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Sub Zero 561 Refrigerator Not Cooling - Issues


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14 replies to this topic

#1 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 03:22 PM

I have a Sub Zero 561 refrigerator which has worked well for a number of years. Last summer, for about three weeks when it was very warm, and warm in my kitchen, the Refrigerator would not cool properly. Temperatures got to around 60+ in the refrigerator. I had suspected this was due to the fact that my apartment has very poor power and the voltage dropped below 100 volts for around ten days. There was also what seemed to be brown out conditions. This is a new york city apartment built prior to 1945.

The problem went away as soon as the weather got cooler and the power came back above 108 volts.

This year, about ten days ago (Temp is between 80-90 degrees in the city) the refrigerator got very warm again. The compressor is not very hot but I think it must be running because the temp in the frige went from about 70 degrees to 53degrees over the last few days. It appears to be stuck at 53 degrees now. I do not hear the fan in the refrigerator compartment working and nothing occurs when I turn the thermostat dial in the refrigerator to 10. It seems as though the system doesn't turn on.

I want to know how to test (with a volt/ohm meter) whether the thermostat is working, whether the fan is working, or the fan relay (which I don't know how to find) and whether the compressor works.

Is there a method to force the compressor to turn on? My compressor and the compressor start relay look like the part shown on repair clinic and I have attached a photo.

I think the issue is probably related to either the thermostat or the start relay (or even a broken fan in the refrigerator compartment) but I am not positive and want help making this determination.

If the thermostat is broken, I do not know how or where to purchase a replacement for the sub zero refrigerator. Any suggestions?

I also see that sometimes, even when using the manual, it is not easy to see which items you should be working with. I will try and take good photos when I work on fixing this issue.

Thanks

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:49 PM

... I do not hear the fan in the refrigerator compartment working
... or the fan relay (which I don't know how to find) and whether the compressor works.

1) the Compressor should run when the Cold Control is calling for COLD
along with the Fridge Fan (when the Door Switch is closed)
2) the Fan Relay is for the Condenser Fan (depending on serial number)
Is the Fridge Compressor and / or Fridge Fan running ?
.

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#3 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:38 PM

I wanted to add the following update to my symptom list for my refrigerator. The refrigerator was warm at around 70 degrees six days ago. Over the past six days it has gotten cooler and tonight, June 29, the temperature was down to 43 degrees. For some reason, the fridge will not cool rapidly. It is as if the fans are not circulating the cold are or the compressor is not cycling except on some sort of timer. It does not cycle based on the thermostat at least.

#4 kdog

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:00 PM

Will it keep ice frozen in the freezer?


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#5 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:30 PM

Freezer is working perfectly (hopefully this post won't jinx it) but the freezer has always worked. I am having issues with the ice machine which produced ice for around two drops and then stopped. Last year it worked but I had to disconnect water supply for kitchen sink repairs and had not reconnected until a little while ago.

In any event, the freezer works perfectly.

I am tempted to purchase the thermostat for the Refrigerator for $71 and install it and see if that works but I realize that is not the best approach.

#6 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:39 PM

1) the Compressor should run when the Cold Control is calling for COLD
along with the Fridge Fan (when the Door Switch is closed)

Is the Fridge Compressor and / or Fridge Fan running ?


.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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#7 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 09:26 AM

I am still not sure how to explain the problems. After 8 days, it appears that my refrigerator is getting cooler each day by 5 or 6 degrees. Last night it was 38 degrees at the top of the refrigerator. This compares to 70 degrees 8 days earlier. The only thing I did which I do not think made a difference was to start the condenser fan spinning and then it spun on its own afterwards, but it may have done that anyway. I also accidentally shorted the connections on the Compressor start relay, which I was worried would break it but nothing happened.

This year and also last summer, the refrigerator just got very warm, and after a few days of lousy performance, it started cooling again. Last year the refrigerator got cooler faster but this year it took around 8 days.

Is there any kind of overload protection circuit (like a fuse) for the compressor which could have been triggered due to abnormally low power (less than 100 volts) which needs to see power above 110 volts to reset? Or needs more than 48 hours to reset? If so, it is possible that my power dropped below 100 volts and then took a few days to go back above 110volts.

If that is what is causing the issue, it is possible that sometimes there is not enough power to start the compressor. Is it possible to add a hard start capacitor setup inside the SubZero Refrigerator and Freezer Compressor circuits? If so, do you have any recommendations on devices? This company called Arnold's Appliances sells these and I have used them for Air Conditioners. Would it make sense to install both a run compressor or a start compressor.

#8 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:09 AM

1) the Compressor should run when the Cold Control is calling for COLD
along with the Fridge Fan (when the Door Switch is closed)

Is the Fridge Compressor and / or Fridge Fan running ?

I'm still not sure how to explain the question.
when it's warm, is the Fridge Compressor and the Fan inside the Fridge running ?
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

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#9 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 01:08 PM

The problem seems to be correlated to the voltage in to the sub zero 561 dropping below 110 volts. Whenever it drops below 110 volts, the system (Refrigerator section only) gets warmer. I need to see if the refrigerator again begins to cool properly since I was able to get the voltage back up to 110 volts. If that is the case, I am not sure I have a great solution. I also suspect that the thermostat in fridge may be bad but that is separate issue.

Does anyone know whether I can supplement my AC voltage with batteries (gel type) similar to the type used in solar setups? I know I could set up a complete DC powered loop in my apartment but is there any way to have the AC voltage supplemented with some backup DC converted by to AC so that this kicks in anytime the voltage drops below 110 volts?

I am also looking at possibly installing Start Capacitor in case the issue is the starting of the compressor. Perhaps at 105 volts there is insufficient power to start the compressor. Any ideas?

#10 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 01:19 PM

Bob we are trying to help you solve your problem.
If you would be so kind as to answer the questions that have been asked
before rambling on any further.
If you would like to make a donation you may do so at the link below

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#11 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:22 PM

I just double checked and can confirm that the Refrigerator Fan works all the time and compressor for the refrigerator works now and has worked over the past ten days. I do not know for sure whether it works 100% of the time when the voltage is below 100Volts.

#12 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:10 PM

At this point I dont think your refrigerator has a problem at all.
If your incoming power can't sustain a minimum of 110V
your unit will never work properly.

It appears due to the fact that your problems only happen in the summer
(when power consumption is higher in your appartment complex from AC units)
and maybe combined with the ambient temperature within your apartment)

refrigerators are designed to to operate optimately with an ambient temperature of
70 degrees F.

You should also check the condensor coils for the refrigerator and clean them if they
are clogged.

The biggest factor by far is the power problem, and your correct that it will take longer
for the temperature to drop in the frige generally because the frige door is opened more
than the freezer door.

I dont understand how you've never had problems with the freezer side, maybe you just
didnt notice because the food was still frozen but I would bet the freezer temp was 20-25 F. Vs.
an ideal 0 F.

Check out those condenser coils and let us know how they look.
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#13 certified tech group 51

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:16 PM

A.T. 29501..... Eloquently put statement...... BOBcopper, If the compressor is operating and it takes a few days to cool....I would take a look at the evaporator coils......Remove the panel and place your squintys. :blink: on the coils.... Is it fully frosted ?? or is there frost / ice on the upper left of the coil???? :unsure:

#14 BOBCopperBeechRepair

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:07 PM

Will do. Also, is the Condensor fan at the top of the fridge to the right of the two compressors supposed to cycle on and off? My fan cycles on and off.

#15 appl.tech.29501

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:25 PM

condenser fan will cycle off with compressor...it runs anytime the compressor runs.
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