Monday, August 29, 2016

Fixing a Samsung Ice Maker

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:

  1. 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) .
  2. 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.

  1. The water fill tube needs to be adjusted.
  2. The thin gap between the refrigerator wall and the ice maker housing (bottom side of ice maker against fridge wall) needs to be sealed.
  3. 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).
  4. Foam should be installed on to of the ice maker housing around the water fill inlet.
  5. 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.

20160409_121521

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.

IMG_20160829_091844

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…

20160409_11185120160409_11190620160409_11192120160409_121134

91 comments:

Russ said...

Thanks so much for posting all this info. My fridge just started having the same problem about a month ago. Owned it for 2 years. Called a service company to come out but now I think I'll try to solve the problem myself and save some money.

It always blows me away there are people out there like you making the effort to post stuff like this.

Thanks again!!

The Invisible said...

Glad to be of help, Russ. And thanks for your generosity. And yeah, I get so many answers about how to fix my car, my camera, my etc., etc. that I'm happy to post this stuff for others! It's just not always easy to find the "free" time to make it happen. Thanks again.

Kyle Mason said...

What kind of foam did you use for around the water inlet? I'm thinking just some weather strip type stuff from lowes would work.

The Invisible said...

Yeah... he told me he just used whatever he had leftover from other jobs, but weatherstripping would work just fine and it's relatively cheap at Lowe's. I'd probably go with the EPDM (rubber) stuff just so it stands up to the moisture better than foam might. You could probably even use backer rod though (the foam stuff like a "noodle" pool toy that you use to fill in cracks before caulking) or even the closed-cell sill plate insulation (the blue roll that goes between your 2x4 base and the cinder block foundation) you used when framing a house.

Steve Hobbs said...

There's a button on the side of the ice maker at the top. What is this for??
Thanks in advance.
Steve

The Invisible said...

Supposedly it's a "reset" button to reset the ice cycle, but it has never done anything (at least nothing obvious) for me. Basically, it's one of the things you try if your ice cycle stops (and it's not because of an ice block). It resets the ice maker at the control board to make it start again.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! Followed the defrost instructions and worked great. Hoping to get out of all the other steps but reading the posts I don't see it happening. Thanks again for the awesome info!!

Anonymous said...

I've defrosted my ice maker numerous times and replaced the auger and main ice maker assembly on my Samsung in an attempt to fix this problem - all to no avail. Then I found this posting. My ice maker had three of the four problems listed on the bulletin. The water fill tube was pushed in too far and I needed to cut the ribs from the air duct cover. Now my ice maker works as it should - no more ice blocking the air duct, ice build-up in the main compartment, nor water pooling in the crisper!

Thank you so much for finding this solution and taking the time to post it!!!

John Medved said...

Here's my apparently unique situation. My fridge, model RF263BEAESR, manufactured in August of 2015, will only make one "tray" of ice and then stops. I did everything that was included in the 7/17/15 service bulletin (needed #1 and #3 but did #2 anyway). I hit the reset button on the ice maker, it makes one "tray" of ice (about 8 cubes) and stops. If I hit the reset button again it will make another 8 cubes and stop.

Is anybody else having this problem? So frustrating. The problem literally started 1 week after the warranty ran out.

ronb said...

Anonymous: your comment " I needed to cut the ribs from the air duct cover. " where is this, the fins at the front of the ice maker? thanks! And if ANYONE has a part number for the new control board I would REALLY appreciate it! I've been wrestling with this monster for almost a year now, done everything cited here, and need to get it fixed.

Bruce Williams, Cary, NC said...

Thanks so much to you and all for the multiple posts on this vexing problem!

About once a month when the ice maker quit, we were defrosting the ice and frost build up on the bottom of the ice maker.

We have a Samsung RF30BED8SR/AA frig with ice maker Model Number SZAB001TA1 DA97-12317A. It is about four years old and this problem just started about six months ago.

Based on the advice from you and others on the blog, we pulled the ice maker and there was a HUGE block of ice around the refrigerate tubes coming from the back of the frig. It was so big it extended around the side of the enclosure.

Working on the fixes now and have contacted the class action lawsuit.

Thanks again!

Danielle said...

First, thanks for your post on what to check. After defrosting , removing ice maker, and ice lodged in the back and in the ice maker itself, put it all back together, came home from work and same issue. Water is going into the ice maker and over edges and freezing.
Any suggestions?

The Invisible said...

After defrosting and removing the ice, did you complete *any* of the other suggestions (the way you actually *fix* the problem)? ;-)

Danielle said...

Yes, checked all and reset ice maker
I even took that apart to check reset button
Still same issue

Danielle said...

Btw, I have a rf267abrs model

The Invisible said...

It's not a matter of just checking something. You need to make modifications.

From the post:

1. The water fill tube needs to be adjusted.
2. The thin gap between the refrigerator wall and the ice maker housing (bottom side of ice maker against fridge wall) needs to be sealed.
3. 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).
4. Foam should be installed on to of the ice maker housing around the water fill inlet.
5. If you have an older control board, the control board should be upgraded.

ronb said...

Still hoping someone can provide part number for new control board. Thx!!

The Invisible said...

Hi, Ron. I just found the biz card for the tech who repaired ours. I'm gonna e-mail him and see if there's anyway he can send me the part number.

Danielle said...

My fridge is 5 years old
This just started??

Daniel said...

