How to Stop Your Samsung Refrigerator from Freezing Up

How to Stop Your Samsung Refrigerator from Freezing Up

Does the inside of your fridge feel like the Arctic? Do you notice chunks of ice forming in the walls?

Your fridge might be over-freezing. Depending on where the problem lies, you might need to defrost it, transfer the unit somewhere else, or replace some parts.

There are a lot of factors to consider when you find your fridge getting colder than necessary, and we’ve listed them all out so you can troubleshoot your fridge from every angle.

How can I stop my Samsung refrigerator from freezing up?

You can stop your Samsung refrigerator from freezing up by activating Force Defrost mode. This will melt the ice buildup in all of your fridge’s compartments.

To activate Force Defrost, press and hold the Power Freeze and Fridge buttons simultaneously for 8 seconds, or until you hear a beep.

For dispenser models, press the Freezer and Lighting buttons at the same time for the same amount of time.

Force Defrost can last for at least 20 minutes or longer, depending on your fridge’s ice build-up.

This mode can be activated without removing the shelves and other items inside your refrigerator. However, we do recommend pulling them out as you defrost the fridge to ensure that ice formation in every corner will melt.

Why is my Samsung refrigerator freezing up?

Your Samsung fridge can freeze up because of temperature settings, a broken door seal, or damage to its cooling system.

When troubleshooting your fridge, double-check that you’ve set it to an appropriate temperature. Afterward, check the sides of the refrigerator for any cold air leaking out.

A damaged door seal can let the cold air from the refrigerator out even if the door is closed. When this happens, warm air from outside your fridge gets inside and forms ice around the walls, lowering the fridge’s overall temperature.

In the worst-case scenario, when you find the door seal intact but the refrigerator continues to freeze up, this can point to an issue in your fridge’s cooling system. For this, you’ll need to bring out your toolbox.

Common Causes of a Samsung Refrigerator That’s Too Cold

With many factors involved, troubleshooting an over-freezing issue in your Samsung fridge should start with the easiest problem to spot: did you set the temperature too low?

If the answer is no, then you can move deeper into your fridge. We’ve listed out troubleshooting methods below for you to try yourself, starting from the simplest.

As you get closer and closer to the back of the fridge, remember to unplug it for safety!

Inappropriate Temperature SettingsSet your fridge temperature between 37°F to 33°F.
Power Cool Mode ActivatedPress and hold the FRIDGE button for at least three seconds or until the light for button disappears.
Frost BuildupPut your fridge on Force Defrost mode to melt the ice buildup in the refrigerator, especially around the cooling coils.
Unsuitable Fridge Room TemperatureEnsure that the ambient temperature around your fridge averages between 50°F and 90°F.

Otherwise, relocate the fridge to a room with appropriate room temperature.
Poor Moisture Food StorageTransfer your food items into containers before storing them in the refrigerator. 

Leave a 2-inch gap between the evaporator coils at the back, as well as the door of the fridge.
Loose or Damaged Door SealCheck if any cold air is escaping from the refrigerator while the door is closed. 

Inspect the rubber seal on the door for any damages, or if it’s loosely fitted.
Faulty Ice Dispenser FlapListen for an audible click when you fetch ice cubes from the dispenser.

If there the sound is present but ice doesn’t come out of the dispenser, clean the dispenser through the ice bucket opening.

If there’s a continuous click even if you’re no longer fetching ice, disconnect the dispenser assembly and replace it with a new one.
Defective Air Damper Control AssemblyAccess the control panel at the back of the fridge. Flap the air damper by hand to check if it can move without difficulty.
Defective Temperature Sensor or ThermistorTest the temperature sensor or thermistor for continuity. Replace it if there’s no continuity.
Faulty Temperature Control ThermostatTest the thermostat for continuity. If there’s none, replace it.
Drain Heater or StrapFor older Samsung models, access the draining system in the control panel at the back of the freezer compartment.

Inspect the drainer heater and strap for any damages or misalignment.

If they are misaligned, simply put them back in place. If they are damaged, call for service.
Malfunctioning Control BoardDisconnect the control board from the fridge to inspect it for any signs of burning or shorting out.

