Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Adjust refrigerator temperature – and keep freezer the same

By Jim Twamley
Here’s one of life’s funny little questions: What is that thingy on the metal fin inside my refrigerator? I never thought much about it except when I tried to clean around it. It slides up and down on the fin and has a wire attached to it.

Turns out this little guy is a temperature sensor, properly termed a “thermistor.” It tells your refrigerator to keep working or to relax for a while.

Ben Lukacek, a Master Certified RV Technician at Best Buy RVs, did a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) on our coach some time back. He explained to me that if I want the refrigerator compartment to be cooler I can adjust the temperature by moving this plastic strip up on the metal fin. This way you are able to keep the temperature in your freezer constant while raising or lowering the temperature in your refrigerator compartment separately. Mind you, this little plastic strip is found on Dometic refrigerators.

If your refrigerator is a Norcold model, it, too, has a thermistor. It appears a little different, being metallic, and at times (depending on the age of your fridge) a little rusty. Your thermistor, according to Norcold, should live on the second fin from the right. Put it on the wrong fin, you can have problems keeping your reefer happy.



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1 year ago

I too disagree with the statement that moving the sensor will not change the freezer temp. As far as I know, there is no temperature-controlled refrigerant valving between the freezer and refrigerator evaporators, and no separate sensor in the freezer. So when the cooling is ‘ON’ more due to the sensor reposition, the freezer will also be colder. Not a big deal as long as the freezer is at or colder than 0F. But it uses more propane or electricity.

Holly Glen
2 years ago

After you turn the refrigerator off how long should the cooling fan run? Mine was running an hour after turning off my fridge after a camping trip. Yes it is almost 100 degrees here and the sun is beating on the camper where it is parked.

2 years ago

The other thing many people don’t think about is the ice build up on the fins. The more ice build up, the harder it is for the fridge to cool. In more humid climates, you need to defrost every couple of weeks. In Arizona in the winter I only defrost every 6-8 weeks. Another tip on defrosting the fins, if you do it the natural way, is to turn off the fridge for a couple of hours & then take a pair of thin metal tongs with sharp teeth that grip well & slide them over each fin & gently pull off the now loosened chunk of ice, if it’s not a solid block between all fins. This is quicker than waiting for all the ice to melt. Also, there is a significant difference in temp between the bottom floor of the freezer & the upper shelf in the freezer. Keep your ice cream on the bottom of the freezer.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred
Marcus Brown
2 years ago

Actually, changing position of the Thermister will change temperature in both the freezer and fridge sections. Its one cooling system for the whole Refrigerator. Freezer cools first with left over cooling ability going to the lower fridge section. Freezer will generally be about 30 degrees colder than the fridge. 5-10 degrees in the freezer will give you 35-40 in the fridge section. Set the Thermister for colder and the freezer will get colder too.

2 years ago

Isn’t the Dometic thermistor located on the second fin from the right and Norcold thermistor is the 9th(?) fin from the right?

Just asking for clarification……..

2 years ago
Reply to  Bee

My Norcold is on the 12th from the right. It has been there since new 2 years ago.

2 years ago
Reply to  Bee

The position of a Norcold thermistor depends on the model see here:

2 years ago
Reply to  DutchEagle

N8XRT is on fin # 10 —

2 years ago
Reply to  Bee

The photo shows the thermistor on the outside of the first fin,

2 years ago
Reply to  Sid

Is that the correct position for the Dometic

2 years ago
Reply to  Sid

On my Dometic the thermistor on the outside of the last fin on the right.

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