Fixing Samsung Refrigerator Error Code 22C/22E

Fixing Samsung Refrigerator Error Code 22C22E

Does the temperature in your Samsung fridge feel like it’s getting warmer by the second? Do you suspect that its temperature is rising?

That might be a 22C or 22E error in the making!

This type of error points to a problem with your fridge’s cooling system — or the lack of its functionality, to be exact. 

In this article, we touch on the basics of a 22C or 22E error: what it means, why it’s happening, and what to do with it.

What does an error code 22C/22E on a Samsung fridge mean and how do you fix it?

A 22C/22E error code on a Samsung fridge means that the fridge’s evaporator fan isn’t cooling the fridge enough. 

To reset this error, unplug the refrigerator and leave the doors open for at least an hour. Afterward, close the door and plug the refrigerator back in.

The highest temperature your fridge can go to is 36°F (2.22°C). When your fridge touches this temperature setting, it will send the error code in question.

By leaving it unplugged with the doors open for an hour or two, you’re essentially defrosting it and letting the heat cool down.

If this doesn’t reset the issue, you can opt to put your fridge on Force Defrost as you read through this article. Allow us to help you pin down what’s exactly causing this issue.

Common Causes of Error Code 22C/22E and How to Troubleshoot Them

A 22C or 22E can be considered a heating error. Much like a 40C or 40E error code, this one also involves the cooling system of your fridge.

This means that you’ll be dealing with wires, internal components, and other sensitive and heavy parts of your fridge. If you’re not confident in your technical skills, call for service.

Ice BuildupActivate Force Defrost to melt the ice buildup in your fridge. Set the temperature of your fridge to anywhere between 36°F to 32°F (0°C).
Blade LockUnscrew the back panel cover inside your fridge and access the evaporator fan. 

Inspect the fan blades for any debris or damage, or if there’s difficulty in moving the fan freely by hand, and replace it if necessary.
Malfunctioning MotorIf the fan blades can move freely, disconnect the blades from the motor. Inspect the motor for any damage.

Lubricate the motor using a soft, damp cloth with mild soap. If there is any physical damage, replace the motor.
Clogged DrainageAfter defrosting your refrigerator, remove the cover of the back panel to check the drainage below the evaporator coils for any clogging.

Let the ice buildup melt and scoop the water out with a drain snake.
Vent BlockageAfter defrosting the refrigerator, check the air vents for any debris or dust buildup. Clean them out if necessary.
Wiring IssuesOpen the fridge’s control board and inspect it for any burn marks or signs of shortcircuiting.

Inspect the wires for any loose or damaged connections. Test the orange, brown, and gray wires for continuity.

If there’s no continuity or if the wires are damaged, replace them.

If there’s no signal from the wires or anywhere else on the control board, the control board needs to be replaced.

Also, check the door switch for any loose and damaged connections. Replace it if necessary.
Faulty Defrost Heating ElementRemove the back panel to access the evaporator coils.

The defrost heating element goes around the evaporator coils. Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully lift the areas where the defrost heating element is hooked.

Remove the heating element starting from the top right side and then slowly going around clockwise.

Test the defrost heating element for continuity. If there is none or if there is no signal, replace the heating element.

If the evaporator coils are damaged, replace them.

With this overview of troubleshooting methods, we’d like to remind you to unplug your fridge once Force Defrost is finished. 

Remember to clean the fridge first before proceeding to start any method we listed below.

Finally, keep the refrigerator doors open while it’s unplugged; this will help speed up the defrosting process. Moreover, this can also help you access back panels better when troubleshooting, especially if you’re using a French door model.

Ice Buildup

Ice buildup is a regular occurrence in refrigerators. 

Whether it’s because you’ve set the temperature too low or because your fridge has been running for a couple of weeks already, you’ll notice ice eventually forming along the walls.

As a contingency, ice buildup is a common culprit for several issues your fridge might encounter.

In the case of a 22C or 22E error code, this could mean that the ice formation near your fridge’s evaporator fan is too thick. When this happens, cold air from the fan can’t circulate, leaving other parts colder than others.

It could also mean that ice buildup is blocking the fan’s blades and preventing it from blowing cold air into the fridge altogether.

Solution: Put your fridge on Force Defrost to melt the ice buildup. We recommend removing the shelves and drawers to make the cleanup easy and ensure that every corner gets defrosted.

Activating Force Defrost for most models requires pressing the Power Freeze and Fridge buttons together for at least 8 seconds. 

Afterward, press any other button until “Fd” appears on display. A beep will indicate that the defrost process is starting.

For dispenser models, hold down the Freezer and Lighting buttons for the same amount of time or until the display goes blank. Press any other button until “Fd” appears.

Force Defrost will melt the ice in all compartments of your fridge — including the freezer —  for at least 20 minutes.

We advise against speeding up the defrosting process using a hairdryer or other similar electronic devices. This can be harmful to the fridge’s material.

It can also pose an electrical hazard once all the ice has melted.

Once defrosting is done, unplug your fridge to clean it up and restart its settings.

