A full kitchen setup

Possible Fixes for a Fridge Light that Is Not Working

Whether you’re stocking groceries or searching for a late-night snack, having a working fridge light is crucial. If you discover that your refrigerator light is not working, it might be an issue with the bulb or a sign of a larger problem. Use this guide to help troubleshoot a fridge light that isn’t working.

A Maytag® refrigerator in a kitchen space A Maytag® refrigerator in a kitchen space

Can My Fridge Still Work Without the Light?

Although your fridge can still run if its light went out, it is important to identify whether you have a lightbulb issue or an issue with the appliance itself. For example, if your refrigerator door has been open for an extended period of time, many refrigerator lights automatically turn off. However, if your refrigerator is not cooling, this can be a sign of a larger issue that may require a more in-depth solution.

A full kitchen setup A full kitchen setup

Why is My Fridge Light Off?

There are several possible reasons to explain why your fridge light is off, ranging from simple causes, such as a broken bulb, to more complex causes, such as wiring issues. Simple causes can typically be taken care of with a DIY approach after consulting your owner’s manual for instruction, whereas more complex issues will involve contacting a repair professional.

Retrieving ingredients from a refrigerator Retrieving ingredients from a refrigerator

Suggestions on How to Fix a Refrigerator Light that Isn’t Working

There are a few possible actions you can take if your refrigerator light is not working. First, you can try tightening your light bulb or replacing it. Additionally, you can check your refrigerator door switch to see whether it activates when the fridge door is open. When it comes to other complex issues, such as with the wiring or the socket, you will need to contact a professional for repairs.

  • New lightbulb (if needed)
Refrigerator lightbulb

Step 1: Fridge Light Bulb

Many refrigerators come with LED lights that may also not be working, but if you have a refrigerator with a traditional lightbulb, try tightening it in the socket. If the bulb is broken or burnt out, replace it with an appliance bulb of the same size, shape and wattage (i.e., less than 40 watts). Remember that not all appliance bulbs will fit your refrigerator so it is best to check the owner’s manual for specific part numbers to ensure you find the right one.


Note: if your fridge is not cooling, this is usually a sign that the issue lies with the appliance as a whole and not just the light.


Step 2: Refrigerator Door Switch

If your lightbulb or LED lights are working properly, your door switch may be stopping your fridge from lighting. If the door switch (which is flipped on/off when the door is opened/closed) is not engaged, the light can stay off. To locate your door switch, look to the top or bottom of your door opening (check your owner’s manual for a precise location). If the refrigerator is not level or if the doors are properly aligned, this could cause the door switch not to work.

Note: if your fridge door has been left open for an extended period of time, this could be the reason the light is not on.

Retrieving ingredients from a refrigerator Retrieving ingredients from a refrigerator
Refrigerator wiring

Step 3: Fridge Wiring

For the light in your refrigerator to come on, the wiring plug must be properly connected. Unplug your fridge from the wall socket and check the top hinge cover to inspect the wiring and see whether there are any exposed wires. To remove the hinge cover and wiring plug, consult your installation instructions or owner’s manual. Whenever you are working with electrical issues, make sure to first contact a licensed electrician.

Schedule service

Step 4: Refrigerator Light Socket

Another reason your light switch may not be working is due to damage in the refrigerator light socket itself. Signs of a bad light socket include discoloration, loose wires or a cracked socket. If your light socket has gone bad, contact a repair professional.

Explore Maytag® Refrigerators

Maytag® refrigerators are designed for durability and performance and won't stop working to keep temperature levels in line. With key features on select models like PowerCold®—which can quickly drop the temperature of your fridge—as well as steel shelves, you can count on Maytag® refrigerators to keep your meals and groceries at the right temperature until dinnertime.

Discover More Refrigerator Guides from Maytag Brand

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