Why is my Samsung freezing at the cooling outlets?

enduringAugust 21, 2012

I have a Samsung french door frig # RF263 that I bought new last summer. It has now frozen up twice in the last 2 weeks. Last week initially, making a noise that sounded like it was roaring. The temp inside was 56 and wouldn't set back down when I tried to change temp to 38deg. I don't know how long it was having trouble keeping temp. I can't remember the freezer temp at that time. I Called Samsung and trouble shot the situation. Found the vent holes at the back of the frig frozen up solid. I defrosted and it started working again-fine. I called the appliance repair shop, (that Samsung referred me to, as I have a 5 year warrenty) to have him come and look at the thing. I didn't trust that all was well. I have never had this happen to any frig I've had in my 40 years of frid ownership. He suspected that is was the system that controls the temp etc (can't remember the other 2 things he said). He ordered the part.

Forward to this weekend. I noticed ice developing in the vent holes again. Next to no groceries in the frig. No groceries physically blocking the flow vents. Freezer holding at -2deg and at 1/4 full. Frig at 48-52deg. Roaring sound developed today. Called repair man to see if part is in and it is. He will be here tomorrow to replace. I am now defrosting the d*m* thing. Before I commenced on this project tonight, I noticed a large puddle of water under the deli draw.

One detail that I want to add is that I have never hooked up the ice maker. Could that be my problem?

I gave a perfectly good functional 18 y.o. frig away to by this thing and it is giving me trouble after only a year. I have never had large appliance problems. Is it just the luck of the draw or is this a bad frig company/line?

If your have any insight into my problems please advise. Thanks for your time.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had this happen to an LG fridge before. Was told by some drone on the phone that it was because -4 was lower than 0... Duh! Anyway, one of the reasons I don't buy LG any more. Turns out what he was trying to say in not so fluent english is that it was not designed to operate at a set temp under 0 even though you can set it as low as you want. I had to have him transfer me to a supervisor before I got that explanation.

So, I read up on this myself and found out that this can happen in a few situations... If the door seals are leaking for instance. You mentioned that nothing was blocking the output vents but also make sure that nothing is obstructing the input vents. Raising my freezer temp did help the problem go away on my LG but I've never seen the problem on our current Samsung (knock on wood). The "Twin Cooling" system on most modern Samsung fridges is supposed to help with these types of issues I think but obviously you are still seeing the problem. I'd suggest raising the freezer set temp a bit (like to 0F or even 6F) and see if it happens. Double check all of your seals and make sure the intake vents are also unobstructed. Finally, I'd turn off any of the energy savings controls for a while. The energy saver mode on these fridges are known to cause condensation problems in the fridge compartment (especially in humid climates) and combined with a low set temp or any of the other problems above, could lead to that condensation freezing.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Amcook, thanks for posting to my question. The energy saver has been off for several months. The seals seem to be tight. I did initially have the freezer set at -4 and the frig at +34 or +36. After the icing up problem last week I set it to the -2 and +38, as recommended in the manual. As mentioned it did maintain these temps for about a week until this weekend.

When I shut it down tonight the freezer had maintained the -2 temp, as set. The refrig section hasn't held the temp in 3 days, but I did notice that yesterday it did cool down from 52 to 48 when the door was kept closed for several hours. This AM it was still too high at 48.

Where are the intake vents located? The book doesn't tell me.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am no appliance expert, but having a fridge set at 34 - 36 is asking for stuff to freeze. We get frost warnings when temps are 34 - 36 outside at night. I always thought optimal fridge setting is 45F.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

34-36 is the temp I've always seen used for the big walk-in cooler fridges in restaurants. Here's a quote from the USDA website on ideal temp setting for the fridge & freezer:

Freezer - Refrigerator Temperatures
If a refrigerator freezing compartment can't maintain zero degrees or if the door is opened frequently, use it for short-term food storage. Eat those foods as soon as possible for best quality. Use a free-standing freezer set at 0 �F or below for long-term storage of frozen foods. Keep an appliance thermometer in your freezing compartment or freezer to check the temperature. This is important if you experience power-out or mechanical problems. The temperature in the refrigerator should be set at 40 �F or below. Check the refrigerator temperature with an appliance thermometer

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Storage Guidelines

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like I was wrong about the refrigerator temp. I should check ours.

Maybe your Samsung thermostat is not calibrated properly? Hopefully someone here will have a good suggestion.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I keep mine around 38*.

When the repair guy comes, ask him to look at the defrost coils. Also if any of the drains have a blockage.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cavimum Thanks for your post. Inintially I had my temp set at +36 but after the first defrost I set frig at the recommended +38 deg. The freezer the same thing, set it at the recommended -2 degrees instead of the -4 deg I did have it at.

