Common Samsung Refrigerator Problems & 15 Models to Avoid 

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If you are considering purchasing a new Samsung refrigerator or already have one taking pride of place within your kitchen but want to understand the things that are likely to go wrong, how likely these are, and how to prevent these common Samsung refrigerator problems – I have all this and more in store for you! 

Within the next 10 minutes, you’ll have a much better understanding of the common pitfalls, how comprehensive Samsung’s warranty options are, and what models to actively avoid if you want plain sailing

9 Common Samsung Refrigerator Problems

Before we go into these in detail, I need to include a disclaimer. If you have any of these Samsung refrigerator issues, and your fridge is under the warranty period, stick to the routine cleaning and maintenance activities which include a tick box  below. 

If you tamper with anything mechanical/electrical , it might void your warranty. 

  • Safe and should not void the warranty
  • It might void the warranty

Related: Common Hisense Refrigerator Problems

Temperature fluctuations

This isn’t an issue isolated to Samsung appliances; refrigerators often need more routine maintenance and cleaning than most people realize (myself included – maybe they should teach this in schools..). 

Thankfully, this also means it’s likely an easy fix. If it’s anything more than maintenance, be assured that it should be covered by the warranty. 

Down below are the most common reasons for this issue. If you want a complete guide on this, read >> Samsung Refrigerator Not Cooling

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Clean the condenser coils : Condenser coils help to get rid of the heat from your appliance and keep it cooling properly. If they’re covered in dust and fluff, this takes longer and more effort, resulting in a less efficient appliance and temperature fluctuations. Once you’ve located them (usually at the back or under a kick-plate at the front), use a gentle brush and your vacuum to get rid of the debris. 

For more info, read >> How to Clean Samsung Refrigerator Coils

  • Check the thermostat : If your Samsung refrigerator temperature is set too low or high, it can cause the appliance to work harder and subsequent fluctuations. If you think it might be the problem, you can use a multimeter to check its functioning. If within your warranty period (more info below), DO NOT DO THIS since any tampering by a non-professional can void your warranty. 
  • Check the fan motor : Starting off, if you think this is the problem and you’re within the warranty – contact Samsung and don’t void the warranty. If you’re out with that, you can isolate the fan and test it using a multimeter. 

Frost accumulation

Again, this isn’t isolated to Samsung appliances, but if you’ve got a build-up of frost (even in a ‘No Frost’ appliance) in the freezer or on the back walls of the fridge, it’s usually an easy fix. 

If it’s anything more than maintenance, be assured that it should be covered by the warranty.

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Fridge organization : Frost can build up if there’s not adequate airflow within the appliance. This is so crucial that Samsung has made its own guidelines for how to best organize your content!
  • Routine defrosting : If you have the ‘No Frost’ feature, my best advice is to take it with a pinch of salt – think of it as ‘Less Frost’ rather than ‘No Frost’. To keep your freezer in tip-top condition, you still need to defrost but much less regularly. 
  • Clean the fridge drain Little bits of plastic or food debris can sometimes clog the drain in the fridge, causing excess condensation and frost build-up. You can pick up a drain-clearing kit cheap from Amazon or a hardware store, and it’ll last a lifetime. 
  • Check the door seal : If the doors aren’t closing properly, it can cause condensation and frost. Get a warm cloth and clean all the way around thoroughly, then check they’re tight by trapping a piece of paper and trying to remove it. If the paper comes away freely, you’ll need to replace the seal (if you’re under warranty, this might be covered – contact Samsung before fiddling around). 

If you’ve tried the above, but you’re still facing icy conditions, it’s likely the defrost thermostat or heater ☒ that’s failed

This should be covered by warranty, or if you’re past that, an appliance technician will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you.

Doors Not Closing Properly

Ensuring the doors to your fridge and freezer are properly closed at all times helps prevent condensation build-up and keeps your contents fresh and at a safe temperature for you to enjoy. 

If they’re not closing properly, there are a few easy fixes. 

