Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Problem (6 Issues Fixed!)

Dealing with a Samsung refrigerator defrost problem takes several considerations. The frost buildup is not by chance, which means something must have gone wrong, and you’ve to wonder what.

Often, a Samsung refrigerator won’t defrost due to warm air (leaking in through an open door), improper aeration, an open ice flap, a drain tube moisture leak or blockage, a component failure, or a refrigerant leak.

Some components that could fail and affect the refrigerators defrosting capability include the defrost timer, defrost heater assembly, defrost thermostat, defrost control board, defrost sensor fuse, compressor, and central control board. 

We’ll discuss how all these issues prevent your Samsung appliance from defrosting and how you can remedy them.

But first, let’s look at how you can enter your Samsung refrigerator into defrost mode and what to do when it doesn’t automatically defrost. Sometimes, you can fix the problem that way.

Samsung refrigerator defrost problem

In a rush? See below the likely reasons your Samsung refrigerator won’t defrost and what to do in each case.

Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Problem Quick Troubleshooting Guide 

Likely Cause Quick Fix 
1.Warm Air Leaking (in) through the Door Force-defrost the refrigerator and correctly  shut the door each time you open it 
2.Improper Aeration Space the food evenly, away from the freezer walls, and force-defrost the fridge 
3.Open Ice Flap Remove any obstructions that could be preventing the ice maker flap from closing correctly, and then force-defrost the refrigerator 
4.Drain Tube Moisture Leak or Blockage Have an expert inspect the drain tube for moisture leakage or blockage and fix it
5.Component Failure Inspect the defrost timer, defrost heater assembly, defrost thermostat, defrost control board, defrost sensor fuse, compressor, and central control board for fault and replace it
6.Refrigerant Leak Call a pro 

How to Enter the Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Mode to Fix a Defrost Problem? 

We will be mentioning the defrost mode a lot under the fixes. So it makes sense to start with it. All Samsung refrigerators have the defrost mode, which allows them to melt the accumulated frost/ice.

So, when your refrigerator doesn’t defrost, the defrost mode is not going into effect. Under proper working conditions, Samsung refrigerators automatically defrost several times a day, and the process averages 20 minutes. 

If that doesn’t happen, you’ll have to defrost the fridge manually (forcefully defrost), and here’s how to go about it.  

Step 1 (Put the fridge on diagnostic mode)

Press the light + freezer or PowerFreeze + fridge buttons on the control panel and hold for roughly 10 seconds to enter diagnostics. The fridge will make a chime sound to indicate that it has entered diagnostic. 

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Step 2 (Pick a defrost mode)

By entering diagnostics, you enable the fridge to allow you to pick your preferred defrost mode. You can choose any of these two:

  • Refrigerator Defrost (RD) – The Refrigerator Defrost mode only defrosts the fresh food section (refrigerator compartment). So, choose it if you want to only melt ice buildup in the refrigerator compartment. 
  • Full Defrost (FD) – Unlike the refrigerator defrost that only defrosts the refrigerator compartment, full defrost defrosts the whole unit. That includes both the refrigerator and freezer compartments. 

Step 3 (Wait for the defrost cycle to complete)

After choosing your preferred defrost mode, give the unit 20 – 60 minutes to run the cycle. The defrosting time depends on the frost size. Once the process completes, the fridge will make a beeping sound. 

Other Ways to Forcefully Defrost a Samsung Refrigerator 

Besides manually forcing a Samsung refrigerator into defrost mode, as shared above, you can use these hacks to melt away the accumulated ice. 

  • Use hot or warm water – You can run hot or warm water into the refrigerator’s venting while the unit is unplugged to melt away the ice. Alternatively, place trays with hot water into the fridge and wait until you can pull the ice bucket. 
  • Run the fan – If you have access to a portable fan, run it outside the fridge to melt the ice inside. Ensure you open the door while at it to hasten the defrosting. 
  • Leave the door open – While an open door could be why the ice forms in the first place (as you’ll see later), it can also be the fix. Just unplug the fridge for about a day and leave its door open. 
  • Try the hand steamer – We don’t recommend melting the ice with a hair dryer because its intense heat can damage the fridge, but you can use a hand steamer. Just empty the fridge before running the hand streamer in the refrigerator. 
How do I fix the defrost on my Samsung refrigerator

6 Reasons Your Samsung Refrigerator Has a Defrost Problem 

Now, consider these six issues if your Samsung refrigerator won’t defrost;

1. Warm Air Leaking into The Refrigerator Through the Door

If you don’t close the refrigerator door tight or leave it wide open for too long, warm air will get in. The warm air will cause the ice to accumulate quickly, preventing your fridge from automatically defrosting it. 


Consider running the automatic defrost and if the fridge doesn’t defrost, force it into a defrost using the above-shared guide. And once the unit defrosts successfully, avoid leaving the door open. Ensure you firmly shut it and if the door seal is the issue, replace it. 

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2. Improper Aeration 

Good airflow is essential for the defrost process. If the unit lacks proper ventilation, especially the freezer, frost will accumulate quickly.

