/ Home & Energy

Samsung – fix all faulty fridge-freezers for free

Empty fridge

In the wake of the Beko fridge-freezers scare, if a burning smell was coming from your fridge-freezer, and you could hear the sound of plastic cracking inside, wouldn’t you be concerned? I would.

And I’d like the manufacturer to send an engineer out pretty damn quick to fix it for me – for free.

It might sound like a far-fetched problem, but according to Samsung’s technical reports, this is exactly what’s been happening with the RSH1 and RSJ1 side-by-side fridge-freezers. Defrost heaters at the back of the appliances get too close to a metal sheet, which can heat up, leading to cracks in the lining and burning.

We understand that this isn’t a safety issue but it’s certainly a design flaw – if there are undetected cracks in the lining, moisture will enter the insulation and performance will be affected.

What is Samsung doing to fix the problem?

Samsung have been fixing the problems by sticking aluminium tape over the cracks, while newer versions of the fridge-freezers have been modified and aren’t affected.

Samsung told us that if the faulty fridge-freezers were within the warranty period, they’d fix the problem for free. But when we asked them about out-of-warranty machines they told us:

‘If the product is no longer under warranty, then customers are encouraged to contact Samsung customer services for further advice and we will do our best to provide a satisfactory solution.’

So despite our requests, Samsung haven’t confirmed whether customers will have to pay for the privilege of having their faulty products fixed.

Fix the flaw for free

This just sounds wrong to me. It’s not like owners of the affected appliances have been misusing their products; it’s a design flaw which means some machines will need to be repaired, and Samsung have admitted as much in technical notes sent to their engineers.

When Samsung’s RS21 fridge-freezers developed a problem which led to them heating up, Samsung agreed to repair this problem for free under an extended warranty covering that fault.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if Samsung did likewise with their RSH1 and RSJ1 and could confirm that all out-of-warranty appliances would have this problem fixed for free?

Comments

No offence, but is this a conspiracy by Samsung to completely remove all focus from this topic? Or a Guinness book of record attempt at the most off topic posts in a single article?

wgh
Like any good conversation it has developed beyond the original point. I think anyone who has been following it is much much better informed than previously on white goods, particularly for washing machines and the washing process. This is a good thing surely? : )

If HCW and in particular nurses uniforms are being home laundered at 40C in w/machines that do not kill bacteria but only washes them away in 97% of machines that fail to rinse properly (3% of 125 tested by Which?) then surely there is need for concern about cross contamination in our hospitals.
Could these findings be the reason why this conversation has endured beyond the original point?

I am in agreement with DT that I am “much better informed than previously on white goods, particularly for washing machines and the washing process.” I intend however to carry out a second test when I next do a whites wash in a clean (free from detergent) machine to establish once and for all the efficacy of the rinsing process in my particular machine.

Beryl – I certainly don’t want to discourage you from carrying out your own tests, but rinsing is very difficult to judge. You mentioned grey water and foam as indications of poor rinsing. Grey water is certainly an indication of inadequate rinsing but the absence of foam is not. Foam formation is dependent on many factors including softness of water and whether foam inhibitors are present. These are used in laundry detergent and oil/grease helps kill foam.The other issue is which component (see DT’s list above) are we testing the rinsing of. Those components that tend to stick to the fabric don’t rinse as well as other components. It is even likely to depend on the type of fabrics we are rinsing.

I would love to know how Which? assess the effectiveness of rinsing and whether or not they even consider the possibility of some components sticking to fabrics more than others.

I know clinical microbiologists who may be able to find out about current practice for laundering nurses’ uniforms. It is difficult to believe that it is commonplace just to pop them in the home washing machine at low temperature with no prior disinfection.

Wavechange: I am aware that anti foam agents are added to detergents and more especially in soft water areas but my common sense tells me (and I have raised four children) that grey water for me is not acceptable in the final laundry rinse whatever it’s content. Most peoples w/machines are now plumbed in so they never get to see the quality of the water draining away. As long as the laundry looks clean and smells fresh common sense tells them that will suffice.

If 60C is the required temperature to kill off most bacteria in a home laundry situation then common sense tells me that 60C should mean 60C and not 48C. I have a niece who is a retired nurse so I will contact her to establish who was responsible for washing her uniform but in the meantime have to oversee repairs to my roof any minute now.

Beryl – The fact that rinsing water looks clean and clothes smell fresh does not show that they have been adequately rinsed, but that is probably what we are intended to believe.

