Flashing LED Refrigerator Light

Introduction: Flashing LED Refrigerator Light

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

The LED light inside the freezer on our Kitchenaid side-by-side refrigerator/freezer began to flash rapidly. The first problem was how to separate the light assembly from the top of the freezer compartment. There is no visible hint of how it detaches, and the parts are all plastic. Whirlpool and Frigidaire use the same light fixture. Others may, too.

Step 1: How Attached

You are supposed to put a flat screwdriver against the edge of the light fixture where my finger is and push to the left to release tabs above the fixture. Space is very limited. You can see four tabs in the second photo. Those to push are on the right side of the photo.

Step 2: Special Tool

I took measurements and made a special tool. The light fixture is 2 1/8 inch wide. I made a full size drawing of what I needed and built my tool from the drawing. I had suitable scrap steel available and I have a welder.

For those who do not have a welder, you may be able to use a screwdriver to apply enough pressure in the proper areas to ease the fixture from the inside of the freezer. There is not sufficient space for a slip joint pliers. It might be possible to make a tool of wood pieces and steel mending plates.

Step 3: Use the Tool and Remove the Fixture

In the photo I have separated the fixture from the top of the freezer compartment. I had not seen the part of the light fixture inside the top of the freezer and had to guess where the tabs might be. Fortunately, after one tab was loose it was not difficult to depress the second tab and wiggle it out. The tabs on the right side of the photo are those that release the fixture. Two wiring harnesses keep the light fixture from separating completely.

Step 4: Terminals

The wiring harnesses are very simple. Imagine the center of the photo is the center of an analog clock. One terminal is the outermost terminal at 8 o’clock. The other is at 1 o’clock. Depress the retainer tab on each and pull it off.

If your light is flashing, one Internet post I found said detaching and reattaching each harness one or more times may cure the flashing. In our experience, that did cure the flashing, but the light was dim afterward. I could see only three LEDs were lit. There are four LEDs.

The wiring harnesses can fit only one way. You cannot forget or become confused about the proper way to reinstall them.

Step 5: Check What You Can

See the first photo. Use a screwdriver to push the tab so the circuit board can be lifted from the light fixture lens. There is a second tab to the left. Lift the circuit board from the lens.

See the second photo. I used a little digital meter from Harbor Freight. Set the dial to the diode symbol to avoid sending too much current through an LED and damaging it.

See the third photo. Using the polarity indicated by the color of the probes, touch opposite corners of the LEDs. Current from the meter lit the LEDs one by one. In the photo the red probe slipped to a common connection that also worked. The LED at the lower right of the four LED cluster did not light. I am not equipped to solder surface mount LEDs without ruining them from too much heat. I found the part I needed on the Internet and ordered a new circuit board for $50 US delivered. Our freezer light works perfectly now.

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    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    We all do what we can with what we have. I am satisfied and happy to have avoided a service call.