Question about Samsung RS261MDWP - 26 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator

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Very bad smell coming from my Samsung refrigerator

I purchased my new Samsung side-by-side fridge 1 year ago. About 3 weeks ago I noticed a nauseating and overpowering odor in my kitchen. I have never smelled anything like it, and the closest I can get to a description is a slightly sweet and chemical odor. The smell was overpowering and permeated the whole house, including my clothing, and I eventually began to feel a bit nauseous. I had to run the furnace fan constantly for several days in order to sleep at night, and to ensure that my housecats could breathe while I was at work. I thought it might be the filter, and changed it. The odor persisted and went into my tap water, as well as the ice and water dispensers in the fridge, and my dishwasher. There is nothing spoiled in my fridge. I cleaned and bleached my kitchen drains, but no change. After about a week, the odor was in my bathroom water as well. I changed the filter again and flushed the 3 gallons through the system. It is now going on 4 weeks, and $90 worth of filters. The odor in the house has subsided quite a bit, although still lingers and is intermittently stronger. My water still has the smell, so it appears that whatever is in the fridge water supply line is siphoning into my water supply lines throughout the house. I have so far not detected the odor in my outside taps. A bowl of baking soda inside the food compartment has helped a great deal for the inside odor. However, I am buying bottled water as I am afraid to ingest my tap water or feed it to my animals. I have a service call set up; any suggestions for questions to ask and service checks to request when the repairman gets here?

Posted by Cheryl Geil on

  • xowondering
    xowondering Apr 11, 2014

    I too have had the same problem. It is now April 2014 and I am awaiting a settlement from Samsung. I have had issues of nausea and stomach pain these last 6 months though and I wonder how many other people have had the same problem. I had a Company check for mold . A test was positive for a fungus from behind the frig possibly in the panels in the back of the frig. I believe this material is causing the toxic fumes. I am wondering if a class action suit is necessary.

  • richard kenley
    richard kenley Jan 16, 2018

    I too am having the smell permeating from behind the frig. Has been over a year I have had the box, and I think it is getting worse.

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1 Answer

D Allan

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Most refrigerators have a small drainage hole leading from the inside rear of the compartment to an overflow container behind the unit, pull the unit away from the wall and check if the liquid in the container has become stagnant, if so simply clean it out and run a small amount of bleach down the hole to disinfect the tube.
hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 11, 2013

  • Lisa Elrod
    Lisa Elrod Feb 20, 2014

    Over this past month, a horrible smell started emitting out of my 2-year-old Samsung French Door refrigerator. It smelled like a petrochemical --- nauseatingly sweet and very very susceptible to becoming airborne and stinking the whole house up. I emptied all the food out and it sat empty for a week and still stunk bad. Wiping it down did not help. The cooling functionality of both the fridge and the freezer parts was fine. I then turned it off for a week while I waited on Samsung to respond to my service call request. When the technician arrived and took off the panel at the back inside wall of the refrigerator, where all the control mechanisms are, a black wad of goo tumbled out of the compartment. The technician stated that all of the mechanics were working great. I pounced on the wad of goo that had bounced to the bottom of the fridge floor. "What's this stuff" He said it was a type of putty that goes around some of the controls to kind of cushion them. We glanced up at the coils and tubing in the innards of the controls, and I could see where the goo-putty had pulled away from a section leaving behind little remnants. I said to the technician, what if this happened.... What if the putty, once eroded away, slipped down to where it should not have been and reacted with an electrical heat-emitting part of the control panel, and the heat caused the goo to degrade and become airborne. He thought that intriguing, especially since everything else worked. The goo smelled bad like the odor... but then again, so had every container of food I had thrown away, the odor was so pervasive. The goo is in a ziploc now, and 3 days after technician, the smell has decreased significantly to just a linger. I am going to wipe it down again and put in baking soda. I think we got this. For clarity, the putty goo was a mishapen lump of coal-black squishy stuff about the size and consistency of a big chewed-up wad of Hubba Bubba bubblegum (dating myself here).

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3 Related Answers

Russ South

  • 91 Answers

SOURCE: Samsung Refrigerator with bottom freezer model #

Check for ice build-up in and around the freezer fan where the blades are, if you can see ice in there (some times it may look like white foam but dont be fooled, it will be ice), the fan will be hitting it, defrost the freezer and check defrost element, (you will have to dismantle freezer section to get to it but reletively simple job) disconect from mains first. Good luck

Posted on Dec 19, 2010

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mike cooper

  • 884 Answers

SOURCE: samsung refrigerator not cooling

Sounds more like compressor failing to pump than board fault

Posted on May 20, 2012

Rigger DeBusk

  • 1811 Answers

SOURCE: What would cause an intermittent buzzer noise from a Samsung RF217ACRS refrigerator? It otherwise works fine.

That's the icemaker cycling.Ifya don't have water connected,it's still think'n its filling trays and dumping frozen cubes and all that stuff.Turn off the icemaker.Rigger said that.C-YAAaaaaaaaaaaaa

Posted on Aug 28, 2012

Testimonial: "More than a day without a noise! Thanks, Rigger!"

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