Any refrigerator can have cooling issues, including Samsung fridges. But what is the problem behind the Samsung refrigerator not working and the freezer working fine? That is what we will talk about in this article.
A Samsung refrigerator might not cool because of a failed evaporator coil. Defrost the refrigerator to fix this. Another reason may be that the settings and modes need to be corrected. You will need to check the control settings and fix the mode so the refrigerator can cool.
There are multiple reasons behind a refrigerator not cooling down. This article will let you know the common reasons behind the issue and ways of troubleshooting the problem. So, let’s begin without further delay.
Why is my Samsung refrigerator not cooling but the freezer works?
There can be multiple reasons your Samsung refrigerator doesn’t cool, but the freezer does.
I know it feels weird, but when it happened with my mom’s fridge, I spent hours researching and handling the fridge.
Here are the common reasons why a Samsung refrigerator doesn’t cool even when the freezer works.
1. The evaporator coil frosted or burnt.
The evaporator coil of the fridge gets covered with frost, for which the fridge remains warm.
You will see ice build-up on the back wall where “Twin cooling” is mentioned, or your fridge makes noises that vanish after you open the door.
When these happen, it is sure that your fridge is undergoing condensation issues that gathered behind the panel and turned to ice.
Due to this blockage, the evaporator fan fails to spread and circulate the cold air inside the fridge.
As a result, the refrigerator doesn’t cool down.
The condition is also called the ‘failed to defrost cycle.’
Sometimes, changing the defrost temperature sensor can solve the problem for some time, but it brings the problem back.
The blockage can also occur due to standing water.
If the drain is blocked, the water will stand at the bottom.
This water will evaporate, condense on the top part of the Twin Cooling panel, and build ice on the evaporator fan.
The coil or motor burns due to short circuits during a power surge.
Sometimes, excessive ice build-up for prolonged periods will also do the same.
Turning the fan blades is difficult when the ice build-up is too much.
Over time, the motor will burn out if the condition persists.
How to fix it?
One simple way to solve it is to defrost the refrigerator.
Turn off the power and let the fridge defrost naturally.
To replace the evaporator coil or motor:
- Turn off and disconnect the refrigerator from the main power supply to avoid short circuits or electrocution.
- Remove all the drawers and shelves to access the evaporator fan and motor.
- Remove the rear panel inside the fridge and reach out for the fan motor.
- Disconnect and remove it from the fridge.
- In the same place, install a new fan motor.
- Now, replace the panel that you removed.
If the temperature board, defrost timer, and defrost heater are fine, there won’t be any frost accumulation.
If these appliances are defective, you might need to replace them.
In the coming points, we shall discuss how temperature boards, defrost timers, and heaters cause frosted evaporator coils.
2. The evaporator fan frosted over.
Both the evaporator coil and the fan can be frosted.
If the fridge is not cooling down, one common reason is the lack of proper air circulation.
If your evaporator fan is blocked by ice, it fails to spread the air around the fridge inside and prevents it from cooling down.
So, when the fridge is not cooling, check the fan to find out the real issue.
How to fix it?
If your fridge door is a french door, close the left door and put a magnet on the right side of your fridge to replicate the right door closing.
After some time, the evaporator fan should start working.
If it still doesn’t work, the fan blades might have been blocked by ice, or the fan is burnt.
The first solution is to defrost the Samsung refrigerator or help the ice melt.
After some time, your fan should be able to work.
If it doesn’t work, the problem might be a burnt motor or some foreign objects stuck in it.
You need to remove the objects or replace the burnt motor with a new one (already discussed in the previous point).
Foreign objects include cardboard pieces from food packets that might have broken off and stuck in the fan.
To remove the foreign objects:
- Disconnect the fridge from the power supply to avoid accidents.
- Remove the shelves, drawers, and covers to access the evaporator cover. Behind it will be the fan and coil.
- Remove the rear panel from inside the compartment.
- Find the fan and the foreign object that got stuck into it.
- Slowly bring out the obstruction, and your evaporation fan should start working.