Hello thank you posting this information. I have a Samsung RF28HFEDTSR and I've removed the ice maker before to reset it but of course it's still messing up and now I can't even pull the ice maker bucket out. Has anyone had this issue and if so, what did you to fix it? I want to try the fixes detailed on this page but I can't even get the stupid bucket out. I've tried heating it up with a hair dryer but it still won't come out. Help please!

Daniel said...

Also, is there a picture of the ribs that need to be cut off? Where are they at exactly? Thanks.

The Invisible said...

Yeah, mine froze completely shut once too. I just had to go through the defrost cycle a million times until I was able to remove teh bucket.

Regarding the ribs... there are pictures of everything in the Samsung service bulletin.

Daniel said...

Thank you very much for the reply. I think my fridge is slightly different than the specified directions for the defrost cycle. I can't get the test mode to show up to start the defrost cycle.

Anonymous said...

I just took mine apart. Same issues, etc.

I found that my problem was problem #3 - there was a big block of ice blocking the fan in the opening just below where that frozen u-shaped bar came out. I took the main ice-making section out, then if you just lift that tab on the back part (above the part that turns the ice crank) you can pull the whole bottom back section out, then clean everything out, dry it all, put it back together.

My unit doesn't really have the ribbed parts that are mentioned. Looks like this may just end up being an annual job that I have to do. Thanks, Samsung.

Meanwhile my Samsung VRT dryer is broken for the 100th time as well. I would not recommend Samsung appliances to my worst enemies. Junk.

Consumerized said...

Dan, does your new circuit board have a new part number? My ice maker stopped working and it smells like something burnt out on my refrigerators circuit board.

ronb said...

after last defrost, left maker and auger out of icebox, shut off ice maker, and 1 week in have ice allover base of refrigerant coil and into vent area above where defrost fan would be. appears to have nothing to do with making ice.....

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have the almost $4,000 model with built-in sodastream for sparkling water.
My ice maker showed these symptoms after 1 year--out of warranty so you can imagine how upset I am. I bought a new ice maker on Amazon and it lasted 6 months before doing the same thing again. Obviously several design flaws and not the actual ice maker are the problem.

I look forward to checking and applying these fixes. Thank you so much for this info as Samsung was useless and wanted $600 to extend my warranty. What a joke.

Anonymouse said...

Update:Guy with $4000 Sodastream model.

I had a noticeable 1/16" gap when shining a flashlight from below. My Home Depot did not have RTV silicone but I bought food grade "fish tank" silicone. Worked great! This should solve my slushy ice and the fridge "peeing" into the cup before dispensing ice.

My fill tube was also inserted too far. I also used weather seal foam as you suggested for intake on the ice maker. Thinking back, you probably only need it on the right side as the left side has pathways to the drain.

I shaved off the "ribs" with a utility knife. The air tunnel above the fan was frozen solid. It took me several hours of chiseling and a hair dryer to remove the ice.

It has been 5 days and my ice is now nice and "dry". I keep checking and there is no ice/frost buildup on the ice maker so far! THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this info.

Anonymous said...

I have a Samsung model RF25HMEDBSR/AA and have noticed slushy ice for about 2 weeks. today the water dispenser stopped working completely. I pulled out the ice maker and saw the dreaded frost! I guessed the frost had something to do with the water line to the dispenser - so I googled and found your blog! Great place but so sad to see this is such a common problem. My problem is that I'm trying to get to the "test mode" on the control panel to attempt to thaw out the area. Holding the energy saver and fridge buttons doesn't work. I do that and then press any button and the display with temp comes back up. Nothing to scroll. Do you have any idea of another way I can get to the defrost mode on my model? Thank you!!!

Unknown said...

I have the RF23HCEDBSR model, and also can't get it to go into the test mode. After 8 seconds on Fridge and Energy Saver buttons together, it goes dark, but as soon as another button is touched, the standard panel comes back. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Bill MacFie said...

Similar to above...have the RF23HCEDBSR model. Slushy ice...all as already stated.

However, same problem, can't get into the TEST MODE. Follow directions, panel goes out after 8 sec., but as soon as a button is touched, standard panel comes back on. Any help greatly appreciated.

Bill MacFie said...

Follow-up to my previous comment regarding my RF23HCEDBSR Samsung Refrigerator. I went through a chat session, and the only way to defrost according to the tech as to press the Freezer, Alarm and Fridge buttons all at once for about 5 seconds, and it displays "0 FF" which is apparently the Demo mode.

He said there is no "forced defrost" setting....don't know what to believe now.

Anyway, to take out of Demo mode, same buttons again resets.

Melodious said...

The defrost code is very interesting, but there is a much simpler way to do it. After struggling with this problem for quite a while, I tried turning off the ice, I then took the ice bin out of the fridge. It takes a couple of days but the ice softens and one can use a thin spatula or a wide implement of some sort and the ice is easy to get off. I have found I must do this every couple of weeks.
I too chose this machine after much research. It was the best available in my price range (I had hoped to find one much cheaper but they do not exist.) If you let it freeze up too much, the ice will actually get stuck after a dump, between the maker and the wall of the ice box. That is a problem.

Michael Thompson said...

Thank you for all the information! I have been defrosting mine for a while now. I have a question about the tray. When the unit was new and you switched from ice to water you could hear what sounded like a flap or door close (assuming to seal the ice tray) Now I don't hear it and after closer examination it looks like the door/flap is staying open allowing the warmer refrigerator air to frost things up. Any thoughts?

