RF260 Refrigerator -- excessive cooling in freezer portion (post-service hints)
3 weeks ago
Our Refrigerator: Model = RF260BEAESG/AA, Serial # = 0APV4BBKC01762A, Purchased @ HomeDepot on 1/7/2019
Dish service technician visits took place on: 4/23/2019 5/8/2019 5/11/2019
My wife and I bought a Samsung RF260BEAESG/AA french door refrigerator in January 2019. We have generally liked the unit and its features. However, the lower freezer portion has consistently failed to regulate and maintain a steady temperature that's consistent with the Samsung-recommended 0 degrees F that we set on the digital readout (Note: the upper refrigerator portion set to 37 degrees F has worked well as expected). The unit's doors are opened only when my wife and I quickly obtain a food item, so exposure to the warmer outside air has not been an issue, and the seals around the doors are fully functional and not 'leaky' in any manner.
With the 'Ice Off' button disabled (icemaker on) and the freezer temp set to 0 degrees F, the freezer's digital readout always reads 0 degrees F, but the freezer irregularly fluctuates between about 0 and -20 deg F throughout the day as measured by two separate analog thermometers. And as anyone who enjoys ice cream can verify, it's almost impossible to scoop -20 deg F ice cream out of its container. Under these conditions the freezer digital readout doesn't ever accurately reflect the actual freezer temperature (as measured by two analog thermometers), no matter what we set it to, and we logged numerous temperature readings to verify that fact. This problem with temperature fluctuation and extreme coldness has been unsettling to us and we've considered the possibility that we may have been the unlucky recipient of a 'lemon' unit that would eventually need to be replaced with a properly functioning one.
The first and second Dish service technicians examined the unit and appeared to perform every routine test imaginable including exposing and testing the electronics-circuitry panel at the back of the refrigerator. And the second Dish service technician replaced the controller board with a new replacement board, to no avail. But neither of them could find a cause for the temperature regulation problem we had described, so they concluded that the unit was operating within normal parameters. But . . . ice cream doesn't lie! If it can't be scooped out of its container without a sharp chisel then the freezer is simply too cold.
So we agreed with the Dish service technicians to continue taking and recording multiple daily measurements of freezer temperatures. Over the course of several weeks, two separate analog thermometers were laid side-by-side atop the ice cream container to verify our temperature regulation problem. The freezer's digital temperature readout never wavered from the set 0 degrees F at any time (except when we purposely opened the freezer door to check if the digital readout would rise in temperature, and it did, warming about 1 degree per 2 minutes). Also, on 4/27 we reset the freezer's digital temperature readout to the uppermost limit of +5 degrees F during the last two days of monitoring resulted in even squirrelier temperature fluctuations within the freezer (25-degree swings).
Our third Dish technician provided us with a possible solution. With the 'Ice Off' button enabled (icemaker off), the freezer temperature began hovering near our desired temperature of 0 degrees (+/- 5 degrees), which is satisfactory to us. However, it requires us to interact with and manually control our freezer in ways we don't think we should have to, which makes us wonder if we still have a problem with it. But at least it's a problem we can manage and live with, for now.
So, what does this say about the lack of information available in the owner's manual? There is nothing spelled out in the manual that would suggest extreme cooling or fluctuating temperatures as a troubleshooting problem. If this is a known characteristic of Samsung refrigerators, why isn't there something in the owner's manual or in the Samsung website FAQs that describes that situation? And if I set the freezer temperature to 0 degrees, of course I want the temp to hover somewhere near that (within 5 degrees or so), but with the icemaker enabled the temperature is anywhere from 12 to 20 degrees colder than that, on average, all of the time! This produces ice cream that's hard as a rock; not good. So I've got to assume that there's still some kind of problem with our unit, but for now we can tolerate disabling the icemaker on a regular basis so that we can achieve the 0 degrees F freezer setting that we're seeking. This action shouldn't be necessary for us to do, but we'll do it anyway.
The unbelievable hassle this problem has been for us was unnecessary! And so was the time and expense Samsung incurred by having to send three separate Dish service technicians out to our home to (finally) resolve our problem in a satisfactory manner. Samsung needs to take a much deeper look into its product QA program and initiate fixes for its many shortcomings. Also, Samsung needs to take responsibility for informing their product users on how to properly regulate the features of their products, in owner's manuals and FAQs. Finally, Dish needs to ensure that every one of their technicians is up to speed on what kind of possible solutions might be relevant for the kind of problem we were experiencing with our Samsung refrigerator. Fortunately, our third Dish technician turned out to be knowledgeable about this, but the previous two clearly were not. Specifically I'd like to commend Toby, the third of our three Dish service technicians, who examined our refrigerator on 5/11/2019 and gave us relevant advice. Toby is a very competent product analyst and Dish is fortunate to have him on staff.