3. Defective damper control assembly
The air damper control will close and open to allow adequate cold air inside the refrigerator.
If the damper is not opening properly, it prevents the cold air from entering the refrigerator.
How to fix it?
Look at the damper control to check whether it is stuck close or broken.
The damper control is behind the refrigerator’s back panel, close to the fridge’s top.
If the damper is stuck close or broken, you need to replace it with a new one.
- First, gather two screwdrivers – a Phillips-head screwdriver and a flat-head screwdriver to replace the damper control assembly.
- Disconnect the fridge from the main power to avoid electrocution.
- Open the food section doors and locate the insert grill on the damper cover.
- Remove the wire harness plug by pushing the locking tab downwards.
- Push the tabs away and depress them with your flat-head screwdriver to remove the control.
- Unplug the black plugs and the green wire from the assembly and the motor.
- Put the old wire harnesses to the new control and motor, and connect the green wire.
- Install and replace the new control with the one until the tabs snap tightly, and then reconnect the wire assembly.
- Put back the insulation and cover back in their positions.
- Now, snap the grill back into place.
The damper and damper controls are the two important things in the refrigerator that keeps the food fresh and cool.
4. Weak or defective thermistor
The thermistor of the refrigerator controls the fridge’s temperature and sends the temperature reading to the control board.
Based on these temperature readings, the same control board regulates the power to the compressor and evaporator fan.
If the thermistor creates issues or is defective, the compressor and evaporator fan will not work when needed.
It will not be functioning regularly.
As a result, the refrigerator will not be able to cool down.
How to fix it?
To confirm if the problem is with the thermistor or not, check it with a multimeter.
If the thermistor is fine, the thermistor resistance will change simultaneously with the refrigerator’s temperature.
But, if the resistance does not show any changes, the thermistor is defective. It would be best to replace it.
Here are the steps to replace the thermistor:
- First, disconnect the fridge.
- Locate the thermistor, release the cover, and pull it out of the cover. The thermistor is under a small plastic cover attached to the back wall, side wall, or ceiling’s surface.
- Pull the thermistor out of the clip and unplug the wire harness from it and remove the thermistor.
- Attach the new thermistor to the mounting clip and the wire harness.
- Reattach the cover and put back the shelves.
- Plug in the plug of the refrigerator and turn on the main power.
5. A faulty temperature control board
The temperature control board of the refrigerator gives voltage to the fan motors and the compressors.
If the control board is at fault for some reason, it will stop providing voltage to the motors and the compressors.
If that happens, the refrigerator will not be able to cool down.
How to fix it?
One easy solution to the problem is simply replacing the temperature control board.
But before that, you need to confirm the issue because sometimes the control board gets misdiagnosed.
So, you need to test all the common defective issues related to the control board.
You can replace the board if you cannot troubleshoot any of them.
Replacing the defective control board can be very expensive.
So, you must hire a technician to replace the temperature control board.
Since it is one of the most misdiagnosed problems in Samsung fridges, you should confirm the problem and then take steps.
Once you find out that the real problem is in the control board, you need to replace the board under the guidance of a technician.
6. Defrost control board failure
This control board controls how often to run the defrost cycle to cool down the refrigerator.
If the defrost control board fails to function during the defrost cycle, the refrigerator will not be able to cool down when needed.
The frost will continue to accumulate in the evaporator coil.
If the coils get frosted, the air won’t be able to spread all around the fridge and cool it down.
How to fix it?
You need to replace the defrost control board with a new one.
The steps to install a new defrost control board can be very expensive and confusing.
Consult a technician if you need help understanding what is wrong with your refrigerator.
He will help you identify the problem and fix the defrost control board.
7. Main control board
The main control board can also be responsible for the refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is still working.
Though the problem is rare, you should not ignore it.
If the main control board is not working properly due to some defects, the refrigerator will not be able to cool down.
However, the freezer may work fine.
How to fix it?
The only way to fix the problem is to replace the control board.
But before you do it, consider checking other problems too.