Check the temperature setting of your fridge and adjust it accordingly. Set it between 36°F to 32°F to ensure that your fridge will chill but won’t freeze your items.

Moreover, to lessen the occurrence of ice buildup in your fridge, we’ve prepared a few tips you can follow:

  1. Avoid opening and closing the fridge frequently. Warm air enters your fridge every time you open its door, regardless of how long you keep it open.

Once inside, warm air will mix with the cold air circulating in the fridge. This process will produce condensations that can later freeze into ice due to the cold temperature in the refrigerator.

The longer you keep your refrigerator open while it’s running, the more warm air will enter, and the thicker the ice formation can get.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t leave your fridge open for more than a minute. The 22C or 22E error code can also be considered a warning that the door has been left open for too long.

Moreover, you should refrain from opening your fridge more than twice over an hour. Ensure that door can close all the way.

  1. Transfer food items to a container before placing them in the fridge. Proper food storage is a key practice to preventing your Samsung fridge from freezing up.

Foods that are hot or warm should first be cooled to room temperature before being stored in the fridge. This is to avoid disrupting the temperature settings inside.

Your refrigerator has temperature-sensing components that detect the heat from these kinds of food and consider it a change in temperature, signaling the rest of the cooling system to lower the temperature in your fridge further.

Likewise, if you store freshly-rinsed food items in the fridge without keeping them in a container or thoroughly drying them, the moisture from these foods will condense and freeze to ice.

  1. Don’t place high-moisture items at the back of the fridge. Your fridge’s evaporator fan is located at the back of the refrigerator, near the evaporator coils.

The evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing heat from refrigerants and maintaining the cold temperature inside the refrigerator.

Storing food with high water activity near the back of the fridge will make the coils more susceptible to ice buildup. Leave a gap of at least 2 inches between your food and the panel.

  1. Clean the condenser coils regularly. The condenser coils are responsible for releasing the heat absorbed from the refrigerants into the area outside the fridge.

You can easily find them behind your fridge. Since they’re located on the exterior of the fridge body, they can quickly accumulate dirt and dust, which in turn can be a cause for blockage.

When these coils are clogged, the heat from the refrigerants gets trapped inside them. This can force your refrigerator to overcool its compartments to get rid of the heat.

When left unresolved, your refrigerator will eventually overheat. Clean the condenser coils as much as you clean the inside of your refrigerator.

Blade Lock

As its name suggests, the evaporator fan is a fan-like mechanic that blows and distributes cold air into the compartments. It also absorbs heat from the refrigerants through the evaporator coils.

Despite its huge role, it’s actually not as big as you might expect. Most Samsung evaporator fans are designed to be no more than 5 — or at most 6 — inches in length.

This is why it’s not so common to have a foreign object get stuck between its blades — unless, of course, we’re talking about ice.

Moreover, thicker ice formations can prevent the blades from turning altogether.

Solution: Put your fridge on Frost Defrost to melt off all the ice. Afterward, unplug the refrigerator and remove the shelves in the fridge compartment to access the evaporator panel at the back wall.

Unscrew the panel cover and carefully detach it from its wirings. The evaporator fan is attached to the back of this cover.

Carefully remove the wirings surrounding the fan’s housing to access the fan. Inspect for any dust or debris leftovers.

Check also for any visible damage to the fan’s blades. Turn them by hand to verify if they can move freely.

If you notice any damage, or if you had difficulty turning the blades, replace the evaporator fan.

Malfunctioning Motor

Sometimes, an evaporator fan will be able to rotate freely, but its motor isn’t functioning properly. While having either malfunction leads to almost the same issues, this doesn’t mean that they’re not mutually exclusive.

Sometimes a fan will not work, but the motor does; that explains the humming sound. 

Sometimes the motor won’t work, but the fan does; that explains the 22C or 22E error.

The main culprit for incidents like this is voltage fluctuations, which means your refrigerator isn’t getting enough power to continue basic tasks.

Power surges that can burn the motor out are also a likely cause.

Solution: After inspecting the blade and the wirings around the fan, slowly disconnect the fan blade from the assembly.

Inspect the ball bearing for any damage. If there is no damage to this part, lubricate it with a soft, damp cloth with mild soap.

We suggest not using any lubricants other than water as the motor absorbs heat and may be sensitive to flammable products.

If the motor still has difficulty rotating the fan, replace the motor.

Clogged Drainage

Frost buildup in the blades of the evaporator fan can also be caused by water accumulating in the drainage system of your refrigerator.

Your fridge’s drain is located directly beneath the evaporator coils. This makes it easier for the coils and the fan to absorb moisture from it when it gets clogged.

Once the fan absorbs moisture from the drain, ice around the blades will form and freeze the fan over. A telltale sign of this is when you hear an intense buzzing or humming sound inside your fridge.

That’s the sound of an idle engine that’s running the motor while trying to push the fan into working.

Moreover, a clogged drain can lead to water leaking inside or from the backside of your refrigerator.

