Consumer Reports listed this refrigerator as one of the best. It was an awesome refrigerator, until it wasn't.

The problem is the ice maker. We purchased ours in 2017, and after a few months, it started jamming with ice buildup. We kept thawing it out, and living with the problem when it returned. Finally, we gave up and started using another method to make ice cubes.

Samsung Refrigerator, ice maker. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)

I went to YouTube to see if there was a fix, and I found out quickly that this must be a design flaw in the unit because there were several complaints about my very problem. There were also plenty of fixes on YouTube, almost all of which said the same thing: take out the ice basket and use a hair dryer to melt away the ice buildup. The problem is, there are 2 big mistakes with this repair.

First, once you melted away the ice buildup and the unit started working again, usually within it week it froze back up. This wasn't a fix, it was a cheap band-aid. The second problem with the online advice is that according to our Samsung repair person, you should  never use a hair dryer on the ice making unit. He said, the hairdryer gets so hot that it melts and cracks the plastic inside, causing irreversible damage. The repair tech said instead of a hair dryer, use a steamer. That's what he used and it worked perfectly.

There's good news - Samsung has now redesigned the ice unit in the refrigerator and they're standing by the product. Additionally, if you live in an area where there isn't a service team, they'll prorate the value depending on when you purchased it, and send you a check. I know one couple who received $1200 for a refrigerator they purchased in 2017. We were lucky because there was a service professional in our area, so they sent him out to our frozen fridge.

It turns out, the fix is not something you can do yourself. Because the ice maker is housed inside the refrigerator doors, it has to be completely sealed to prevent the ice from melting, freezing again, and then jamming up the unit. Our service technician was on the job for about an hour. He did seal the unit with a special caulk, but that was just the beginning. In fact, this is such a big problem for Samsung, they've created an Ice Maker Repair Kit for their service team.

Ice Maker Kit. Samsung Refrigerator, ice maker. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)

The service rep made several changes. He replaced the refrigerator's mother board, a part in the auger unit which was completely redesigned, he replaced the ice basket which might have been damaged by my wife's hair dryer, among other things.

Mother board. Samsung Refrigerator, ice maker. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)
Samsung Refrigerator, ice maker. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM)

The conclusion is that Samsung recognizes the problem and they're willing to fix it if you call. Honestly, I'd be happier if they did a mass recall and I'm not pleased that we spent 3 years with a defective unit, but I appreciate the fact that they're now fixing it for free. It's also important to note that this is not a fix you can make on your own. You'll need parts and the knowhow to make the repair.

Finally, our refrigerator was repaired in early June and so far, it's working perfectly. I also asked the service tech, "What happens if you make the fix and after 6-months it doesn't work? Am I out of luck?" He assured me that Samsung would continue to stand behind the product and then added, "I've never had to go back to a house after I made this repair."

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