Samsung Refrigerator Freezing Up – Causes and How to Fix

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Samsung refrigerators freezing up is a common issue that many customers have experienced.

This problem can occur for several reasons, such as a faulty thermostat, damaged door seals, or clogged air vents. 

However, most of the time, this is a temporary condition that can be solved by troubleshooting and performing suitable fixes.

In this article, I’ll go through the many problems that can cause your Samsung refrigerator to freeze up. I’ll also discuss various ways to address these issues.

Why is My Samsung Refrigerator Suddenly Freezing Food?

A Samsung refrigerator freezing food can be a very annoying problem to deal with, especially if it’s happening regularly. 

This happens because the temperature inside the fridge is too low, and food meant to stay chilled can end up freezing instead. 

This can lead to damaged and spoiled food and impact the nutritional value of certain items. 

Sometimes, it can make food taste unpleasant or give it an ‘off’ odour. 

If the food stored in your appliance frequently freezes, it may be because:

  • the fridge cannot measure (and therefore regulate) its internal temperature 
  • the cooling cycles are producing too much cold air
  • the food inside is not properly stored
  • the airflow is obstructed
  • the door is letting in room-temperature air
  • the external room temperature is too low
13 reasons your Samsung refrigerator is freezing up

13 Reasons Samsung Refrigerator is Freezing Up & How to Fix It

Broadly speaking, if your fridge is experiencing freezing problems, it means that the appliance is having issues controlling, maintaining, or measuring its internal temperature. 

Reasons for Samsung fridge to freeze up:

  • the temperature is set too low
  • the “Power Cool” mode is being used incorrectly
  • the door has been left open for too long or too often
  • the door gasket or seals are worn out
  • improper storage of hot or boiled food
  • the air vents are blocked
  • improper storage of moist food.
  • the ambient room temperature is too low
  • the control board is malfunctioning
  • the coils are dirty or clogged
  • the damper control assembly is defective
  • the thermistor is faulty
  • the thermostat is not working correctly

Below, I will explain why each of these problems can cause your refrigerator to freeze up and what you can do to fix them.

The temperature recommended by Samsung for most of its fridges is 2°C / 36°F

Internal Temperature Set Too Low

As obvious as it may seem, one of the main factors contributing to a Samsung refrigerator freezing up is having the temperature set too low. 

This can occur intentionally or accidentally, as the temperature control settings may be changed by mistake.

The temperature recommended by Samsung for most of its fridges is 2°C / 36°F. This is in accordance with the USDA’s Food Safety Basics, which encourages chilled food storage at or below 4°C / 40°F, 

If the temperature of your refrigerator is set too low, the cold air can freeze the food and items inside as well as the refrigerator itself. 

Plus, the motor and other components will have to work harder to maintain the lower temperature, resulting in poorer energy efficiency.

How To Adjust Samsung Fridge Temperature

To avoid freezing up, you should adjust the temperature in your refrigerator, so it’s no colder than 2°C / 36°F (or whatever the recommended temperature is for your fridge model). 

The steps to adjust the temperature vary depending on your model.

Models with Freezer and Fridge buttons and touchscreen displays:

  1. Push the ‘Freezer’ and ‘Fridge’ buttons repeatedly to cycle through the available options
  2. Continue to do this until the intended temperature is visible

Models with arrow buttons: 

  1. Press the left or right arrow so the ‘Fridge’ menu is blinking
  2. Push the ‘O’ button to confirm it
  3. Now, push the arrows to set the intended temperature
  4. Wait for 5 seconds until the indicator stops flashing. This indicates your selection has been confirmed

Family HUB models: 

  1. Access the home screen of your refrigerator panel, and swipe to the right to open the options menu
  2. Open the ‘Fridge Manager app. You can modify the temperature settings for the refrigerator, flex zone, and freezer there
  3. Select the area you want, then repeatedly tap the up and down buttons to set the intended temperature
  4. Lastly, tap the save option

You can also watch this video, which shows the process step by step:

Misuse of the “Power Cool” Mode 

The “Power Cool” mode is a feature that many Samsung refrigerators have. It can be used to quickly reduce the temperature of your refrigerator. 