Replace the board if necessary.

Inappropriate Temperature Settings

The first thing you should check when you notice your Samsung refrigerator freezing up is if you set it to the proper temperature.

Your fridge is set to 37°F (3°C) by default, which complies with the US Food and Drug Administration’s (US-FDA) recommendation for the ideal refrigerating temperature (below 40°F or 4°C).

Naturally, the lower you set the temperature, the colder your fridge’s compartment will get. 

Although this aspect is a matter of preference, we recommend not setting your fridge’s temperature to lower than 33°F (1°C) because that’s when your food may start to freeze, which can ruin any item that isn’t meant to be frozen.

Moreover, we recommend keeping your fridge’s temperature between 35°F (1.6°C) to 37°F as your Samsung refrigerator is programmed to juggle between temperatures to get rid of or prevent frost buildup.

Conversely, after your fridge melts off any ice formation, it will lower the temperature from the mark you set to advance the refrigerating process.

Frost Free refrigerators (also known as Auto-Defrost fridges) can cycle through this defrosting process several times a day, so it’s natural to catch your fridge’s temperature fluctuating slightly.

Furthermore, it’s also natural for all kinds of refrigerators, in general, to be slightly off their original setting.

Solution: Double-check your fridge’s compartment setting and make sure it’s not below 32°F. Adjust the temperature accordingly.

Note that your Samsung fridge uses a twin cooling system that allows you to set different and independent temperatures for the fridge and freezer compartment, so you don’t have to worry about your freezer dropping in proportion to the fridge compartment.

Furthermore, your fridge can take up to 24 hours to stabilize a new temperature setting. It doesn’t settle to the adjustment immediately; instead, you’ll notice it growing colder gradually by the hour.

Power Cool Mode Activated

Your Samsung fridge takes time to chill, particularly after powering it off and then back on again after a time, which can sometimes be frustrating when you badly need a cold drink.

Regular refrigerators might require you to turn the temperature down for a while so that your foodstuff will come out colder after some time. But your Samsung fridge can achieve this sooner without compromising the temperature you initially set!

The Power Cool setting on your Samsung fridge allows you to chill the fridge and save you some waiting time when you need to refreshen a food item for instant consumption.

When Power Cool is activated, your fridge blows cold air into the fridge compartment to temporarily reduce the temperature to 33°F. It can remain active for up to two and a half hours.

Additionally, you might notice your fridge displaying the wrong temperature during this time. This returns to normal once Power Cool is done.

Solution: To check if the Power Cool mode is activated, confirm if the FRIDGE button on the refrigerator panel is lit up. Press and hold it down for at least three seconds or until the light goes out to deactivate.

For Family Hub models, you can deactivate this mode on the Fridge Manager app. 

Open the app and go to the fridge temperature setting. Tap on Power Cool and make sure to save the settings.

Frost Buildup

While your fridge compartment doesn’t use as extreme a temperature setting as the freezer compartment, this doesn’t mean it’s immune to frost buildup.

Even at an average chilling temperature, your fridge can accumulate frost from regular habits, such as opening the fridge regularly or a door that won’t close all the way.

Frost buildup typically involves your fridge’s evaporator coils (also known as cooling coils), which cool the refrigerant by absorbing the heat from it and releasing it outside the refrigerator through another set of coils. 

This area is where you’ll typically find thicker ice formations.

This issue is more of an eventuality as it can happen to all types of refrigerators over time.

But if you find yourself defrosting your fridge to clean up the coils more often than usual, especially because the ice formation has gotten thicker, this could be a sign of a heating problem.

Solution: Defrost your Samsung fridge by activating Force Defrost mode. Note that activating Force Defrost will defrost your freezer as well.

You don’t have to unplug your fridge during Force Defrost. We suggest doing that when the defrosting is over and before you clean up the melted ice.

While frost eventually forms in your fridge, here are a couple of tips on how to keep them to a minimum:

  1. Refrain from frequently opening and closing the fridge. Warm air from outside can enter the fridge, no matter how abrupt the action of opening and closing the door is.

