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Freezes / frosted over in evaporator coil

I have a Samsung four door flex. All of a sudden it stopped dispensing water. Then the water filter froze and cracked. Of course water flooded my kitchen.

Long story short, i opened the panel in the back of the fridge to find that it was frosted over.

manually defrosted (unplugged and used the hair dryer).

i found the fan doesn’t turn on all the time. The fan only turns on when i restart the fridge. Then it stopped after it’s “initial cycle”(?). (I can tell it is on or not because i put a piece of plastic that it touches the fan blade.)


I turn off the fridge one in a while so that it defrosts. So far I had forced defrost manually using the FD option. (Once Last night and one this evening). The drain is not blocked Because water does drip down when I turn it off.

Problem persists. I changed the temperature sensor behind the panel. Same problem. I’m asking if you have any suggestion or solution.

i will have to call for service, (I just don’t like the fact that there is no guarantee that they will do it right the first time. No guarantee that the problem will not happen again.) i have the Ice maker Turn off because it freeze and therefore no water going thru the system.

Thanks for your attention.

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Hi @bkny ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

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HI @jayeff, thanks for the reply.

The model is RF28K9380SR.

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Hi @bkny

Just to clarify, which sensor did you replace as there is temp sensor in the refrigerator compartment and also one in the freezer compartment?

When the evaporator fan is not operating (is the compressor also stopped when the fan is stopped?) it may be because one of the compartments is indicating incorrectly that it is cool enough.

The ice build up should not happen because the defrost heaters should melt the ice during the auto defrost cycle.

According to the parts list - part 8-3 & 8-6 freezer section there are two heaters associated with the evaporator unit. Maybe one on its own isn’t good enough (as most fridges only have the one) I don’t know, but perhaps you should disconnect the power from the refrigerator and then disconnect and test them with an Ohmmeter to make sure that they’re both OK. Usually defrost heaters are between 10-70 Ohms but I’m not sure about Samsung. Also be safety aware if you go to test the heaters’ power supply (assuming that the heaters test OK with an Ohmmeter) as heaters normally operate at AC mains voltage supply

Not sure with Samsung but with other makes they usually go into the auto defrost cycle once every 8 -11 hours (depends on maker) and the auto defrost cycle lasts about 20-25 minutes. During this time the compressor and evaporator fan are both turned off and the defrost heater is turned on to melt the accumulated ice on the evap unit. The temp in the freezer is allowed to rise to ~32F to aid the melting process. When it reachers ~32F the defrost thermostat operates to signal the control board to end the cycle, turn off the heater and start the compressor and evaporator fan again to drive the temps back down to the set temps. This process is repeated 8-11 hours later etc.

If the auto defrost cycle doesn’t kick in then it may be a control board problem.

As a precaution never use a hair dryer on hot to melt any ice on the evaporator unit as this can damage it as it is only thin aluminium working at very cold (0 deg. F) temp. Turn off the fridge and leave the door open and allow it to melt naturally. You can help it along a bit by the using a hair dryer on the coolest setting for brief periods at a time. Have plenty of towels handy as it may flood under the fridge if the evaporator pan overflows when the ice is melting. ;-)

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@jayeff

According to the parts diagram, i changed the sensor labeled 17-1.

I was expecting to see a defrost heater after watching some YouTube videos. But when i removed the panel, there is no heater like other Samsung models. I did not touch the freezer at all.

What i did is, put a separate temperature sensor inside the fridge. (Put the probe next to the temp sensor just to compare the temp readings).

At time, my temperature sensor reading is very different than the fridge reading. Now it’s not too far off: 12c on my sensor and 14c on the fridge door.

The area near the crisper drawers shelf freezes.

It feels very hot from the back of the fridge. Midway on the back, a section (between the freezer abs the fridge) feels hot to the touch.

I cleaned the fins in the back. Got rid of the water that is in the pan.

How can I tell if the compressor is on? There is constant vibration noise from the fridge.

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@bkny

Was it the evaporator in the fridge compartment that was iced up?

There is no heater associated with that evaporator but there are with the evaporator in the freezer compartment.

There is also another temp sensor in the refrigerator part #15-5 fridge & ice maker section.

Sensor 17-1 is near the evaporator unit will give different results to the control board as it is right on the evap unit. i.e colder than the 15-5 sensor which measures the air temp more. Perhaps both measurements are used to control the temp.

That evaporator shouldn't ice up much if anything at all as I would think that it doesn't get much below 32F (water freezing point) to get the ice to be made and the rest of the fridge compartment would be at a slightly higher temp. If the other sensor (15-5) was faulty the temp would be continued to be driven down to get it right in the refrigerator compartment perhaps then icing up the evap unit This is how I only think that it should work but I don't really know.

Perhaps that sensor (15-5)needs to be checked.

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@jayeff

That’s the sensor i changed because it is easy to access. So i think it is functioning properly. The problem lies elsewhere.

The fridge compartment is freezing up. The water filter area freezes too (hence the filter bursted).

I didn’t check the freezer nor the flex zone (Bottom right freezer).

I think the compressor is working overtime. Keeps pumping cold air and the fan fails to circulate the humid air around the coils. Frost built up. Then everything iced over.

So, based on your experience. What would be the ball park figure i need to pay to have it fix?

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Hi @bkny,

I'm a bit confused.

You first said "According to the parts diagram, i changed the sensor labeled 17-1." and then when I suggested that "Perhaps that sensor (15-5) needs to be checked". you said "That’s the sensor i changed because it is easy to access." so I'm now not sure which one was changed.

If there is ice in the fridge compartment then something is telling the control board to keep supplying the evaporator in the fridge section with refrigerant to get it cooler.

There are 4 sensors in the fridge compartment. 15-5, 15-6, 17-1 & 1-11 although 15-6 and 1-11 (fridge door) are humidity sensors not temp sensors per se. Personally I would check them all first.

As to cost, I have no idea at all. I'm not a fridge repairer and have only fixed refrigerators for myself and friends and have been lucky enough never to have had a sealed system problem which would require a licenced repairer. The only problems I've had have been with sensors, heaters and defrost timers, all of which in one way or the other caused ice build up in the freezer compartment which meant cooling problems usually first noticed in the refrigerator compartment. But the principle would be the same with your model as it has an evaporator (no heater though) in the fridge compartment as well.

Maybe one good thing about your model is if it is a faulty refrigerant valve (part #9 - cycle section) and if the warranty is still applicable is that your model has a 1-5-10 year warranty. so if the fridge is <5 years the cost of repairing the valve it would covered. The valve controls the flow of the refrigerant to both the evaporator units so maybe the control board is telling it to close when the fridge compartment is cool enough and it is not happening. This is only conjecture on my part and a repairer would have to be called. Because you're dealing with the sealed system, there are environmental regulations regarding the handling of refrigerant gases which means that it can only be done by a licenced repairer. If you decide to get a repairer, try a Samsung Authorized one as I said if the warranty is still valid then if anything is wrong with the sealed system it will be covered.

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My wording is unorganized. Apologize.

I only changed the fridge compartment temp sensor.

I was wondering where are all these sensors located. I need to study the parts diagram in more details.

This fridge is less than 3yrs old. I knew of the class action law suit on these models where the ice maker would not make ice. Which is different than what I’m experiencing.

Contacted Samsung but they only able to troubleshoot what i did by following the manual. I have a ticket opened with them and will call their “contracted network repair company”. In the mean time i like to try to fix it.

At some point, i must leave it to the pro (that much i know).

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