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My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.
First - Make sure the dispenser light switch is turned off. Now, that you have broken the bulb it is like having a bare 110 volt hot wire.
I recommend that for safety purposes you do not use either the ice or water dispenser and well as the chance of condensate from warm outside air getting into the electrical and burning out the control board or harnesses.
Get some electrical tape. Turn power off to the refrigerator at the breaker box or unplug the refrigerator. Then, tape over the broken bulb. Turn power back on to the refrigerator.
You may have a ice dispenser cup that you can remove or the dispenser frame for more ease of access.
You now may need a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the bulb.
You did not provide a model number so I can see exactly what you have. Your model number is on the inside of your fresh food section on a label on the upper inside wall.
Many times when the inside light fails to operate...it could be:
(1) A bad bulb ...replace with a known good one. (2) Bad connection of the light bulb in its socket. (Remove the bulb and spray the socket with WD-40 Spray Lubricant) then... (3) Replace the bulb with a known good bulb..use a dry rag to securely tightenthe bulb in its socket. (4) The "Door Switch" could be bad. Replace bad "Door Switch" with new one.
Unplug the refrigerator and remove the 40 watt incandescent light bulb and clean the socket. Make sure that it is completely clean of any rust or debris. If rusted get sandpaper or an emery board and rub the points that are rusty. Before putting the light bulb back make sure it does work and the filament is not broken and if so replace with a new bulb. Secondly check the on and off switch triggered by the door closing. Pop it out with a flat tip screw driver and check for black spots, or dislodged wires. Clean and re-connect the wires. Pop it back in and with the bulb secured in the socket plug the refrigerator back and see if the light works. Good Luck
did you replace the bulb? what you can also check, and the likely cause will be the socket itself. unplug the fridge from the wall outlet, remove the bulb from the socket. you will see 2 copper tabs, on e on side, one at bottom of socket, bend these slightly toward you, to ensure they contact bulb. replace bulb, plug back in and check. You can reply here or send me a question from my website: www.FixMyFridge.net
Disconnect the refrigerator from AC Power. Remove the light bulb, get a flashlight and look into the socket the bulb screws into and see if there's any corrosion in the socket that could be preventing power from getting to the bulb. If there is corrosion get some steel wool or a scouring pad and thoroughly polish the inside of the socket, (CAUTION BE SURE THE REFRiGERATOR IS NOT PLUGGED INTO THE WALL AC OUTLET WHILE DOING THIS,) After cleaning the socket re-install the bulb and plug refrigerator back into the wall and see if it lights up,when the door is open, if it doesn't, the next thing to check would be the switch that applies power to the bulb when the refrigerator door is opened. It could be stuck or it may have gone bad.
How about the door switch? If you can use a volt meter, take the bulb out, and place the red lead on the inside center button of the bulb holder, Be sure not to touch the side of the holder. Touch the black lead to the outside of the holder. Is there voltage? If not, the switch is bad.
you can just unplug the refrig and use a pair of needle noase pliers to remove the base then install a new bulb it can not be over 10watt a night lite one works great (7watt) this will be a better solution that dissably. the panel
Before you go any farther stop. Unplug the refrigerator for the wall receptacle then look into the light socket (use a mirror if necessary), now see that contact point in the bottom of the socket? Raise that contact point to where it will ouch the bulb when you screw it back in. Now screw in the bulb plug in the refrigerator and open the door. Did I do OK ? supertechks