Why Samsung Fridge Is Not Cooling? First Troubleshooting Steps To Take

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Samsung fridges are “notorious” for having problems with Twin Cooling Plus technology, along with evaporator fan and compressor failure

But the main reason why Samsung fridge is not cooling PROPERLY, in most cases caused by ice or frost build-up that restricts air circulation in the fresh food compartment. This build-up, on the other hand, can be caused by a defective defrost heater, clogged drain line, failed defrost thermostat, bad evaporator fan, or defective defrost temperature sensor.

The other reason why Samsung refrigerator is not cooling AT ALL in both freezer and fresh food compartments is caused by a failed compressor inverter board, a bad compressor, a refrigerant leak in the sealed system, or a restricted drier filter.

If Not Cooling Properly, But Freezer Works. 

The evaporator coils are frosted over:

When the evaporator coils get covered with frost, the evaporator fan is unable to circulate cold air within the fridge due to blockage, and the fridge will not cool. This problem is related to failed defrost cycle.

Sometimes, the problem can be solved by replacing the defrost temperature sensor (but it does not always fix the problem)

There are actually 2 identical temperature sensors. But you will need one with the white connector on the right side of the fridge.

Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Temp Sensor
$9 - 13
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If you see ice build-up on the back wall in the vent holes, where it says “Twin Cooling” of your fridge or maybe you hear noise coming from the fridge, but when you open the door noise is just gone? That means you have an issue with condensation which accumulates behind that panel and eventually becomes frost or even ice chunks.

In case there is an issue with proper drainage (drain is fully or partially clogged) during Defrost Cycle, you will have standing water at the bottom.

Standing water evaporates and condensates at the top section of the Twin Cooling Panel, causing the evaporator fan to ice up.

This problem also refers to, when you have water in or under the crisper drawers and your Samsung fridge starts to leak because the drain line is clogged and water is overflowing.

In this case, you need Drain Repair Kit below, and here is the video of what you need to fix these issues permanently.

Evaporator fan frosted over:

Some people may complain about “Why Samsung fridge fan not working?” The main purpose of the fan is to circulate the cold air in the fridge.

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But when your Samsung fridge not cooling, one of the reasons for that is that your evaporator fan is blocked by ice.

You need to check your evaporator fan to make sure it’s working or not.

Samsung evaporator fan blocked by ice

If you have a french-door refrigerator, close the left door and put an ordinary magnet on the right side of the fridge to simulate the right door closing.

Samsung reed switch location

After a couple of seconds, the evaporator fan should start spinning.

If you don’t hear the fan running, most likely fan blades are blocked by ice, or the fan is burnt.

Defective or Weak Defrost heater :

Under normal circumstances, the defrost heater assembly (you can get one here) is responsible for defrosting any frost that has been formed on the evaporator coils in the refrigerator, whose function is to allow cold air to freely flow thereby leading to the freezer cooling.

However, when the defrost heater assembly is not functioning accordingly, excess frost will build upon the evaporator coils, as a result, the airflow will be restricted, which will result in the fridge not cooling. 

A defective thermistor or temperature sensor:

When working properly this component keeps in check the temperature of the refrigerator and transmits the information on the temperature reading to the control board so that appropriate power can be supplied to the evaporator fan as well as the compressor for effective cooling in return.

But when the thermistor is defective both the compressor and the evaporator fan may not work properly.

Defrost thermostat failure:

This component allows the power to flow to the heater.

When it failed, power will not flow and the heater will not be able to heat up and melt ice or frost which may build up on the evaporator coils.

How To Activate Forced Defrost Mode? 

Apart from replacing any components found defective, the following actions can be taken to fix the inability of the fridge to cool. 

In most cases, the inability of the Samsung fridge to cool is a result of excess ice frosting over the evaporating coils as well as the fan.

Therefore, one can easily initiate a FORCED DEFROST mode by pressing FREEZER and LIGHTING or ENERGY SAVER and FRIDGE buttons at the same time for 8 seconds.

Once you will hear one chime sound, press the LIGHTING button several times after that, until you will see Fd on the display.

This action activates the defrost element and melts the ice. 

To exit the Forced Defrost mode you can simply unplug the power from the wall or wait 20 minutes till forced defrosting will be done.

In a nutshell, Samsung fridge inability to cool is one of the most inconveniencing challenges faced with the brand.

Among the notable causes include the malfunctioning of various components that work together as a team to bring about cooling in a freezer, such as a compressor, defrost control board and evaporator coils among others. 