If none of the other reasons sit with the fridge not cooling, check for the control board and replace it if required.
Below are the steps for replacement:
- Disconnect the refrigerator.
- The main control board is at the back of the refrigerator, on the left side panel.
- Unscrew the four screws using a screwdriver and remove the cover.
- Before removing any wires, take a photo to put the wires back in the correct places after your work is done.
- Pull all the electrical connectors and keep them aside.
- Press the retaining tab and take out the control board.
- Place the new board and ensure that the pin from the refrigerator fits with the hole in the new control board.
- Insert the board in the control board slot and push the locking tab and press the board to lock it in place.
- Connect the electrical connectors back. Consult the photo you have taken in the beginning.
- Put the cover panel back and screw them tightly.
Since the steps can be confusing, especially for naive people, you may consult a technician to do the job.
8. Defrost thermostat not working
The defrost thermostat controls the temperature of the evaporator coil.
When the temperature of the evaporator coil drops very low, the thermostat contacts will shut to let the power flow to the defrost heater during the defrost cycle.
In the defrost cycle, the heater will melt the accumulated frost from the evaporator coil.
It further allows proper air circulation inside the refrigerator.
But, if the defrost thermostat is defective, the thermostat contacts will not close.
Due to this, the thermostat prevents the power from reaching the defrost heater.
Ultimately, the refrigerator fails to cool down and stays warm.
How to fix it?
To confirm the issue, use a multimeter to test the continuity.
‘The defrost thermostat is defective if it does not show continuity or frequency when the temperature reaches low.
To fix the problem, you need to replace the thermostat.
You will find it inside the fridge, behind the back wall of the fridge.
To replace the thermostat:
- Disconnect your refrigerator.
- Remove all the drawers, shelves, and drawer covers.
- Pull the back panel with a flat-head screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver.
- While you drag the back panel, be careful, as there are two wiring harnesses on the top left of the panel. Carefully open the panel and disconnect those wires by pressing the locking tabs.
- Using a small flat-head screwdriver, bring the thermostat out of the evaporator and pull it out.
- Once you have freed the thermostat, remove the junction box by pressing the tab.
- Install the new thermostat and put the panel, wire harnesses, covers, and drawers back in place.
The process is quite tricky and expensive.
If you need clarification, you should hire a technician to do the job.
9. Defrost timer is not working
The defrost timer switches on the defrost heater from time to time to melt the accumulated frost from the evaporator coil.
Suppose the timer stops working due to some defect or malfunction.
In that case, it will not advance the defrost cycle and stop sending power to the defrost heater.
If that happens, the frost will accumulate in the evaporator coil, block the air circulation, and not allow the refrigerator to cool down.
How to fix the problem?
To ensure the defrost timer is fine, advance the dial to the defrost cycle.
The compressor will turn off, and the heater will turn on.
When the timer fails to advance the defrost cycle or provide power to the defrost components within 30 minutes, it indicates that the timer is at fault.
Replace the timer.
Sometimes, the timer doesn’t require replacing.
Check its continuity by turning the advance screw and turning it clockwise until you hear a tick.
Plug your fridge back and monitor the timer to determine whether it is working.
If not, you must replace it.
To replace the timer:
- Disconnect the fridge from the main power.
- Remove the timer from the back wall of the Samsung refrigerator.
- Remove the screws protecting the timer. Unplug the wires in a harness. Remember which wire is connected to which terminal.
- Remove the old timer and connect a new one with the wires. You can either put the harness back or attach the individual wires.
- Once you install the new timer, replace the protective panels too.
- Now, plug in your refrigerator and listen to check whether the timer is working or not.
10. Defective or weak defrost heater
A defective or weak defrost heater is also responsible for frost accumulation in the evaporator coil.
The heater allows cold air to flow all around the fridge inside to cool down.
The blockage prevents the cold air from flowing freely inside the fridge.
As a result, the refrigerator does not cool down and remains warm for prolonged periods.
Check the heater and replace it if it is defective.
Follow the following steps to replace a Samsung defrost heater:
- Unplug your fridge from the main power line.