Once inside, warm air will mix with the cold air from the refrigerants and thus form condensation. When these condensations meet cold air, they turn into ice, which contributes to dropping the temperature in your fridge to freezing points.

Avoid opening the fridge door more than a handful of times within an hour. Likewise, don’t leave the fridge door open for more than a minute.

  1. Don’t place high-moisture items near the evaporator or cooling coils. The evaporator coils can be found at the back of your fridge compartment.

When storing food or ingredients, none of the items should be touching the back of the fridge, especially the coils. 

Don’t put foods that have water activity or moisture near the back of the fridge, as water will turn to condensation, then turn to ice when it meets cold air.

  1. Clean the coils regularly. When you go to clean your fridge after a defrost cycle, don’t forget to clean both the cooling coils inside the fridge, as well as the condenser coils on the back.

The condenser coils, which release the warm air absorbed by the evaporator coils, are especially prone to lint and dust build-up because they’re directly exposed to their surroundings.

Similar to when the cooling coils are blocked will have a hard time chilling the rest of your food items, when the condenser coils are blocked, they won’t be able to usher the warm air out of the fridge properly.

This can lead to a refrigerator that overworks itself to get rid of the absorbed heat, which can be the groundwork for an overheating or cooling issue.

Unsuitable Fridge Room Temperature

If you’ve just installed your fridge or relocated it recently, consider the environment around it. A factor that homeowners typically overlook is the room temperature in the fridge’s location.

Room temperature can affect any appliance’s performance, especially if it uses a heating system. While your fridge is primarily used to chill items, it incorporates a heating system to regulate temperature.

You can feel it at the back of your refrigerator, in fact; that’s where all the warm air escapes from inside the fridge and into the surrounding environment.

If the location of your fridge is susceptible to cold extremes, it can increase the fridge’s energy consumption, which can lead to inconsistent cooling capabilities. 

For example, you might notice your fridge freezing up or not cooling at all, even after resetting the temperature.

Likewise, when the location of your fridge is susceptible to warm extremes, especially on humid days, it can cause your fridge to overheat.

Furthermore, a hot ambiance can urge your fridge to work harder to get rid of warm air entering the compartments, which can also lead to freezing temperatures inside.

Solution: Check the overall ambiance level in the location of your fridge. The ideal room temperature is anywhere between 50°F (10°C) and 90°F (32.3°C).

Relocate the fridge if necessary.

Poor Moisture Food Storage

Believe it or not, the way you store your food in your fridge — and even where you place them — has a long-term bearing on your fridge’s overall temperature.

As mentioned above, if you put high-moisture food near the cooling coils, they’ll eventually produce condensation for the fridge to freeze, which soon turns into ice and blocks out these coils.

That needs to be applied vice-versa as well; if you put items too close to the fridge door, they might prevent the door from closing properly. 

Even with a small opening, warm air can slip into your fridge and compromise the temperature inside.

Another thing you should be mindful of is how you prepare your food before placing it in the fridge.

Food items that need to be rinsed before being placed in the fridge, in particular, are one of the primary culprits for a freezing fridge compartment.

They contribute to frost buildup — not to mention when moisture from these foods forms into ice and continues to cling to them, the ice can ruin the quality of the foods. In the worst-case scenario, the food might spoil faster.

Storing food while it’s too hot is also a big no-no. Your fridge’s thermistors might read the heat from warm food as traces of warm air.

In response, your fridge will double its cooling efforts to make sure that all the items inside the fridge compartment are chilled.

Solution: Rearrange the items on your fridge. Keep high-moisture food items sealed in a container as much as possible, and don’t place them near the cooling coils.

Leave at least 2 inches of space between the items and the coils.

Likewise, leave the same 2-inch gap between the items in your fridge and the door. Ensure that no food or container will be caught on the doorframe when you close the door.

Avoid putting heavy items on the racks behind the door as well.

Transfer your food into containers as much as possible. Let hot or warm food cool down before placing them in a container and storing them in the fridge.

Lastly, avoid overcrowding. Make sure to leave spaces in between food items for ventilation.

