Whirlpool inverter box

A Cheap(er) Fix for Whirlpool / KitchenAid / Kenmore Refrigerator Inverter Box (W10629033 / W10133449) 19


The most popular DIY post on my blog is, by far, How to Fix a Whirlpool & KitchenAid W10219463 / 2307028 Control Board for $6. As of this post, it’s received over 430 comments; the vast majority from frustrated homeowners who went online in a last ditch effort to find a way to make their Whirlpool, or KitchenAid, or Kenmore refrigerator start working again after being told the control board they need is no longer available… and discovering that for a few dollars in parts (and some very minor soldering skills), they can fix it themselves in minutes.

Even though I’d guess that more than 95% of the fridge owners who stumbled across my article were able to fix their problem by replacing a single capacitor and relay on the main control board, there are a handful who’ve experienced some other problems, too.

In the case of a visitor named Marco, he wasn’t experiencing the systems I described in my control board post, but rather a total loss of everything: compressor, fans, and LED lights stopped working. He tried disconnecting the power and plugging it back in, and saw all the LED come on then go off again, then nothing.

This was a sure sign that the Digital Inverter Control for his fridge was fried. Other names for this same part are Inverter Box, Inverter Board, Compressor Control, or Digital Speed Control. From the outside, the inverter box looks like this:

Whirlpool inverter box

Whirlpool inverter box

On the inside, the box contains electronics that increases the output voltage to 230V, but also digitally varies the frequency of the current supplied to your refrigerator’s compressor from between 53Hz to 150Hz, which results in controlling its speed. Instead of simply turning “on” or “off” (like older fridges), digitally controlled compressors can run faster or slower depending on your fridge’s cooling needs. Of course, being a more “advanced” digital part means it’s more susceptible to failure (especially due to power surges). It also means it’s a lot more expensive to replace, if you leave it to your repairman.

To purchase a new replacement Inverter Board from Sears Direct, you’ll pay around $275. You if you shop online, you can find the same OEM inverters new for around $150, like this one on Amazon. If you’re willing to go with a used one, you might be able to find one on eBay for around $70-75. I recommend getting a new OEM unit on Amazon, so you know it will work and you can easily return it if you have any problems (or order the wrong one).

Once you have the new unit, replacing the inverter box on your refrigerator is as simple as unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one. No soldering skills are required, although you will need a screwdriver to remove the rear panel from your fridge to locate the inverter. After swapping out the inverter (Marco bought a new one), his fridge was working like new again.

Most Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Kenmore, Amana, Maytag, or Jenn-Air refrigerator use the same inverter board with part number W10629033 (which recently obsoleted the previous part number W10133449). That same inverter box will also replace the following part numbers in any of those brand’s fridges: 1384553, 2221559, 2223385, 2224047, 2304098, 2304175, 2306957, 2997771, AP5801669, AP4308835, AH1960495, EA1960495, PS8760019, and PS1960495.

If if your fridge is acting stone-cold dead and won’t light anything up, it might be worth taking a chance on a new inverter. Good luck, and thanks Marco for the heads up!

  • Dave

    I need a little advice regarding disconnecting the inverter from the compressor. That connection is enclosed in a black plastic cover on the inverter, which I can’t figure out how to remove. Can you give me a clue?

    • Any chance you can post a link to a photo?

      • Dave

        Sure. Let’s see if these two photos can be uploaded.

      • Dave

        I’m thinking a tool goes into the small rectangular slots at the bottom left and right. I just don’t want to force it and break the $$$ compressor.

        • Hmm… I’ve never had to remove mine, so I’m not sure HOW it comes out! Hopefully another reader who has will see this and reply. Anyone? 🙂

  • Dave

    Steve, I had great results from your Control Board post. Now I want to replace the inverter. The place where it connects to the compressor is obscured by a black plastic cover and I can’t tell how to remove it. I don’t want to force it and break something that isn’t yet broken. Is there a trick to removing that connector cover?

  • Hi, Frank. I wish I could be more help, but I don’t know much more about the inverter than I’ve shared here. I’ve never had to replace one myself, and am basing this advice on what I’ve collected from others who have. Based on your symptoms, it really does sound like the inverter, and it’s cheaper to simply try and replace it yourself (even if you’re wrong) than it would be to have a single service call.

  • Frank Macchia

    Hi Steve, thanks for your reply. Well then, I’ve replaced the inverter but still the same as before. Upon power up, the interior lights come on for a few seconds then go off and the display comes on displaying the interior temperatures. Tried the reset button but nothing improves. I replaced the main control board with a remanufactured one (upon inspecting it it shows the 220 mf cap and a relay only were replaced) and it restores the lights but nothing else. Does the other control board control the rest of the turn on sequence that the main control board starts in order for the fridge wo work fully on? Please help and reply ASAP. Thank you for all your help and support.

