How Long Do I Need To Force Defrost On A Samsung Refrigerator

If you have opened your Samsung refrigerator and found that it’s frozen solid, or you tried to remove the ice maker and it’s also frozen solid, it’s time to defrost the fridge.

The question is, how long should it take to force defrost your Samsung refrigerator? Depending on the model, it should take anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes to force defrost. But there are a few ways you can safely speed up this process.

Keep reading to find out the best way to force defrost your Samsung refrigerator and learn various ways to help the ice defrost faster.

How To Force Defrost A Samsung Refrigerator

A person opening a refrigerator

As we said earlier, it takes around 20 to 40 minutes to force defrost your Samsung refrigerator depending on the model you own. 

There are a few things that you can do to help the defrosting process and speed things up a little. They include;

  • Turn The Fridge Off
    It’s not necessary to remove the plug, but it will help if you turn the unit off before moving onto emptying the refrigerator.
  • Remove All Contents From The Refrigerator
    You should remove every item from the refrigerator and freezer to allow more space for the defrosting process.
  • Remove The Shelves
    You should also remove all of the removable shelves and give them a good clean while the fridge is defrosting. You can also clean all of the interior of the fridge whilst the contents and shelves are out of the way.
  • Place A Towel in The Ice Bucket Position
    Once the ice starts to melt, water will drip from the refrigerator so place a towel in the place where the ice bucket goes to absorb that excess water.
  • Keep The Door Closed
    As warm air comes into contact with the evaporator coils it causes frost. You can reduce the likelihood of this occurring by keeping the refrigerator door closed during the defrost process.
  • Refrain From Turning The Ice Maker On
    Whilst the refrigerator is defrosting, don’t turn on the ice maker. Wait until the refrigerator has defrosted and the fridge has achieved its proper temperature again.
  • Don’t Use A Metallic Scraper
    Your Samsung refrigerator probably came supplied with a plastic scraper. This is the only type of scraper you should use to scrape away some of the ice. Never use a metal scraper as anything metal could damage the walls of the fridge.

You should perform the following steps to successfully force defrost your Samsung refrigerator;

Force Defrost Mode

The first step in defrosting your Samsung refrigerator is to activate the force defrost (FD) function. To start the force defrost all you need to do is press a combination of two buttons. The buttons that you need to press varies from model to model. Here are some of the more popular models including the combination of buttons needed to be pressed and other important information;

Model NumberButton(s) To Force defrostTime To Hold ButtonsAdditional Requirements
DR23J9011SRControl + Freezer10 to 12 secondsRepeat 4 times
RF24FSEDBSRPower Save + Fridge8 seconds
RF2380905R/AAControl Lock + Freezer8 seconds
SRF68OCDLSEnergy Saver + Fridge8 seconds
RF263BEAESREnergy Saver + Fridge8 secondsThen press Control Fridge 4 more times
RF263Energy Saver + Fridge8 seconds
RF267Lighting + Freezer12 secondsThen press Lighting 4 more times
RF28Power Freezer/Freeze + Energy Saver4 secondsThen press Power Cool/Fridge 4 times
Other ModelsFlexZone + Fridge10 secondsThen repeat 4 times

Remove The Ice Bin

Once you have successfully initiated the force defrost function on your particular model, all you really need to do is wait. However, you can help to speed up the defrost process by removing the ice bin.

It might be difficult to remove as it is likely to be frozen, but it is worth the effort because it will speed up the defrost. Once you have removed the ice bin, place a towel in the space to absorb the melting ice.

Wait For The Beep

You will know when your Samsung refrigerator has completed the forced defrost because it will beep. As we said earlier on, it will take around 20 to 40 minutes for the forced defrost to complete.

Replace The Ice Bin

Once the beep sounds, remove the now wet towel and replace the ice bucket to its rightful position.

Adjust The Temperature In The Fridge

Once the forced defrost has completed, it’s important to allow the temperature to regulate. You should allow some time for the refrigerator to achieve a level of coolness.

Then you can adjust the temperature to 3o C (38o F) for the refrigerator and -19o C (-2o F) for the freezer. Those are the standard operating temperatures for most Samsung refrigerators but temperature ranges can vary from model to model. 

Consult your user manual for model specific instructions. As for the ice maker, you should allow 24 hours for the refrigerator to stabilise before the ice maker will make ice again.

Ways To Speed Up The Defrosting Process

open fridge door

If time is short and you want to help speed up the defrost process, there are a few things you can do, which include;

Using Hot Water

You can place bowls of hot water inside the refrigerator to help speed up the melting of the ice. Place the bowls full of hot water on the refrigerator’s shelves and allow the steam to melt the ice. Replace the hot water regularly to expedite the defrost process.