The Invisible said...

Hi, Michael. My old fridge had that same issue, and I ended up purchasing a part off the web. Actually... now that I think about it... we actually had a guy out to do some repairs on our 1960's oven, and I mentioned the issue with the ice dispenser door. He looked up the part and had it sent to us, no charge. Local, independent businesses rock. Anyway, it ended up being a whole little motorized part, not just a spring, so it may unfortunately be more involved on these Samsungs.

The Invisible said...

I made an appointment with Geek Squad two weeks ago, and today is finally the day they come out to the house. We haven't had *any* ice for two weeks. I couldn't take the beeping sound of the defrost cycle any longer. I had been defrosting the fridge every couple of days for several months. It just got to be too much for our nerves to handle. There is usually a puddle of water on the floor in front of the ice dispenser flap (it has ruined our floating cork floor). There is almost always a pool of water in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator as well. It's great for disintegrated any cardboard or paper packaging on the food in that drawer. :-\ When the Geek Squad guy called this morning, he said there were some updates to the Samsung Bulletin that he would implement, so I'll update this post with those "official" Samsung updates when I have them. I'll also try to get a pic of the controller board (and the part number) while he's working on the fridge.

Steeve said...

Thanks for posting this information. I discovered the fan chamber completely blocked with ice. I have cleared the opening and applied the field fix listed in the manual you provided. Hope this solves my issues.

Kaitlyn Bone said...

I've done all the steps to manual defrost. Do I need to do anything to get it out of this mode?

Anonymous said...

Hey so to confirm @TheInvisible you are still having issues even after applying these fixes? We just ran into this issue this on a new "outlet" version this past week and it's been tons of fun. Wondering whether we should just return it or chance it.

The Invisible said...

Definitely return it while you have the chance! There is no fix. All of the "fixes" on the bulletins from Samsung will never provide a permanent fix. Luckily I bought the 5 Year qeek squad protection and was able to return the fridge under the "lemon clause" after Geek Squad came to my house 4 times within one year. Get rid of the Samsung and buy a Whirlpool (or anything but Samsung).

Bill MacFie said...

Really sad that the ice maker is soooo bad, because I really like pretty much everything else about the refrigerator.

I finally just broke down, turned the ice maker off completely and bought a separate ice maker. We had considered putting one in when we had the kitchen re-done last year, but thought we would be OK. Well, we know how that turned out. Fortunately, the laundry room right off the kitchen had room, and I ran the water line off my utility sink.

So now I have all the ice I need.

Will definitely do more research next time I buy a refrigerator.

Nicolas Ross said...

To @John Medved, I have the same issue. I have a RF28HFEDBSR, and started having issue with the ice maker after it froze solid in a big block of ice. I did the fd defrost, and was able to take it out. Let it thaw completly, dried out all parts, and put it back. At the time, I didn't knew about this thread and the service bulletin.

After putting it back, and hitting reset, it did a single tray and then stops. Reset, and then sometime it'll make another single tray and stops. Most of the time it doesn't.

I don't think I have an issue with the SB issue #1 (water line inserted too far), I am not able to check, I haven,t found a mirror that'll help me see.

I have no ice arround the square duck, I will do the ridge cutting anyway.

Still, no ice on a regular basis.

I won't bother to call samsung or any repear man, from what I've read, it's helpless...

Michael Thompson said...

As I posted earlier I am having the same troubles. I read the posts here and went thru the service bulletin. I sealed the seam between the bottom left corner of the ice maker and the refrigerator wall as described in the bulletin. I sealed both inside and outside the ice maker along the seam. I believe it has helped although it still freezes up. It isn't as bad. I now schedule a half hour once a month and defrost the ice maker. It isn't the greatest solution but by doing it on a regular basis it is easy and simple to do, short of replacing the frig.

samsungFAIL said...

Has anybody been able to get hold of the update to the service bulletin that The Invisible said the Geek Squad told him about??

Anything new on this? my model starts with RFED28 (that's from memory so it could be off!) I had mine “fixed” at about 1.5 years old but in about 6 months the problem came back. When I think of it I scrape off the frosty layer that accumulates above the ice bin, then the day comes when I realize I am out of ice, then I have to scrape it all off and stick the hair dryer in there. Sometimes it last longer than others. Is it possible that I get some of the ice out but not all (from behind the icemaker)? I have never actually removed it. Also, when it is building up I do get water that dribbles from the ice dispenser before the ice comes. That is now my clue to check it. One time it was so frozen that I think the fan stopped turning because the fridge compartment itself got warmer but was normal after I melted the ice. I do use the dryer on high because it takes so long!!

The repairman told me that there was a problem with them originally but the new control board he was installing was supposed to have fixed it. Sounds like it is not fixable because it’s just a design flaw right?

Is it best to remove the maker to thaw it? How long of a project is it and what are the parts of the process where I could go wrong?

OH yes, the repair guy I used was good, problem is he doesn’t do Samsung or LG anymore. Said Samsung parts took too long to get and too many call backs! I had trouble finding him and doubt I could even find someone now. He said Samsung is fine for electronics, but stay away from their appliances. I would sell it if I could think of a good reason to give a buyer as to why I’m selling a 3 yr old fridge…

Any news on a class action suit because I am so in....There was one on Sony TV's that failed....they were Sony Wega from approx 2005 (google sony blue blob). Some people sued in small claims as well...Those TV's got a problem in only a few years. Sony did extend the warranty for that problem to approx 4 years. This seems like it would be similar type of case. I got half of my $800 repair covered even though it was after 4 years because I didn't receive notice...

samsungFAIL said...