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Rearrange the contents : Sometimes, it can be as simple as moving items around so that the fridge doors can close properly. It might not be obvious with the doors open, but chunky door bins take up a lot of room inside the fridge when the doors are shut.
  • Check the door seal : Trap a piece of paper in the door jam, and check that there is some level of resistance. If there isn’t, the seal may have given in and need to be replaced. As it’s rubber, this is a super easy fix and is likely to be needed within the lifespan of any appliance.
  • Adjust the door hinge : As you open and close the doors, it can cause the hinge to loosen. If you think this is the problem, grab a screwdriver and tighten up the hinge until the doors are level and closing properly again.

Funky Smells

Although most commonly due to a forgotten chunk of cheese, there may be a more sinister reason your refrigerator smells bad

This is obviously not ideal, but it doesn’t typically need anything more than routine maintenance to fix. 

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Have a good clean and clear out : Work from top to bottom and clear absolutely everything out of both the fridge and freezer, working as quickly as you can to move all the ‘keep’ items into an insulated bag. After that, give everything a good clean (including the fridge drain), and put all your ‘keep’ items back.
  • Check and replace the air filter : Some Samsung fridge freezers have an air filter, usually within the door of the appliance. You can check your owner’s guide to find out where it is for your specific model, but it’ll usually need to be replaced once every 6 (or so) months. This will be a regular expense and therefore generally isn’t covered by the warranty.

Ice Maker Issues

As with any plumbed appliance, plenty can go wrong between your mains line and the dispenser – for both ice and water. 

Your best bet is to start from the easiest and most accessible spot, the dispenser, and clean/check your way from there. 

If it’s anything more than maintenance, be assured that it should be covered by the warranty.

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Check the water filter : Usually, there’s an icon on the front of the fridge to indicate your water filter needs to be replaced. However, you can also check this by removing the filter for 4-6 hours and seeing if ice is made without this in place. If it is, you’ll need to source and fit a new filter. This will be a regular expense and therefore generally isn’t covered by the warranty.
  • Check the water inlet valve : Follow the system from the ice maker to the water inlet, where the water comes into your appliance. You’ll need to make sure it’s not clogged or damaged, if it is, clean it out or replace it as needed. 
  • Check the water lines for damage or kinks : If the issue isn’t within the appliance, it might be in the water line connecting your fridge to the mains water in your house. Check these for damage, kinks, and knots regularly. You should be able to straighten out the line yourself, but if you need to replace it, you may want to call in a plumber. 

Water Dispenser Problems

As mentioned above, there’s lots of room for things to go wrong between the mains water and the dispenser: lots of complex parts mean more opportunities for things to go wrong. 

Related >> Samsung Refrigerator Water Dispenser Not Working

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Check all components regularly, from the mains to the dispenser This may seem obvious, but check everything is properly connected with no leaks, kinks, or obvious damage. Clean, fix and replace any parts as required. 
  • Replace the water filter : If you have a water dispenser and/or ice maker, your fridge will also have a filter to purify water from the mains. As with the air filter mentioned earlier, this will need to be replaced approximately every 6 months – so it’s always good to have a spare on hand just in case. This will be a regular expense and therefore generally isn’t covered by the warranty.

Tip: Once you’ve replaced the water filter, you need to reset the indicator so that it will remind you again next time. For a complete guide on how to do so, read >> How to Reset Filter Light on Samsung Refrigerator

Water Leaks

Fridges, particularly those with plumbed parts, are prone to leaks – it’s an occupational hazard. This one might be an easy fix, or you might need to call in a specialist. 

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Clean the fridge drain : If the drain at the back of the fridge becomes clogged or frozen, water can build up and create a leak. You get specialist tools for this from most hardware stores (or Amazon for a quick fix), which snake down the drain and clear it out completely.
  • Check the water filter is seated firmly, replace it if needed : If the water filter is sitting just 1cm out of place, it can cause huge leaks instantly! Always make sure you take it in and out per instructions and try to get that affirmative ‘click’ into place. If it’s nearing 6 months since you swapped it out, and the issues have only just started, it’s more likely that it needs to be replaced again.

Weird and Wonderful Noises..

Most of the problems for this are likely to be mechanical in nature, and at that, they will probably need a professional or experienced DIYer to fix them.