While you can activate and deactivate this mode whenever you want, it will remain active until the refrigerator temperature reaches 1°C / 34°F,

If your refrigerator is freezing up, it might be due to improper use of this feature or failure to deactivate it when the ideal temperature has been reached. 

How To Fix

To solve this problem, turn off “Power Cool” as soon as you notice that your refrigerator has reached the optimal temperature.

The steps to deactivate the “Power Cool” feature may vary depending on the model and specifications of your Samsung refrigerator. 

But in general, they are as follows:

  • If the “Power Cool” icon is on, hold down the “Fridge” button for at least 3 seconds or until the icon turns off
  • If the “Power Cool” indicator light is on, hold down the “Power Cool” button for at least 3 seconds. The light will turn off to indicate that the mode has been disabled
  • On Samsung Smart Refrigerators and the Family HUB line, start up the “Fridge Manager” app, select the “Temperature Setting,” then choose “Power Cool,” and finally, select “Save.”

For more detailed instructions on activating, deactivating, and using the “Power Cool” mode, please refer to the owner’s manual of your refrigerator model. 

Fridge Door Open for Too Long or Too Often

Opening the refrigerator door too often or for too long causes cold air to escape and warm air to enter, raising the interior temperature. 

As a result, the condenser coils must work harder than necessary to cool down the appliance again

This extra strain on the condenser can cause frost to build up inside the refrigerator and freeze stored items. 

How To Fix

To prevent this, it is important to not open the refrigerator door too often or during prolonged periods (except when necessary).

As a basic guideline:

  • Avoid leaving refrigerator doors open for longer than 60 seconds
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator more than necessary
Samsung refrigerator door gasket

Worn Door Gasket or Seal 

The door gasket and seal function as a barrier that keeps the refrigerator’s internal temperature isolated from the outside/room temperature. 

When these pieces become worn or damaged, the insulation they provide is insufficient and will lead to a constant exchange of air between the cold air in the refrigerator and the warm air outside. 

As a result, the fridge will constantly be running to compensate for cold air leakage. Unfortunately, this may cause stored food to freeze and spoil quickly.

How to Fix Fridge Door Gasket and Seal

To fix this issue, check for any gaps or cracks in the refrigerator door that may allow warm air from outside to enter. 

You can make sure your fridge door is closing tightly by following these guidelines:

  1. Clean the rubber gasket of the refrigerator regularly. It is crucial to do this because the door may not close properly if the gasket is not clean
  2. Inspect the gasket for any signs of wear, such as tears, splits, or rips. If you find any deformities, you should replace the gasket.
  3. Reattach the fridge door seal if it has become loose. You can do this by simply pushing it back into place
  4. Replace the fridge door seal if it has gaps or is not sealing properly. You can check this by closing the door on a piece of paper; if you can pull out the paper without any effort, then the door seal needs to be replaced with a new one

In the following video, you will find specific instructions on fixing or replacing the refrigerator door gasket and seals. 

Storage of Hot or Boiling Food

Hot food should not be stored in a refrigerator. This is because hot food releases steam, which then condenses inside the appliance. 

This condensation can later freeze on the cold surfaces of the fridge, leading to frost build-up. 

Additionally, if this happens frequently, the internal temperature can drop significantly, which may result in the refrigerator freezing up.

How to Deal With Hot Food in the Fridge

You can avoid this problem by allowing hot foods to cool before placing them in the refrigerator. 

That way, you can maintain the temperature and avoid frost build-up. 

However, if there is no alternative and you must store food without first letting it cool, the best thing to do is to store the food in an airtight sealed bag or container

By doing this, most of the heat and steam they contain will not be released into the cooling system’s airflow. 

Also, be sure to not place these items in an area of the fridge where they are away from other stored foods. 

Blocked Air Vents

The air vents of a fridge are in charge of circulating cold air in the refrigerator. 

In addition, they also help remove moisture in the compartments, shelves, and walls of the refrigerator. 

If these vents are blocked, for whatever reason, then the cold air won’t be able to circulate properly, which can result in frost build-up.

The most common causes of clogged vents are dirt, dust, lint, and storing food too close to the vents.

