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Samsung Refrigerator Freezing Up? Top 9 Causes (+ Fixes)

Finding frozen food and ice all over your Samsung refrigerator can be disheartening. After all, refrigerators aren’t meant to freeze food, but to keep it cool at preserving temperatures. So, why is your Samsung refrigerator freezing up?

Here are the top 9 reasons your Samsung refrigerator is freezing up:

  • The temperature settings are set too low.
  • The “Power Cool” mode sis activated.
  • There’s a buildup of frost in the refrigerator.
  • Incorrect moisture food storage in the refrigerator.
  • The fridge’s room temperature is too cold.
  • The refrigerator damper control assembly is malfunctioning.
  • The fridge thermistor is defective.
  • The temperature control thermostat is faulty.
  • The fridge control board is defective.

Because you can easily troubleshoot most of the issues, this article is a comprehensive guide to help you resolve the causes of a refrigerator freezing up. We’ll start you off with those that are easy to troubleshoot and proceed to those that may require the expertise of a professional fridge technician.

Incorrect Temperature Settings

The ideal temperature setting for most Samsung refrigerator models is 38°F (3°C). This is in line with the USDA food safety guidelines, which indicate that refrigerators should be set at 40°F (4°C) or below.

Some Samsung refrigerator models may have different temperature recommendations, which you can find in your User Manual.

If your Samsung refrigerator is set at extremely low temperatures, there’s the risk that the fridge will freeze up, and you need to adjust the appliance to the recommended temperature settings.

How To Fix

Setting your fridge temperature will depend on your model.

For models with control buttons, simply press the ‘Fridge’ button until you can set the temperature at 38°F (3°C). The temperature increases/decreases a degree at a time.

For models with arrow buttons:

  1. Tap the right or left arrow to select the ‘Fridge’ option.
  2. Press the ‘O’ button to confirm your selection.
  3. Continuously press the arrows until you can set 38°F (3°C).
  4. Tap the ‘O’ button again to confirm your temperature selection.

For Family Hub models:

  1. Tap the ‘Fridge Manager’ app on your fridge home screen to access the control settings.
  2. Press the up and down arrows continually to select your desired temperature (38°F/3°C) or lower.
  3. Press the save option.

You can find these steps in this YouTube video from Samsung:

Refrigerator Is in “Power Cool” Mode

Samsung convertible refrigerators have a ‘Power Cool’ mode that allows you to speed up food cooling time. While you can turn the “Power Cool” feature on and off as desired, the feature will stay on for two and a half hours if left on, regardless of the set fridge temperature.

Therefore, if your refrigerator is set at low temperatures and left on the “Power Cool” mode for too long, the fridge can freeze up.

How To Fix

Turn off the “Power Cool” feature as soon as you realize that it has been left on long enough to cause your refrigerator to freeze up.

Here’s how to turn off the “Power Cool” feature on different Samsung fridge models:

  • Tap and hold the “Fridge” button for 3 seconds if the “Power Cool” icon is lit. The light will go off, and the “Power Cool” mode will be deactivated.
  • Touch and press the “Power Cool” button to turn off the feature if the “Power Cool” light is turned on.
  • On Family Hub Samsung refrigerator models, open the “Fridge Manager” app, tap the “Temperature Setting”, press “Power Cool,” then “Save.”

You can check your Samsung refrigerator User Manual for precise instructions on how to operate the “Power Cool” feature on your fridge model.

Frost Buildup in the Refrigerator

In a fridge, frost is the frozen water vapor caused by air entering through an open door or from uncovered moisture foods. Frost can also build up if the vents are blocked and not letting moisture out from the fridge.

With time, frozen moisture can build up and cause your refrigerator to freeze up.

How To Fix 

The best way to fix frost buildup in the refrigerator is to resolve the issue creating water vapor inside the fridge. How you solve this problem depends on the reason for the buildup. I’ll go over the various reasons (and how to solve them) below.

An Open Fridge Door

Avoid opening the fridge door frequently or leaving it open for too long unnecessarily. As a general rule:

  • Don’t leave a fridge door open for more than a minute.
  • Don’t open the fridge more than once in one hour.

Also, ensure your fridge door is tightly closed and has no defects letting in air. Perform the following to ensure your fridge door closes tightly:

  • Clean a dirty refrigerator rubber seal, as dirt can make the door not close properly.
  • Replace a damaged or worn-out door gasket. Look for signs of torn, split, or ripped parts on the gasket to determine if it’s damaged.
  • Re-adjust and push back a refrigerator door seal that’s detached from the door.
  • Replace a warped refrigerator door seal that’s leaving open gaps and letting in air. You can do the dollar bill test to determine if your fridge door has air gaps. 

