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FIXED Samsung Refrigerator RF217ACPN - freezer temperature sensor location

Maxrfd

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
Model Number
RF217ACPN
Brand
Samsung
Age
6-10 years
Trying to determine where freezer temperature thermistor sensor is located. I have RF217ACPN service manual which lists 4 temperature sensors. 2 for refrigerator and 2 for freezer. Manul shows refrigerator thermistor locations but does not show freezer thermistor temperature location. Searching Internet I can find numerous videos showing location of freezer defrost thermistor location but nothing showing where freezer temperature thermistor is located. If anyone can help I would appreciate. Thank you.
 

Maxrfd

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
Thank you regarding location freezer temperature sensor. New control board installed. Refrigerator/freezer temperature thermistors (5K-6K refrigerator off for 12 hours). Freezer gets cold but does not temperature cycle like refrigerator section (freezer long duration -14F +20F -14F cycle). Some cycles to +50F (freezer defrost?). I suspect freezer evaporator fan not operating properly but no error code. Any suggestions?
 

Maxrfd

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
Was able to determine that both evaporator fans are working properly. Also that door interlocks which control fan on/off a working properly. As far as I can see all cooling components seem to be working as they should. Need to give more time on new control board to see extended operation/temperature cycling of refrigerator/freezer. Thank you.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,717
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
After the machine has been running for 24 hours with few door openings, leave the machine plugged in and running and remove the evaporator cover. Check the frost pattern. Take a pic and post it here.
 

Maxrfd

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
After much trial and error testing and playing with my refrigerator/freezer I've come to the conclusion that with the new control board everything is working as it should.

The problem I had in diagnosing whether refrigerator was working properly and maybe others here also is understanding how Samsung temperature display/controller works.

What I find interesting is that as a result of having a problem with our existing refrigerator we purchased a new Samsung refrigerator which DOES NOT HAVE TEMPERATURE READOUTS. It has temperature level display (no numbers simply bars on a graph, the more bars you have for setting the higher the temperature).

I suspect one of the reasons why they made a change for at least this particular model is because of issues that they might have had with customers becoming frustrated with how numeric temperature readout on the refrigerator caused them to think they had a problem when they did not.

Samsung refrigerators (at least the model I have) can drive you nuts if you think logically as to how the display SHOULD work. The model I have RF217ACPN has dual temperature display (freezer and refrigerator temperatures). One would think this is very valuable in terms of troubleshooting being able to see how effectively the refrigerator is cooling or not cooling. WRONG.

What Samsung doesn't tell you is that once refrigerator/freezer temperature has reached the set point that's where it stays UNTIL you turn the refrigerator off and then back on again. And then it will do the same thing i.e. once reaching setpoint temperatures that's where the numbers will stay.

Refrigerators (refrigerator section and freezer section) pretty much work on what in the control industry terms "bang-bang" control. Bang-bang control simply means that they cool until they reached the predetermined low limit set point and then stop cooling until they reach the high temperature limit set point at which point they turn on again.

According to my Samsung repair manual depending upon your temperature setting swings can be as much as 15° F. For example in the repair manual if you set freezer temperature to -8F the temperature can swing from -15F to 0F. In other words freezer cools until temperature sensor signals -15F and then turns off until freezer temperature reaches 0F. The "MEAN (AVERAGE?) TEMPERATURE being approximately -8F. And the cycle continues and repeats indefinitely until setting is changed.

My speculation is the reason why once the set temperature is reached that the display does not change anymore is simply to minimize customer "perceived problems", that the refrigerator is not working properly because they would be see this temperature swing.

The only true way to determine what is actually happening using the refrigerator temperature display is to power off the refrigerator and empower back up again and you will see the actual temperatures until the refrigerator reaches setpoints.

What could really can cause a "perceived problem" is when freezer/refrigerator goes into defrost mode. Temperature in freezer will rise significantly. In the freezer section I have I see temperature rising to over 40° for a -8F freezer setting. On the refrigerator that I have this defrost cycle last for approximately 60 minutes.

Again unless you unplug the refrigerator and plug it back in again you will not see this on the temperature display.

And what all refrigerators/freezers rely on is the thermal mass/inertia of what is stored in the food refrigerator/freezer sections. Meaning that for short duration temperature swings the temperature of the refrigerator/freezer contents will not change significantly.

