Repair 2005 Mazda RX-8 Climate Control Unit
February 8, 2017

Samsung Refrigerator Noises

Background

Recently I purchased a Samsung RF28HMEDBSR refrigerator because my wife fell in love with the look and design. We loved the middle drawer and planned on utilizing this as a drawer for our 6 year old daughter, Kyra. This separate refrigerated drawer is perfect for Kyra’s yogurt, juice boxes, lunchables and other snacks. We also love the fact that the refrigerator is larger than our old Whirlpool unit so we don’t run into issues finding room for groceries. Unfortunately, the purchase backfired and I should have done more research on this particular model refrigerator, Samsung in general and the store where I purchased the refrigerator at.

From day one, just about every time this refrigerator’s compressor turns on and off the refrigerator makes a noise for a few seconds. This is not just a normal refrigerator noise but can be very loud. So loud that we can hear it over the TV in the living room and it has even woken me up from naps before. The best way I could describe this noise is as clanging or knocking noise. This very annoying noise almost sounds like a wooden spoon being hit against a metal pot.

Troubleshooting

With my engineer mindset I went out to fix the issue. I watched numerous videos on Youtube of similar Samsung refrigerators making noise. Many of these videos pointed to the evaporator coil freezing up with ice buildup behind the freezer compartment. Thus, when the fan kicks on it hits the ice build up and causes a noise similar to what I was experiencing. So, I tore apart my refrigerator freezer compartment only to find there was no ice buildup just a bit of normal frosting on the coil.

Because this is a “Twin Cooling” system the freezer is cooled separate from the refrigerator compartment. I have yet to disassemble the refrigerator compartment to check for ice but after I do so I will update this post. Many posts online stated that sometimes ice also builds up behind the Ice Maker. After checking, I found this was also not the issue. While I had the refrigerator pulled out to work on it when it turned on I heard the noise again from behind the refrigerator. This time, it seemed to be coming straight from the compressor.

So now that I had the compressor as a culprit, I conducted a normal continuity test against the windings inside of the compressor. To do this, I just removed the cover from the back of the refrigerator. Then I removed the cover over the Start Relay mounted on the compressor. Finally, I removed the start relay from the compressor exposing the three pins to test continuity across. All pins read continuity between each other with an average resistance of 9 – 12Ohm. It makes sense that the compressor’s windings are not (yet) damaged since the refrigerator is cooling, just making a very annoying noise.

Further research for my exact model refrigerator lead me to this Samsung forum. Many others with the exact same model refrigerator were experiencing the same issue as I. From reading some of these posts, the Samsung certified technicians first wrote up the service calls as “Customer Education” and merely told the customers there is nothing wrong with the refrigerator and that the noise is normal. The noise definitely is NOT normal as I have never heard a refrigerator sound like this and I work around large commercial freezer units that are much quieter.

Whats Next?

Because I purchased this refrigerator from “Smart Buy Appliances” here in Las Vegas as a floor model, Samsung will not warranty any part of the unit. “Smart Buy Appliances” had an original three month warranty that has since expired. During those three months, I had a technician sent out twice to try to fix the issue but he was unable to locate the problem. He also claimed not to hear those loud noises while he was here. While it is true sometimes the noise is much louder than other times, the noise is always there at some level.

Today I spoke with “Smart Buy Appliances” again about the issue I’m continuing to have. I explained to them how the issue is getting even worse since it was not fixed during the first two service calls. After arguing for a bit since the three-month warranty was up, he agreed that if I could record the noise he would send his technician back out. Then, I could play back the recording for his technician and it would help him greatly in finding the root cause. The owner of “Smart Buy Appliances” claimed that he would replace my compressor if that ended up being the problem and if they could not find anything else wrong. I’ve read that most refrigerators with a sealed system are very expensive to service and replace the compressor. However if he would rather do that then replace the refrigerator, that is fine by me. I just hope that after working on the system it does not cause any future leaks. My wife and I both love the refrigerator besides the stupidly loud noises it makes.

I will update this blog post in the near future with the recording of this noise. I’ll also update once I have a resolution so that others who are stuck in the same situation as me can at least know the root cause. It seems like Samsung’s own techs don’t even seem know what is going on (or claim to not know at least).

Moral of the story: Don’t buy any Samsung Appliances, and if you do please buy from a reputable store.

I hope you found this informative and Thanks for visiting!

 

Update 7/31/2017: After much convincing, “Smart Buy Appliances” picked up this refrigerator and issued a full refund. We now have a new LG refrigerator with no issues and absolutely love it.

brandon
brandon
IT Support Engineer III working at Amazon.com in Las Vegas, NV. I enjoy building websites, graphic design and studying technology in my spare time.

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