Refrigerator keeps running and will not turn off automatically.

ApplianceAmana Refrigerator


Level of DifficultyA Bit Difficult

Time to do repair30 - 60 mins

Age of Appliance5 - 10 years

Tools Pliers
Screw drivers

Robert From Danville, CA

Sep 16, 2008

40 out of 41 people found this instruction helpful

Mine is a top refrigerator and bottom freezer. Whenever working with electrical applicances always disconnect the electrical power before beginning work on it. Never try to force anything. If there is abnormal resistance, use logic and determine if there is an obstable that needs to be dealt with. Loosen all screws halfway then take them off completely. Replace all screws part way and begin by inserting and starting the screws by hand then use the nut dreiver and last tighten until snug. Also, be ware that wires can get brittle and may break so handle them with care. The wires and other parts may have been frozen and defrosted many times over the life of the refrigerator. Have a flash light or other light source so you see everything well. The light will be off because you disconnected the electrical cord.

First check the defrost timer. On my unit it is located in the bottom front corner behind the removable ventilation grill. Remove about 4 hex screws. Its most useful to use a nut driver (looks like a screw driver but the tip fits different hex screws. To check the defrost timer you can turn the orange/red knob to the right and see if you can advance the timet to turn on the defrost cycle. If this works then the problem is not the defrost timer. I changed my defrost time anyway not that it was broken.

To replace the defrost thermostat, remove the food and shelves from the freezer. Use the hex nut driver and remove the hex screws from the back panel of the freezer section. If needed you will need to remove the ice maker. I don't have an ice maker. Once the back panel is removed you will see some coils, wires and other parts. Disconnect the two wires for the defrost thermostat, you can identify the defrost timer because you purchased one on-line. Carefully remove the defrost thermostat which is attached by a tension clip. The ends of the wires (terminals) may not be the same style. If needed cut the wire terminal plus two inches of excess wire from the old defrost thermostat and splice it to the new defrost thermostat. If you have a soldering iron, solder it, if not use a wire nut and electrical tape or just twist the wires together and cover with two layers of electrical tape. Now, attach the wire terminals of the new defrost thermostat to the wires that you disconnect earlier. You can not mix them up because the ends are different. Pull the tension clip slightly apart and slip onto the tubing where it came off of originally. Replace the back cover and air grill and fasten the hex screws. Attach the ice maker if you have one. Replace the shelves and food and close the freezer door. Plug in the refrigerator. It may not go on immediately. If this is the case, go to the defrost timer and turn the orange/red knob to the right and you will cycle the defrost timer to activate the freezer. Let the refrigerator run for a while, even a few hours is okay, and then it will hopefully go into the normal automatic cycle.

Other parts that may go bad and need replacing are the condenser fan that you will find by removing the cover in the back of the refrigerator. This fan runs when the refrigerator is on to cool the compressor. Also a heater coil is used to defrost the freezer. Infrequently, this part goes bad.

There is no separate cooling unit for the refrigerator compartment of the refrigerator. The cold air for both the refrigerator compartment and freezer compartment originate from the freezer. The temperature dial in the refrigerator compartment regulates the amount of cold air from the freezer that will circulate to the refrigerator.
(This just give you a clue that if the refrigerator compartment is warm the problem will still concern the freezer.)

Also, please clean off the coils that are covered with dust and webs.

This is a brief summary and depending on your level of experience and general logic and problem solving skills. This repair may or may not be easily understood. One last tip,

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability

Bimetal Defrost Thermostat (Now subbed to Bimetal Defrost Thermostat - 6" Leads)

Part Number: PS1997225

In Stock

Defrost Timer (Now subbed to Defrost Timer Kit - 120V 60Hz)

Part Number: PS2167006

In Stock