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Appliance Repair Blog

How To Test a GE Refrigerator Thermistor Sensor

Posted on July 11, 2014

Some newer GE model refrigerators manufactured after 2002 use a thermistor in the refrigerator and freezer sections to control the temperature and the automatic defrost cycle. The thermistor is a variable resistor that varies its resistance depending on the temperature. It is sometimes referred to as a temperature sensor. GE used these thermistors on some Side-by-Side, bottom freezer, and top freezer refrigerator models that use a main control board on the back of the refrigerator. The main control board monitors and reads all of the thermistors to properly control all of the functions of the refrigerator. Please note that all of the thermistors on these models are the same.

**Before working on your refrigerator, make sure the refrigerator is unplugged.**

Thermistor Locations & Functions

Refrigerator Section: The refrigerator may have one or two thermistors located in different areas to monitor the temperature in the refrigerator section. These sensors send their signal to the main control board, which may turn on/off the compressor or evaporator fan motor, or open/close the air damper to let more or less cold air into the refrigerator compartment. When one of these sensors fails, it can cause the temperature to be off or even cause the refrigerator not to run (not very common).Freezer Section: The freezer section has one thermistor sensor, not including the thermistor on the evaporator coil (see below). This sensor sends its signal to the main control board which may turn the compressor on/off or turn the evaporator fan motor on/off. When this sensor fails, it can cause the temperature to be off or even cause the refrigerator not to run (not very common).Evaporator Coil: The evaporator coil (located behind the back panel in the freezer section) has one thermistor sensor attached to the top side of the evaporator coil. The control board monitors this thermistor and uses it to know when to go in and out of the automatic defrost cycle. Some people refer to this thermistor as the defrost sensor. This is the most common sensor to fail because it is subject to extreme temperature changes and moisture. When this sensor fails it can cause the refrigerator to not go through the automatic defrost cycle properly. When replacing this sensor, you must first manually defrost the evaporator coil to get it caught back up for the refrigerator to continue to work properly going forward.

Old Style Vs. New Style Thermistor

Some refrigerator manufactured 2005 and earlier may have a thermistor design that is prone to failure. The differences between the old and new style thermistor is easy to spot. The old style thermistor has a black area around where the wires come out of the sensor and it also has a rounded tip. The new style sensor is white around where the wires come out of the sensor and the tip of the sensor is flat. If your refrigerator has the old style thermistor sensors, then you should change out all of the thermistors with the new style sensor.

The old style thermistor is pictured on the left with a round tip and the new style thermistor is pictured on the right with a flat tip.


The old style thermistor is pictured on the left with a round tip and the new style thermistor is pictured on the right with a flat tip.


How To Test The Thermistor

You can test your thermistor(s) using an ohm meter or multi-meter. The best way to do this is to remove the thermistor from the refrigerator so you can control the temperature of the sensor. You can let the sensor warm up to room temperature or grab a glass of ice water to test the thermistor. With the sensor warmed up to room temperature the sensor should read approximately 6.2K Ohms at 68°F. With the thermistor submerged is a glass full of ice water, the sensor should be very close to 32°F which should read approximately 16.3K Ohms. If the values that you are getting are far off from these readings, then the sensor is bad and should be replaced. If the reading you are getting is not consistent; where sometimes the ohm reading is correct and other times it isn’t, even though the temperature hasn’t changed, then the thermistor should be replaced.

Where to Buy

The common thermistor used on some GE refrigerators is part number WR55X10025. Thermistors are model specific and should be verified with the model number of the refrigerator before ordering. This is the newest version of this part, and has been improved to have less problems. Click the link below to visit our store to purchase a replacement thermistor sensor.

Temperature Sensor (Thermistor) – Part # WR55X10025

24 Thoughts on "How To Test a GE Refrigerator Thermistor Sensor"

  1. Fridge Freezing Your Food? | Best Fridge Review Posted on July 31, 2014

    […] F. If the temperature is still too cold, you will need to test the thermistor. Check out this great guide to find out how. If you find out that the thermistor is the problem you will need to replace it. […]

    • Judy Boyle Posted on January 19, 2019

      Where is the thermistor sensor located in GE monogram freezer ZIC360NMCRH?

      • Ryan Posted on January 19, 2019

        There are multiple throughout the refrigerator and freezer sections.

      • Cynthia Posted on April 16, 2019

        Where is the sensor located on a Kitchen aid freezer ?

        • Ryan Posted on April 16, 2019

          They are all different on each model refrigerator/freezer.

      • John Posted on April 2, 2021

        Can i replace thermostat old metal one for the new thin white one in the freezer compartment…?

  2. Michael Posted on November 7, 2017

    Guys you are good.

  3. Jay Posted on April 5, 2019

    My freezer temp says it is -9 actual. Even when I manually defrosted it still says -9 actual temp

    I replaced thermistors and then saw some brown marks on motherboard. Replaced that too. Still says -9 actual temp regardless of the actual temp in freezer.
    It appears that it is not running as cold as it should because it thinks it is already -9 in the feeezer.
    My ice cream melts
    Any suggestions of what to try next.

    • Scott Posted on October 25, 2019

      Did you ever figure this out?? This EXACT thing is now happening to my GE (GSS25GSHSS) side-by-side.

      Please help!

    • Sissy James Posted on June 26, 2020

      Just curious. Like Scott, I too, am having this same issue. We like to eat ice cream every night. Guess who has to go to the store every night, because our freezer wont keep it. So, I am curious, what ended up happening with your freezer issue?