Using A Hairdryer

If you have access to a hairdryer, you can carefully use it to help melt the ice in your refrigerator. Take care to not concentrate the hot air onto one area for too long and always keep the nozzle moving to prevent burning the walls of the refrigerator.

Using A Plastic Scraper

You can scrape any thin layers of ice from the refrigerator using a plastic scraper. Take care to never use a metal scraper or knife as these can easily cause damage to the walls of the refrigerator.

Using Alcohol

To help speed up the defrosting process, you can use a soft cloth dipped in a mixture of warm water and alcohol. Rub the ice with the cloth to help remove thin layers of ice.

Using A Fan

You can raise the temperature of the kitchen by running a fan. This can help melt the ice in the refrigerator by raising the ambient temperature of the room.

How To Stop The Force Defrost On Your Samsung Refrigerator

Once the refrigerator is fully defrosted and ice free, it is necessary to return it to its normal working state. This can be done by pressing the energy saver/power freezer buttons simultaneously.

This should cause the screen to reset and the refrigerator to return to its proper functionality. However, in some cases, this doesn’t work and you can often clear it by performing a hard reset.

How To Perform A Hard Reset

To perform a hard reset on your Samsung refrigerator, all you need to do is;

  1. Disconnect The Power Supply
    Remove the plug from the wall socket or flip the circuit breaker to the off position.
  2. Allow Any Residual Power To Dissipate
    Wait for 10 to 15 minutes to allow any residual power to dissipate and clear the system.
  3. Reconnect The Power
    After the time has passed, plug the refrigerator back in or flip the circuit breaker to the on position.

Your refrigerator has now been reset.

What Should You Do If The Force Defrost Doesn’t Work?


In some cases, your Samsung refrigerator may fail to force defrost. If the force defrost doesn’t work it is usually because one of the component parts has become defective. Parts like;

  • A Faulty Timer
    If the defrost timer is defective, it will interfere with the defrosting. It is quite common for the heater to not turn on if the defrost timer is faulty, which means the ice doesn’t melt. You will need to check the timer using a multimeter for continuity and replace it if it proves to be faulty.
  • A Faulty Heater
    If the defrost heater is defective, it will not function properly or at all and the ice will not melt. You will need to get the heater repaired or replaced before the forced defrost function will work.
  • A Faulty Thermostat
    The thermostat monitors and regulates the evaporator coil’s temperature. If it is faulty, the temperature of the evaporator coil will drop to such a low temperature that defrosting is inhibited. You will need to check the thermostat using a multimeter for continuity and get it replaced if it proves to be faulty.
  • A Faulty Defrost Control Board
    If all of the above are working fine, the problem is likely to be with the defrost control board. We recommend getting a technician to investigate and replace the defrost control board if necessary.

What Causes Frost To Build Up In Your Samsung Refrigerator?

There are several causes that can all contribute to creating a build up of frost in your Samsung refrigerator. They include;

A High Level Of Refrigerant

If the level of refrigerant is too high, it can lead to refrigerant leaking into the coils causing frost to form. However, if the level of refrigerant is too low, it can affect the compressor’s ability to function properly.

Warm Air Entering The Fridge

This is the most common reason for frost to form in the refrigerator. Frost forms when warm air mixes with the cool air on the evaporator coils.

Warm air enters your refrigerator every time you open the door. The more often you open the fridge doors and the longer the doors are left open, the more likely it is that frost will form inside the fridge.

Defective Components

There are a number of components that all work together to keep the refrigerator at the correct temperature. If any of these parts develops a fault, frost will be the result. The main two that could be the cause of frost build up are;

  1. The Thermostat
    If the thermostat is faulty, ice will continue to build up until the thermostat is replaced.
  2. The Compressor
    If the compressor becomes defective the whole cooling system will develop problems. This will lead to excessive frost formation until the compressor is replaced.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Refrigerator Freezing Food? (do this asap)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a Samsung refrigerator to force defrost?

It should take anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes for a Samsung refrigerator to force defrost. This is considerably faster than manually defrosting the appliance.

Where does the water go when you defrost a Samsung refrigerator?

The ice melts during the defrost process on a Samsung refrigerator and the water flows into the drain tray located at the bottom at the back of the appliance. The water evaporates due to the heat of the compressor.

Do Samsung refrigerators defrost automatically?

Many Samsung refrigerators have a defrost cycle that runs automatically every 6 to 12 hours.

Why is there water in my fridge after defrosting?

If there is water in your fridge after defrosting it is caused by a blocked drain. Over time, food and other debris can clog the drain hose which can lead to ice build up and eventually cause water to leak onto the bottom of the refrigerator.

What temperature setting should my Samsung refrigerator be set on?

You should keep your refrigerator temperature set at  3°C (37.4 F) and the freezer at -19°C (-2.2 F). However some models have different settings, consult your handbook for more information.

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