Rather, this is something one can be fixed by simply making diagnostic tests on the components suspected to be defective, such as the ones mentioned above and have them replaced or even repaired where possible.

Therefore, don’t let the Samsung fridge not cooling give you a headache when there is something you can do about it to bring back that peaceful mind and the beauty of the fridge.  

Possible Cooling Problem Solution – DIY Heater

This DIY secondary heater may help to evenly distribute heat to defrost ice build-ups in the upper section of the evaporator coil and thus providing proper airflow and proper cooling temperature all the time.

If Freezer And Fridge Not Cooling At All

Compressor Inverter Board Failed

This part of the fridge is responsible for sending power to the compressor when its needed. Compressor inverter board can regulate revolutions of the compressor and thus provide more or less cold, depends on the situation.

If this board failed, power will not flow to the compressor and there will be no cold at all in the freezer or the fridge.

In order to troubleshoot this problem, you have to be familiar with using of multimeter and checking power on the input and output of the inverter board.

Samsung Refrigerator Inverter Board

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Compressor Malfunctioned

If the compressor is getting power and maybe even humming, but not producing cold, this is one of the reasons when the compressor is lost efficiency or failed either mechanically or electrically.

Refrigerant Leak In The Sealed System

This issue is common not only for Samsung refrigerators but can be applied to any other refrigerators on the market.

A sealed system is where the refrigerant circulating from the compressor to the evaporator coils and back. This system contains lots of copper or aluminum tubes.

When one of the tubes has developed a tiny hole, it will create a leak and the refrigerant in the system will escape and evaporates eventually.

Restricted Drier Filter

This problem is not new to the Samsung refrigerator. From my experience as a Appliance repair technician, I have seen this many times.

The drier filter serves to filter moisture, dirt from the compressor. When its clogged by any of these particles, it will restrict refrigerant flow in the system and thus compressor will not be able to push or pump refrigerant.

Service Troubleshooting Manual PDF

RF28HDEDBSR Service Manual

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is My Brand New Samsung Fridge Not Cooling?

One of the reasons is that your new fridge still in DEMO MODE. If you see on the display that says o FF or oF oF, that means your fridge still in the DEMO MODE.

In order to deactivate DEMO MODE, press and hold FREEZER and ALARM buttons until you hear a chime. If this combination of buttons will not work, try to press and hold FREEZER, ALARM, and FRIDGE buttons until you hear a chime.

If everything above is checked OK, that means you didn’t give the fridge enough time to cool.

If you have a new Samsung Family Hub Fridge and it still not cooling, you might need to activate Cooling Mode in the fridge settings.

How Long Does It Take For A New Samsung Fridge To Get Cold?

To get cold to a temperature of 0F for the freezer and 36F for the fridge compartments, a brand new Samsung Fridge requires at least 2-4 hours before you can put food in it.

Why Is my Fridge Not Cooling and Making Noise?

Most likely it caused by the ice build-up blocking or touching the evaporator fan blades, that’s why fan is making noise and may slow down air circulation. But If you open the fridge section door and this noise goes away, it is 100% related to the ice accumulation behind the TWIN COOLING panel.

Why Is My Fridge Not Cooling After Power Outage?

There are several problems that can happen with your fridge when you had a power outage. One of them is the problem related to the main control board or inverter board which supplies power to the compressor.

You can try to reset power by unplugging the fridge for 5 minutes. But if your fridge will not start cooling in 10 minutes after that, you can start troubleshooting this issue further by yourself or rather call a service company to do this job for you.

Affected Models

Contact Samsung Care Pro 8 AM – 12 AM EST, 7 days a week.
Dial 1-800-SAMSUNG (726-7864)


Reader Comments (365)

  1. Hi Eugene, I have a Samsung RS22 fridge. Had some issues with the fans and more not working. PC, 1 sensor and compressor was replaced. Fridge is running nicely and suddenly on low temp switches completely of, it does not start compressor or anything else on again. What else can I check, what might be the problem.

  2. I have an RSG257 that suddenly stopped cooling in both fridge and freezer. It was off for several days and still doesn’t cool, so I’m ruling out freezing coils. The temperature sensors seemed to be correctly reading the fridge and freezer temperature as well, so I’m guessing those are okay. I got it to go into forced function and could hear the fan start but not the compressor. I accessed the inverter control board and the LED is not lit at all. I checked the voltages – I’m reading about 10v on the compressor signal pin. I checked the connections from the ICB down to the compressor area and everything seems okay. Does this point directly to the inverter control circuit board as the culprit or am I missing something? If I buy a replacement board and that doesn’t fix it, am I able to return it? Thanks!

