Rant

Samsung Refrigerator RF28HMEDBWW

Samsung RF28HMEDBWW/AA

We purchased this refrigerator new on 8 July, 2014 at Home Depot near our house. We researched brands, ratings and customer reviews heavily before making this decision. This research (including Consumer Reports) indicated this was a reliable product, and the center cooling drawer was a big attraction.

It was delivered about a week later from the warehouse. We were very pleased with it for a little over a year, and then it started making a whirring sound which bothered us, but at the time didn't seem to affect performance. However, in March of 2016, it started leaking water all over the floor. We called Samsung service department in late February, and asked what to do. They replied that it had to be serviced to diagnose the problem. However, the certified service office was located in Pompano Beach, Fl. some 308 miles away. The service man only made the trip to North Florida once a month and we would have to wait. The trip fee for diagnosis would be $99

He arrived on March 28th, and diagnosed the problem as a leaky water filter assembly. It would have to be replaced in a Month when he came back to this part of the state. Cost would be $450.47 for the part plus another $99 trip fee. He did nothing to the fridge but run a defrost cycle, manually cleared the ice off of the refrigerator coils and fan inside the cooling compartment, then left.

Magically, the fridge stopped leaking, so I called them back and said do not order the part, or come to replace it yet.

It never leaked again, and I don't believe that was ever the problem. I purchased the part on Amazon for $61, and put it in storage in case it started leaking again. However, we learned from the experience that we could not afford monthly service calls with a 30 day wait from an incompetent factory service tech. Appliance repair companies around us would not service Samsung refrigerators because they actually guarantee their work. I fortunately watched the repairman during his visit, so I had a basic idea of what the fix really was.

Two months later, the fan was whirring and the temperature inside the fridge was 50 degrees, and food was going bad, but no leaking water on the floor. The temperature on the front display said 34 degrees. YouTube had dozens of repair videos for this exact problem, and I began my monthly dis-assembly and defrost procedure:
1. Run the manual defrost cycle by pressing and holding freezer & lighting buttons for several seconds. The Screen clears, and then it beeps. Start pressing lighting button to select Rd from the menu, and wait ~30 minutes for the cycle to complete, while it beeps continuously.
2. Repeat this process 5 times to remove the main ice from the coils
3. Empty the fridge, and remove the inside back panel covering the coils
4. Use a small steamer to finish the defrosting at the top where the coils enter the back of the fridge.
5. Use running warm water in the sink to remove the block of ice around the fan and inside the back panel.
6. Reassemble the fridge and hope for the best.
7. As the fridge started cooling again, the front temperature displayed the actual inside temperature, and it decreased gradually until later it jumped to our set temp of 34 degrees and never changed. Like a fool, I believed what it was saying until milk and meat started going bad again. I used a spring type thermometer along with a thermocouple type thermometer to verify it was actually holding at 48 degrees inside. We then started keeping really perishable items in our $100 drink fridge to prevent spoiling. I also checked the drawer and the freezer. They appeared to be holding suitable temperatures although the drawer was about 5 degrees above the set temperature degrees inside

As time went on, the defrosting became more and more frequent until the cycle time dropped to about 2 weeks. At this time, I noticed I could not remove the Ice tray. It was frozen solid in the ice maker. After gently thawing it with the steamer, I was finally able to pull it out. It was filled with bits of frosty ice and there was an upside down mound of ice hanging in the back of the icemaker. I finished the defrosting procedure and reassembled it. However, it had decided not to make any more ice. Living in Florida without ice is a problem. Considering our experience with the service tech and the lack of reliability of the product, we purchased a Whirlpool standalone icemaker.

During the next defrost cycle, I again checked the ice maker, and found a stalactite of ice hanging from the back of the icemaker. I used YouTube again to understand this problem, but all I could find was how to perform an icemaker reset using the button near the top. Following this defrost cycle and the icemaker reset, It started making Ice again. However, the manual defrost cycle was down to 2 weeks, so I checked the icemaker again. The drawer had ice in it, but also funny chunks of milky ice. At the end of this defrost cycle, I left the icemaker bin out of the fridge, lifted the ice level arm to turn off the ice maker and unplugged the icemaker connectors to be sure it wasn't running.

During the next defrost cycle, i noticed the icemaker had another stalactite of ice coming down but this one almost completely filled the icemaker. With the icemaker OFF and Unplugged, it was still leaking water.

Finally, about 6 weeks ago, I went through another defrost cycle on the fridge. This time it had frozen up in only 7 days. It was as usual packed with Ice, and the fan was completely packed with ice. The temperature inside the fridge was 65 degrees, and all perishable food was destroyed again. However, the stalactite of ice continued to grow. This time I pulled the fridge out, and turned off the water supply at the wall.

The fridge has now finally run 6 straight weeks without freezing up. The temperature varies between 39 and 42 degrees even though the front display shows 34 degrees. The icemaker no longer has a stalactite in it. The fridge is still too warm for highly perishables like milk and cream but it is holding that temperature range for now.

We are retired, and living on a fixed income. We splurged after retiring to replace a 20 year old GE fridge with ice and water in the door in the hopes of increasing reliability and not having to outlay maintenance costs. The old GE fridge is still running for the people to whom we passed it on, and we are stuck with a $2000 lemon.

Our $100 el-cheapo fridge from Home Depot has saved us. I have to defrost it twice a year, otherwise it has worked perfectly.

My research shows the problem goes back at least to 2012, and possibly further. They are apparently still selling people the same basic system with the leaky ice maker in 2019.

Please tell me there is a resolution to this issue encountered by so many consumers across the country. For us, if you cannot actually repair the product to give us the years of service expected out of a major appliance, please compensate us so we can purchase a reliable replacement.

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