what the setting. Mostly in the 40 degree range but can drop down to low 30's with the same setting.

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4 Answers


Your problem could be an airflow blockage from the freezer (vent in back blocked by food), or a failed fan, as well as a bad thermostat being possible but less common.

Very rare for a thermostat to give erratic readings - usually when they fail they "drift" - change consistently in one direction (high or low), but not back and forth. So I would check out the fan issue (does fan blow cold air into reefer after door is left open for a minute or two), and are the air openings in the back of the freeer part (where the cold air comes from) clear - need about 1 inch airspace in front of them. Typically one opening near top at back, another near bottom in center of freezer back wall, commonly in a plastic bulge sticking out from the back.

If thermostat or fan has gone bad, repair cost typically about $60-100 trip charge plus about $20-30 part, though some Appliance Repair - Large man (your Search the List category) ,auy charge two trip charges - one to diagnose the issue, a second to do the install after the parts comes in.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


LCD thank you for your reply. The fan area is not obstructed and appears to be blowing just fine.

Update - refrig has been in the low 40's for the last week. This morning it is at 38.

If your estimate for repair of the thermostat is correct, I would go ahead and repair the unit. But not willing to pay much more as this refig is 12 years old. Although it looks current and physically is in nice almost new looking shape. Sure would like to keep it.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9144291


As for getting it fixed - most reefers last 20+ years and many times 30-50 years - so if not nearing 20 I personally would fix something that is probably this simple, because it does not sound like a refrigeration problem - probably just a blockage or sensor issue.

Since you said the fan appears fine - did I make clear the cold air comes from the freezer compartment, so the air passages there have to be clear - in many models at the bottom of the back center cover, occasionally at the bottom of the freezer itself under an elevated tray - might not hurt ot be sure the bottom of the freezer compartment is ice-free and no splastic bag or such blocking vent slots or grills.

I presume you have tried adjusting the temperature dial all the way to off then back on - does not hurt if it reads wrong as long as you have the correct temp in the reefer - i.e. does not freeze anywhere except maybe directly in front of the air outlet at the top back (good place for pickles and non-liquid items), and milk lasts a week or so without going bad. Of course thermometer measurement is best - as I recall 35 degrees is considered "optimal" measured mid-reefer, but above 32 at the bottom and not above 40 anywhere when you first open the door.

Also - one fluke thing I saw once in a relative's reefer with same problem - they found a replacement bulb in some store that fit in the reefer light socket but was like 75 watts instead of the usual 15-20 watts - an under-cabinet tubular bulb - so when door was opened it heated the thermostat way up, causing erratic cooling.

Also - if your coils (on back of reefer or underneath) and compressor and fan (typically at lower back) have not been cleaned of dust and lint and hair in last year or so your cooling might be inadequate overall, which could make your reefer temp erratic as it gets inadquate cooling, especially if compressor is shutting off automatically due to overheating before it has cooled your reefer down to the thermostat temperature. In this case your freezer temp would also be erratic, though maybe still below freezing all the time but not running in the 0-10 degrees it should be.

One other thing I did not mention - check your door seal all around for tears or splits or places it is not adhering to the doorframe, and of course make sure there is nothing pulled out a bit too far so the door is not closing all the way.

Hope this helps - about all you can do yourself. If no joy by here then you should contact an appliance repair company (or several) (with brand and model number info in hand) and describe the issue and ask what it typically costs, and especially if they charge extra to come back and install it if part has to be ordered - some do, so that doubles your service labor.

Then you should have the info to make you decision, realizing the cheapest full size reefers run $800-1000, and on up for side by sides and bottom freezer types and fancier ones.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


To replace a mechanical thermostat or a digital thermostat in any refrigeration and freezer system is about 450-550$ including the thermostat. Its best to upgrade to a universal digital thermostat by AKO. It is one of the best OEM replacement thermostats for many refrigeration manufacturers like beverage-air refrigerators and ojeda freezers. This thermostat has all the American certifications and is UL listed, unlike many cheap thermostats made in China that break down easily and don't have double circuit protection and don't have IP 65 water protection. Hope that helps.


Answered 4 years ago by GreenFuture

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