    • The compressor should start in 5 minutes, not right away (or depends on the state of the compressor or cycle)
      Did you check the service manual in this article?

      • Dave, what i would do is to check if the inverter board is getting power, firts. After that, i would check the power going to the compressor on the board side and compressor side. Does the board is getting power?

  3. I have a RFG297ABRS Samsung refrigerator. In the beginning of my problem the freezer stopped working. the refrigerator section continued to work for a few weeks until it stopped. I was trouble shooting the system and a tech said to change out the compressor inverter board, which I did. Still nothing. After trouble shooting further, on CN75- 1(blk-gry) I had 0volts that was to have 13vdc.CN75- 2 (brn-gry) had 5vdc which was good. and CN75 4-3(or-rd) had ) 0volts not 2.5vdc as expected. Am I correct to replace the main board or is there something further I need to check?

  4. Hi, I have a RF30HBEDSR and an experiencing a scenario where there is no cooling in both the fridge and freezer. The compressor is running and there is a solid red light on the inverter board. The temperature display shows an initial warm temperature after plug in and then shows cooling as the temperature drops on the display toward the set temperature yet the fridge and freezer are actually still at room temperature. Typically is would question the cooling/freon flow from the compressor however that does not explain the false temperature display on the front panel . The unit has been unplugged for many many days so there would be no ice buildup in the freezer or fridge. No error codes appear when into self diagnosis mode (only -88 88). The fridge can also be put into FF mode and the compressor runs but no cooling, I can’t think of one issue that would cause no cooling and also a false temp display. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. In the hot weather, the fridge/freezer became very loud, with bad vibration !
    Like something was loose and rattling ! It was switched off and left for a
    long time. When switched on, a humming noise can be heard, but both
    fridge and freezer warm inside. No more noise or vibration !

  6. My RS21HFLMR- both frigde and freezer not cooling but fan is running. Temp was reset in the past 28 her ( as advised by a technician) Please advise as technician callout are too costly

  7. Hi, Eugene,

    I have a RF268ABRS. Plug the power in, the fridge and freezer works as expected and get to the target temperature just fine (-2F, 38F). However, after less than 48 hours, the fridge will suddenly stop working and the freezer will thaw. At this point the temperature on the panel is showing the target temp only, no spot temp. But if I disconnect the power and replug in, the temperature will then display correctly and usually it will be 35F in the freezer and 66F in fridge. And the restart will make the fridge work again. I also notice when the system stop working, the temperature rises very quickly and there is heat on the surface between the freezer and the fridge. Any idea what could possibly be the issue?

    • “there is heat on the surface between the freezer and the fridge” – that might be the problem with the condenser fan motor (close to the compressor)

  8. Hi, my refrigerator model is RF28HFED and the fridge abs freezer are not working. The temperature on the door says -8 for freezer and 68 for fridge. They change a little but the freezer is definitely not cold at all. I was trying to test the blink theory but I can’t get it to blink at all. It was blinking yesterday when my dad came over to troubleshoot

    • 1. Try to flip the breaker OFF/ON in order to reset control board
      2. If it will not help, pull the fridge out and check compressor if its working or not.
      3. If compressor is not working, check compressor inverter board

  9. Hi, I have a Samsung RF268ABRS model. Realize the freezer was not working a few days back. The unit can cool/freeze properly after disconnect the power and reboot. But after 48 hours the same issue happen again. I realize once the temperature reached the preset target in both the freezer and the fridge, the temperature on the panel won’t change according to the real temperature anymore. For example, the display is showing -2F and 38F, but the freezer is thawing, and unplug and replug, the display will show 25F and 68F. It will then properly cool down to the target with the correct temp displayed. Is this a sensor issue or PCB issue. My model seems to have a ceiling freezer temp sensor that cannot be replaced.

    • I cant tell you exactly what went wrong with your fridge. You can try to replace freezer temp sensor first and then if it will not fix the problem, replace PCB board

  10. It’s a Samsung refrigerator with the middle drawer, and my issue is with the freezer. It’s first started when I received a code of 5E. Unplugged it thinking it would reset it and went to 0F. So I got online and found how to reset the system and did that and now it is cooling in the refrigerator, but the freezer is still not working. It has been thawing, While I cleaned it out really good for the last couple days. I’ve Been injured so that’s why I have taken my time. I would assume by now the freezer has totally been thawed out by now. Turned it back on everything seems to be working fine except for the freezer. My question is what could be causing this issue?

