I have been wrestling with this for the past two days – ever since my wife noticed that everything in the fridge was frozen. This is a Samsung unit with the fridge on top and the freezer on the bottom. The freezer is working just fine and the freezer display agrees with a separate freezer thermometer I put inside the freezer. The fridge side, however, is set at 38*, but the internal thermometer says it’s about 12* in there!

I downloaded the service manual for this model fridge, but it is rather poorly written. I checked for trouble codes, but I didn’t have anything that matched what was in the service manual. On start up my display will completely light up for a second or two, then go dark and then a number “3” will pop up of the refrigerator side of the display. Then the display will show the actual temperatures of the freezer and fridge before going back to displaying the selected temperature settings.

A quick online search indicates a bad thermistor in the refrigerator section. I am a little wary because on start up, the fridge displays actual temperature quite accurately. Some thermometer inside the fridge is working. I get that a thermistor is not a thermometer and that if the thermistor is responsible for making the fridge self-defrost, then I guess it would make sense.

I suspect that the fridge evaporator is completely iced over. In an effort to remedy this, I went into the “forced operation” mode and selected fridge defrost. I’m currently listening to my bridge beep constantly as I wait to see if this does anything.

Food safety is something that I really obsess about and getting this fridge back to normal as quickly as possible is a huge priority for me.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated!


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Hi. Your issue could be with the Refrigerator thermistor or even the control board. There should be 2 thermistors inside your Refrigerator section. One senses the Temp. of the refrigerator and the other thermistor on the evaporator is for the defrost cycle. In the service manual, in the trouble shooting section will explain how to test the thermistor. The first thing I would do is unplug the unit for 5 mins. to reset the board and plug back in. See if the display is correct with the actual temps. Hers is a link to purchase the thermistor.


Hi Brian,
I have unplugged the refrigerator, waited a bit and then plugged it back in several times. Each time after start up, the display has indicated the correct actual temperature of the fridge and freezer (checked against a separate thermometer that I placed in both the fridge and freezer). Would this rule out the control board (and likely one of the thermistors)?

I did put the fridge into “forced operation” mode and tried to force a refrigerator defrost. The fridge beeped for about 90 min (the display said “rd” which I assume means refrigerator defrost) but the drip tray in the back is completely dry. No water in it at all.

I suppose that I should take the inside back wall of the fridge off to expose the evaporator and start getting busy with a heat gun, right?



  • It sounds like a defrost issue. Yes, I would leave the unit unplugged for 24 hrs to allow the frost build up to melt first before attempting to remove the back panel. Many times the back panel is frozen in place and will break if you attempt to remove it with out thawing it out first. Once you gain access to the evaporator you can test and or replace your defrost components. Let me know if you need any further assistance.
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