Have a look at the HSE recommendations that I have mentioned below and you will see that nurses uniforms should be treated with bleach or washed at a higher temperature than 60C. I believe that in the interest of safety, laundry should be done via the hospital or provided by the employer, as it was in the university department I used to work in.

Beryl and Dieseltaylor – Google “Laundry treatments at high and low temperatures” which will provide a link to current HSE recommendations for dealing with contaminated linen. Hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite is the active component in common bleach.

A washing machine capable of 60C is simply not sufficient for laundering nurses’ uniforms or for eliminating the risk of passing on infection in the domestic environment.

I see these recommendations as common sense. On the other hand, I think we would know by now if laundering our clothes at 30 or 40C was a significant factor in the spread of disease among reasonably healthy individuals.

I have carried out a second test to establish the rinsing efficacy of my w/machine, this time using bio laundry powder (measured in accordance with instructions) instead of gel, with a full load of towels on a full wash cycle at 40C and the result was worse than with gel. I had to resort to two extra rinsing cycles in order to clear away the concentrated accumulation of suds after hand rinsing in the sink, but there was a slight improvement in the colour of the water being of a ‘milky’ consistency but far from clear, but this could be attributed to less soiled laundry. Again I did not use a fabric softener.

What is the point of designing a washing machine (and detergent) with the intention of saving energy and water consumption if it does neither effectively? The majority of people I have spoken to are blissfully unaware of the problem as Wavechange picked up from my previous post that the finished laundry usually looks clean and smells very fresh. No one would be any the wiser if not for the few unfortunate sensitive people who have experienced allergic skin reactions which, in all probability, brought this problem to the attention of consumer associations such as Which?

I have spoken to my niece (a retired nurse) who confirmed that she was responsible for laundering her own uniform during her working days. As a student nurse many years ago however, she informed me that nurses uniforms were always washed in the hospital laundry, which raises questions again about the danger of cross contamination in a hospital/care facility situation and in particular with vulnerable patients such as the elderly and the very young whose immune systems maybe compromised.

I would strongly advise consumers to carry out their own tests in order to establish the efficacy of their w/machines as Which? maintain only 3% of machines tested rinsed properly. If the remaining 97% failed the test the question arises, could this be categorised as an inherent design fault?

wavechange
I find it difficult to accept to accept the HSE recommendations:
“*Washed with detergent using the hot wash cycle of a domestic washing machine to a temperature of at least 800C; or”

: )

I have no doubt that the other figures offered may be meaningful and provide a useful target that the EU should look to for setting a hygien wash standard. My only slight niggling doubt is that I am curious if 55C for 30 minutes equates with
65C for 10 minutes or 71C for 3 minutes.

HSE do not provide links to any research so the figures are rather bald and I see date back to at least 1995 and possibly earlier. Overall it looks like the drive to water and energy efficiency has rather ignored the need to make sure there is an effective hygienic wash cycle.

Dieseltaylor – I would have mentioned the HSE recommendations earlier if it had not been for this unfortunate error and also lack of knowledge if they are in general use.

The time taken to kill all bacteria is well understood (and is well above boiling temperature) but what is needed to kill just harmful organisms is more difficult to be sure of. We should certainly be paying special attention to nurses’ uniforms and anything that has been in contact with someone with an infection, and faecal contamination, but I remain unconvinced that we need to worry about bugs most of the time. Our skin is covered in bugs and so is the world around us. We are designed to cope with this.

I thought I would see how the German consumer testing organisation was responding:
http://www.test.de/Waschmaschinen-Was-die-Waesche-kostet-4542962-0/

“When purchasing a washing machine make sure many customers ever more on the consumption of electricity and water. The energy label allows you to compare the devices. The efficiency class A+++ for example is “particularly low” – so you’ve learned it. What many people don’t know: the efficiency class reflects only the consumption of two programs, the “label”programs, 40 and 60 degree cotton. What is the energy consumption of other programs, does not show the label. This is because many do not take advantage of the economical programs, as shown in a survey on test.de quixotic. Another problem: The 60-degree of austerity measures of the devices offer not the temperature, which it says. No washing machine actually reached the 60 degrees in the last test. But how is it in the default program? Stiftung Warentest has once again brought the 13 machines in the lab and examined.

The results of subsequent tests customers this can compare machines now also the true temperature, power consumption, wash time and cost savings and standard programs for normally soiled laundry.”

Well that is an improvement from not mentioning in a review that a machine cannot reach 45C on a nominally 60C wash. When I have more time I will be buying and translating one of their full reports.