How to Prevent and Fix

  • Check the fridge is level : If you have a new appliance, you might not automatically look at the bottom – but you should! It’s likely to have leveling feet on each corner, which you’ll need to twist to adjust. If you hear strange noises – grab a spirit level and check it’s equal front-to-back and side-to-side or adjust the feet accordingly until it is.
  • Check for any loose parts : Again, this is a DIY fix. Look around the fridge and freezer, both inside and out, for any parts that may be loose and cause noise. If you find any, tighten them or replace the part if it’s broken.
  • Check for any mechanical issues : I’d personally call out a specialist for this, but if you feel comfortable, then check the compressor, the condenser fan motor, and the evaporator fan motor. If it falls under this category, be assured that it should be covered by the warranty.

Fire Hazards

Although this affects mainly older models, limited to the RS21 and RS60 range produced pre-2014, it is worth mentioning.

If you smell burning, turn the appliance off at the mains and call an engineer to take a look straight away.

How to Prevent and Fix

If you have one of these models and haven’t already contacted Samsung, get in touch with them to have your appliance repaired to fix the potential fire risk identified.

Samsung Refrigerator Warranties

At a minimum, your Samsung refrigerator will be covered for 1-2 years from the date of purchase against any manufacturing or workmanship defects. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t cover any accidental damage or damage caused by natural disasters (hurricanes, power surges, etc.). 

The company also regularly runs extended warranty promotions, typically offering an extra 2-3 years if registered quickly after making the purchase – I’d definitely check this soon after purchase and keep your receipt somewhere safe! 

I staple mine to the owner’s manual and attach it to the side of the fridge, but that’s just what works for me.

Your appliance may also qualify for Samsung’s 10-year parts warranty for the Digital Inverter Compressor if purchased before July 2022; if purchased in or after July 2022, this should be a 20-year warranty. 

What’s on offer depends on the country of purchase, but there’s usually an option to extend if you want peace of mind. 

Tip: If you bought your refrigerator online, email the receipt to yourself with the subject line ‘Samsung fridge’ so it’ll be searchable for years to come. If you can, print it out too, and staple it to your owner’s manual. 

Does the Warranty Cover These Common Samsung Refrigerator Problems?

If the defect occurs within the warranty period, it’s likely to be covered unless there are any obvious signs of misuse or lack of routine maintenance.

Tip: If you’re worried, I’d also make sure the appliance is covered by your home insurance for accidental damage – that way, you’re covered regardless of whether it’s a mechanical issue or otherwise.

Samsung Refrigerator – Reliability Comparison

Although Samsung is generally a well-respected brand within the refrigerator and home appliance market, it has come under fire lately after the number of safety complaints received by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has soared since 2020. 

At the moment, Samsung is accountable for 75% of all refrigerator safety complaints filed since 2020

However, perhaps more worryingly, this hasn’t resulted in any official warnings or recall notices, nor has it been linked to a specific model number, with the latest recall dating back to the French Door models in production from 2000-2010. 

If you’re considering a second-hand model, the ones to avoid are:

  • RFG298HDRS*
  • RF26J7500SR*
  • RF27T5201SG*

As noted earlier, there are also some other model numbers which Samsung intervened as part of a home repair program, including: 

  • RS21* 
  • RS60* 
  • RSE8*
  • RSH1* 
  • RSJ1* 
  • SN62

Like many others, I hope this is just a short-term blip, but for now, I’d definitely read up on Samsung refrigerator reviews for any specific model you’re considering before hitting the checkout button.

Life Expectancy of Samsung Refrigerators

Samsung refrigerators sit in the middle of the market, with an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years – more if they’re well-maintained, serviced regularly, and generally looked after. 

This is comparable with their competitors like LG, GE, and Whirlpool who all sit around the 10-15 year mark. 

So, Should You Buy a Samsung Refrigerator?

If you’re like me and a total magpie for added bells and whistles, Samsung might just be the brand for you. 

They come in a huge number of varieties, sizes, and configurations, so there’s something to suit every household. 

However, considering their reliability issues and complaints with some newer models, I’d use extra caution and check at least 2-3 different websites for reviews of the specific model you’re considering before committing to the purchase. 

Which Samsung refrigerator problems have you encountered, and how did you deal with them? Let me know in the comments! 

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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.