Samsung fridge not cooling? Here are 15 possible reasons why (plus easy fixes!)

Written by Jason Hutchinson
7 Min read
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Table of contents

Samsung is a well-known household name across the world and the number-one selling brand of major appliances across America.  Best known for products that are designed for the way you live, a Samsung product will help to make your life much easier, infinitely more efficient, and way more stylish!

But even the very best products occasionally run into problems – whether due to wear and tear or user error – and arming yourself with knowledge about some of the most common problems along with how to resolve them will save you a good deal of time, worry, and expense.

So, whether you’ve already run into an issue and need to know how to repair it or are researching ahead of a new Samsung fridge purchase, we’ve got all the answers and solutions you’re going to need.

How to identify that your Samsung fridge is faulty

There are a few major warning signs that will alert you to the fact your Samsung fridge is not cooling, these include:

  • Temperature test – You don’t get that rush of cold when you open the door, or your butter feels soft to the touch
  • Excess condensation – Whilst a little bit of condensation to the inside of your fridge isn’t a huge issue, condensation over your food or excess water droplets over the walls of your unit indicates an issue
  • The motor is hot – The motor of your fridge is an extremely hardworking device and will naturally feel a little warm. However, it definitely shouldn’t feel hot. If you can feel excess heat when placing your hand towards the back of the fridge this is a sign it’s having to work overtime and should be investigated
  • Noise test – The gentle humming noise a fridge makes is a comforting ‘white noise’ but if that noise raises to an unusually high level, the internal motor and compressor is having to work extra hard for some reason.Other ‘red-flag’ noises include excessive popping, cracking, or hissing
  • Water on the floor – If the underneath of your fridge has turned into a slip n slide, this indicates there is a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. Another key indicator is an ice build-up on the back of your fridge

How to reset your Samsung fridge

Whilst Samsung doesn’t recommend that you regularly reset your refrigerator, if you do need to do this as a once-off fix there is a simple way to carry out this action.

Firstly, you need to stop the power going into the fridge. You can do this by unplugging it or turning the power off at the circuit breaker. Wait a full five minutes before plugging it back in again.

How to reset your Family Hub screen

Resetting your Family Hub screen is relatively easy, you simply need to flick the red switch that is situated inside the right-hand door at the top.

To perform a factory reset you should navigate to ‘settings’ before selecting ‘about Family Hub’. You will then see the option to ‘factory reset data’, here you should select ‘reset’ and then ‘reset’ again when prompted. Finally, select the option to ‘delete all data’.

15 Reasons your Samsung Fridge isn’t cooling

1. It’s not plugged in properly

Easy fix number one simply requires you to remove the plug from the wall before plugging it back in again. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, check the socket by plugging another appliance into the plug, if that doesn’t work either then you should check the circuit breaker for that unit.

2. The doors haven’t been closed fully

When a refrigerator door fails to close fully to create a proper seal, cold air can escape, and warm air will travel into the fridge unit. Fixing this could be as simple as rearranging the items inside the fridge to make sure nothing is obstructing the door. Failing that, you should check the fridge’s closing cam.

3. The door seals are dirty

Check all along the door seals for dirt or small tears that could be causing gaps that are allowing warm air to travel inside your fridge. Clean off any dirt, grease, or debris with warm soapy water and allow up to 24 hours for the fridge to reach the optimum temperature again.

If you notice any tears in the door seal, in most cases the seal will need to be replaced. However, if the damage is relatively minor you may be able to repair this yourself.

4. The fridge is in the wrong position

If your fridge is struggling to keep cool, this could be because it has been placed too close to a heat source such as in direct sunlight or next to a stove. Placing fridges next to a stove will make the fridge’s compressor work overtime, making it more prone to problems.

Reposition your fridge, if at all possible, to avoid these issues.

5. The temperature has been set too high

You may need to lower the temperature inside the refrigeration unit if it isn’t keeping your items cool enough. The ideal temperature for a fridge is around 3 degrees – if the temperature is higher than this, decrease the temperature using the control panel.

6. There isn’t enough space between the wall and the fridge

If your fridge doesn’t get enough ventilation, it is at risk of overheating. You should allow between ½ inch and one inch of extra space between the refrigerator and side wall, and the same clearance at the top.

7. There is too much food in the fridge

If you’ve recently been on a big shopping trip, you may have over-packed your fridge which will be restricting the airflow or blocking a vent.  Fridges need room to be able to circulate enough cold air around the items stored in there – consider moving some of the items into the freezer or rearranging the shelves to give your fridge more room to breathe!