As a general rule, the more items you have in the fridge, the longer it takes for it to cool down and settle for the temperature you set. It would also take lower temperature settings to ensure that items are all equally chilled.

Loose or Damaged Door Seal

Notice how there’s a rubbery material running along the inside of your Samsung fridge’s door. That’s called the gasket, more simply known as the door rubber seal, and it’s responsible for insulating the circulating in your fridge.

In other words, when your fridge is cooling, the rubber seal ensures that all the cold air stays inside and that none of the warm air from outside can get in — unless you open the fridge.

When your Samsung fridge auto-defrosts, it does the same thing with warm air, trapping it inside so that it can circulate properly while the cooling system is off. 

It’s also fitted to your fridge’s door to ensure that the door can close all the way and leave no gaps through which the air inside the fridge could escape.

It’s possible to damage this rubber seal when you place containers or food near it, especially if these items have sharp edges. Another likely reason is that you don’t clean it out regularly, thus letting lint build up around it.

Over time, however, the door seal eventually wears down the longer you use it. Eventually, you’ll have to replace this part.

Solution: To check if the door rubber seal is loose or damaged, run a paper bill test on it. Grab a paper bill and pin it between the fridge’s door.

If the paper bill stays in place, that means your fridge’s rubber door seal is fine. On the other hand, if it slides easily out or down, then the seal likely needs to be replaced.

Confirm this further by running your hand over where the fridge’s opening should be if it were open. If you feel any cold air coming out from the door while it’s closed, it’s wise to replace the door seal immediately.

Inspect the rubber seal for any damages or loose fitting. Some rubber seals can be reattached after coming loose; however, we recommend replacing the rubber seal as a preventive measure.

Regularly and thoroughly clean the rubber seal with a soft, damp cloth and mild soap. Do not use bleaching products because those are a fire hazard for your fridge and can affect your food’s quality.

Faulty Ice Dispenser Flap

The ice dispenser on your Samsung fridge has a small flap that prevents outside air from entering. You can hear it open and close when you get ice cubes from the dispenser.

Sometimes, frost or lint can build up around this area as well, preventing it from opening and closing properly. When this happens, it can speed up the frost buildup inside your fridge.

In other cases, it can run into a mechanical or wiring issue, causing the dispenser flap to constantly open and close.

Solution: To check if your Samsung fridge has a faulty ice dispenser flap, simply fetch some ice cubes from the dispenser. You should hear an audible click as the ice falls into your cup.

If the sound is present, but no ice falls, this means that something is blocking the ice dispenser flap. You can clear this out by running warm water through the ice bucket opening until the ice or lint buildup is flushed.

Dry the ice bucket thoroughly before putting it back in place.

Meanwhile, if you hear multiple clicks within minutes, or even without attempting to draw ice cubes, this means that the ice dispenser has encountered an issue with its assembly.

You can address this by removing the dispenser flap assembly and replacing it.

Defective Refrigerator Damper Control Assembly

The refrigerator damper is part of your Samsung fridge’s elaborate cooling system. In some models, this is also called the freezer control or ice damper.

This component of the fridge opens and closes to regulate the amount of cold air that gets released into the compartments. When this gets stuck open, it will keep releasing cold air until the fridge compartment freezes up.

When the air damper malfunctions, the only way to fix it is to replace it.

Solution: Unplug your refrigerator and remove the shelves and bins in the fridge compartment. The air damper is located in the cooling duct at the back of the fridge.

Once you have access to the damper, you can test if it’s having difficulties opening and closing by flapping it by hand.

Replace the damper and return the cooling duct to its station.

Defective Temperature or Thermistor

Samsung refrigerators with an electric control board use a temperature sensor or thermistor in their cooling system to measure the temperature inside the fridge.

Thermistors are designed to react to small changes in temperature. 

When your fridge reaches the temperature level you set, the thermistor taps the temperature control thermostat (you’ll find out more about this below) so that it can start a cooling or defrosting cycle.

When the thermistor malfunctions, it can fail to get an accurate temperature reading and won’t cue the thermostat to start a defrost cycle even as the frost in your fridge continues to build up.

