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subzero 532- frost on back wall normal ?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 pman626

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 04:55 AM

subzero 532 fridge evaporator used to ice over top to bottom, so i replaced the thermal control.

before, there used to be thick frost and ice on the visible side of back wall. Seemed like thermal control didn't know when to defrost.

Now that I have replaced the thermal control, there's a thin layer of frosty ice on the back wall.
I don't remember how it was back in 1993 when I first bought it, but is it normal for subzeros to get a thin layer of frost on the back wall ?

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:51 AM

The Fridge side doesn't have a defrost "heater",
it self-defrosts during the Fridge Compressor "off-tine"
If there's a problem and the Compressor runs "forever", it won't defrost normally.
You may need to post a picture (somewhere) of the Fridge Evaporator Coils.
Is it evenly, completely frosted ?
If it is, the sealed system is OK, but you may have a Door Gasket problem, etc ..
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#3 pman626

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 01:48 PM

compressor doesn't run forever. I do hear it stop from time to time when i'm in the kitchen.

when I took the back wall off to replace the thermal control, it was evenly frosted left to right.

right now, i can see a frosty layer on the wall above the fruit basket. That's where the top of the evaporator is, right behind it.

over the past few months, it has defrosted properly most of the time. But every now and then, evaporator will frost over to the bottom, where I see frosty ice from the bulb sticking out at the base near the evaporator drain gutter.

I don't think there is a door gasket problem, because when i close the door, there is strong suction, which requires force to open again.

#4 pman626

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:47 PM

Do I have a small leak?

The backwall frosted up a little more today, and the fridge temp rose to 56F, so I took the back panel off.

I heard the compressor shut off by itself today, so it's not running forever.
While I had the back panel off, the compressor turned back on.

Below is what the frost pattern looks like when the front side of the wall is frosted...
I already replaced the thermal control you see there.

What do you think needs to be fixed?
I'm gonna have a tech look at it, but just to get some 2nd opinions from you guys, what do I need to ask or look out for... in case he misses something ?

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#5 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:22 PM

... Do I have a small leak?
... What do you think needs to be fixed?
... I'm gonna have a tech look at it, .... in case he misses something ?

1) yes ...
2) find and fix leak ... usually a leaky Evaporator (common problem) ... a few hundred bucks or more
3) .. I don't think he'll miss that frost pattern :boohoo:
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#6 pman626

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:32 PM

If there's a leak, in what scenario does the evaporator need to be replaced ?

and if the evaporator needs to be replaced, I remember reading there was one type of evaporator that I need to avoid- one with inferior materials ?

#7 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:51 PM

... what scenario does the evaporator need to be replaced ?
... there was one type of evaporator that I need to avoid- one with inferior materials ?

1) common source of leaks on a SubZero
2) original SubZero Evaporators
.

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#8 pman626

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:18 AM

so if i'm too avoid original subzero evaporators, what evaporator should I get ?

does subzero make an updated version ?

#9 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:45 AM

yes, I believe ..
check with the SubZero repairman
.

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#10 pman626

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:49 PM

tech came today, and measured freon level. it was at ~8.5. He filled it back up to 10.
He topped off the freon 8 years ago.

if it's a closed system, isn't freon supposed to stay at the same level forever ?


He didn't check for leak, though he did entertain the idea.
he thinks that cleaning out whatever remaining dust in condenser coil might solve the frost/icing problem. Basically a wait & see approach.

He said, in the worst case scenario, if it were an evaporator leak, he would have to change the evaporator AND the compressor.
Anyone know why the 2 must be replaced together ?


My evaporator seems to ice up whenever it's hot outside, 100*F weather, which we had the past week. Kitchen is probably 86*F.
Tech thinks the compressor might be overheating, and not cooling efficiently as a result.
But there is nothing wrong with the compressors themselves; they are nice and quiet.

#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:15 PM

... tech came today,
... if it's a closed system, isn't freon supposed to stay at the same level forever ?
... if it were an evaporator leak, he would have to change the evaporator AND the compressor.

1) an authorized SubZero tech ?
2) unless there's a leak ....
3) not usually
.

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#12 pman626

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:43 PM

yes, authorized subzero tech. the only shop in los angeles.
He did my warranty work a decade ago.

thermometer says my fridge is cooling to 35F now. Before, it wouldn't dip below 43F.
maybe blowing out the condenser coils helped..

but there is a little powdery frost starting to form on the back wall.
will have to observe a few more days.




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