Why is my Samsung refrigerator not cooling?
A refrigerator that isn’t cooling can be an urgent issue. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends discarding perishable foods (i.e., meat, eggs and fish) that have been out of the safe temperature zone for more than four hours.
If your Samsung refrigerator isn’t cooling properly, there could be a number of possible reasons. This article will cover common issues that affect a refrigerator’s ability to cool and when it might be time to call in a professional.
Possible reasons a Samsung refrigerator is not cooling
If your Samsung fridge isn’t cooling, there are several likely causes. Some common problems can be fixed with simple troubleshooting, while others may require the help of a professional. Your refrigerator might even tell you the problem — smart appliances show error codes that indicate the problem.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your Samsung refrigerator not to cool, though, here are some common causes:
Not plugged in correctly
The simplest cause of a refrigerator malfunction is the plug not being inserted correctly into the outlet. To make sure you’ve plugged the refrigerator in properly, unplug it from the outlet and re-insert it. If necessary, reset the circuit breaker for the outlet.
Refrigerator door seal leaks
The refrigerator door should close securely. Check the door seals. If they are dirty, torn or damaged, they can cause gaps, which will let in warm air. If the door seals are dirty, wipe them down with a mild soap and water solution. Allow 24 hours for the refrigerator to cool down to the proper temperature.
If the seals are cracked or damaged, you’ll want to schedule a service call to replace them.
It’s too full
A refrigerator operates by circulating cold air. If you overload the refrigerator with items and vents or ducts are blocked, it can cause cooling issues. Ensure you arrange your groceries in a way that allows space for the air to move freely. Also, make sure the food isn’t blocking any air vents.
Too close to a heat source
If possible, move the refrigerator away from direct sunlight or a heat source, like a stove. If you’re unable to move the fridge, try lowering the temperature setting in both the refrigerator and freezer. The warmer the air in the room is, the lower the setting on the fridge should be.
Dirty condenser coils
For a refrigerator to cool efficiently, its coils must be free of dust. Cleaning the coils is an easy type of refrigerator maintenance but it’s one most homeowners rarely perform.
Samsung refrigerator condenser coils are typically mounted to the back or inside a cabinet at the bottom. To access them, you’ll need to pull the fridge away from the wall. Always unplug it first.
To remove dust from the coils, use a vacuum cleaner with the crevice tool. Also, vacuum any dust that falls to the floor. Wipe the coils with a damp cloth to completely clean the coils.
The compressor is a pump that circulates the refrigerant through the appliance. If the compressor isn’t working, the refrigerator won’t get cool. There are a few things to check to see if your compressor is working.
First, listen for the familiar hum of the refrigerator, which you hear intermittently throughout the day. That sound is the compressor. If you don’t hear the compressor and the refrigerator is getting warm, there could be a problem. If you hear the compressor but the fridge still doesn’t cool, the problem could be the start relay.
The start relay is a small device that jump-starts the compressor. To see if yours is working, unplug the refrigerator and open the main compartment in the back. The compressor is a black tank-like part at the bottom of the fridge. The start relay is small, like an ink cartridge, and feeds the cords into the compressor.
To test the start relay, unplug it and shake it. If you hear a rattling sound, the part is bad and needs replacing, but it is an easy fix!. Simply buy a new start relay and plug it in. However, if the start relay doesn’t rattle and seems to be in good condition, you may need to replace the compressor. Repairing a compressor is complicated, so you’ll want to leave it in the hands of a service professional.
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Faulty evaporator fan
The evaporator fan keeps a constant flow of cool air inside the fridge. The evaporator coils cool the air, and the fan blows cold air to the freezer and refrigerator. Without the flow of cool air, the refrigerator gets warm.
The signs of a failing evaporator fan motor, include:
- Rising temperatures in the freezer or refrigerator.
- A squealing or chirping sound when the fan is running.
- The fan motor doesn’t activate.
Accessing the evaporator fan to evaluate it involves emptying the refrigerator, removing food and shelving, then unscrewing the rear panel of the freezer or refrigerator. Here are the steps:
- Unplug the refrigerator.
- When you expose the evaporator fan, attempt to turn the fan blade manually, if the blade doesn’t turn easily, you may need to replace the fan motor.
Replacing the evaporator fan involves testing the old motor with a multimeter and understanding how to detach and reattach the new fan to the fridge’s electrical wiring. For most homeowners, this task is best completed by a service professional.
Frosty evaporator coils
Frosted evaporator coils are another common reason for a Samsung refrigerator not cooling. The defrost heater assembly in a refrigerator turns on during the day to melt frost built up on the evaporator coils located behind the freezer section. If the defrost heater is defective, frost build-up on the refrigerator evaporator coils stops the flow of cold air through the coils. Without the air flow, the refrigerator won’t cool even if the freezer works.
A leaky door seal can also let in warm air, which will condense and freeze the coils.
Replacing a defrost system is another appliance repair job best left to a service provider.
The thermistor is a temperature sensor that allows the refrigerator to stay within a set temperature range. If the refrigerator temperature rises, it sends a message to the temperature control board to turn on its cooling cycle. With a faulty thermistor, the compressor and evaporator fan won’t cycle on, and the refrigerator won’t stay cold.
A service professional will test the function of the thermistor to see if it has the sensitivity to function properly.
Low refrigerant level
The refrigerant in a refrigerator circulates in a closed system. It cycles through the compressor, evaporator, coil, condenser coil and other tubing.
When there’s a leak in the system, the refrigerant can escape, and the refrigerator will not cool properly. One indicator of a refrigerant leak is that the fridge stops cooling.
Correcting a refrigerant leak involves finding the leak and fixing it, then refilling the refrigerant. Repairing a refrigerator’s sealed systems are among the most expensive and complicated repairs. Fortunately, this type of repair is common. A service technician should complete refrigerant repairs.
How do you reset a Samsung refrigerator?
Maybe all your refrigerator needs is a reboot. Simply unplug it or turn off the power at the circuit breaker, and after a few minutes, power it up again. After all, that works with your laptop — it should help the fridge too, right? Wrong.
Samsung advises against resetting your refrigerator in most circumstances. Here’s why:
- Resetting your fridge will erase the error codes that signify it needs service. You may clear the code, but the underlying problem will remain. When left untreated, most issues get worse in time, with the delay causing a more expensive repair.
- If you reset the fridge and it still doesn’t work, then schedule service, the error codes and other diagnostic information in the main control board will be wiped out. That makes it more difficult for the technician to diagnose and repair the problem.
- In some cases, the error code is a combination of lit parts of the panel. Resetting the fridge will erase the code. It’s helpful to photograph the panel before performing the reset.
There are a couple of times when you can reset your Samsung refrigerator, including:
- If your fridge is working fine and you’re unplugging it to clean or move it, that’s no problem. If there are no issues with the appliance, resetting the history is not important.
Certain error codes, such as 88 88, occur when the refrigerator doesn’t boot up properly after an outage. In that case, a reset is worth a try. For more information, see Samsung error codes.
Protect your Samsung refrigerator with Cinch
A refrigerator breakdown can be expensive, inconvenient and result in spoiled food. Keep major appliances, such as your refrigerator, running efficiently and protect your budget with a Cinch home warranty.
Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when things break down, we step up. Cinch makes unexpected breakdowns more manageable with fast, easy ways to request service and check claims. Our pre-screened, national network of service professionals can save you the time and frustration of doing your own repairs. Compare our home protection plans to see what’s best for your home and request a free quote today.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to provide potential solutions but aren’t guaranteed to fix the problem. To avoid further issues, though, please seek an expert opinion similar to one offered by a Cinch service provider.