Testing and Adjusting a Refrigerator Thermostat

The refrigerator thermostat, which is generally located inside the appliance, is the controlling device that allows users to adjust the temperature inside the fridge. This device controls the cooling system, which includes the condenser, the compressor, the evaporator, and the metering device. This works by removing the heat inside the machine instead of cooling the interior. Once the temperature is adjusted to the desired degree, the refrigerator thermostat works to maintain that temperature by stopping the flow of electric current to the compressor to stop the cooling effect as well and turning it on again when needed.

Testing the Refrigerator Thermostat

The efficiency of the thermostat is very important in the maintenance of proper temperature inside the fridge. If the thermostat is faulty, it causes uneven temperatures inside the fridge that may compromise the freshness of its contents. To check if the thermostat is working fine, a simple test is required.

In this test, an ohmmeter, water, ice, and a container will be needed. Set the device to the lowest scale, which is one in most cases. Make sure that the pointer points at zero initially. The thermostat is located just at the back of the dial. Remove the plastic cover to expose the thermostat. Locate the two terminals on the thermostat and place touch one probe of the ohmmeter to each terminal.

The reading should be zero or 0.2 if the thermostat is working fine. However, if there is a resistance higher than that value, then the thermostat needs to be replaced with a new one before it spoils the food inside the fridge. Remember that an unstable thermostat may either cause the temperature inside the fridge to go up or down.

Adjusting the Refrigerator Thermostat

Since the temperature inside the fridge is very critical to food, the thermostat should be set at the correct or ideal temperature. A very low temperature can cause the food to freeze and burn, while a high temperature can cause the food to spoil. Therefore, the thermostat should be set at the right temperature, always. It is also a good idea to check the temperature inside the fridge to check if the thermostat is adjusted to the optimum temperature. This can be done by using a meat thermometer.

The ideal cooling temperature for food inside the fridge is 37-degrees F or at least between 30 to 40-degrees F. Set the dial to that temperature or set it in mid range if the dial is not in numerical values. Next, use a meat thermometer to verify if the temperature is between 30 to 40-degrees. Adjust the dial accordingly to get the desired temperature.

Sometimes, the thermostat may give a false reading especially when the temperature is too low. In order to correct this, allow the fridge to go into defrost mode. This can be done automatically by disconnecting the power supply. Afterward, reconnect the fridge and wait for the temperature to cool down again. Set the dial to 37-degrees again or at mid range and recheck the temperature. Adjust the thermostat if necessary.

Testing and adjusting your refrigerator's thermostat should be a regular part of your maintenance routine, just like defrosting the freezer. This will save you from having spoiled food.