Found this info about class action and I emailed them. They responded today asking if I have time this week to discuss it!
http://kohnswift.com/2017/03/16/ksg-files-class-action-complaint-against-samsung-for-refrigerators-with-defective-ice-makers/

Unknown said...

This is all so discouraging. I bought this refrigerator last July and had it delivered and installed in August (2016). I've loved everything about it until we started having a problem with the ice machine. I was just curious if anyone else has had trouble with a horribly foul smell when they're experiencing the ice machine not working. Ours is so bad that it almost makes me sick! I've taken everything out and cleaned and didn't find any obvious spills or anything that should be making the smell so I'm assuming it's something in the mechanical compartment.

I just filled out the request for service since it is still under warranty. I guess, after reading up, that's probably a pipe dream. Crap.

The Invisible said...

If you're still under warranty, be *extremely* persistent and diligent about contacting them and making sure they address the issue in an expedient manner. After they "fix" it, as soon as you start having an issue again, make sure you contact them *immediately.* If you can prove (document your calls and service) that you've had multiple issues within a short time period (usually four times within a year), often state and/or national "lemon laws" will force them to provide you with a replacement. The trick is getting it done before the warranty is up. It's a pain, but sincethere really is *NO FIX* for these issues, it's better than having to deal with a broken fridge for years. Also be sure to visit the place you purchased the appliance from and let a manager know what is going on. Seeing them face to face is important so they remember you and realize the issue is ongoing. Sometimes they'll even be a little more eager to help simply because they're sick of having to deal with you! ;-)

Plano Go To Guy said...

Thanks for this blog, I have been having this problem since my warranty expired in Aug 2015 and nothing from Samsung.

uncommon cents said...

hi, thanks for this blog. I have the issue where there is a noticable gap between the the ice box and and fridge wall and plan on atempting the silicone as soon As I track some down. that said, i have a nice chunk of ice at the back of the ice box. to access it, is there an easy way to remove the ice maker mechanism?

Rob the fridge fixer said...

I've read both your posts on this throughly, but I have many questions about your wording that are confusing me.
1. Fill tube.. On my fridge, the is a tube on the top left (looking into the ice maker area.) I'm not sure if you are saying the tube needs to be pulled downward, or back up? In /out is confusing (in towards ice tray, or in towards the fridge unit?)
2. Everyone needs to know they need to remove the fan/motor used for the ice dispenser. Another poster mentioned this, just press the white clip on the bottom in the center; it is directly below the metal screw drive linkage.

3. On my 2013 unit model rf20hfedbsr unit, to get to factory select mode, I had to press "freezer" and "lighting" buttons 8 seconds. Press any button until dF is displayed. I saw another blog showing the top left button and middle right buttons labeled something else and after trying every combination mentioned in this and other threads, I tried the location instead of the names.. So if someone else with newer unit can't find the right combo, try the physical locations.

4. Where is the control board? How do I get to it? I'd like to know if I need a new one..

Sonartech said...

In January of 2017, our Samsung 4-door Refrigerator model RF22K9381SG ice maker started producing slushy ice and water build-up into the exit chute, along with very slow ice production for several weeks before we called Samsung for service.

We’d get a ¼ cup of water, followed by 6 or 8 slushy ice cubes. After some cursory online research, we found instructions showing us how to “reset the icemaker”. Unfortunately, it didn’t help. After a week, Samsung contacted me and quizzed me on the phone to make sure I had a legitimate claim. They essentially walked me through the “reset-your-icemaker and call us back in 4 days”-drill, and after I told them I already did that, they told me that a service center would be contacting me to arrange an appointment. A few days later, A&E Factory Service called us, telling us they’d be out the next morning. When they came out, they essentially followed steps 1 & 2 of the service bulletin, and cleared out the ice plug clogging-up the air duct using a steam gun. That was all that technician did. A week later, the problem returned, so I filed my 2nd service call to Samsung, who once again put me through the questionnaire and scheduling drill, and a different A&E Factory Service tech was dispatched to our home. This technician re-adjusted the water inlet tube (again), and decided it was necessary to replace the entire ice maker module and the main controller circuit board "just because the service bulletin suggested to". He ordered these parts, having them sent to our home, and scheduled a return in three weeks to install the new hardware. During that wait, the ice maker failed once more, clogging up the cold air inlet and stopping production. A&E Returned as scheduled and installed the new ice maker module and the new controller board. We also re-adjusted our home water pressure from 80 PSI down to 60 PSI. Between the new hardware and the water pressure adjustments, the technician was absolutely confident that the problem would be fixed. Once again, the ice maker worked well for about 2 weeks, and has now once again clogged-up and stopped production. So, I'm calling Samsung AGAIN. This will be visit #4 to fix the never-ending ice maker problem.

