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.
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.
Ist dies eine gute Frage?
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?
von Scott Searles
@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.
von 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.
von Scott Searles
Answer: Samsung needs to come good for these repairs. Cannot keep having this done every 6 to 7 days (for us anyway).
von Tina Gale
why do we have to remove everything? why not just turn off and leave doors open
von dr jch
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