A refrigerator isn’t an appliance that wears its working parts right on its sleeve. If your appliance is having problems, then it is likely you will need to do some disassembly to reach the correct part. Unfortunately, reaching some parts can be less than intuitive. If you need to make a refrigerator repair, here is how to reach the various parts of your appliance.
Before making any repair or doing any disassembly, you will want to unplug your appliance.
To reach the condenser coils for cleaning or to reach the fan motor, you will need to remove the back panel from your refrigerator. As the condenser coils need air circulation, this will look like a grate. As the condenser coils need regular cleaning, removing the screws will allow it to come right off.
If you need to access the evaporator or the defrost, you will find these in the freezer section. You will need to remove the back panel of your freezer. You will first need to remove any air ducts sitting on the back panel with a screwdriver. The panel is secured by screws in the corner and often behind the air duct next to the evaporator fan. Once removed, the panel will pull forward.
If you need to access control parts like the thermostat or defrost timer, you will often find them in the control housing that sits on the top of your fresh food section. In many models, you simply need to remove the covering to access the screws that will allow the control to drop down for repair.
Be aware that these directions are for your standard over-under refrigerator and not for side by side models. You will also need to be aware that the locations of some parts may vary. A common example is the condenser coils as some models may have the coils located under the refrigerator.