The original thought as to why the problem was happening was that our home water pressure was too high at 80 PSI. It seems quite unusual that Samsung (apparently) doesn’t have any kind of flow restriction to limit water pressure entering the ice tray to prevent overfill and/or splashing, since this could obviously impact ice production. This alone seems like a critical design defect at the very least, given the problems being outlined in the service bulletin. The amount of water present in the tray is a critical variable for proper and consistent ice production, but it seems that Samsung have left the variable unchecked and open-ended. Nowhere in the owner’s manual does Samsung mention supported water pressures for proper ice production. (Even the simplest of shower heads has a cheap in-line flow restrictor!) Anyway, lowering our home water pressure to 60 PSI didn’t fix the problem, either, since it clogged again anyway even after that adjustment was made. So, it’s not (only) a water pressure problem.

In our case, the problem does seem to be centered around the flow of water from the inlet into the ice tray. It seems that the water “sprays” into the ice maker (regardless of water pressure or inlet tube position), splashing into the cold air duct, causing the air duct to eventually clog with ice and seal shut. This then inhibits cold air from entering the ice compartment, leading to slushy ice, water build-up in the bottom of the ice compartment, water in the ice outlet chute, and occasionally, water damage on the flooring in front of the refrigerator.

I think this is just a case of (even more) BAD SAMSUNG ENGINEERING that we're all being expected to pay the price for.

samsungFAIL said...

I finally got around to getting hubby to pull fridge out (I'm too short to get the leverage to move it!) and my grey fill tube is white, has no excess "loop" and is pushed into the hole to the point where the black line is visible but the top edge of the line seems to be partly inside the little grommet/spacer thing. I wasn't able to remove the icemaker because I didn't understand the posts about how to release it. THIS video helped me with my model. It was the freon tube holding it in that I hadn't understood without the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_OswjcmpnM

anyway, I pulled on the white tube from the back (without having removed the ice maker) and it would not BUDGE. Is there a trick to it? Does the ice maker have to be removed? It doesn't seem like it would have to be. The tubing is all clamped to the back and taped from the factory. I hope someone can respond about adjusting the fill tube.

J. Todd Newton said...

Thanks for this blog and posting the link to the service bulletin. After more than a year of ownership my Samsung French door fridge developed the dreaded ice maker issue (wet ice, water coming out when the ice dispenser was activated, etc). I had unplugged the fridge to defrost it and had put everything into a cooler when I ran across this blog. My full tube was tnot correctly positioned (issue #1). So I did everything in the service bulletin. The next day I had perfect ice and not a drop of water in the ice maker. Hopefully the issue stays resolved!

Will said...

Quick question. I've been fighting this for over a year now with my 4 door flex unit. Originally I was getting the vent filled with water. After trimming the bottom fins off the vent isn't filling up anymore, however ice is forming on the bottom of each side of the coil and growing until it blocks the vent. I suspect that water is splashing onto the coils somehow during the fill cycle. I used a dental mirror and adjusted the fill hose to be nearly flush with the back of the hole (it was right up against the front like the bulletin states is wrong) but I'm still getting the water buildup. I didn't see anywhere in the bulletin about putting foam or rubber around the fill funnel. Do you think that will solve the splashing issue (assuming that is the reason)? I haven't tried turning the water pressure down yet either but some of the comments suggest that didn't work. The funnel lining trick is the only one I haven't tried yet. Also, all of the removing and installing of the ice maker has now caused a slight 1 mm gap to appear in the foam where the coil comes out from being pulled down for removal over and over. Do I need to patch that with silicone?

Will said...

So... I've tried all of the fixes including lining the water funnel with foam and am still getting the ice buildup on the coolant loop just above the air duct. After seeing a post above by ronb who stated that he was getting ice buildup on the coolant loop even with the ice maker turned off, I've decided that it isn't water splashing that's building up but rather condensation on the coolant loop. My next attempt at fixing this is I have created two, one inch foam collars to cover the coolant loop where it goes into the foam block hoping to stop the condensation buildup on the coolant tube behind the ice maker. At a minimum, it should stop any runoff from above from insta-freezing to the coolant loop and pool into the bottom of the compartment if splashing is really the case.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE - My Anonymous posts above are 1/13/17 and 1/18/17 - Almost $4000 soda stream model
Sorry to report it still freezes up after all those fixes. I will say that sealing the gap has fixed my wet/slushy ice problem. It seems after a full defrost the problem comes back around 3 months.

Will said...

Well, even with the additional foam collars I'm still getting slow ice buildup on the underside of the plastic ring around the foam the coolant loop comes out of. At this rate I'll have an ice dam blocking the vent in a month. I have no idea where the moisture is coming from as it cannot be coming from the fill tube or funnel. We gave up and bought an LG.

nrg said...

Model: RF23J9011SR/AA
Four door samsung POS manufacture date Nov 2015.

Before purchasing this fridge, I knew about the Ice maker issue so I purchased the 2nd most expansive model (under the chef edition) hoping that all the problems were solved. Nope, wrong; 1.5 years later, the ice maker stopped working. I opened up the box and saw a huge blockage of ice buildup. Defrost and cleaned up thinking it fixed everything. Then the ice came out wet and not fully frozen for a whole month. I got fed up and found this blog. The entire vent in the back where the fan is was frozen shut. After removing the ice maker, I found a huge block of frozen ice in the back of the motor. I cleaned every thing up and looked over the posted PDF. Looks like they fixed the gap in the ice room because it's a whole different design(root cause #2). the hose adjustment (root cause #1) looks like the picture but I also pulled it up more. And the rib issue where you would have to cut (solution 3). I didn't see any issue with root cause #4.

after doing all this, running the fridge for 12hrs and making ice; I still find small buildup of ice in the back. Tiny specks of ice frozen in the opening of the fan. This means that over time the build up will get larger and plug up the opening (1.5years) and I'll be back to this same exact issue.