      • Rick Posted on October 17, 2020

        I just encountered this exact issue on my GE Adora which is only a little over 2 yrs old. Even after resetting, the freezer temp always defaults to -9 degrees which is below the lowest temp you can even set the freezer to (-6 degrees). Has anyone been able to find a reliable fix for this issue to get the freezer working again properly?

        • Esther Shapiro Posted on September 16, 2021

          same problem as Rick, Sissy and Jay on my GE side by side model GSHS6KGZBCSS

    • Bob Posted on September 20, 2021

      Another GE side by side freezer with the -9 false reading. Service person replaced the freezer sensor (thermistor), and it did not solve problem. It read -4 for a short time, now back to -9. I tested the removed thermistor, and it is good.

      If anyone has a clue, pass it along.

  4. Dane Posted on June 9, 2019

    New refrig sensor…tests good..refrigerator still too cold

  5. Dirk Posted on July 1, 2019


    So this is a 10k thermistor right?

    • Ryan Posted on July 1, 2019

      The resistance varies by temperature. This sensor should measure approx 6.2K Ohms at 68°F

  6. Will Posted on August 28, 2019

    I have a Maytag French door / bottom freezer unit. The ice started to melt and I discovered the evaporator coil was iced up. I thawed it out with a hair dryer, and put it back together. It iced up again in 7 days. I thawed it out again, tested the heater coil (good), removed the thermistor, put it back together without the thermistor, and ordered a new thermistor. It hasn’t iced up in three weeks (haven’t installed the new thermistor yet). Why would it ice up with a bad thermistor, but not ice up with no thermistor?

  7. Acs Posted on November 9, 2019

    Would a faulty thermistor stop the fan working or just the defrost system? My fan has stopped working, I have replaced it and still no joy. Could a faulty thermistor cause this?

    • Ryan Posted on November 11, 2019

      The fan motor not running usually wouldn’t be caused by a bad thermistor. More commonly on GE refrigerators the fan motor goes bad and then burns out the main control board. Both have to be replaced to resolve the problem.

  8. Brian Posted on November 20, 2019

    I had the issue of my coils freezer over but when defrosted with dryer everything worked good. Found out it was the REFRIGERATOR DEFROST HEATER, I just order to replace

  9. Mohammad H Partovi Posted on January 22, 2020

    Our 20 year old Side by Side GE Refrigerator (Model PSIC5RGXCFCV) has stopped working properly. It has stopped cooling the main area, while the freezer part is functioning randomly and partially, i.e., sometimes it cools to below freezing temperatures and sometimes it doesn’t (the icemaker unit has stopped producing and releasing ice altogether).

    I am not sure what is wrong, but I am thinking it might be the control board and/or the thermistor(s). The GE repair Tech came, took a look, and said the whole cooling system has to be fixed, which may cost about $1,000 or more. I hate to give up on the refrigerator, when it might be a simple problem of having to change thermistor(s) or even the control board. Any ideas what may be wrong or what I should do?

  10. Jairo Posted on March 9, 2021

    Hello i have a GE refrigerator model # gfss6kkxass. Both my condenser fan and the evaporation fan dont turn on there is no power going to them. Im checking the thermostat and i get constant continuity even at room temperature i also checked the thermistors and they both read 12.5 with the water and ice. And room temperature they read 6.5. Also when i plug in the power the compressor turns on but after 20 min it shuts off and doesn’t turn back on. Can you help me.

  11. Laurence Posted on June 28, 2021

    Hi, I have the GE monogram 15″ under counter ice maker ZDIS150ZSS. It’s making very thin ice about 4mm thick. With quick ice on the complete cycle is 30 min. It takes about 11-12 min before ice forms on the evaporator plate, at which point the water flow seems to slow down. But then the water flow speeds back up, and at minute 25 the circulation pump stops and the unit pumps out the old water and refills, then the gas valve turns on to eject the ice form the evaporator plate. The process of pumping and refilling the reservoir, and ejecting the ice takes 5 min and everything starts again.

    The problem gradually got worse over the past year to the point of no ice production at all. I though it was getting low on refrigerant. So I topped it up and its making ice again, however it’s still only 4mm thick. I also set the ice thickness to large (9mm). Running through the diagnostics tool using the lights as the indicators, on step 8 the only thing I could not see was the quick ice LED flash at 4.6F the evaporator plate would only get to 6F after about 10min.

    I had no way of telling how much refrigerant was still left in the unit so I charged it up using the temperature pressure chart. Right when ice started to form on the evaporator plate (32F) I noted the suction pressure. The chart said the pressure should be 28psi at 32F for 134a. Although if the suction pressure is that high it seems to be overcharged because the suction line will frost all the way back to the compressor. That happens during the part of the cycle when the reservoir is filling and no water is flowing over the evaporator. So I relieved the pressure so no frost was making to the compressor. The compressor suction pressure is 22psi @ 32F.

    Lastly there was a small leak in the reservoir, due to a crack. I just used epoxy to fix it. That did help to make the ice a little thicker.

    The thermistor seems to be working to shut off the hot gas valve, although I can’t be sure if its just a set program running? I was reading somewhere the thermistor controls the thickness of the ice… How?

    Please let me know your thoughts on this problem.

    Thank You!

  12. Vladimir Posted on June 29, 2021

    Hello, I have an old 1987 Toshiba refrigerator GR-Y35CVI(A) with automatic ice maker. I know the thermistor is broken. The problem is that I don’t have the original circuitry of the appliance, so I don’t have a way to know the type of thermistor I need to replace the old. Would a 10 k thermistor work?
    Please, help.
    Thanks very much.

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