8. The fridge is still in demo mode

You may have accidentally switched your fridge into demo mode without noticing. If your Samsung refrigerator display reads ‘OF-OF’ then this is a sure sign it has been switched into demo mode which will disable the compressor and should be reset ASAP.

Turning off demo mode is pretty easy but varies between models.  Refer to your paper manual or check online to learn about your specific refrigerator model.

9. There’s a problem with the evaporator coils

If the evaporator coils are covered with frost or ice, the evaporator fan will be unable to circulate cold air around the fridge.

One way to resolve this issue is to replace the white defrost temperature sensor which will be located on the right-hand side of the fridge.

10. There’s a problem with the condenser/evaporator fan motor

Condenser fan motors work by drawing air through the condenser coils and over the compressor. If this fan isn’t working correctly, it will be unable to cool the refrigerator. Check the fan for obstructions and try manually spinning the fan, if it doesn’t spin freely you will need to replace the fan.  

11. The defrost thermostat is faulty

The defrost thermostat is a device that monitors the temperature of the evaporator coils. When the temperature of the coils drops below a certain level, the thermostat will allow power to flow to the defrost heater to prevent the build-up of ice or frost.

If the defrost thermostat on your fridge is faulty it will need to be replaced.

12. The start capacitor is faulty

The start capacitor works in conjunction with the start relay and gets the compressor working. Without a fully working start capacitor, the start relay won’t be able to provide enough power to operate the compressor and it will either work intermittently or fail completely.

If you suspect an issue with the start capacitor, you can check it by testing with a multimeter to see if there is a reading. If there is no reading, the start capacitor should be replaced.

13. There’s a faulty temperature control board

The control board of a Samsung refrigerator is probably one of the most crucial elements required to operate it fully. It provides energy to the compressor and fan motors and is one of the least-likely parts to fail.

However, if after checking all other components of your Samsung refrigerator and it is still not cooling properly, the temperature control board may have failed and will need to be replaced.

14. There's a faulty thermistor

A failing thermistor will cause temperature fluctuations, creating temperatures that are either too cold or too hot. If you believe the thermistor in your Samsung refrigerator has failed, you could check it with a multimeter to see whether the thermistor resistance changes in conjunction with the temperature of the fridge.

If it doesn’t change, or doesn’t have continuity then the thermistor should be replaced.

15. The air damper control unit is faulty

The damper control assembly opens and closes to allow the right amount of cooled air into the refrigerator unit. If the damper control doesn’t open properly, cool air won’t enter, and your fridge will warm up.

The damper control is situated behind the back panel and should be checked to make sure it’s not stuck in the ‘closed’ position. If it is, or in any way broken, it will need to be replaced.

Conclusion

Whilst we’ve outlined several potential issues with Samsung refrigerators, it’s worth noting that Samsung appliances are generally reliable workhorses that will cause you very few problems. However, as you will have seen some of these issues are completely avoidable, and with just a little knowledge of what potentially could go wrong, you’ll be in a good position to avoid them completely.

Regular maintenance is key, so consider taking just a few minutes each week to give your fridge a thorough clean and check-over in order to keep it in tip-top condition for many years to come.

FAQs

Where is the reset button on a Samsung refrigerator?

You can reset a Samsung refrigerator by unplugging it, or switching off the circuit breaker, and waiting for five minutes before plugging it in again.
If you have a Family Hub you can reset it by flicking the red reset switch on and off, which is located inside the right-hand-side door at the top.

Why is my fridge running but not getting cold?

There are several reasons your fridge may be running but not getting cold, some quick and simple fixes include:
-          Checking it has been plugged in correctly
-          Making sure nothing is obstructing the doors and they have been fully closed
-          Checking the door seals are not dirty or torn
-          Considering repositioning the fridge if it is too close to the stove or in direct sunlight
-          Reducing the temperature on the control panel
-          Reducing the amount of food/drink in the fridge

How do I clean the condenser coils on my Samsung refrigerator?

Cleaning the condenser coils is relatively easy when you know how! You must firstly unplug your fridge at the wall and pull the fridge forward away from the wall to access the coils at the back. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove visible dirt and dust before gently vacuuming all over the coils.

What should the minimum distance between a refrigerator and stove be?

The ideal distance between a refrigerator and gas stove should be around 50cm. For electric stoves, this can be reduced to 5cm.

Appliances made simple. 

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