How to Replace the Fan in a Refrigerator

A refrigerator uses a fan to circulate the air inside of its freeze box and a fan that blows air across the refrigerator condensing coil. The fans work independently of each other and mount to different parts of the refrigerator. Always state the refrigerator's make and model when ordering replacement motors. A replacement refrigerator fan motor's amperage and voltage ratings, wiring harness, motor's frame size, and frame's mounting method must match the original motor.

Refrigerators need fans to circulate air and to cool its compressor.
  1. Pull the refrigerator's plug from its receptacle. Never attempt to work on any refrigerator electrical part with the refrigerator plugged into its electric source.

  2. Remove the panel covering the refrigerator fan using the appropriate screwdriver. Usually a panel on the freezer's rear wall hides the evaporator fan and the panel on the back of the refrigerator near the base covers the condensing fan.

  3. Inspect the refrigerator fan's wiring harness. The locking tab on the side of the harness secures the harness to the fan motor's wiring terminal. Some fan models use two wiring harnesses. If so, then wrap the wires exiting the top harness with masking tape.

  4. Depress the wiring harness's locking tab and pull the harness straight off of the motor's wiring terminal. Repeat this for the second harness, if equipped.

  5. Loosen each of the bolts holding the fan motor's frame to the refrigerator uing the correct screwdriver. Remove the bolts.

  6. Remove the old refrigerator fan.

  7. Set the new refrigerator fan in place. Slip the mounting bolts through the fan's mounting holes and finger tighten the bolts.

  8. Spin the fan's blade to verify it does not rub on anything. Adjust the fan housing as needed, then tighten the mounting bolts with a screwdriver.

  9. Align the wiring harness with the new refrigerator fan's wiring terminal and push the harness onto the fan. If the fan uses two harnesses, then install the harness with tape on its wires onto the fan's top wiring terminal and the remaining harness on the other wiring terminal.

  10. Replace the refrigerator fan's cover and tighten the mounting screws.

About the Author

Based out of Central Florida, Robert Sylvus has been writing how-to and outdoor sports articles for various online publications since 2008. Sylvus has been a home improvement contractor since 1992. He is a certified HVAC universal technician.