How To Fix Blocked Air Vents

If you suspect that your refrigerator vents have become clogged, follow the steps below: 

  1. First, unplug the refrigerator and remove any food stored near the vents
  2. If possible, use a vacuum cleaner to clean dust or dirt from inside the vents
  3. Finally, clean the vents and the surrounding area with a soft cloth, warm water, and a mild detergent

Also, be careful not to store any food or item in your refrigerator within 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) of the front of the vents. 

Suppose none of the above fixes the problem, or you only notice a partial improvement. 

In that case, it is best to call in an expert for a more thorough inspection or cleaning. 

Inadequate Moist Food Storage 

Most modern Samsung refrigerators have special compartments or shelves for storing certain types of food, including moist foods. 

For example, Samsung Convertible Refrigerators feature Moist Fresh Zone, a drawer designed to store perishable foods in peak temperature and moisture conditions. 

If the fridge model you own does not have a special compartment for storing moist foods, it is not designed to store highly moist foods. Or at least not in optimal conditions. 

If that is the case, improper storage of this type of food item may cause it to freeze – especially if it is placed near air vents -fill with frost and freeze other nearby items. 

How to Store Moist Food in the Fridge

If your fridge does not have special compartments for storing moist foods, it is best to store such foods in a separate container or airtight bag.

As a general rule, be careful not to store dry foods too close to moist foods, as they may get wet and spoil. 

Too Low Ambient Temperature 

The ambient room temperature surrounding the refrigerator can affect its performance and efficiency. 

This is because the internal temperature of the refrigerator is directly dependent on the overall temperature of its surroundings. 

Therefore, when the ambient temperature is too low (below 50°F / 11°C), the fridge’s internal temperature will also drop and can cause it to freeze the food inside

In very cold environments, the evaporator coils may freeze while the fridge runs. 

How To Fix

#1. If the ambient temperature surrounding the refrigerator is very cold, it is recommended to set the internal temperature of the appliance to a minimum. 

#2. If there is an air conditioner (or other cooling system) in the room where the refrigerator is located, set it to a temperature that is not harmful to the functioning of the fridge (refer to your owner’s manual), and turn it off when it is not required. 

#3. if the appliance is in an area with exposed walls or floors, consider adding insulation around them. This will help to keep the heat in and prevent the cold air from impacting the fridge.

Clogged or Defective Refrigerator Coils

The refrigerator coils are usually located on the back of, or beneath, the refrigerator and are an essential component of the cooling system. 

The coils’ purpose is to release heat from the inside of the fridge by transferring it to the outside air.

When the coils are clogged with dust, dirt, or pet hair, they can interfere with this heat transfer and cause the refrigerator to work harder to maintain the proper temperature.

In addition, the fridge coils may freeze if the temperature inside is too cold or if there is a malfunction in the cooling system. 

Any of those scenarios can result in overcooling and cause the appliance to freeze up.

How To Fix Clogged or Defective Fridge Coils

It’s important to check your fridge coils regularly and defrost or clean them if necessary. This will ensure the efficient operation of the cooling system. 

  • Defrosting the refrigerator coils: This can be done by unplugging the appliance and leaving it off for at least 24 hours. You can speed up defrosting by removing the coils from the fridge and pouring warm water on them. 
  • Cleaning the refrigerator coils: To clean the coils, unplug the appliance and use a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove any dirt or debris blocking the coils. Make sure that there is clear airflow around the coils.

Read also: How to clean Samsung refrigerator coils

Defective Fridge Damper Control Assembly 

The damper control assembly is a pivotal part of any refrigerator. It regulates the amount of cold air entering the appliance, which ensures that the internal temperature is maintained at a steady and comfortable level. 

Unfortunately, a faulty damper control assembly can cause temperature regulation problems and result in refrigerators’ freezing due to the excessive release of cold air. 

The signs of a defective fridge damper control assembly include the following:

  • weak airflow in the refrigerator
  • a constantly running fan
  • the freezer seems to cycle between being too cold and too warm
  •  food spoiling more quickly than usual

How To Fix

Suppose your refrigerator has been freezing lately, or you have noticed any of the common signs listed above. 

In that case, it is advisable to inspect the Damper Control Assembly. 