Thanks samsung. never again.

Anonymous said...

Model: RF23J9011SR/AA
Four door samsung POS manufacture date Nov 2015.

Before purchasing this fridge, I knew about the Ice maker issue so I purchased the 2nd most expansive model (under the chef edition) hoping that all the problems were solved. Nope, wrong; 1.5 years later, the ice maker stopped working. I opened up the box and saw a huge blockage of ice buildup. Defrost and cleaned up thinking it fixed everything. Then the ice came out wet and not fully frozen for a whole month. I got fed up and found this blog. The entire vent in the back where the fan is was frozen shut. After removing the ice maker, I found a huge block of frozen ice in the back of the motor. I cleaned every thing up and looked over the posted PDF. Looks like they fixed the gap in the ice room because it's a whole different design(root cause #2). the hose adjustment (root cause #1) looks like the picture but I also pulled it up more. And the rib issue where you would have to cut (solution 3). I didn't see any issue with root cause #4.

after doing all this, running the fridge for 12hrs and making ice; I still find small buildup of ice in the back. Tiny specs of ice frozen in the opening of the fan. This means that over time the build up will get larger and plug up the opening (1.5years) and I'll be back to this same exact issue.

Thanks samsung. never again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! You are a wonderful human being sharing your knowledge. My RF263TEA..... Had these issues. I finally got sick of putting ice from the lower maker in the top dispenser and found this article. I refitted the tube as described and am waiting overnight to get the ice out of the maker to reassemble in the am.

ronb said...

Here's my theory after 1.5 years of trial and error. The styrofoam used to insulate the coil is inferior. As we know, water expands as it freezes. With each thaw and freeze of the coil, water seeped into the styrofoam. with each freezing, it expanded into the styrofoam. This would explain why for the first 1-1.5 years all works well. Then with each defrost cycle, the channels within the styrofoam grow in size until water is exposed in the dome over the fan housing. At one point during my investigation I left the ice maker off, ice maker removed, fan removed ice storage container removed. Within a week I had a 1"x1"x3" log of ice perfectly formed on the dome over where the fan would be. The reason the frequency of freeze up accelerates from annual to bi-weekly is the first time the ice maker is removed the coil has to be bent downward, which breaks the seal of the styrofoam around the coil. Thus every defrost cycle leaks water down the styrofoam from the point of coil insertion, down into the vent for future freezing. I injected additional foam insulation (used for filling between studs behind drywall) to extend the foam along the coil so water would drip into the tray of the ice maker during defrost (about 3/4"). This helped with front drips from base of coil. Then I injected an additional 1" of insulation up into the dome over the fan. This got me a month or so before freezing, but turns out even the new foam became saturated with water/freeze/water, resulting in ice forming into the vent again. I then removed the bottom piece of plastic forming the floor of the vent, which prevented ice forming from the bottom up, confirming the top down formation pattern. I've now purchased a 3" in diameter aquarium heater (7.5 volts) to present local heat source to keep ice from forming, since I cannot eliminate the source of the water. It slides right under the fan on the auger assembly unit. It succeeded in preventing the ice formation on the dome for days (while all other hardware [ice maker, fan/auger, ice bucket] removed and ice maker off). I've reassembled everything and hopeful for continued success. If I'm that lucky after a year and a half of my life almost solely devoted to this engineering debacle, I'll fwd more detailed info on the solution.

Anonymous said...

I have found this Samsung Service Bulletin: https://www.encompassparts.com/shop/model_research_docs/?file=/SMG/sb/ServiceBulletin_ASC20151125001.pdf

I am not sure it actually provides a real solution. Has anyone determined that replacing the auger/fan component DA97-12540K, note the "K" suffix revision may be very important, actually solves this problem?

The Invisible said...

That last bulletin regarding the auger/fan is supposed to be the "final" move to fix the issue permanently. When the Geek Squad guy came out the last time (before we returned the fridge), he showed me that bulletin, and said that fix works about 25% of the time, maybe a little better. It has something to do with the ducting in that back portion of the fridge and how the air is circulated. The theory made sense when I looked at it, but with all the other problems, it just doesn't seem worth the effort (and if it only works about 25% of the time, why even bother).

Will said...

@The Invisible - The last time a Samsung authorized tech came out before Samsung agreed to buy back our fridge, he checked all the parts and saw I already have the upgraded auger + fan. I'm having to side with ronb on this one because what he is observing is exactly what I have observed. I was tempted my next go round to inject something into the growing gap in the foam as well, but thankfully LG just released a 4 French Door fridge due out in one month that we purchased as the replacement for our current 4 Door Samsung Flex.

Plano Go To Guy said...

How did you get Samsung to buy your refrigerator back?

Will said...
@The Invisible - The last time a Samsung authorized tech came out before Samsung agreed to buy back our fridge, he checked all the parts and saw I already have the upgraded auger + fan. I'm having to side with ronb on this one because what he is observing is exactly what I have observed. I was tempted my next go round to inject something into the growing gap in the foam as well, but thankfully LG just released a 4 French Door fridge due out in one month that we purchased as the replacement for our current 4 Door Samsung Flex.

The Invisible said...

@Plano Go To Guy... if you're within the factory warranty, you should be able to make it happen, but it's a pain and takes a lot of work to get Samsung to own up to their own warranty.

