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Ice Build-Up in Back Wall

We have a Samsung french-door, twin cooling refrigerator (RF28HDEDT model) that has ice build up in the back wall of the refrigerator. Fan noise is our first clue to the ice build up, and with a lot of online research I’ve learned how to remove the shelves, pull the back panel, and defrost the ice build up on my own…often in less than an an hour. We live in Wisconsin, and during the dry winter months I seem to get more longevity out of the fix…but when the humidity rises in the summer we are now opening up the back panel every 4-6 weeks to defrost the ice build up with a steamer.

About a year ago we had a Samsung tech out to our home and he replaced the heating element that runs along the sides/bottom…parts and labor ~$200. As you can see from the attached picture, the bottom portion seems just fine, so it’s not the drain jamming up, for which I’ve seen some parts that can be bought to conduct more heat to the drain hole. Something is happening to quickly accumulate ice in the upper portion…assuming it’s a leak of sorts? The noise is starting to brew again today, so this week I will be back into the fridge for a defrost…any recommendations for a more permanent solve? Thoughts on a copper wire wrapped around the heating element and extended to the upper portion to conduct some heat up there to avoid the ice build up? Sorry if this is a naïve question, but is low freon a potential issue here? If so, how to diagnose and/or recharge?

The fridge works fine otherwise…some freezing of the upper ice maker a few times a year…but general cooling is working…so I’m hopeful that there’s a simple MacGyver fix here that will keep me from clearing the contents of the fridge and defrosting every 4-6 weeks in the summer months. Thanks in advance for the help.

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Update (05/24/2021)

As an update, we are experiencing the re-occurrence of fan noise routinely around every 4-5 weeks...I'm getting rather swift with the removal of contents/shelves from the fridge and hair-dryer defrost of the back wall...can usually have all put back together within 40-60 minutes. Build-up seems faster in the summer months where the humidity is higher here in WI...it gets dry in the winters and I'm expecting that we can go months if I can gut through the summer. With inspiration from the video linked below I've purchased an SH502 heater for ~$20 from Amazon and intend to install one of the next times we open up the unit...unless someone advises otherwise in this thread. Condensation is appearing quickly even while I defrost...so maybe a little caulk on the entry point near the top will be in order too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtcU0XNi...

Ответ на этот вопрос У меня та же проблема

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Thank you for the thorough answer and recommendations. I will check the self-diagnostic later today to see if that provides any clues. On whether the compressor is running continually, what’s the best way for me to assess that without pulling the fridge from the surrounding cabinets as I’m assuming it’s best heard from the rear of the fridge? Does the fan (in the location of the ice blockage) run only when the compressor is running? If so, then by virtue of the noise we are hearing I can report that the compressor has been running solid for the last 24 hours :).

Can’t confirm whether the technician measured the pressure of the sealed system…unlikely given how quick his assessment was.

I’m kinda past the idea of the freon…feels like we would have seen other cooling problems. On my original question, any merit in snaking a copper wire into the upper portion to get some warmth up there and keep from freezing up?

Thanks again!

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@ssearles check your door gaskets. When ice build-up is problematic there's normally one of two things (or both) that cause it if the defrost function is working properly: bad door gaskets or poor door management (leaving them open or cracked). If you aren't leaving it open or cracked, check that the rubber gaskets are not degraded. Check for warps or splits around the entire door. Make sure that it seats properly when closed with no gaps. Also consider putting a dab of silicone where the copper lines come into the box, as that could be a source of infiltration.

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@brandon_k

Thanks! Will check both. Per my other note below, I had the unit really dry yesterday with a hair dryer and observed within minutes the formation of condensation and icicles on the low points of the copper tubes...possibly infiltration from the entry point, though the door was open quite a bit for the clean-out process. There is for sure a pattern where the icing is worse in the summer months where the ambient humidity is higher, which might support the theory on the doors not fully sealing.

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Answer: Samsung needs to come good for these repairs. Cannot keep having this done every 6 to 7 days (for us anyway).

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why do we have to remove everything? why not just turn off and leave doors open

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Judging from the picture it would seem like either the defrost is not long enough or the temp sensor is out of spec.

Your heater is fine, no ice near it and the hi limit is attached so we know it is good as well. If it were door gaskets you would have condensation on the walls and shelves before it made it to the evaporator.

Honestly, these fridges are finicky and i have fixed this issue by just replacing the back panel as an assembly (DA97-12608A)

I would do this before replacing assembly as its the least likely and pretty pricey part.