Mydream, thanks for the info. We have a chest freezer too which has been a great freezer for the last 20 years, love it.

Weedmeister, unfortunately I couldn't be home when the repair man came and I forgot to have my DH ask specifics about the repair. When I am at work, its all work and the rest of the world just goes on without me:) The repair man switched out the panel on the back interior wall of the frig where the temp sensors and fan are located. Repair man said that he has seen these fail in the Samsung. I will be watching closely. The drain in the frig was plugged with ice. DH says that he saw the heating element behind the panel when it was removed but the repair man didn't say anything about it. We will see if it freezes again and if so he will be back out, told DH to give him a call.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like the computer control board.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Weedmeister, I just talked to the repairman and he said he replaced the panel at the back of the cabinet. This included the fan and temp sensors x 2. He did not think there was anything wrong with the defrosting coils. The unit is still working at correct temp 24 hours later. Last time I defrosted the frig it took about a week or 2 to block back up. I will watch carefully.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@enduring - just thinking out loud here ... I wonder if some of the items inside the refrigerator got pushed up to an air outlet and blocked the air flow. The only reason I ask, is that every now and then the water in our Brita pitcher will freeze up. Only happens 2 or 3 times a year, but it is strange, and I figure maybe it got up pushed against an air duct/outlet.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cavimum, It could have happened, but there are 6 vents and it would be likely only one would have been blocked, if at all. Would that have caused the freeze up of all 6 vents? The repairman stated that he has seen these panels fail. Thanks for you post. I will watch that nothing gets too close to the vents.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well this is the 3rd time this refrigerator has frozen up resulting in a service call today. It happened when I first started this post and again in September, and now today I see all the vents frozen up. I have a service contract and the 4th time this issue comes up I get a new frig. and I don't think it has to be this model either. I don't know if I want it to fail or finally stay fixed. It is only about 18 months old. What a PITA!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like my Samsung and hope I don't run into any problems. Once I blocked some vents in the freezer and it caused a problem. Once I blocked some vents inside the refrigerator. How can you keep frozen food from blocking vents???? The drain did block once and that required a repairman who said it happens a lot with Samsung. When he took off the back panel to clear the drain there was a lot of rust and gunk there and I do not know what it is or what it is coming from. I posted some photos just the other day asking if it was a serious problem or not and if anyone wants to give me advice I would appreciate it. The refrigerator seems a bit too cold at 38 degrees so will need to buy a thermometer.

Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the drain hole is getting blocked with ice, there is a new style drain heater clip that is much longer, that will prevent future ice build up on the drain hole. It attaches to the heater element and goes down into the drain whole. This melts the ice in the drain hole. Make sure the tech installs it, otherwise it will ice up again and the water has no place to go except to the bottom of your fridge (under your fresh food drawers). Also, make sure the tech turned on the defrost heater when he has it open so he can feel if the heater is getting hot. By putting it in test mode, the defrost heater can be turned on manually.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Janicedallas, yes I've liked mine but not this freeze up issue. The guy will be here Tuesday so I need to get it defrosted today.

Steve340, thank you very much for these tips. I will be sure he gets this info. Last time, in Sept, he had attached a new wire because the light weight metal originally attached was not adequate to defrost the drain hole. He put another heavier wire there and into the drain hole to conduct heat from the element into the drain hole. This is according to my husband who was present during the repair.

I will keep the forum posted on the events this week. Thanks again all.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The tech came out monday and found that the heating element isn't working. DH said that in Sept you could feel the heat of the heating element, so I am assuming it was working then. I, of course, was at work - like each other repair visit :/

So now it is a week's wait to get the part from Samsung and hopefully next monday will get it fixed. We are having a small Christmas get together this Friday and I have no fridge! So last night I went out and bought a dorm sized fridge to go with our 3 ice chest :) It will hold the special ham I bought.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 8:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@enduring - I hope the heating element will be the final cure for that fridge's chronic problem. Fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The fridge is still working since it's 3rd repair. So far so good on the replacement part, but DH and I can't remember if the whole panel got replaced or just the heating component. Anyway, it's good and I really like the french door upper fridge style.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
essentials you can't live without in your front load washing machine?
I am trying to purchase a new washing machine for our...
Wolf vs Thermador & Viking, Miele vs Bosch - YMMV
I use this forum often for research often so I thought...
Coffee Machines
What is the best built in coffee machine for your buck?...
J Saleh
Best Range Hood for a GE Gas 30" 5 burner vented through roof?
We are remodeling the kitchen in a 1000sf ranch home....
Hood & Venting for Bluestar Rangetop...Zephyr or Bluestar?
In deciding between the 36" Bluestar cooktop and...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™