Anonymous said...

From all your contacts with Customer Service, Geek Squad, etc., has anyone learned of specific design/assembly/QC changes implemented by Samsung after a certain mftr'g date/time to definitely resolve the dreaded icemaker freeze-up syndrome?

If so, and if I can confirm a mftr'g date of products currently being sold, I might actually roll the dice and buy a new Flex model (RF23J9011SG) w/4 doors, black stainless, that's on sale at Costco.com (with 2-year warranty and 90-day return).

Anyone heard anything?

The Invisible said...

Anonymouse: you posted the same question in "the other" thread on this topic, so here is my reply copy-and-pasted from there...

FWIW, I would never EVER purchase a Samsung large appliance. Ever. If you don't think this refrigerator thing is bad, you should see the issue with the washing machine. There were even more reports of problems, the problem was dangerous, and their "fix" was to PAINT OVER the original settings on the dial to remove the "bedding" setting. Obviously this means you could still put the dial on the setting (and hurt your machine or people).

They may know how to make screens, but they are ABYSMAL with large appliances, and they are even worse at *making things right* for the consumer.

It may sound strange after years of American products sucking in the 80's/90's, but the "original American" brands, even if they aren't being made in America, are the current leaders in large appliance reliability (Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Amana, etc.). Electrolux is great too (on certain items), but you definitely pay a premium.

ronb said...

To follow up with the "I"-man, I'd add the exploding G-phones to the list. Coupled with the Samsung President's corruption charges vis-a-vis the impeached South Korean President, it all seems to point to a corporate culture of "stick it to the consumer to enhance profits". Their engineers are arguably brilliant (the ice maker we've been wrestling with is a phenomenal piece of engineering to the extent it makes ice so quickly in the refrigerator compartment), and thus not stupid enough to engineer in a design defect, unless it could be designed to kick in right after warranty expiration. Lots of repair revenue generation. The cheap styrofoam theory supports this objective in that most of these units don't freeze over until after the warranty expires. Another possible variable is the dual cooling system, designed to maintain higher humidity in the refrigerator to extend shelf life of produce. That extra humidity also feeds the ice maker. Correlation or causation? Don't know, but I say all this to support your conclusion of staying away from Samsung appliances of any kind. Plus the freakin' principle of the whole experience with these bandits!

Sonartech said...

Samsung just refunded my fridge. 4 visits from A & E factory service and they still couldn't get the ice maker to stop freezing up. They replaced all components they could replace, adjusted tubes, filled cracks, lowered water pressure, etc., and it STILL behaves the same way - ice would build-up in the fan cooling duct, eventually plugging it solid... takes about 3 weeks to become dysfunctional. Dumbest design on the planet. Anyway, Samsung gave me a "special consideration", waived my cut power cord requirement and sent me a $3,100 refund check. Oh, and NO, they didn't want the fridge back. I'm supposed to have it "properly disposed of when I buy my replacement".

CannondaleRob said...

I just had my sixth service through Lowe's extended service (thank God I purchased it) and they stated a newly redesigned ice maker came out about 2 weeks ago. You can see it somewhat mimics the foam barrier, but they fill in that wall on the back. They also had some clips and a support that went around the cooling tube.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ikMasEX7JekRnUvs1
https://photos.app.goo.gl/mfRzlTx9p5g6pKw03
https://photos.app.goo.gl/lStwpXbJ0Ym1ysVw2
https://photos.app.goo.gl/sySmHUaSkWJbPgN62
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LKf62zQ58mZGWWhy1

The Invisible said...

@Rob: Interesting. Let's hope it's an *actual* fix for all those people who've spent thousands on a fridge that should work like it's supposed to! And hopefully Samsung will *give* it to all those poor people who are past their warranty period, since Samsung KNOWS they were selling garbage in the first place.

samsungFAIL said...

@cannondaleRob, Sorry if I'm dense, but I don't understand how the new icemaker will fix it. Isn't the problem the area behind the icemaker, where the drain and styrofoam is? Is the new part a whole unit including the back section, or just the part that you can slide out? I don't know how to get out any parts, other than the part that makes the cubes that you can slide out.

I haven't contacted Samsung because it seems futile, my first repair was suing an extended warranty provided my my credit card. Since then I have been diy de-icing it. I did contact the lawyers who are starting a class action. I would like to get a new improved part if it exists. This de-icing is brutal in that small space. Is there a good email address to use for Samsung??

My "fixes" seem to last shorter and shorter each time.

Anonymous said...

@Rob: Yes, very interesting. Clearly another iteration of the two major components that are different in appearance from my original components. the change to the ice maker water fill chute may eliminate or reduce splash back that is at least part of the problem. I am reluctant to replace them until we hear from you again regarding success or failure. Please be sure to provide updates! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Found another forum that has related information. Nothing about the new parts yet.

https://partsdr.com/blog/samung-da97-12317a-ice-maker-removal-instructions/

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let everyone know that searspartsdirect.com has ALL schematic part breakouts for ALL types of appliances. All you need to enter is your model number. You can then easily find the part and part number. Hopes this helps out.

SC Resident said...

So I'm guessing if my piece of junk Samsung fridge is out of warranty, I'm out of luck. Been dealing with this crappy ice maker for a year now.

SC Resident said...