    • Yikes… that’s sounding like a serious issue. I’ve never tinkered with the other control board, but you’re running out of things to replace! The inverter delivers the proper power to the main control board, then the control board uses relays and capacitors to control the “downstream” components. I don’t know what else could be contributing!

      • Frank Macchia

        Hi Steve, thanks again for the reply. I have followed the limited but useful diagrams supplied and traced the wiring. FYI, the main control board supplies 115VAC to the inverter via relay contacts, then the board also supplies digital data to the inverter for speed control. I verified the presence of 115VAC to the inverter and some DC voltage on the other pins but probably missing the data. On my original main control board, I replaced the usual relay that goes bad and upon power up the interior lights do go on and then go off and stay off, the display remains on as described before but I can hear the compressor running and nothing else, there’s no cooling. It seems like the other control board has a smaller microchip that probably in conjunction with the microchip on the main control board control and regulate every aspect of the fridge’s operation. I’ve ordered the other control board, hopefully that will restore my fridge to full operation. If you have more suggestions, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it ASAP. Thank you for all your help and support, Steve.

        • Tahir

          Hi Frank,

          Did you find out a solution to your problem?

          I was getting an on/off on my fridge on day (it kept cycling). I replaced the bad 220uf cap and it started to do what you are saying. It goes on with lights and everything for 3 seconds and then just shuts down with the main control board light still on. It doesn’t cool and everything is off except the main control.

          The second board beside it is for ice maker/water dispenser. Since that whole circuitry is separate, disconnecting that board and trying to run the main control board only also produces the same results. At this point, I highly suspect the board is faulty. I suspect something else is causing this issue.

          I suspect its the evap fan. Anyhow, if you ever see my post, let me know the solution 🙂

          Steve, I don’t know if it would be too much to ask but if I don’t hear back from Frank, would you share his email address with me (with his permission of course)?

  • Henry

    Hi:

    please i need help, i opened the inverter box to check any issues with it but it was fine and the issue was with the main control board. Now i cant close the gray box back as i forgot where the wires are blugged. Two wires that are confusing : first is the black and white wires , second is a ground wire. please check photo.

    thanks

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  • John Lau

    Replacing inverter restored power to then control panel but did not start the compressor. Searched on eBay repair control board # and found one about an hour away and went ahead and contact him. I was able to meet him and got my board repaired within 15 minutes. Got home and installed it and this time panel was responsive but still no compressor noise. Waited about 30 minutes and decided to try to get it out of demo mode and voila! Back to life! My next thing on my to do list is get a canister of no rinse condenser coil cleaner and spray it. Any suggestions regarding that?

  • Steven

    Hello and thank you for the very helpful blog. I would like to share my recent experience with my 12 year old Kitchenaide Fridge. The compressor would not run; lights worked; all fans including condenser fan were running; light/filter panel appeared normal. I decided that most likely problem was inverter. I checked the resistance of the windings on the compressor – all 3 were same about 6.2 ohms (so likely compressor okay). Purchased a new inverter for about $150 and installed it – worked perfectly. Only tough problem is removing the connector cover from the compressor – push a screwdriver in the top slot and it pulls off from the top. Again I couldn’t have figured it out without your help.

  • JP

    Another thank you from Arizona for your repair thread! Only difference in my experience was my control board had the upgraded relays (Omron 10A) already in place. Otherwise, my problems and fix played out just as you described. Thanks again for putting this out there and helping so many of us, me included now :). Total out of pocket cost was $11.53 !

  • Peter Andersen
  • Dawson Young

    Hey Steve, not sure if you’re still in the business of replying to posts here, but figured I would try. I have a unique issue here in that my Kitchenaid KSCS25INWH00 Refrigerator began exhibiting some symptoms of your “most popular post” in that the door frame was getting very hot and the temp wasn’t at the set level. But it was still enough to keep things frozen so we ignored it for a bit. Then one day recently the cooling stopped working completely and every 3-5 seconds there was a beep. I opened things up and found that corresponding with every beep the compressor attempts to turn on and shakes briefly, before cutting out. I assume that the fan went out and over time something in the compressor control has also gone bad due to the stress. But because all other systems appear online (lights, indicators, water, etc) the inverter doesn’t appear to be the problem. I’ve read quite a bit about compressor starter relays, but don’t see a dedicated unit being used in these models. Any chance you have any knowledge about the compressor control mechanism on the control board and if a similar cap or relay replace could help?