A quirky and imaginative image featuring a large refrigerator with a unique, oversized brain on top, designed in shades of green to resemble a control board. The brain has intricate patterns and elements that mimic circuitry and control panels, adding a tech-inspired look. Beside the fridge, an animated ice cream cone with a cute face is shown, depicting a brain freeze. The ice cream's facial expressions are exaggerated with squinted eyes and a grimacing mouth. The setting is a simple kitchen to contrast these fantastical, tech-themed elements.

Refrigerator Control Board Troubleshooting

Keeping Your Cool Effortlessly with FairApplianceRepair

10 minute read

Is your refrigerator not cooling properly, or are you facing issues with its defrosting cycle? Often, these problems point towards a malfunctioning control board, which acts as the brain of your refrigerator. Understanding how to troubleshoot this critical component can save you time and ensure your fridge runs smoothly.

What is a Refrigerator Control Board?

The control board in a refrigerator is akin to a mini-computer. It’s a printed circuit board housing various electrical components like semiconductors, resistors, and capacitors. This board controls vital functions of your fridge, including the compressor, fans, and motors. When it fails, you might notice issues with cooling, defrosting, or even the ice maker and water dispenser.

Symptoms of a Bad Control Board

A problematic control board can manifest in several ways:

  • Inconsistent cooling or over-freezing
  • Issues with the ice maker and water dispenser
  • Abnormal operation of the compressor and fan motors

In some models, like Whirlpool refrigerators, error codes displayed in diagnostic mode can be a tell-tale sign of control board issues. These codes can guide you towards specific problems and are a good starting point for troubleshooting.


This Whirlpool fridge stopped working. We made a diagnostic and found defrost system didn’t work properly and the reason for that was an issue with the main control board. We brought a new one and replaced it so now the fridge is working properly again. Music: Summer Bells, Musician: View Points, Album: View Points, Source: https://www.vcg.com/

♬ original sound - Fair Appliance Repair

DIY Troubleshooting Steps

Before you consider replacing the control board, which can be an expensive affair, try these steps:

Look for Error Codes: If your refrigerator displays error codes, refer to the user manual to understand what they indicate.

Reset the Control Board: Sometimes, a simple reset can solve minor glitches. Disconnect the fridge from power for about ten minutes and then reconnect it.

Inspect Visually: Check the board for any signs of damage, such as burnt areas or a distinct smell of burning electronics.

a picture of visual inspection of a fridge
a picture of a circuit board tested with multimeter

Check for Continuity: If you’re comfortable using a multimeter, check for electrical continuity in the board’s components.

When to Call a Professional

If these steps don’t resolve the issue, or if you’re not comfortable handling electrical components, it’s best to seek professional help. An expert technician can diagnose the problem accurately and recommend whether the control board needs replacement or repair. Here at FairApplianceRepair we provide only the best service around Ottawa! Here are some of our reviews:

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Local Guide

I have personally used and recommended them to many of my clients. Always a good experience.

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Ottawa Real Estate

[...] Fully recommended to anyone needing their appliance trended to.

Tony McCulloch
Satisfied Customer


The control board is crucial for the optimal functioning of your refrigerator. Regular maintenance and timely troubleshooting can prevent major malfunctions. However, if you’re ever in doubt, consulting with a professional is the safest and most efficient way to handle control board issues.

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