Find the instructions for replacing a fridge door gasket in this Repair Clinic YouTube video:

Hot or Warm Foods

Hot or warm food in a refrigerator releases warm air and causes frost. It will also warm up other foods in the fridge, causing them to spoil and disrupting the temperature balance inside your refrigerator.

Allow all of your food to cool before placing it in the fridge. Also, store food in covered fridge containers.

Blocked Air Vents

The air vents in your fridge allow air exchange, including removing moisture from inside the refrigerator and preventing frost formation.

When storing food in the fridge, leave at least 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) in front of the vents. If frost is already formed on or around the vents, clear it away to facilitate airflow.

Poor Moisture Food Storage

Some parts of your Samsung refrigerator are specifically created to store specific foods. For example:

  • The Moist Fresh Zone is designed for meat and fish storage because it helps keep these perishable foods fresh for extended periods.
  • Moisture foods should not be stored close to the vent area, as the moisture will create frost.

If proper moisture food storage is not followed, the food can freeze up and extend frost to other stored food, giving you the picture that your entire fridge is freezing up.

How To Fix

To prevent moisture foods from freezing up and frost from building up inside the fridge, follow these two moisture food storage tips:

  • Don’t store vegetables in the Fresh Zone, as the lower temperatures in this compartment will cause them to freeze up. Instead, store vegetables in the reserved vegetable box and use airtight containers to seal moisture in.
  • Don’t store moisture foods close to the air vent.

Low Fridge Room Temperature

The temperature in the room where your fridge is located affects the temperature within the refrigerator. If the room temperature is below 50°F (10°C), it can cause the temperatures within the fridge to descend lower than the set range and facilitate freezing. 

How To Fix

Move your fridge to a warmer location in the home or raise the set fridge temperature. If you aren’t sure how many degrees you should raise your refrigerator setting to adjust to room temperature, seek help with Samsung Support.

If none of the above issues is the cause for your Samsung refrigerator freezing up, your fridge could have more complex mechanical problems, as explained in the next sections.

Conversely, the room temperature can also cause a Samsung refrigerator to not freeze if the temperature is too high. Check out my article on why your Samsung refrigerator won’t freeze for more information. [Samsung Refrigerator Not Freezing? Top # Causes (+ Fixes)]

Malfunctioning Refrigerator Damper Control Assembly

The fridge air damper opens and closes to regulate the amount of cold air released into the refrigerator. If the damper assembly malfunctions, it could remain stuck open and continuously send cold air into the fridge compartments. 

Unfortunately, if this is what’s causing your refrigerator to freeze up, you’ll need to replace a bad refrigerator air damper.

How To Fix

You’ll most likely have to replace the air damper. However, determining if  the air damper is bad and requires replacing is a long and complex procedure. I recommend hiring the services of a trained Samsung refrigerator technician.

If you should feel up to the task, here are the steps for replacing a bad refrigerator damper assembly:

  1. Turn off and unplug the refrigerator.
  2. Pull out the crisper and pantry drawers.
  3. Remove the crisper drawers’ shelf from the water filter housing by pressing the tabs with a screwdriver.
  4. Disassemble the shelf assembly by removing the side pantry door mounting column, the pantry cover, and the upper shelves.
  5. Remove the shelf support railing and the cooling duct.
  6. Unscrew the water filter housing and the support panel and take them out.
  7. Remove the upper and lower shelves’ support rail screws.
  8. Unscrew the cooling duct to release it and disconnect the wires to remove the cooling duct.
  9. Place the cooling duct on a mat and detach the insulation.
  10. Peel the foam inside the polystyrene to separate the two parts of the insulation.
  11. Detach the wires from the cooling duct retaining clips and remove the air damper assembly.
  12. Place the new damper in the insulation and reattach the wires in the retaining clips.
  13. Rejoin the two parts of the insulation and press the foam to the joint.
  14. Follow the reverse steps to replace all the parts back in their place, starting with the cooling duct until you can put back the pantry drawer.
  15. Power the fridge. Your fridge should now stop freezing up.

You can follow these fridge damper control assembly replacement steps in this Repair Clinic YouTube video:

A Defective Fridge Thermistor

The thermistor or temperature sensor communicates with the fridge control board to monitor temperature in the fridge compartment. The control board then cycles the power supply to the evaporator fan and compressor according to the thermistor reading.

If the fridge thermistor is defective, it can send the wrong air temperature readings to the control board, causing it to run the compressor and evaporator fan more often than required. This can lead to overcooling, which will freeze up the refrigerator. 

