How to fix a wine fridge that no longer cools!

Don’t throw it away. This can be fixed in less than 30 minutes!

A few months ago, we were given a wine fridge that no longer cooled, but still had working fans inside. After doing a little research and troubleshooting the issues I was having, I decided that the culprit was the thermo-electric peltier module. Not sure if that’s the correct name for it, but it’s basically a small piece that gets sandwiched between the heat sinks on thermo-electric cooling devices.

To begin, I turned the fridge around and removed the 9 phillips head screws holding on the rear cover. Once these were removed, I was able to push the cover out of the way.

After removing the cover, the first thing you see is a small fan. It’s screwed onto the heat sink. You can remove it now, or wait until you remove the heat sink assembly from the fridge. It’s held in by 4 screws that are right on top.

To remove the heat sink, you’ll need to remove two recessed screws between the cooling plates on the heat sink assembly. They’re directly in the middle on the left and right sides. Once these are removed, the entire heat sink assembly can come out and you can spread the two pieces apart.

In between the two heat sink pieces, you’ll find a piece of foam with a small module that has wires coming out of it. This is the peltier module and is the part that will be replaced. Refer to the part number written on it and then search for a replacement. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find one locally. In my case, I had to purchase mine (TEC1-12705) online and wait a few days for it to arrive.

The peltier unit that was attached to the fridge will need to be removed. Simply cut the wires and leave plenty of slack so you can splice in the new unit. Just cut and then strip off a little insulation so you can splice the two wires together. I used a little bit of heat shrink to secure the two wires together.

Once this is done, you’re ready to put it all back together. Just go backwards through the steps and you’ll have it back together in just a few minutes. After you’re done, turn on the unit and watch the temperature drop!

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