We bought this refrigerator a couple of years ago to replace our counter-depth unit that was previously installed. It seems that I didn’t like this French door design from the start. The four-door, three separate controllable climate compartments afforded similar functionality to our previous unit, but also proved to be far less controllable than anticipated as the manufacturer’s claims and advertisements had promoted.
Because it is counter-depth (our previous unit was also counter-depth), and the layout in its design, mostly in the doors, it already seemed to be harder to store the same items we were used to in the same shelves and door spaces. Over the next few months of use we had figured out where to put things, arranging the items into different compartments, then reassigning those compartments to the climate required (i.e. refrigerated vs. frozen). Although we have adjusted each compartment to the climate necessary, that’s when we began to notice how flawed this unit really is. We never were completely able to set those climates to the temperatures we had desired, rather compromising on what the unit allowed us to use for each zone.
The bottom two compartments are climate controllable. Each are similar in their drawer/shelf and door space. The side-by-side French door upper areas are where the fun begins. Although there are multiple shelf configurations and a couple of large/tall door shelves on the right door, there really isn’t enough room to store all of the ketchup, mustard and milk in that door. The main shelves are of a half/slide and flip-up design that allow storage of taller bottles of juice and champagne; but when doing so, you immediately lose shelf space for the charcuterie and lox platter needed for your morning brunch. The left door is mostly unusable for any legitimate storage due to the allowance for the door-mounted ice/water dispenser. That dispenser area closes to the inside mounted ice maker on that side of the refrigerated compartment, again losing valuable platter or tall bottle storage. That ice maker is a flawed design in that, since it is mounted in a refrigerated area, allows the cool air from the refrigerated section to seep into the ice maker causing the ice maker to clog and jam repeatedly from the ice crystals formed from the refrigerator cool air and the frozen air of the ice maker in that small ice maker box. Those frozen particles prevent the ice being made and freely dispense into the ice maker tray. There is no electronic method of defrosting the ice maker other than unplugging the refrigerator itself . . . that’s not going to happen.
And don’t even get me started about using the “crushed” vs “cubed” ice dispensing function. That just jams the unit that much faster. When dispensing cubes, the tray dispensing mechanism rotates in one direction (e.g. clockwise). When dispensing crushed ice, the mechanism rotates in the opposite direction, forcing the cubes back into the tray against stainless steel ‘blades’ that breaks the cubes up. Those broken particles then freeze and jam the ice maker if left remaining in the tray. That’s why you should always dispense several cubes after using the crushing function. Anyway, the crushing action, if left unchecked, adds to the ice maker seizing and further combining with then other frozen particles caused by the leaking ice maker seal. If the ice maker sits too long without emptying the tray and allowing the tray to thaw/de-ice and dry completely, then any remaining moisture quickly freezes and adds to the ice buildup in the ice maker compartment. Also, any time the ice maker tray is not installed into the ice maker, then the ice maker compartment temperature begins to match that of the surrounding refrigerated section of the upper compartment; again, further adding to the ice particle buildup that just adds to the problem. “I know it’s a stupid design”. “SELL IT!”, the production engineer says. “We’ll tell ‘me to keep buying fresh seals and make even more money”.
The ice tray seals are not that expensive; probably around a couple dollars each. The ice dispensing ‘door’ also has a seal so that after dispensing cubes, the door closes again and somewhat seals the ice making compartment from the ambient air. Both of my seals appear to be fine, so I don’t think that is the issue. I haven’t even looked up the replacement parts for either component lately because the ice maker had begun to freeze shut and completely fail only four months after purchasing the new refrigerator. It took me a full two months to free the frozen-stuck ice maker tray from the ice buildup inside by turning off the ice maker production (only prevents ice making, not shutting off the freezing of the ice maker compartment) and banging on the tray by hand daily until it finally released. Then it has been a routine to empty, drain and defrost the ice maker interior about every three weeks since. To accomplish the defrosting task, I have provided he following pictures and explanation; or for those desiring to keep purchasing and replacing the tray seal and door flapper . . . go right ahead.
The Samsung Refrigerator model RF22K9381SR Ice maker defrosting method that I use takes about 45 minutes of dedicated time to accomplish. You may need to perform a complete unplugging should you be unable to remove the tray after a month or so of using the aforementioned banging and pulling method. Good luck with that one.
Here’s how to quickly defrost your ice maker. First, turn off the ice maker, by holding the ice maker button for three seconds (or whatever your manual says) so it doesn’t attempt to dispense cubes while you are performing the defrosting process. Remove the ice maker tray and clean all of the ice cubes and particles from it, possibly rinsing to ensure it is ice-free and let it drain in the sink. Wipe it dry with a paper towel to better rid it of moisture that will freeze once re-installed. Using a clean wrung-out dishrag, heat the rag in the microwave for about 30 seconds so it is warm and place it on the floor of the ice maker compartment. Fill a coffee mug with water and heat in the microwave until boiling (or close to boiling). Place the heated water mug on top of the dishrag in the ice maker compartment directly underneath the cube-maker and close the refrigerator door. I also use a folded large-sized hot pad to cover the cavity before I close the refrigerator door so it keeps the hot steam and air inside of the ice maker compartment. Allow the hot water and steam from the mug to defrost the cube-maker for about 15-20 minutes until the water inside of the mug has cooled and is no longer helping the defrosting process. I set the kitchen timer so I don’t forget and now have a frozen mug awaiting me the next morning. I do this process two to three times, wiping the defrosted ice chunks, cubes and melted ice (water) from the inside of the ice maker compartment in between each defrosting process, depending on how much ice is inside needing to be cleared.
Once the ice maker is visibly clear of all ice and has been wiped clean I reinstall the clean and dried ice maker tray. I turn the ice maker back on by following the directions in the manual. Soon the ice maker is again making cubes. I also found the below tutorial on a potential problem with a similar ice maker unit. I inspected mine for the same gap using the same flashlight method. Mine shows a much, much smaller seam that could be potentially allowing additional refrigerator air to infiltrate the freezing action of the ice maker. I intend to perform the sealing as shown in the video just as an additional measure to help seal out air.
The Samsung Refrigerator model RF22K9381SR Refrigerator is not a very good unit despite the decent reviews. The price point for this refrigerator makes it appealing if comparing it to other counter-depth units, but we are thinking the additional money spent on another brand may be what is next on our Christmas list.