Replace the sensor, it is a cheap attempt (DA32-10104N) before going to the control (DA94-02679D), i am not 100% sure but i want to say they had to increase the defrost times and there is not a way to do that yourself but have to have a new board with the new programing.

Good luck

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Hi @ssearles ,

Just to eliminate any other problems that may be causing/contributing to what is happening, try running the Self-diagnostic function during normal operation and check for any error codes.

The error code list and meanings are on the next page in the service manual. Do not be confused by the model number of the refrigerator at the top of the pages as the manual is also for your model. - see page 1.

Is the compressor running continually trying to cool the fridge down?

Low refrigerant usually results in cooling problems e.g. freezer/refrigerator too warm not ice build up. Maybe check for any oily residues on the condenser coils and on or under the compressor. There is a special oil mixed in with the refrigerant to lubricate the compressor and if there is a leak then the refrigerant will escape to the air undetected but the oil may leave a trace. Although after all this time if there was a leak the refrigerant should have all been gone by now ;-)

Did the technician measure the low and high side pressures of the sealed system? The pressures will indicate if the amount of refrigerant is correct and also if there are any restrictions in the sealed system. Sometimes a restriction in the system can cause ice build up on the other side of the restriction in the refrigerant flow path.

If parts are required search online for RF28HDEDTSR parts to get results for suppliers that suit you best.

Hopefully a start.

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@jayeff

Diagnostic test showed code 25C...can't find that in the manual, but 25E seems to match with the fridge defrost having issues.

Opened things up today...quite a bit of build-up in just four weeks, cleaned out with hair dryer. Let fridge set for 5 min and could see icicles forming in the top section, so there's water/condensation that builds quickly...but also ran the forced defrost and found within minutes that it cleared all, including the top area prone to ice build up...tells me that the defrost is working when activated, maybe just not enough to keep up with the accumulation of water. Youtube suggestion to splice in another heating element around the top section (part SH-502, availabe on Amazon for $20). Thoughts? Suppose I could also activate the force defrost weekly to buy us some time between defrostings?

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@ssearles

Didn't notice your comment from yesterday but to my knowledge the evaporator fan will run as long as the compressor is running so as to keep distributing the cold around the compartment(s). Be aware though that your model has more than one evap unit (freezer and refrigerator) so therefore more fans so the freezer fan may stop but the fridge fan may keep running or vise versa

Don't know if this may be applicable to your situation or not but your model is listed. So maybe worth looking at.

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Seems like, there is no 100% solution on how to fix ice build-up on the Samsung fridge permanently. According to this website, it caused by temperature fluctuations and somehow by water condensation, which becomes ice. So, no permanent fix for my fridge as well

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We have this issue every 6 to 7 days now. We cannot keep going thru all this nonsense when this fridge clearly has had issues with the ice maker and now this. It's never left open and it's mostly just me here and no kids. Looks brand new inside and out! Time for a Canadian class-action suit if they don't come and permanently fix these issues we all seem to get. These are not cheap fridges to purchase.

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I have seen a lot of comments about door gaskets, tilting the fridge so the doors close "better", etc. I don't believe any of these are the problem. I replaced my defrost heater and still had the same problem. I finally replaced the upper temperature sensor, around $25 from Amazon, part "Samsung DA32-10104N Temperature Sensor" and the problem disappeared. I also opened the back and vacuum cleaned all the internals as best I could. Everything was pretty dirty after about 5 years.

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One of my air conditioners has the same issue with ice forming near the coils and requires defrosts. I haven’t figured it out yet but I can offer you some possible ideas.

  1. It could be a defect in the thermostat, causing the compressor to work at full power constantly, leading to frozen coils.
  2. A. Condensation or water collecting somewhere it shouldn’t. If water is near the coils it freezes. This problem then starts to compound, as the frozen coils then start to prevent air flow throughout and the chunks of ice grow larger. It gets worse until the compartment turns into a self-contained chunk of ice that must be defrosted. Checking to see if the fridge is level may help. If it sags in a certain direction that could potentially prevent water buildup from draining.
  3. B. Air flow restricted somewhere or fan malfunction. If the fan is not working properly, the air will not circulate where necessary. Also, proper fan function helps prevent excess humidity in the compartment. These things contribute or can be the cause of problem A.

Some band-aid temporary solutions that can help might be putting spray wax or some other type of hydro-repellant on the coils. Or a moisture absorber like salt around that area. Or putting a small fan or an appliance that tends to generate excess heat near refrigerators vents. Note that these probably won’t fix the problem but it can minimize it.

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