Again I don't claim to speak for Samsung or as a qualified Samsung representative but this is what I've experienec spending several days trying to figure out if my refrigerator has a problem or not AFTER purchasing a new refrigerator.

I placed 2 temperature recording probes in both the refrigerator and freezer section of my refrigerator and this 15 degree air temperature "swing" temperature swing is exactly what I see.

I could be totally wrong with the above explanation but having spent 40 years developing control systems for many different products it does make sense to me as to how Samsung is displaying freezer/refrigerator temperatures.

If my assumptions/observations are wrong I would really appreciate someone providing the correct information/explanation as to how the temperature cooling/displays work on Samsung refrigerator.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,747
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Thanks for the explanation and update, glad to hear the new control board fixed it.(y)

Here's the control board for your model, in case others need it too:
DA41-00695A Assy Pcb


Rick and I work on very few Samsung and LG products, mainly because the engineers that make South Korean products use a different mindset than the American engineers that make Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and Amana products.

Rick and I are old school techs that have a hard time changing mindsets after 30 years. LOL

Jake
 

Maxrfd

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
6
Location
CT
This may be overkill but I hope it might save someone the aggravation that I went through to figure out what was going on with my Samsung refrigerator.

Having some experience with user interfaces I think Samsung tried to be "technologically sexy" by providing numeric temperature settings but failed to realize the consequences of creating certain expectations on the part of the user (for my refrigerator model). They created a inconsistent system. When you first turn the unit on the unit will read the appropriate freezer/refrigerator temperatures until they reached the setting the user has programmed. A reasonably valid assumption on the part of the user is that this is a direct readout of the refrigerator temperature at any given moment. This is where Samsung had a problem. Because of the nature of the controller i.e. cycles between min max limits the temperature will fluctuate over a significant range (15°F). This would cause potential problems in that the user may think that the refrigerator is not operating properly. Also defrost cycles would cause even more havoc. Samsung solution; when temperature approaches set point freeze the temperature display settings.

Powering the refrigerator off and then on again will display actual refrigerator/freezer temperatures until the temperature settings are "approached. Another method to determine if refrigerator temperature control is functioning is to change temperature setting to a different value. What I found on my refrigerator is that the new setpoint will be displayed for approximately 2 to 3 seconds and then the temperature display will revert to the previous set point. But as the refrigerator/freezer temperature changes towards the new setpoint the temperature temperature display will change. I found on my refrigerator that all it took was a change in temperature (temperature of refrigerator/freezer not reaching the actual temperature setting) for the display to "freeze" with the new setpoint(s). A tool to give an "indication" of proper Samsung refrigerator/freezer operation is a thermometer that provides continual as well as min/max temperature and allows you to track the actual on-off cycle. Hope my "Samsung experience" helps someone else.

Amazon Refrigerator Fridge Thermometer Digital Freezer Room Thermometer Waterproof, Max/Min Record Function with Large LCD Display (General, White, 2).
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Jul 11, 2006
Messages
43,717
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
If I hadn't stopped working on Samsung machines when I did, I'd be looney toons! .....LOL

Setting the freezer temperature. Press the Freezer Button. The temperature can be set in 2°F intervals between -8°F and 8°F. Each time the Freezer Button is pressed, the temperature setting will change as follows; -2°F → -4° → -6° → -8° → 8°F → 6° → 4° → 2° → 0° → -2°F. When selecting the temperature, the set temperature is displayed initially for 5 seconds, then the actual temperature is displayed. There may be difference between the set temperature and displayed actual temperature, but it will be corrected to the set temperature automatically. The Freezer temperature will change depending on the number of door openings, quantity of food, ambient temperature, etc. The Refrigerator temperature can be set in 2° increments between 34°F and 46°F. Each time the Fridge Button is pressed, the temperature setting will change as follows; 38°F36°34°46°44°42° 40°38°F.
And like the freezer, when selecting the temperature, the set temperature is displayed initially for 5 seconds, then the actual temperature is displayed. The set temperature in the display will not change during ice making when the ice maker is on.

After initial power up, the first defrost cycle for freezer and fridge (concurrent) is after 6 hours and 10 minutes. After that the freezer defrost cycle is between 12-34 hours and the fridge 6-17 hours and heater on time is 12 minutes ± 1 minute.
 
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