Given we are fully aware of the need for hygiene washes it would seem that the various organisations and the EU agreed a required standard for this to be explicitly shown on a washing machine dial. Allergen washes could also be usefully identified as multiple rinses rather than just high temperatures are a cure. As with all things there is no absolute figure or zero possible but a 7 log reduction seems eminently feasible.

I fully concur that for most people we are resistant to most nasties but what is occurring is antibiotic resistance and more toxic versions of existing :

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile and ESBL-producing
Escherichia coli in the home and community: assessing the problem, controlling the spread
An expert report commissioned by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

A well argued piece though an updating would be nice as it is 2006 vintage. The fact that the US has the biggest showing of CA-MRSA may be because of antibiotic overuse ….. but for the full picture:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus

On the subject of product durability, I see that Citroen have agreed to replace the air suspension component on Picassos up to 10 years old or 120 000 miles. These were failing in only 5 years. So manufacturers can recognise when they supply something that fails through lack of reasonable durability, and then do the right thing for the customer. Good for them. Lets hope they are not alone.

Citroen has not issued a recall because they claim this is not a safety issue, but owners should be alerted to a problem via a warning light. Citroen does need to do something to maintain the confidence in their products because they have issued a fair number of recalls on safety issues.

Which? has alerted us to some important recalls for kitchen appliances, but perhaps we should use Which? Conversation to help spread the word about recalls and manufacturers taking responsibility – as Citroen has – for products with durability problems.

I do think that a Consumer Association should actually have a repository of recalls, warnings etc. so that any subscriber/viewer would have one port of call whatever the product. For instance I suspect that some cheap shops import many varieties of plugs, cheap electronics so if you thought to shop at xxx an decided to check on the Web you could see the number of products recalled in total and if your intended./actual purchase was listed.

Obviously if the normal Connect subscribers were also filling in what they owned then e-mail advisories could be sent where relevant. The larger vision remains that there is large number of subscribers supplying [and receiving info]. The Logik readers reviews highlights that consumer use in the field is very useful and can contradict BB status. What we do not have is how many Which? subscribers have bought the product and are having no problems. If we had this information we could have a very good feel of the incidence of the problem – which seems to be a poor design.
http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/home-appliances/reviews/steamers/logik-l90sss11/customer-views/

Hi all, thanks for all your comments on this thread. Our washing machines expert has written a new Conversation about minimum lifespans, and also reached out to manufacturers about the length of their warranties: https://conversation.which.co.uk/energy-home/washing-machines-faulty-broken-lifespan-lifetime-warranty-guarantee/

Beryl – You have rekindled my concern about skin irritation and allergy could be caused by laundry detergents and fabric conditioners. My particular interest was the enzymes in biological products because they did cause respiratory problems for those working in the factories, but that back in the 60s. Many things trigger my allergic asthma and I did not want to risk developing eczema, which is more common in those who have allergies. To cut a long story short, after establishing that there was no significant evidence of a link between enzymes in laundry detergents and eczema or other skin conditions, I switched to bio detergents and have had absolutely no problems.

In a post on 19 June, Kenneth told us: “There should be little to no trace [of detergent], even after only three clean water rinses.” I don’t understand this statement in view of the fact that – as you have pointed out – some machines are better than others at rinsing, and – as Kenneth has pointed out – the effectiveness of rinsing is highly dependent on dosing and load.

On the ISE site you can see a short video about a washing machine that has the option of seven rinses, for the benefit of anyone who has allergies or sensitive skin.

My own concern is that it seems that we are considering only the rinsing of the detergent component of laundry detergent and not all the other components. As I have mentioned previously, some chemicals tend to adhere to fabrics more than others and the retention of the ‘perfume’ through rinsing is an indicator of this. It appears that Which? assesses the alkalinity of water remaining prior to the final spin, but I wonder if Which? has established that rinsing is as effective at removing ALL the components of a laundry detergent and not just the detergent.

As with the washing temperature/duration that we have discussed, rinsing seems to need some professional scientific investigation.

