Replacing an Evaporator Fan in Your Refrigerator

In order to optimally cool your refrigerator, your appliance takes the cold air that originates in the freezer and uses an evaporator fan to push it into your fresh food compartment. So if you find that your freezer is still cold, but your refrigerator is not, it could very well be that your evaporator fan has stopped working. When this happens, it is possible that the fan blades are broken or otherwise obstructed, but if that checks out, it is most likely the motor that turns the fan that has burned out and needs to be replaced.

The following instructions apply to a top mount freezer refrigerator design and specifics can vary by model and brand.

While the evaporator fan motor doesn’t draw much current and has a long life, it can burn out, especially if the fan blades spent some time obstructed and the motor couldn’t turn the fan. The evaporator fan will be accessed in the freezer section. You will need to remove the items in the freezer, unplug it, defrost it, and then remove the shelving. Once all that is done, something that is truly the longest part of this repair, you can remove the screws securing the back panel of your freezer. There will be several wire harnesses to remove before the back panel will be able to be fully removed. It differs on some models, but the evaporator fan may be on the back panel itself or on the actual freezer.

Once you have access to your evaporator fan, check to make sure the blades spin freely. If they do not, it is possible that you instead have some sort of obstruction problem.

If the fan does spin freely, you do have the option to test the fan motor with a multimeter through the motor windings. If the motor is bad, once you have access to it, it actually is not too hard to replace. You will have to replace the whole motor assembly, which is typically just mounted and connected to a wire harness. However, you will want to consult your owner’s manual to make sure you order the correct replacement part.

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