How to Change the Lightbulb in Your Refrigerator

by Michael Franco
Critical case for a major appliance repair

One often overlooked — yet crucial — component of a refrigerator is the lightbulb that allows us to see what's inside and easily locate our desired items.

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However, over time, these bulbs can burn out, leaving you in the dark when reaching for a midnight snack. Here’s a step-by-step guide to replacing your refrigerator’s lightbulb.

How to Choose the Right Replacement Bulb for Your Refrigerator

Choosing the correct replacement bulb for your refrigerator is essential to ensure it functions properly and safely. Use these tips to identify and purchase the right replacement bulb:

Check Your Refrigerator's Manual

The first step is to consult your refrigerator's user manual. Manufacturers often provide detailed information about the type of bulb required for your specific model. You can usually find this manual either in a physical copy that came with your refrigerator or online through the manufacturer's website.

Inspect the Current Bulb

If you can't find the manual or want to double-check, open the refrigerator door and take a close look at the current bulb. The necessary information might be printed on the bulb itself. Note down the voltage and wattage information.

Determine the Bulb Base Type

Refrigerator bulbs typically come in two common base types: screw-in (Edison or E26) and push-in (bayonet or T-shape). Check which type your refrigerator uses, as this will determine the shape and size of the replacement bulb.

Verify Voltage and Wattage

Take a look at the voltage and wattage of the old bulb, and make sure to select a replacement bulb with the same specifications. Using a bulb with a different voltage or wattage can lead to electrical issues or even damage to your refrigerator.

Choose the Right Bulb Type

Refrigerators typically use incandescent or LED bulbs. LED bulbs are being used more and more these days due to their energy efficiency and longer lifespan. If your refrigerator originally had an incandescent bulb, consider switching to an LED equivalent for better energy savings.

Take the Bulb With You

If you don't have luck finding out the exact specifications for your refrigerator bulb, simply remove it (see below) and take it with you to the hardware, appliance, or electrical supply store. The employees there may be able to help you find a suitable replacement.

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Step by Step: How to Replace the Lightbulb in Your Refrigerator

Now that you've successfully identified and obtained the right replacement bulb for your refrigerator, it's time to install it.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Replacement refrigerator lightbulb
  • Screwdriver (if applicable)
  • Towel or cloth
  • Safety gloves (optional)

Step 1: Safety First

Before starting the replacement process, ensure that your refrigerator is unplugged. This is crucial for your safety, as you will be handling electrical components. If you don't want to pull the refrigerator out from the wall to unplug it, you can turn off the electrical breaker for the circuit that supplies it with power.

Step 2: Locate and Remove the Old Bulb

Open the refrigerator door and locate the old bulb. It is usually situated near the top of the fridge compartment. Sometimes, there is a cover on the bulb compartment. If so, this plastic piece usually snaps out easily, but you can check the owner’s manual for instructions if you are not sure how to get it off. If the bulb is hot, use a towel or cloth to carefully remove it, as it may still be hot to the touch. Screw-in bulbs will screw out with a counterclockwise motion. Push-in bulbs will need to be pushed in, twisted a quarter turn to the left, and then removed.

Step 3: Install the New Bulb

Take the new replacement bulb and insert it into the socket. If it's a screw-in type, turn it clockwise until it's securely in place. If it's a push-in type, gently push and twist it until it locks into position. Be careful not to overtighten a screw-in bulb, as it can break or damage the socket.

Step 4: Restore Power

After successfully replacing the bulb, plug your refrigerator back in or turn on the power. Close the refrigerator door to ensure that the light comes on when the door is opened. The new bulb should illuminate the interior, allowing you to see the contents clearly.

Step 5: Test the Light

Open and close the refrigerator door a few times to verify that the new bulb is working correctly. If the light doesn't come on, double-check the bulb's installation and ensure it's properly screwed or pushed into place.

Step 6: Dispose of the Old Bulb

If the old bulb is still functioning, consider saving it as a spare. However, if it's burnt out completely, dispose of it properly, following local regulations for safe disposal of lightbulbs.

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. Systems, equipment, issues and circumstances vary. Follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of the Blog is subject to the

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