How To Fix

To fix a defective fridge thermistor, you’ll need to test it for continuity and possibly replace it. Follow these steps to test a defective Samsung refrigerator thermistor:

  1. Turn off the fridge or switch off the power at the circuit breaker.
  2. Find the thermistor in the fridge compartment under a plastic cover on the rear, side wall, or the fridge roof.
  3. Remove the thermistor cover.
  4. Release the mounting clip and unplug the wire to remove the thermistor.
  5. Test the thermistor for resistance with a multimeter. Check the thermistor resistance chart on the tech sheet in your refrigerator’s bottom front grill to determine the thermistor resistance reading. Consult Samsung Support if you can’t locate the chart. 

If the reading deviates from the indicated figure by more than 10%, you’ll need to replace the thermistor. Follow these steps:

  1. Set the new thermistor where the old one was and mount the holding clips. 
  2. Reattach the wire.
  3. Place back the thermistor cover.
  4. Put back in place any refrigerator parts you may have removed to work easily.

You can follow the refrigerator thermistor replacement steps in this Sears PartsDirect YouTube video:

A Faulty Temperature Control Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat in your refrigerator sends voltage to the evaporator fan motor and the compressor to control the cooling cycles. A faulty temperature control thermostat can cause the compressor and fan to run continuously, causing extreme cooling and fridge freeze-up. 

How To Fix

You’ll have to replace a bad fridge temperature control thermostat.

Determine first if the fridge temperature control thermostat is bad by rotating it from the lowest to the highest setting. If the thermostat makes a click, then it’s still good. If it doesn’t, it’s most likely defective. You can also perform a continuity test to confirm that the thermostat is bad before replacing it.

Follow these steps to replace a bad fridge temperature control thermostat:

  1. Turn off the power to the refrigerator.
  2. Locate the control thermostat housing at the roof of the refrigerator compartment.
  3. Unscrew the temperature control thermostat housing, carefully holding it to ensure it doesn’t fall.
  4. Disconnect the wires from the harness on the fridge ceiling to remove the thermostat housing.
  5. Use a screwdriver to take out the control knob and put it aside.
  6. Detach the wires connecting the control thermostat to release the brackets holding the control thermostat and the sensing tube, and remove both parts from the housing.
  7. Remove the power and grounding wires connected to the thermostat, and release the thermostat.
  8. Take out the diffuser block at the other end of the thermostat housing to access the thermostat sensor tube.
  9. Straighten the new sensor tube and fix it into the thermostat housing where the old one was.
  10. Place the new thermostat into the housing and fit it into the brackets where the old one was sitting.
  11. Reconnect the thermostat power and grounding wires.
  12. Reattach the thermostat knob.
  13. Connect the thermostat wires into the harness on the fridge ceiling and screw back the thermostat housing.
  14. Turn the refrigerator power on. You can turn the knob from the lowest to the highest setting to see if you hear the thermostat click.
  15. Set the knob to the correct position before letting the fridge run to see if the appliance stops freezing up.

If you prefer a visual aid, the steps in this Repair Clinic YouTube video will help you replace your Samsung fridge thermostat with greater ease:

A Defective Fridge Control Board

A defective control board is the least probable cause of a Samsung refrigerator freezing up that you should suspect. The refrigerator control board is the brain of your refrigerator that controls all the functions of the different components. 

Although rare, a defective refrigerator control board can cause other fridge parts to malfunction, which is why your fridge could be getting cold air continuously and freezing up.

It’s recommended that a trained fridge technician assesses the control board and determines if it needs replacement.

How To Fix

Unfortunately, you’ll likely have to replace a defective fridge control board.

However, it’s best to work with a trained fridge technician or Samsung Support to ensure you have the correct fridge replacement control board for your model.

Follow these steps to replace a Samsung refrigerator control board:

  1. Disconnect power to the fridge by turning it off and unplugging it or switching off the circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew the fridge cover at the rear and remove it to access the control board.
  3. Mark the position of the wires connecting different fridge components to the control board before disconnecting the wires.
  4. Release the tabs to remove the control board.
  5. Align the new control board where the old one was and press it into position.
  6. Reconnect the wires.
  7. Replace the outer cover and screw it back in place.
  8. Power the refrigerator. The fridge should resume working without freezing up.

You can follow the steps for replacing a Samsung refrigerator control board in this Repair Clinic YouTube video:

Consult a trained Samsung refrigerator technician for further help if none of the issues described above seems to cause your fridge to freeze up.

Sources

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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