Samsung Refrigerator Error Code 21 V – Troubleshooting Guide

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An error code is a three-digit display flashing across the screen of your refrigerator’s control panel. The code may incapacitate your fridge and could potentially signal a significant issue. You can learn more about error code 21 V, which could also come up as 21 E, in the sections below.

Each error code corresponds to a specific part of the refrigerator. 21 V error code shows that there is an issue with the freezer fan. Either it is jammed up, obstructed, or not functioning correctly. 

Continue below to learn how to fix this issue and clear the error code. The solution may be as simple as clearing out ice buildup or as complicated as replacing freezer fan parts. You’ll also find helpful tips on how to prevent this from happening again in the future.

What Does Error Code 21 V Mean On A Samsung Refrigerator?

Error Code 21 V signals a Freezer Fan Error. The fan is responsible for circulating cold air throughout the entire compartment. If the freezer fan is either damaged or obstructed, then the motor will not be able to keep the interior of the unit sufficiently cooled.

For a list of all Samsung Refrigerator error codes, please click here.

Why Does Error Code 21 V Happen?

The error report is triggered when the refrigerator’s electronics fail to sense rotational feedback from the fan during a period when the fan should be turning. There are several potential reasons why your freezer fan is not turning.

  • Freezer Door Left Open For Too Long: This can cause the fan’s blades to freeze up.
  • A Gap In The Freezer Door Gasket: Leads to the freezer unit working overtime, freezing the blades of the fan in place
  • The Freezer is Overpacked: There should be enough room for the door to close fully.
  • Fan Motor Failure: The small motor controlling the freezer fan needs to be repaired/replaced.
    Read: Samsung Refrigerator Error Code 40 E

How To Enter Diagnostic Mode In A Samsung Refrigerator ?

Going into diagnostic mode will allow you to view error codes and troubleshoot several common issues with your refrigerator. You can enter diagnostics regardless of whether an error code is flashing across the screen or not.

You will need to push a model-specific combination of buttons on your refrigerator’s control panel. In the table below, you’ll find general instructions for entering diagnostics. Instructions vary depending on which type of control display your unit has and where it’s located.

Model TypeTo Enter Diagnostics
Left Door Control Panel Numeric DisplayPress and hold the top left & right buttons simultaneously for 8-10 seconds.
Flex Zone Models With Control On Lower Right DoorPress and hold Freezer and Control Lock buttons simultaneously for 6 seconds.
Display On Top TablePress and hold Power Freeze and Power Cool buttons simultaneously for 6 seconds.
Top Mount FreezersPress and hold the Freezer and Fridge button on your display simultaneously for 13 seconds.

Courtesy: Samsung

For more detailed instructions on entering diagnostics, please click here.

How To Fix & Clear Error Code 21 V?

When your fridge is flashing an error code, you won’t be able to change any of the settings, even if the icebox is refilling and the fridge is running. To clear a flashing error code, you will need to resolve the issue at hand. If all else fails or you are not sure what to do, contact a qualified technician.

The manufacturer strongly advises against unplugging the fridge or interacting with the control panel by pushing buttons at random. This will only exacerbate the issue.

Read: Samsung Refrigerator Error Code 22E

Enter A Forced Mode

Forced Operation Mode is an effective troubleshooting tool (you can read up more on it here) for problems with freezer fans, compressor operation, and defroster operation. To activate a forced mode, you’ll need to push a combination of two buttons on the panel (such as the upper left and middle right buttons on French door models). 

This process will tell you which parts are working and which parts aren’t. Testing can be performed on the circuit board using a multimeter. This will tell you whether a specific component is failing or has been disconnected.

Defrost The Unit

Defrosting is a potential solution for unfreezing the fan. You can enter forced defrost by pressing a model-specific combination of buttons on your control panel, waiting for the screen to go blank, and cycling through the options until you see code “FD,” which stands for “Forced Freezer Defrost.”

The most practical way to defrost a freezer manually is to remove everything inside it, unplug the unit, and blow hot air into the freezer using either a fan, hairdryer, or space heater. Samsung may have specific instructions on how to manually defrost your freezer, so you are encouraged to check with your owner’s manual before proceeding.
Read: What Is An Auto Defrost Refrigerator?

Replace The Door Gasket

Order a replacement gasket that is compatible with your specific model, such as this Samsung Refrigerator Gasket, which is compatible with a few models. Door gasket replacement is a several-step process: 

  1. Soak the gasket in a bathtub: This softens the gasket, removes bends and creases, and makes it more malleable.
  2. Remove foods & beverages and unplug the freezer.
  3. Either loosen or completely remove the door screws, whichever gives you the easiest access to the door seal.
  4. Remove the existing seal using a cordless drill and collect all the screws in a bowl.
  5. Tighten top screws on the new seal before tightening bottom screws.

Replace The Freezer Fan Motor/Blades

Whenever you are replacing a freezer fan, be sure to get the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part for that specific model. Take, for example, this listing for a Samsung Freezer Evaporator Motor. The listing explicitly states which models it is compatible with.

From there, you will likely need to remove all the storage trays and ice maker to reach the back panel where the fan motor is located. You may also need to remove the freezer door from its brackets. View your owner’s manual for a layout of your freezer’s components and consult with a qualified technician if you have any questions or concerns.

How To Prevent This Error Code In The Future?

You can avoid this issue in the future by making sure that your freezer door closes all the way every time. Regular cleaning and maintenance of critical components can also help ensure that maintenance issues are kept to a minimum in the future.

Here are some freezer/refrigerator maintenance tips:

  • Clean the condenser coils 1-2 times per year: These are located at either the bottom or the back of the unit, collecting dust and pet hair. Unplug the fridge, remove the protective grill, and gently vacuum out dust particles.
  • Routinely defrost your freezer: The recommendation is to defrost your freezer once per year or every time that the layer of frost is at least ΒΌ” inch thick.
  • Keep the interior clean: Routinely clean all interior components, including the ice maker, which can experience scale buildup.

Final Thoughts

The 21 V error code signals an issue with the freezer fan. This can be remedied by clearing ice buildup, replacing the door gasket, repairing the freezer fan and/or motor, or just simply removing items from your freezer to make room for the door to shut properly.

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