Issues that could inhibit good aeration include food overloading, mainly when the food containers rest on the freezer walls. 


Reduce the food load in the refrigerator and freezer and properly space the containers to encourage aeration. The food containers shouldn’t be resting on the freezer walls.

Remember not to obstruct the air vents. After that, force-defrost the fridge. 

3. Open (or Obstructed Ice Maker Flap)

Sometimes, debris and dirt clog the ice maker flap/cover and prevent it from closing. If that happens, the refrigerator may fail to defrost the accumulated ice. 


Inspect the ice maker flap for any debris or dirt obstruction and remove it. You can then force-defrost the fridge to eliminate any accumulated ice. 

4. Drain tube Moisture Leakage or Blockage

Your Samsung refrigerator may also fail to defrost if there’s moisture leakage within the drain tube or a major dust clog. All those are issues a Samsung fridge pro can help you check. 


Call a pro if the drain tube is leaking moisture or blocked. But before you do, try to force-defrost the refrigerator. 

Samsung refrigerator defrost mode

5. Component Failure 

Several components can prevent the refrigerator from defrosting once they fail, and they include the following:

  • Defrost timer – The defrost timer’s job is to turn on the unit defrost heater to enable it to melt the accumulated ice before it freezes the evaporator coils. You can know if the timer is faulty if it won’t advance (it won’t allow the unit to go into defrost cycle in 30 minutes).
  • Defrost heater assembly –  The defrost heater assembly, which houses the defrost heater, will prevent the fridge from defrosting when it fails. That’s because the heater will fail to melt the accumulating frost. The Samsung refrigerator defrost heater price is about $50 if you may want to replace it.
  • Defrost thermostat – A faulty defrost thermostat fails to power on the defrost heater, thus preventing the fridge from defrosting. It’s defective when it won’t show continuity on a multimeter.
  • Defrost control board – The defrost control board dictates how often the defrost cycle runs. Once it fails, the refrigerator won’t defrost. That’s usually the case when both the defrost thermostat and heater are working, but the fridge still won’t defrost.
  • Defrost sensor fuse – The defrost sensor has a fuse that protects it from overheating. Once the fuse blows up, the defrost sensor fails to monitor the evaporator temperature, preventing the fridge from defrosting. You can tell a faulty sensor fuse if it lacks continuity.
  • Compressor – The compressor is another part that could fail and prevent the refrigerator from defrosting. An expert can help you check it for faults. 
  • Main control board – If the issue has nothing to do with the compressor or a defrost system component, the main control board is likely defective. If so, not only will the fridge fail to defrost, but it’ll also not cool or freeze. 
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Replace any of the above refrigerator components if faulty. But to be sure, have a fridge expert examine them. 

6. Refrigerator Leak 

Lastly, the refrigerator might not defrost because the refrigerant level is low, causing the compressor to malfunction. In such a case, the fridge releases warm and not cold gas. 


Turn to a fridge pro, as a refrigerant leak is challenging to fix.

Samsung French Door Refrigerator Defrost Problem

Like any other fridge type, a Samsung French door refrigerator may fail to defrost for the issues shared earlier. They include:

  • Warm air leakage into the fridge through the door 
  • Food stuffing which causes air vent obstruction
  • An open ice flap due to debris obstruction 
  • Leaky or dust-obstructed drain tube 
  • Refrigerant leakage 
  • A failed defrost system component (timer, heater assembly, thermostat, or sensor fuse), compressor, or main control board
Samsung refrigerator defrost sensor error

Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Sensor Error Code 5E

The error code 5E usually pops up when the defrost system component malfunctions, the system suffers a glitch, or the control unit fails.


You can clear the 5E error code by:

  • Resetting the refrigerant by unplugging it for 10 – 15 minutes 
  • Pressing PowerFreeze + PowerCool for 10 seconds

People Also Ask

1. How Do I Fix the Defrost On My Samsung Refrigerator?

You can fix the defrost on your Samsung Refrigerator by manually defrosting (forcefully defrosting) the refrigerator. That requires you to press PowerFreeze + fridge buttons or lights + freezer buttons for 10 seconds. Check the defrost components for fault if the forceful defrost won’t work. 

2. How Do I Force-defrost My Samsung Fridge?

You can force-defrost your Samsung fridge by pressing the lights + freezer buttons or power freeze + fridge buttons on the control panel for about 10 seconds. If that doesn’t work, use a hand steamer, fan, or warm water to melt the accumulated frost. 

3. Samsung Forced Defrost How Long?

The automatic Samsung refrigerator ice maker defrost cycle takes about 20 – 60 minutes, depending on the size of the frost. However, the manual defrost (forceful defrost) may take up to 24 – 36 hours. 

Closing Thought On the Samsung Refrigerator Defrost Problem: 

Now you know what to check when your Samsung refrigerator has a problem. The appliance might not defrost because warm air is leaking (in), poor airflow, an obstructed ice market flap, a leaky or blocked drain tube, failed component, or low refrigerant.   

Remember, however, to manually defrost (forcefully defrost) the fridge if it won’t do it automatically. 

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