One of the most popular posts on this blog is the “How to Defrost a Samsung Ice Maker” post. In that post I outline how to defrost your Samsung Ice Maker using a “secret code” on your control panel. You shouldn’t need to do that every week, but a lot of people do, because the Samsung SZAB001TA1 ice maker (which exists in refrigerators like the RF263BEAEW) had serious issues when it left the factory.
Fortunately, the issues can be remedied. Unfortunately, Samsung is keeping the information under wraps, and it is extremely difficult to find any information on the subject. Hopefully this post will help those of you looking for answers.
So first, here again are the steps for defrosting your Samsung Ice Maker using the control panel on the front of your fridge:
- On the front panel display, press the Energy Saver and Refrigerator buttons at the same time for 8 seconds. The display will switch to the Test Mode and the display will go dark (all buttons, etc., will go dark) .
- Press any button within 15 seconds after the display has gone dark to scroll through the Test Modes as follows:
- Manual operation 1 (FF)
- Manual operation 2 (0F-r)
- Manual defrost of fresh food compartments (rd)
- Manual defrost of fresh food and freezer compartments (fd)
- Cancel (display goes completely dark)
“fd” is the one you want. The defrost mode will cause the refrigerator to beep the entire time it’s in effect (pretty annoying) and will shut off after five minutes (I had to do it quite a few times to thaw everything out).
When the Geek Squad Tech came to fix our ice maker, he also used a hair dryer to speed things up, but be careful if you go this route as you can actually melt the plastic housing and components and cause greater issues than you had before by deforming the plastic in your ice maker.
There are four things that need to be changed to make this ice maker work properly.
- The water fill tube needs to be adjusted.
- The thin gap between the refrigerator wall and the ice maker housing (bottom side of ice maker against fridge wall) needs to be sealed.
- The ribs surrounding the ice room fan air duct need to be removed with a utility knife (they cause water to puddle in the duct).
- Foam should be installed on to of the ice maker housing around the water fill inlet.
- If you have an older control board, the control board should be upgraded.
These issues are covered in a service bulletin that went out to Samsung Service Techs. I got to take a look at the four page PDF, but our tech was nervous about getting in trouble if I actually posted the document on the web, so he only let me look at the doc. on his phone.
Since then, the document has found it’s way to the web. An anonymous user actually posted the Service Bulletin document number in the comments of my original post on this issue. So now I have a copy of the PDF here: ASC20150717001 (if you don’t trust the link, just search the doc. title on Google).
Looking at the service bulletin is the easiest way to address everything, but I’ll lay things out here as well (though in less detail).
So, issue #1, the fill tube. In the back of your Samsung fridge you can see the fill tube sticking out the back of the refrigerator. This tube has a tendencey to slip, and after that happens water starts pouring all over the ice maker instead of just into the ice tray. Thus, the first step in fixing your ice maker is making sure this tube goes where it’s supposed to, and then making sure it stays put. Oddly enough, the tube often slips to far in (not out) and causes water to splash all over the place, so usually you have to actually back the tube out a bit and then secure it.
Issue #2. This is an easy fix. Simply take a tube of silicone and seal the gap. It seems hard to believe this would be an issue, but I guess it’s why Samsung didn’t catch the problem earlier, and it really makes a difference.
Issue #3. (see service bulletin)
Issue #4. With the entire ice maker out of the refrigerator, cut a thin strip of foam and glue it (silicone works well) around the perimeter of the water inlet area. See photo below.
Issue #4. When I got fed up with Samsung “tech” (really just a bunch of people who have NO IDEA what they’re talking about reading scripts on the phone) and went to Best Buy and they put me on the phone with a Geek Squad guy in Minnesota who REALLY knew what he was doing, he listened to what I had to say, realized I had done some research and figure out what was going on, and thus just ordered every possible part that might need to be replaced to fix the issue and had them all sent directly to my house so the parts would already be there when the tech arrived. Freaking fantastic. One of the things that got sent was a new controller board. The board has a lot more ports and resistors and what not. I took a photo of the new board, but I’m having a hard time locating it. Here is a photo of the OLD board.
For what it’s worth, Samsung “customer support” is not support at all. I spent hours and hours going through the same process over and over again (the person on the other end insisting on reading their script and asking me irrelevant, inane questions ad nauseum). Each time, they would tell me someone would call me back soon, and each time, after a couple of days I would call back and there would be no evidence that I had ever called and the number I had been given was linked to no information whatsoever. It was pretty infuriating. I had to laugh when weeks after the matter was resolved (via Geek Squad, NOT Samsung) I received a letter from Samsung asking if I would like to purchase extended warranty services from them. Unbelievable.
Some additional photos of the ice maker problems and fixes…