    • One thing is to remove the rear panel in the freezer and see if evaporator coils are frosted over with ice. If they are, something wrong with defrost cycle (thermostat, heater) If not, the problem can be with the diverter valve (not water inlet valve)

  11. My RF25HMEDBSR model is not cooling the refrigerator. It displays the temperature to be 38degreez, but is actually about 58 degrees. The coils are not freezing over. I replaced the temperature sensor, but no help. Any suggestions?

  12. my samsung RF4287HARS/XAA refrigerator is cooling but the freezer is not. 38 deg. F fridge/ 38 deg. F freezer. Ice making is slow to non existent. Inverter PCB board solid red LED

  13. I have a Samsung refrigerator RH2SH5611WW/AA001, The freezer side works fine but the refrigerator side stopped cooling. It’s been looked at by a tech and I was told it was the fan. I had him replace the fan again. It was supposed to fix the problem. Unfortunately the refrigerator stopped cooling again today and the display started blinking the number 34. I cannot do anything to stop the blinking number and the refrigerator just keeps getting warmer.
    In January 2018 they replaced the Evaporator fan motor and in April they replaced the main PCB. I’m one step closer to just getting a new refrigerator I will not get another Samsung.

  14. Hi,
    My Samsung fridge model rt72k6360sp is not cooling properly while freezer is working fine. One year ago same problem was encountered and technican suggested replacement of some sensor/sensors but after his visit fridge start working as normal and I have not asked for replacement of any sensor. Again same problem is encountered. Please suggest.

    • There is no proper and permanent solution, even from Samsung. You can keep replacing parts, hoping that it will fix the problem. But there is a big chance that the problem come back again. At least I don’t know a universal solution for your problem

  15. Hello everyone, I have a Samsung American Fridge Freezer RSA1UTMG. For the past two days now the fridge and the freezer section haven’t been cooling at all. There are no funny sounds/clicks, the compressor is working, the fan is working, the coils at the back are clean, no ice build up inside the back panel of the freezer! Any ideas what the problem might be? Thanks.

    • Sounds like a major issue with your fridge.
      1. Sealed system has a leak
      2. Sealed system drier is clogged, not allowing refrigerant to flow and thus not cooling

    • My Fridge is off completely. When I disconnect from outlet and drain the power it starts up for about a minute and the cooling fan turns on and off intermittently and then turns back off. In the past that trick worked but now it’s just turning off – no lights, no nothing.

    • My fridge started doing this exact thing, the freezer stopped cooling, then the middle drawer, and now the fridge, the compressor hums loud on start up then slowly gets quiet. Is there a fix for this? Seems like a coolant leak.

  16. 2nd time in 3 years that my Samsung RF30HDEDTSR has frozen the refrigerator evaporator coils and stopped cooling the fridge (Freezer is fine). I forgot how to get the iced over back panel off. It feels like the styrofoam insulation is stuck to the ice. I put it in FD mode

  17. I have a Samsung rf32fmqdbsr. The refrigerator section is not cooling but the freezer is fine. I checked the evaporator coils, the evaporator fan, the defrost heating and they are all fine. I also tested the amp on the compressor and it is fine. The problem is the compressor will run until the fridge gets to 15 C and at that point it shuts down. Every time the the fridges gets to that same temperature the compressor shuts down. It will start up again if the fridge temperature rises, but will shut down again if it gets to 15 C. The electronic temperature is set to 4 C so I am not sure why it is always shutting down.

    • Fridge temperature sensor not calibrated or defective. You may insulate the sensor by covering with a heat shrink sleeve so that it does not get cold air directly, thus delaying the compressor cutting off and increasing cooling time to reach desired temperature. If this doesn’t work replace fridge temperature sensor.
      Also check evaporator fan voltage (generally 12 V DC) and it’s rpm. If found low rpm replace fan.
      Hope this solves you fridge cooling issue

    • Hi Ryan, I have the exact same fridge and the same problem! It started maybe about 2 weeks ago but I just noticed it about 5 days ago. I had a dishonest repairman tell me that the inverter board was fried and replaced it saying it would work, it didn’t, after 485 dollars… I was very disheartened by that experience so I didn’t want anyone else to look at is and instead just bought a new fridge. It hasn’t been delivered so I’m still debating if I should try it one more time. In any case, has your problem been fixed? Thank you so much for your time and any tips/updates you have


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