Wavechange:

I have managed to find a list of laundry detergent chemicals for your research:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Dioxane 1,4 – dioxane
Linear Alky Benzene Sulphanates (LAS)
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)
Petroleum distillates (aka napthas)
Phenols
Optical brighteners
Artificial fragrances
Phosphates
Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA)
Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach)

Apparently the majority of people are not affected by any of these chemicals (according to tests) – at carefully measured levels, only a sensitive minority with allergy problems. What does concern me however is, if machines fail to rinse properly causing a constant build up of these potentially toxic chemicals in ones laundry, the effect they could have on some hypersensitive people when they eventually reach toxic levels. I assume tests carried out in laboratories did not take into account the possible risks to skin as a result of detergent accumulation over time. I have yet to find a shampoo that does not cause a reaction each time I wash my hair as rinsing is obviously not the problem here. According to Allergy UK, allergies are becoming more widespread and there are several causes depending on the individual person ( as I am sure you are already aware) and perfumes seem to be the worst culprits

I was far from happy with the amount of suds left in my laundry after machine washing and by far the worst offenders were the towels. I must emphasise I was very careful to follow the measurements contained on the detergent packet according to the hardness of my water supply when using powder and did not use fabric softener/conditioner.

You can however learn more about this very complex problem on the Allergy UK website.

You really have the bit between your teeth on this rinsing thing Beryl.

But look at it with a more pragmatic outlook and I think you will find some of your assumptions shaken up a bit.

For a start the pack instructions are generic as in, they are intended to be a guide, not cast down on tablets of stone as the requirement will vary based on soiling level, water hardness and volume. Some will tell you that for a large capacity machine you need to use more but, that’s about it.

You therefore have instructions intended and, little if any changed, from the 1970/80s but the technologies in the detergents as well as the machines themselves have changed.

Drum volumes (weight is an irrelevance) have increased dramatically. Water and energy use have reduced dramatically.

The instructions therefore apply to a 40l drum as much as a 60l drum or even an old 30l or less drum.

What I think Which? have likely done or, the test house used, is not to alter the dose to account for that. If you put too much in at the start, it doesn’t have anywhere to go so, it will redeposit or there will be insufficient rinsing. Importantly though, that’s not an issue with the machine but one with the user controlled dose level.

I simply cannot accept that these results from Which? are completely without flaw. Makes a great headline though.

The main point being that dose will vary based on the variables, you cannot state that any particular dose will be either adequate or inadequate with absolute certainty across a single person or family’s washing let alone across multiple machines.

It is however far, far more common to see overdosing in the field as opposed to under dosing and, asides the waste and potential damage to the laundry as well as the machine, it’s costing the user a small fortune over the years.

K.

I am convinced by what I saw. My eyes do not deceive me.

First wash completed with sachet gel – result grey water and suds.
Machine rinsed empty to clear drum no detergent used – as Kenneth instructed.
Second wash powder used as per packet instructions – result milky water and lots of suds.
Third wash reduced powder – result more suds and milky water.
Fourth wash back to gel extra rinse applied – result less suds and water better but not quite up to my required standards.

Conclusion: Machine does not rinse properly – all future washes to be carried out with extra rinse. Machine fails to comply with environmental energy and water saving expectancy.

No further comment.

Beryl – I’m not sure where your list came from. Dieseltaylor provided us with a list of components on 26 June and provided a link (see further up the page). I happen to know the author is/was an expert in enzyme technology (I used to recommend one of his books when teaching in the 90s) but I don’t believe that he is an authority on other components. Even if this list was up-to-date for one example, manufacturers change the formulation of their laundry detergents from time to time. One of the biggest changes has been the removal of phosphates, which have created huge problems in our watercourses. We have the EU to thank for some huge improvements that most people are unaware of. I am relying on the EU to bring manufacturers into line to stop them producing third rate machines that are not durable. The quest for laundry detergents that are effective at low temperatures is another reason for change, and so is the cost of materials because that obviously affects profits. With different products on the market and no way of knowing their components it is difficult to work out what is causing skin irritation or allergy. Studying MSDS (hazard information) I have discovered that Calgon and Oust (kettle descaled) have both changed their formulation in recent years. MSDS is a help but does not list all components.

All I can recommend is experimenting with different products over a reasonable time period, so that you give them a decent chance. Fabric conditioners are best avoided because they are intended to stick to the fabric and are not rinsed off. Unless you know that all the detergent is rinsed out of the drawer promptly put it in the machine instead, or you could find some detergent going in with the rinsing water. In my opinion, some of the information on the Allergy UK site is very good but any site that mentions homeopathy, as it still does, has to be treated with caution. 🙁

If that isn’t complicated enough, even new fabrics come pre-loaded with certain chemicals (optical brighteners for whites, for example), which have been suggested as causes of skin irritation/allergy.

