How to Test and Replace a Refrigerator Light Switch

Jul 30, 2023, 14:46pm

Your fridge light switch turns your fridge on when you open the door and turns off the light when you close it.

Operation is simple: closing the refrigerator door activates the switch. Thus, the light goes out when you close the door and comes on when you open it.

The switch may be faulty if:

  • There is no light in the fridge when you open the door.
  • Fridge light stays on all the time
  • An error code is displayed (depending on the model)
  • The fridge beeps if the light is still on when the door is closed.

The principle of dismantling is the same on the refrigerator and freezer part of your appliance.

The fridge light switch is located on the inside wall of the fridge, to make contact with the door if it is closed.

The refrigerator light switch is a small but vital part of your appliance. It’s what triggers the interior light to turn on when you open the door and turn off when you close it. If your refrigerator light isn’t working, it could be due to a faulty light switch. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to test and replace your refrigerator light switch.

How to Test and Replace a Refrigerator Light Switch

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Multimeter
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement light switch

Ensure you’ve chosen the correct replacement part by checking your refrigerator’s model number and consulting the user manual or manufacturer’s website.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Safety First

For safety reasons, unplug your refrigerator from the power source before you begin any maintenance work.

Step 2: Locate the Light Switch

In most refrigerators, the light switch is located near the top inside corner of the door.

Step 3: Remove the Light Switch Cover

Remove the light switch cover, if there is one. Usually, you can gently pry it off with a screwdriver.

Step 4: Remove the Light Switch

Depending on the refrigerator model, you may need to unscrew the light switch or gently pry it out of the door with a screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the surrounding plastic.

Step 5: Test the Light Switch

To test if the light switch is working, you’ll need to use a multimeter. Set your multimeter to test resistance (the ohm symbol Ω). Attach the multimeter’s probes to the terminals on the light switch.

Press the switch button. If the switch is working, the multimeter should show a reading change from infinity (∞) when the button is not pressed, to near 0 when it is pressed. If the multimeter does not show a change, the switch is likely defective and needs to be replaced.

How to Test and Replace a Refrigerator Light Switch

Step 6: Replace the Light Switch

Disconnect the wires from the faulty light switch. You may need to use a small pair of pliers for this step. Connect the wires to the new switch. If the connectors are very tight, you can use your pliers to gently squeeze them onto the terminals of the new switch.

Step 7: Reinstall the Light Switch

Once the wires are connected, you can install the new switch into the door. If the old one was screwed in, use the screws to secure the new one. If it was simply set in place, you should be able to push the new switch into the slot.

Step 8: Replace the Cover and Test the Light

Replace the light switch cover. Plug the refrigerator back into the power source and open the door to test the new switch. The light should come on when the door is open and go off when it’s closed.


While a refrigerator light switch might seem like a minor component, it plays a significant role in the convenience and functionality of your appliance. By following these steps, you can easily test and replace a faulty refrigerator light switch yourself. However, if at any point you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself, it’s always a good idea to call a professional.