- Remove the shelves, drawers, and cover to get access to the evaporator cover and remove it by locating the lock tabs and unlocking them.
- Unplug the retaining clip plugs and remove the electrical plugs on both sides.
- Remove the wire retainer on the right side, and the bimetal defrost thermostat from the left side.
- Locate the defrost heater tabs with the help of a screwdriver and release them. Also, bend the bottom tabs with pliers and remove them.
- Now, hold the defrost heater and remove it. Make sure you don’t touch the evaporator coil.
- Now, carefully replace a new defrost heater and put all the wires, plugs, and covers back properly.
The process can be very expensive and dangerous.
So, if you are hesitating, consult a technician to do the job.
While buying a new one, buy the one with the correct part numbers.
Multiple defrost heaters with incorrect part numbers do not include the heater drain probe or the retaining clip.
You need to transfer them from the old one.
11. Incorrect modes and settings
Samsung refrigerators have pre-programmed settings and modes, like cooling off, vacations, etc.
The cooling-off feature is for demo or shop mode.
When you switch it on, the refrigerator will have power, and the light will be on, but the fridge won’t cool down.
The error codes are:
- OF OF
- O FF
- OFF OFF
Some fridges also have a vacation mode, when the freezer is fine but the fridge doesn’t cool down.
The refrigerator keeps the temperature under 62.6°F.
So, if the temperature is around 59°F, it won’t cool down.
The temperature setting also matters.
So, you must check if the refrigerator’s cooling system remains appropriate.
How to fix it?
Let’s talk about some control settings so that you can fix the problems related to settings and modes:
- Samsung refrigerators with controls displaying inside the fridge: Press the Fridge and Flex buttons and hold them for 5-8 seconds until the display flashes.
- Refrigerators with frost display panel: Press and hold the first two left buttons and the one at the right top side of the panel for 5-8 seconds.
- Samsung family hub refrigerators: Go to Fridge manager, tap settings, and select the Cooling-off option. Choose Deactivate and press the Proceed button to confirm.
If your fridge is on vacation mode, try to press and hold the vacation-mode feature for 3 seconds to deactivate the mode.
You can also change the temperature or cooling setting, and the fridge will disable the vacation mode.
12. Malfunctioning of reed switches
Besides the thermostat, thermistor, temperature sensors, and other sensors, the Samsung refrigerator also has more sensors, called reed switches.
The switches are generally inside the refrigerator’s main body, where the door frame closes.
But, if you have a french door or side-by-side fridge, it will have two reed switches.
The door magnets will activate the reed switches, or the fridge will not cool down.
How to fix the problem?
If the reed switches are not working, you need to get a new set of reed switches for your Samsung refrigerator.
Here are steps to replace them:
- Get the cover above your fridge’s door.
- Remove the screws and take the panel off the fridge.
- Unplug and disconnect the wire harnesses.
- Now, flip the panel to get the reed switches.
- Remove the reed switches from the retainers.
- Install the new reed switches and connect the wires back in place.
- Cover back the hinge cover panel on the refrigerator.
13. Low or leaking refrigerant
A low refrigerant can stop your refrigerator from cooling.
Your refrigerator should only have low refrigerants if the coolant is not having any leakage.
The problem is not only serious but also hazardous.
You need to call Samsung support or a licensed technician to fix the problem in such a condition.
Only try to refill the refrigerant with training or protection.
Refilling can be dangerous if there is a leakage in the evaporator coils, condenser, or compressor.
Hire a technician to fix the problem.
There are so many reasons behind refrigerators not cooling down. However, in the above situations, the fridge may not cool down, but the freezer still works fine.
Since there are so many problems, you must check and confirm the issue before taking any steps.
A simple solution to the maximum problems is replacing a defective part of the fridge, for example, the control board, thermostats, etc. Sometimes, the problem gets misdiagnosed. So, confirm it before you opt to change it.
If you cannot understand and solve the problem, call an expert technician to do the needful.
Reference: Samsung official help guide, Samsung user manual.