I know I have criticised others for being negative about what can be achieved regarding consumer protection and the poor quality appliances on sale, but there is still a lot to be learned about skin irritation and genuine allergies.

Was it rinsing okay or causing any problem before Which? insinuated that there might be some form of an issue with “modern” machines?

I suspect not. Had there been I am quit sure you would have voiced concern before now given the machine you say is ten years or more old. It hasn’t altered since day one.

K.

Kenneth – Maybe Beryl did not look at the drain water from her washing machine until she became concerned about skin irritation. Though I have studied the operation of my machine in some detail, I cannot recall doing this myself.

Anyway, I am looking forward to your explanation of why you think that three rinses are adequate yet sell machines that do seven.

“Anyway, I am looking forward to your explanation of why you think that three rinses are adequate yet sell machines that do seven.”

My apologies, I didn’t know you wanted that.

Dead simple really, some people like to rinse more thoroughly often as they hold that it helps with skin irritation. So, the option is included.

K.

Thanks Kenneth. Is there a standard procedure used in the industry for assessing the effectiveness of rinsing? If so, it would be useful if Which? was using this unless they have evidence that it is inadequate.

From the limited information on the Which? website, they are measuring the pH of the water prior to the final spin and comparing this with that of water, on the basis that the detergent component is alkaline.

Most manufacturers only test in house so, there is no standard as such that I am aware of. You will therefore get variance.

K.

Thanks. That explains why I cannot find an EU directive or other information. Though I think the Which? tests should do more than measure the alkalinity of the rinse water (perhaps they do, but we have no way of knowing) I expect they are conducted under conditions that allow useful comparisons to be made.

Perfumes and optical brighteners are examples of ingredients that won’t rinse away as well as the detergent itself. I wonder what else.

pvcpro says:
28 August 2014

So my Samsung RSH1 has started playing up for a third time now after being repaired twice,I bought it in 2008 so am I likely to get a third repair?

Justin time says:
3 February 2015

I have the RS21 model out of warranty a Samsung engineer came out and told me it had already had a modification done on it so I would have to pay for parts , ie , new water pipe as because the fridge had frozen the pipe it had cracked the pipe so I had to pay for a new one also pay for a heating thermostat and new pub board totaling £144.00 he fixed the water but less than 24 hrs the water didn’t work and they are coming this Friday to fit a new pub board , should I have to pay for parts ? Thank you

Bert bryans says:
5 March 2015

We purchased anRSA1NHVG (made in 2011, ) on the 26/3/2012 ,having developed a loud fan like a helicopter it was fixed under warranty,just within the 2 years.however 12 months on the same thing has happened,the noise stops when the freezer door is opened.dispite several calls Samsung do not want to know ,the shop purchased from has closed down and we paid by cash.I asked Samsung if they thought it was ok to fail after only 3 years ,having paid £800 ,but no joy repaire it your self.would we ever buy the brand again , no chance .

Riccardo says:
21 September 2015

I bought a Samsung rsh1 fridge freezer.
It lasted 4 years. After this time I had to replace the heating element and now 3 days after the compresure has gone. Samsung says the compresure is under warranty but will only give it to a Samsung employee to install. They say they give it to a Samsung recognised engineer and I have a brother in law who used to work as an engineer for Samsung. But they want me to pay an extortionate amount to have a Samsung engineer come out and fix it. In reality it’s cheaper to buy the part £140 and get another engineer out to fix it. All these issues are known about by Samsung. But once it’s sold they don’t care. Never buying anything Samsung ever again

Well Which? has Samsung washing machines as Best Buys so thats OK then

Rubbish treatment over the fridge/freezers can be forgotten as we are looking at another product.

Seems to me , given Which? do not test for longevity that perhaps we very much need an overall Index on how responsible /responsive large conglomerates are too products that go wrong.

Every good mention of Samsung needs to be linked to where they have failed in a major way. And this should apply to all conglomerates.

dieseltaylor, surely another case of why Which? should really start looking seriously at durability as a purchasing criterion.

Patricia says:
24 July 2017

can someone help, my RL43WCIH model samsung fridge temperature does not want to go down. it’s still sitting on 16 after power outage, and is very hot.

Sheila watson says:
16 September 2017

Please help or advise me x
My samsung fridge/freezer (american style) keeps tripping my home electrics, is there any information or advice you can give me x
Yours thankful
Sheila x

Please have the fridge-freezer inspected by a service engineer, Sheila. There is clearly a fault and repeated resetting the circuit breaker or RCD might result in damage to the appliance or even a fire.