After troubleshooting the thermistor, don’t replace it just yet; verify first that nothing else in the temperature control thermostat assembly or the control board is malfunctioning.

Solution: Refer to your user manual for the location of the fridge’s thermistor. On most models, this can be found on the back panel of the fridge compartment.

Once accessed, run a resistance test on the thermistor using a multimeter.

Turn the multimeter to the ohm setting and touch the probes of the multimeter to the wires on the thermistor. At room temperature, the resistance of the thermistor should be 5,000 ohms.

You can refer to your Samsung manual for more electrical specifications of the thermistor’s resistance.

Faulty Temperature Control Thermostat

Your Samsung fridge’s thermistor is connected to the temperature control thermostat. Where the thermistor measures the temperature, the thermostat is designed to react directly to it.

Once the thermistor reads a change in temperature, the thermostat readies itself to signal the rest of the cooling system to begin a cooling or defrosting cycle.

It directly powers up the evaporator fan motor and the compressor, which are responsible for cooling refrigerants.

When you check the thermistor for any faults, the next thing you should check is the thermostat.

A defective thermostat will ignore the temperature reading from the thermistor and keep the fan motor and compressor running, causing the fridge to freeze up.

Similar to the thermistor, if this component is faulty, the only way to fix it is by completely replacing it.

Since this is another part of the fridge’s cooling system, double-check first that there aren’t any other parts that are malfunctioning.

Solution: Refer to your user manual for the location of the thermostat. This is typically found near the thermistor.

Take out the thermostat to test for continuity. Your user manual should also contain electrical specifications for the thermostat, more specifically its opening and closing temperatures.

Run a continuity test on the thermostat. If you’re testing it for its closing temperature (colder extremes), it should have continuity while it’s cold to the touch.

If you’re testing it for the opening temperature (warmer extremes), it should have no continuity.

Replace the thermostat if it fails the continuity test or if you see any tears and damage to its wires.

Drain Heater or Strap

Older Samsung fridge models have a draining system that prevents water accumulated after a defrost session from re-freezing over again. If your fridge still uses this part, it’s essential to check it for any frost build-up. 

The drain heater is responsible for keeping the water in the drain pan in its liquid state. When this part is defective or isn’t sitting in place, it will not be able to keep the water from turning to ice, which can then block the drainage system.

Meanwhile, drain heaters are attached to a drain strap, which extends into the defrost drain. The drain heater uses this strap to conduct heat that can melt any ice build-up in the area.

If the drain strap is misaligned, the heat won’t travel properly, leaving the drain to freeze over.

Solution: The draining system is typically located in the panel at the back of the left-side freezer, near the ice maker.

Unplug your fridge before proceeding to locate these components. Inspect them for any damage.

If the only problem is that they’re not sitting in place, you can re-adjust them and get your refrigerator back in shape.

But if they’re damaged, you might have difficulties replacing them as Samsung no longer makes these parts in their newer models. You’ll have to consult a professional about the issue.

Malfunctioning Control Board

When the above troubleshooting methods can’t seem to do the trick, this likely means that the issue is a defective control board.

The control board acts as the central brain and control tower of your Samsung refrigerator. It processes the signals sent to it by other components and is primarily responsible for getting them to work.

You can say that the control board is constantly under a lot of pressure and was designed to withstand it. That’s why it rarely sustains damage from elements other than electrical issues — like short-circuiting or power surges.

When this part fails, you’ll have to replace it, which is why this should be the last component you troubleshoot.

Solution: Locate the control board on the fridge’s back panel. Unscrew the cover and take a photo of the wirings and terminals for reference before disconnecting them.

Take the control board out and inspect it for any signs of burning or shorting out.

Confirm that no other components are malfunctioning before replacing the control board assembly with a new one.

Overfreezing in your Samsung fridge can go from a simple issue to an overly technical one, so if any of the troubleshooting methods we mentioned seem too complicated for you, don’t hesitate to ask for professional assistance.

Chances are, it’s just a bad habit you overlooked. But if the issue persists after you’ve already replaced a couple of parts, definitely call for service — it might mean that it’s time to replace your refrigerator.

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