So if the warranty is out, we just have to deal with Samsung's inadequacy - correct?
We don't even use the ice maker anymore b/c we are tired of cleaning up the pool of water on the ground every week.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to the blog owner! I recently learned of a class action lawsuit against Samsung for the defective ice makers in refrigerator models listed in the TSB at the top of this blog. I just emailed the attornies and will post any follow up information I learn once I speak with them.

CannondaleRob said...

@samsungFail, you were absolutely correct and are not dense. The newly designed icemaker DID NOT fix the problem. I've got a fresh batch of icicles hanging off the ice maker, the standard half cup of water and broken ice coming out in the morning, the fan was making noise, and I knew it was about to freeze up again. When I was scheduling my seventh service with Lowe's extended service, I went postal and asked for management again, as I did on every call. I calmly stated my case and the manager stated it was no longer economically viable to continue the maintenance of this fridge and they were already upside down in the cost. They refunded the complete purchase price and tax of the fridge. I will no longer own any Samsung product again. @The Invisible, completely agreed. The sad thing is I was in CostCo the other day and saw a new Samsung fridge for sale with a through the door ice maker. I see absolutely NO difference in the parts from mine. It is a ticking @#%$ bomb for everyone who purchases it, and they don't care!

Anonymous said...

Spoke to the law firm pursuing a class action case against Samsung. You can read more here:

https://kohnswift.com/2017/03/16/ksg-files-class-action-complaint-against-samsung-for-refrigerators-with-defective-ice-makers/

The paralegal with whom I spoke is named Rachel. Here is the link she sent for the questionnaire they need filled out:

https://goo.gl/forms/iYwPyEXt1VaTgVnr1

In the meantime, I had Samsung's certified service folks out and they gave me an estimate of about $600 to replace the ice maker, multiple parts, diagnostic fees, and labor. I called Samsung back and suggested they cover the costs since the equipment is defective. So far, they've left me a VM that they will cover the cost of the parts which would leave me with diagnostic and labor costs. Going to make one more run at them tomorrow to get them to eat the whole cost and will post back.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Update: Samsung made a "one-time" accommodation and covered all the parts and labor. The tech replaced just about everything having to do with the ice maker: assembly, motor, clips, and tray. I have put in a claim with my credit card company under their extended warranty program to reimburse me for the $100 diagnostic/service call fee.

Guess we'll see if this solves it, but wish everyone else the best with theirs.

Anonymous said...

There's a new sb out on this. I've been battling the problem for a couple years now, and still haven't found an answer to it. I've installed a couple of the kits and am waiting for feedback on them. I just saw a class action, but you know how those go, the lawyers get rich and the consumers get $5 each. Kohn is the name if you want to google it. I don't believe there is a fix for it. Frigidaire went through something similar years ago but quit making them when they saw the problems.

Anonymous said...

So I got Samsung to cover all the parts and labor to replace the ice maker. I got stuck with the $100 diagnostic/service call, but I turned that in to my extended warranty service through Citibank. So far the fix seems to be working, but I've not had all the symptoms many on this blog have suffered. My big issue was that ice was melting in the ice maker and dripping out the shoot. It would also periodically freeze up and I'd have to knock the ice out to get it going again.

My suggestion is when you speak to Samsung, you keep your cool and suggest that since this is a known defect and that there's a pending lawsuit against them, you would expect them to cover the costs. I used their certified repair company (Service Quick, Inc.). While they may have been more expensive for the initial diagnostic call, I think it helped getting Samsung to pay for it since this company is well versed in doing these repairs.

KSG said...

Hello again all. We continue to litigate our class action lawsuit against Samsung. We appreciate the tremendous response from everyone. Due to the amount of inquiries we have been receiving, we have streamlined our intake process. If you or someone you know has a Samsung refrigerator with an ice maker that is not working, please contact us via our secured form found here: https://goo.gl/forms/tMWtitTshhGANbz53. We will provide updates as our lawsuit progresses. Many thanks! – KS&G Staff

ronb said...

three comments today received via email and linking back to this blog do not show up on this blog (actually nothing since 8/21/17). Can this be repaired? thx!

The Invisible said...

Comments that are not spam are approved daily. If there was a (real person) comment, it should be here! Are you looking at the wrong thread? Are the comments in this one: http://www.theinvisibleblog.com/2016/01/how-to-defrost-samsung-ice-maker.html ?

Anonymous said...

I'm holding out hope that one of these recent "fixes" will actually rectify the situation. I've only had to defrost the ice maker a couple of times so far this year, but I fully expect it to be required more often as the refrigerator ages.

I'll keep checking back here to see if anyone has a success story!

Unknown said...

I finally got Samsung to budge and they agreed to cover the cost of the hardware. I'll pay for the labor but I'll take anything at this point.

Just make sure you mention you've seen the service bulletins from 11/15 that says the auger/motor unit must be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Well that's a hope, haven't really heard anything from the lawsuit. I've been taking the time to really dry out the styrofoam when I defrost after I read the discussion about it. It has extended the time between defrosting a bit. Not a fix but I've gone from every 2-3 weeks to 4-5 weeks. I need to tackle Samsung on this better but I just haven't had the time to sit on a phone. Maybe we should start an intense social media campaign....or has that been tried?

Thanks to everyone who keeps posting on here.

ronb said...

I installed a 7.5 volt 3” in diameter aquarium heater under the fan and am on my 4th month of ice making with just a little water sometimes. But while the vent in back stays partially open the rest of the maker is covered in ice! But I think I’m onto something.