Are you having troubles with your refrigerator? One small element that can cause a few different problems is the door switch. Below, you will find a list of the problems that little switch can cause and how to test the switch to determine if it is the culprit.
What problems can a bad refrigerator door switch cause?
- The light doesn't turn on when you open the door even after replacing the light bulb.
- The light doesn't turn off when the door is closed. (Feel the bulb when you open the door – Is it warm?)
- The temperature inside the refrigerator does not stay below the set temperature.
- The refrigerator doesn't stop running.
- In some cases, the fan doesn't turn on when the door is opened. (Only applies to units with this feature. Read your owner's manual to find out if the fan is meant to turn on when you open the door)
How do you test the refrigerator door switch?
To test the refrigerator door switch you will need:
- Putty knife
- Permanent marker
- Needle-nose pliers
- Stiff-bristled toothbrush
Note: Before you begin working on the refrigerator, unplug it or shut off the breaker to the outlet. Working on this element with power going to the refrigerator could lead to electrical shock.
Remove the Switch
Locate the switch and look for any screws that could be holding it in place. Some switches are held in by screws, while others just snap into place. If you see screws, remove them carefully so that you don't strip them.
If there aren't any screws, or after you have removed them, slide the putty knife behind the outer edge of the switch to pry it out of place. Be gentle because this switch is connected to wires that could break if you are too forceful.
Prepare for Testing
To test the switch, you must disconnect the wires from it. Before you do, label each wire and the connection that they are connected to. For example, draw two lines on the wire and two lines on the connector that it is attached to. On the other wire and connection, draw one line. This will help you reconnect everything the right way when you have completed your test.
Once you have labeled the wires and connectors, use needle nose pliers to gently grab the connectors and pull them off of the switch.
Use a stiff-bristled toothbrush to clean the connectors on the switch. This will remove any corrosion or dirt that could prevent a good current.
Test the Switch
Set your multi-tester to X1 ohms setting. Place each probe on each terminal. The tester should give you an infinity to zero reading. Now, keeping the probes in place, depress the switch. The tester should now display a reading of infinity. If the switch fails these tests, replace it with a new switch.
If you are unable to complete this test yourself or you complete it and the switch wasn't the cause of your problems, contact an appliance repair technician like Anderson's Appliance Repair Service for help.