While this issue may seem easily resolved by simply flushing out the water from the drainage, you will have to install a water flow control on your own to achieve this.

Furthermore, accessing the drainage system will require you to break and replace the metal clip under the evaporator coils. 

You’ll be working with a narrow space, so you might find the process tricky if you’re not very handy with tools.

If this is the case, call for professional help.

Solution: After defrosting your refrigerator, cleaning the melted ice, and accessing the evaporator fan, cut off the metal clip between the evaporator coils and the drain.

Replace the metal clip with a longer one similar to what’s in the video guide below.

If you notice frost leftovers still in the drain, you’ll have to melt the ice and scoop the water out using a drain snake and unclog the drain.

Vent Blockage

A commonly overlooked part of your fridge is the air vents on the back panel in the fridge compartment. They appear as small holes on the panel’s cover.

There are a total of 6 air vents on most models.

These air vents help improve the airflow inside the fridge, ensuring that the cold air from the evaporator fan can circulate freely inside the compartment.

Condensation will form faster inside your refrigerator when these air vents are obstructed, especially if there’s food with high moisture levels in its way.

Solution: After defrosting the refrigerator, check the air vents for any debris or dust buildup. Clean them out if necessary.

Furthermore, when returning the shelves and items back to their places, remember to store items away from the vents to avoid obstructing them.

Wiring Issues

As you were disassembling the back panel cover to access the evaporator fan, you might have noticed the number of wires surrounding the evaporator fan.

All these wires connect to the refrigerator’s control board, which can be found on the backside of your refrigerator. All other wires in your refrigerator are connected to this board as well.

The control board rarely malfunctions under regular wearing down. What usually damages a control board and its connections are power surges.

If you notice any visible burn marks on the control board, it needs to be immediately replaced. If there is none, however, check the wirings first.

As mentioned, since the control board itself rarely sustains damage, it should be the last thing you’ll want to replace. Before replacing it, make sure to troubleshoot other parts of your refrigerator.

The wiring from different components of your fridge, for example, may not be as durable as the control board. 

Solution: Unscrew the panel on the backside of your fridge to access the inverter control board. Take a photo of the wiring placements for reference before touching any of them.

Inspect it for any burn marks, signs of shortcircuiting, and loose or damaged wirings.

Evaporator wires are typically orange, brown, and gray in color. Test these wires and pins for continuity using a multimeter or other similar devices.

Refer to your Samsung manual for the electrical specifications. The average volts for each component vary from model to model.

If you can’t get a reading from any part of the control board or notice any burn marks or a faint burning smell from it, replace the board immediately. 

Otherwise, only replace the wires.

We also recommend checking the wiring for the door switch of your refrigerator. This can be found inside the fridge door, usually towards the top.

For this, you have to carefully remove the top panel of your door to access the door switch wirings. Remove the door switch and test it for continuity.

If there’s no continuity, replace the door switch. If there are only loose or damaged wires, reconnect or replace them if necessary.

The evaporator fan is designed to only start rotating when the refrigerator door is closed, so if the door switch malfunctions and doesn’t send a signal to the control board, the control board won’t power up the fan.

Faulty Defrost Heating Element

Your Samsung refrigerator has a built-in automatic defrosting system that makes it switch between defrosting and cooling modes several times a day.

As soon as the fridge’s thermistor senses a drastic change in temperature, it signals the cooling system to activate auto-defrost, which will then prevent ice build-up for a certain amount of time.

This auto-defrost system uses a heating element to melt the ice off. When this heating element gets damaged, it can either fail to heat the fridge or give off too much heat and trigger a heating error.

Troubleshooting this part requires releasing parts of the evaporator coils from their housing, hence we recommend doing this method with a professional’s assistance.

Solution: Carefully remove the cover of the back panel to access the evaporator coils. The defrost heating element can be found around the evaporator coils.

Remove the wires connecting the defrost heating element to other parts of the fridge.

The next step will require you to work with sharp edges, so we suggest wearing gloves for protection. 

Be careful with lifting the coils up to avoid damaging them; damaged coils cannot be repaired, only replaced.

Go slowly around the evaporator coils with a flathead screwdriver to release the tabs hooking the defrost heating element to the evaporator coils.

Gently remove the defrost heating element from the top of the right side and then clockwise.

Afterward, test the defrost heating element for continuity. Refer to your refrigerator manual for the electric specifications.

If the element fails in continuity or there is no signal coming from the defrost heating element, replace it.

If you noticed damage to the evaporator coils as well, replace them.

Last but not the least, if you’ve troubleshot everything up to this point and nothing else seems to solve the issue completely, this would be your cue to replace the control board.

And there you have it!

A 22C or 22E error code may seem intimidating at first, especially when a simple defrosting session doesn’t seem to solve it. 

But it can be easy to understand once you get familiar with how your Samsung fridge functions — more specifically, how your fridge’s cooling system works.

We hope with this article, you’ll be more prepared the next time you encounter this error code. 

Or better yet: you take care of your fridge enough that this error never appears for you again!

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