Kenmore Elite refrigerators have plenty of value to offer to users. However, you’ll only get the most out of your unit when you understand how to troubleshoot and correctly manage its temperature settings. Don’t worry, though. This guide will show you everything you need to know.
A Kenmore Elite fridge temperature control that isn’t working is likely caused by a failed display board, faulty main control board, or failed door switch. Usually, a fridge temperature control should be set at 2 or 3 if the unit is moderately packed with food items. You should set it to 4, 5, or higher for heavier usage to keep food fresh and safe to consume.
Keep reading as we dive into troubleshooting steps for your Kenmore Elite fridge’s temperature control. Then, we’ll also explore the ideal temperature settings for both the fridge and freezer compartments.
Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Temperature Control Not Working
When the temperature control of your Kenmore Elite fridge stops working, you might find that the refrigerator is much warmer or colder than you want it to be.
That problem is most likely caused by a failed display board, faulty main control board, or failed door switch.
This section will show you what each component does, how it fails, and how to fix it.
Failed Display Board
What it is: The display board on your Kenmore fridge serves two purposes.
Firstly, it displays the current set temperature for your appliance. Then, the fridge will cool itself down until it reaches that temperature. Once it does, its cooling system will shut off until it becomes too warm again.
Secondly, the display board is also where you input your temperature settings. You can raise or lower the set temperature based on your needs and preferences by pressing on it.
The display board works closely with the main control board. So, the display board will communicate the temperature settings to the main control board through electrical signals whenever you adjust the temperature settings.
How it fails: The display board will likely fail due to an electrical fault. For example, the board might no longer work after a power surge due to a thunderstorm. A short circuit could also cause the same outcome.
Lastly, regular wear and tear could also cause the display board to fail, especially if you’ve been using the fridge for many years.
How to fix: The solution to a failed display board is to replace it with a new one entirely.
Once you’ve ordered a compatible replacement, all you have to do is pry the display board from its bottom. That should be straightforward as no tabs are holding the display in place.
Next, disconnect the wire harness that connects the display to the fridge. Once that’s done, you can then take the new display board and connect its wire harness to the refrigerator.
Lastly, push the new display board firmly into place.
Faulty Main Control Board
What it is: You’ll often see people describe the main control board as the fridge’s ‘brain’. That’s because this printed circuit board (PCB) is responsible for controlling all of the fridge’s components.
The main control board has plenty of tiny components attached to it. Each sends signals and electrical power to various fridge components, so the appliance cools down to its set temperature.
How it fails: The main control board can experience a total failure or just a partial failure. For example, when you find that the temperature control fails, but everything else works, only those components are likely affected.
For example, the relays or parts that control temperature settings might have burned due to a short circuit. As a result, the fridge won’t react to any changes in the temperature settings that you choose.
How to fix: Whether the main control board fails partially or entirely, you must replace the board with a new one. Before you do that, be sure to disconnect the fridge from its power supply to protect you from injury and electrocution.
Firstly, locate the main control board compartment at the back of the fridge. It’s likely concealed by an access panel that you have to unscrew.
Then, remove the wire harnesses attached to the board. Only when those are removed can you free the board and take it out.
Then, mount the new board in the same place. Ensure that the board is oriented the same way as the one you pulled out earlier.
Lastly, reconnect all of the wire harnesses the same way as before.
Failed Door Switch
What it is: The door switch senses when the fridge and freezer compartment doors are open or closed. There are two switches on the same component, one for the fridge and the one for the freezer.
When both doors are closed, they’ll keep the switches depressed and signal to the main control board that it should continue cooling the air inside.
However, opening either door will trigger the fridge to pause cooling to save power and prolong its lifespan.
How it fails: People usually open and close their fridge doors countless times a day. The door switch will be released and depressed repeatedly each time that happens. That repetitive use will cause the door switch to wear out and eventually fail in one of two ways:
- Mistakenly sensing the doors are always open – causes the fridge to pause its fans and become warmer than the set temperature
- Mistakenly sensing the doors are always closed – causes the fridge to run its cooling system continuously, becoming colder than the set temperature.
How to fix: The solution to this problem is to replace the door switch. Before beginning, disconnect the fridge’s power supply and open its doors.
Firstly, locate the door switch on your Kenmore fridge. It’s not secured by any screws, so you can pry it open using a flat tool. When the switch is freed, you can then disconnect its wire harness.
Next, connect the new door switch’s wire harness before pushing it firmly into place.
What Setting Is Colder On A Fridge: 1 Or 5?
Setting your fridge to number 5 is colder than number 1.
That’s because many fridge temperature controls only consist of numbered dials instead of Fahrenheit or Celsius settings. Those dials only show numbers that represent the different levels of cooling power you can choose from.
On those kinds of fridges, 1 is the warmest setting (least cooling power), and 5 is the coldest setting (highest cooling power).
What Number Should My Fridge Be Set At?
You should base your fridge temperature settings on the number of items you’re storing inside the appliance.
For example, if you’re only using the fridge lightly and not storing many items, turn the numbered dial to a middle number like 2 or 3.
However, if you’re filling most of the fridge’s compartments with food items, then you’ll need to increase the cooling power to keep the food fresh. In this case, turn the numbered dial to a higher number like 4 or 5.
Kenmore Fridge Temperature Setting 1-7
One crucial thing to note is that the temperature setting on some Kenmore fridge models isn’t limited to numbers 1 to 5. Instead, some have settings from 1-7, offering additional levels of cooling power.
With these Kenmore fridge models, the general rule of thumb is pretty much the same:
- When storing only a few items in the fridge: turn the dial to a middle number between 2 and 4.
- When storing many items inside the fridge: turn the dial to a higher number between 5 and 7.
What Is The Coldest Temperature For Kenmore Refrigerator?
The coldest temperature for a Kenmore refrigerator compartment is 33 degrees Fahrenheit (or zero degrees Celsius).
However, its freezer compartment can go as cold as -9 degrees Fahrenheit (or -23 degrees Celsius).
What Temperature Should A Kenmore Freezer Be Set At?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), your freezer should be set at zero degrees Fahrenheit to keep your food frozen safely.
How Do I Reset My Kenmore Elite Refrigerator?
To reset your Kenmore Elite refrigerator, you’ll have to cycle its power. You can do that by following these steps:
- Firstly, disconnect the fridge from its power source (remove its plug from the wall socket or switch off the dedicated circuit breaker).
- Then, leave the fridge alone for at least five minutes. During this time, the refrigerator will discharge any remaining electricity inside. That will also clear the appliance’s memory.
- After five minutes have passed, you can switch the fridge on again.