There is ice build in my Samsung RF266 refrigerator. I have posted the following questions in Home Improvement Stack Exchange hoping to find a solution. The questions are as follows:

Bel below is an image of the ice build up

enter image description here

I believe the purpose of the fan is to circulated the cold air and coils are what generates the cold air. I don't believe the ice build up is normal.

Question: From an engineering standpoint, how is this suppose to work? What would cause the ice build up? What design feature are present in a refrigerator to prevent ice buildup?

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    $\begingroup$ Please do not post to multiple groups. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft, The question is engineering. I am asking how it is engineered (Theory). Similar to response from Fred. On DIY I am asking what I fixes, or debugging help. In short the question are different. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ Do some research on the vapour compression refrigeration cycle - that will tell you how it works. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ perhaps more important than understanding the refrigeration cycle is understanding how the defrost mechanism works.(or in this case not). There is typically a heating element on a timer that periodically removes the frost buildup. Commonly either the timer or the heating element fails. (I'm sure there are better forums for appliance repair) $\endgroup$
    – agentp
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @agentp, typically where can one locate this heating element, Is the heating element capable or design to defrost the ice build up around the fan and the big chunk opposite the to plugs in the picture. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


Excessive ice build up can occur when the refrigeration system operates continuously for prolonged periods - hours. This can make the coils very cold and ice to form on them. By operating contiguously, the cooling process never stops and ice just accumulates. The system needs to stop so the ice can melt and the resultant water evaporate.

This may be due to a poorly designed refrigeration system or cold air continuously leaking from inside the refrigerator, so the inside of the refrigerator never reaches a stable cold temperature.

Ice build up like this can be exacerbated by humid conditions - such as living in a tropical climate, a period of heavy rain, trying to flash freeze/cool large amounts of very hot food.

  • $\begingroup$ Does this mean if the doors are kept open for prolong period of time. I believe this might cause the refrigeration system operate to operate continuously in an attempt to bring in internal temperature to stability $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ @user8055 Yes, keeping the door open would definitely count as cold air leaking from the refrigerator. $\endgroup$
    – fibonatic
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ As @fibonatic states, an open door is definitely an air leak. If the door is open for prolonged periods the temperature inside will never reach a stable cold temperature while the door is open & the refrigeration system operates continuously. I get the impression from your subsequent question your problem is more about how the refrigerator is being used than any design or manufacturing issue with the refrigerator. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Fred, yes the refrigerator doors are opened frequently, and sometimes keep opened by users in the household. Understanding design helps drive necessary corrective action to prevent such situations. Thank you for the insights. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 13:43

the presence of severe ice buildup in a refrigeration system strongly suggests a door gasket leak. Check to see if the gasket is in good shape and also if the door is closing properly against the body of the refrigerator. In this connection, note that most refrigerators have reversible door hinges which let the owner remount the door so it opens left-handed instead of right-handed. If the hinge attachment screws are loose or if the top and bottom hinges are skewed, then the door won't seal properly when closed. A simple way to check the gasket seal integrity is to place a lit flashlight inside the refrigerator and carefully observe the entire gasket seal for light escaping- indicating a bad seal.


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