Everything you Need to Know About Your Freezer Thermostat

These days, we rely heavily on the appliances and technology that surrounds us.

With all that dependence, it’s essential we become familiar with the innerworkings of these appliances in order to make our lives easier and more efficient.

Your refrigerator temperature is essential to ensure the quality of your food is top-notch.

While we rely on appliances for ease in our lives, food sustains us and our families – making the technology and appliances that surround this essential aspect are even more important.

If you know how your refrigerator thermostat works, its ins and outs, you’ll find confidence in your relationship with the appliances that uses them and will be rest assured in the quality of your family’s household food.

What is a Freezer Thermostat? How does a Refrigerator Thermostat work?

freezer and refrigerator thermostat

Image via HowStuffWorks

Before getting into the nitty gritty about how these devices work, the most important and basic fact to keep in mind is that your refrigerator’s cool temperature is created by noticing and removing warm air, as opposed to simply adding cool air.

A refrigerator thermostat is therefore a device which measure the amount of heat that is present. If the amount of heat hits a certain level, the refrigeration system turns on and the warm air is removed.

Since that’s the broad answer, here’s the answer again in more depth:

A refrigerator thermostat is the mainframe of a cooling system.

A thermostat is usually found within the refrigerator. It has a switch to allow owners to adjust the setting of the temperature.

Once the refrigerator owner sets the temperature, the job of the thermostat is to keep that temperature by regulating the amount of electricity to the compressor.

The compressor’s job is to pump the refrigerant through the main coils.

Once the air within the refrigerator is at the chosen temperature, the thermostat cuts the electricity flow to the compressor.

If the thermostat notices an influx of heat, it lets electricity to flow which activates the compressor.

“How on earth does my thermostat control all that electricity so precisely?” You may ask.

Well, most refrigerators contain a thermostat that is equipped with a tube filled with gas.

The more the temperature for refrigerator increases, the gas begins to expand and then causes pressure on a type of diaphragm, which controls a set of sensors. Those sensors then operate the compressor.

Typical Problems with Freezer and Refrigerator Thermostats

If your refrigerator continually runs, thereby freezing absolutely everything in the refrigerator or freezer, your thermostatic temperature control could be faulty.

If your refrigerator never turns on, the issue may be in your start relay switch, a bad compressor motor or a faulty motor start capacitor.

Out of all the issues your refrigerator could be facing, an issue with your thermostatic control is easy to test.

Before you start fiddling around with your refrigerator, remember: safety first. There are potential dangers with any sort of DIY project, especially when dealing with electric devices.

Make sure safety precautions are taken by unplugging your refrigerator first. Although there will be some DIY fixes that require you to take live voltage readings, this specific fix doesn’t.

After safety precautions are taken, you can begin assessing your refrigerator’s issue by following these steps.

Study the Wiring Diagram

Most modern refrigerators are equipped with a confusing labyrinth of colored wires. In some instances, the manufacturer will provide a wiring diagram to help you navigate through the complex set-up. The manufacturer may provide this in two different formats:

  • A picture diagram
  • A schematic diagram

For DIY refrigeration fix beginners, the pictorial diagram would be most helpful as you’ll be able to learn each symbol’s meaning. These diagrams are most often found at the back of the refrigerator or in the compartment where the compressor is located.

Checking the Temperature Control

While double-checking with your wiring diagram, you can locate the wiring harness originating from the temperature control. Once you’ve located it, unplug it from the terminal board which is within the compressor compartment.

Then, flip the function switch on your DMM (digital multimeter) so that it reads the “Rx1” scale. Take the test probes and connect them to the wires from the thermostatic switch, supplying power to the compressor motor.

While you have the temperature control set to “off”, the DMM should read “O.L.” While you move the temperature control button from “off” to the maximum amount of cold, the meter should read “0.000.”

If this meter displays a “0.000” while it’s in the “off” position, or if it continues to show an “O.L.” despite being in the max. Cold position, you need a control replacement.

Refrigerator Freezes Everything

Now, if your temperature control makes it through the electrical function test with flying colors, but your refrigerator continues to run without stop, freezing all its contents, the problem lies in the temperature sensing bulb which is located on the temperature control.

This temperature-sensing bulb is essential to the switch, which means you’ll need a complete control replacement.

Best Refrigerator Temperature

If you want the food within your refrigerator to stay fresh for the longest amount of time possible, your refrigerator temperature should read around 37° F.

In terms of your freezer, you should be keeping it at 0° F to ensure foods are kept frozen all the way through.

 

Feature image via YouTube

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