However, checking if this part is faulty (requiring replacement) is tedious and complicated.

I advise hiring a specialist with experience repairing Samsung refrigerators, especially if you do not have experience performing this type of repair. 

If you consider yourself qualified for this task and want to do it yourself, the following video explains the procedure:

Faulty Thermistor

The thermistor is a semiconductor device that detects temperature changes and converts them into an electrical signal. 

It is usually located within the refrigerator’s cooling system, which senses temperatures inside the freezer and refrigerator compartments.

If the thermistor senses that the temperature is too low, it sends a signal to the control board, telling it to temporarily turn off the compressor and evaporator to prevent the refrigerator from cooling further. 

However, if the thermistor is faulty, it may not send the signal even when temperatures become dangerously low

This issue can lead to the fridge freezing up, damaging the food inside, and requiring significant repairs.

How To Fix

If you suspect your refrigerator thermistor is faulty, it’s best to have a professional technician come and take a look. 

They can diagnose the issue and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.

However, suppose you have experience doing this type of repair and want to do the work yourself. The following video shows the step-by-step process for replacing a faulty thermistor:

Malfunctioning Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat works with the thermistor to monitor and regulate the internal temperature of your fridge as needed. 

If the thermostat of your fridge isn’t working correctly, its cooling cycles can be erratic and unpredictable

This could cause the appliance to run too hot or cold, potentially leading to issues like freezing, food spoilage, wasted energy, and damage to other components. 

How To Fix

Suppose you believe that the temperature control thermostat of your fridge is malfunctioning. 

In that case, you should first check if the appliance has problems controlling or maintaining its internal temperature. 

You can do this easily by simply adjusting its temperature to the maximum or minimum setting possible and seeing if it stays within that range

If the temperature fluctuates or fails to maintain its set point, then it is likely a defective thermostat.

Although the procedure to repair the thermostat is not too complex, I suggest you delegate it to a refrigerator technician.

Malfunctioning Fridge Control Board

The control board is a key component of any modern fridge. It functions as the “brain” of the appliance since it controls all other components and processes in the refrigerator.

A Samsung refrigerator freezing up, not cooling effectively, making strange noises, or otherwise malfunctioning could be the product of a faulty control board

If your fridge is experiencing any of these issues, this component may be to blame. 

Despite this, the control board is one of the parts of a Samsung refrigerator least prone to failure

Therefore, even if your refrigerator is freezing or not working properly, you must first ensure that this situation is not due to the failure of another component. 

How To Fix

Suppose you have ruled out all other possibilities for malfunction. 

In that case, the easiest way to fix a defective or malfunctioning control board is to contact a certified appliance technician who can accurately diagnose the problem and determine the best action. 

However, the process is not too complex if you feel more at ease doing it yourself. The next video will give you step-by-step instructions on how to properly replace the control board:

Is There a Permanent Fix for Samsung Refrigerator Freezing Up?

While there is no way to ensure your Samsung refrigerator doesn’t ever freeze up.

However, constant maintenance and timely repairs are the best way to prevent this problem. 

  • Regularly clean and check the condenser coils, air filter, and door seals 
  • Ensure the fridge is leveled correctly and that nothing is blocking the ventilation points
  • Also, check the internal temperature regularly to ensure it’s not too hot or cold

By doing this, you can avoid more damage or malfunctions in the future. 

Samsung ice maker

Samsung Refrigerator Ice Maker Freezing Up

Samsung ice makers are also prone to freezing up when the refrigerator is subject to temperature fluctuations or when the air circulation in the unit is impeded.

This problem may be due to the following causes: 

  • excessive frost build-up in the fridge
  • the internal temperature of the fridge is too low
  • the ventilation system is blocked
  • the defrost timer is malfunctioning
  • the water inlet valve is frozen
  • the water filter is clogged
  • the water supply line is leaking or blocked
  • the water pressure is too low
  • the ice fill tube is frozen
  • a component of the ice maker is defective

Read more: Samsung Ice Maker Freezing Up: 9 Causes Why & How to Fix It

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Niels Joensen is the founder and chief editor at Niels is a professional painter who runs his own painting company. When not painting he likes to write about home renovation and appliances.