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Sub Zero ss650, 2006 installation, ice buildup


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9 replies to this topic

#1 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 03:43 AM

Great website, hope you can help me.

The serial number of my unit is P2434945, and it's R134a refrigerant.

It has started accumulating ice on the lower back wall. The first time I defrosted the unit, thinking maybe the door was left open and resulted in condensation. A month later, the problem returned, probably sooner but I avoided dealing with it :-) When I emptied the box today, there was quite a thick accumulation of ice on the back panel, and was very thick in the space between the panel and the drip channel. I could feel behind the panel (I didn't remove it) and could feel the ice buildup on the coils. I have defrosted it again today, and have the unit running again.

From what I've read here, this unit defrosts simply when the compressor is not running, and there is no heat cycle of any type? And this could be a thermostat (cold control) problem, causing the compressor to run too often without allowing time for the normal ice buildup to melt between cycles? I don't think it's a refrigerant leak because I have read on this forum that leaks usually lead to balls of ice in one spot. In my case, it's clear that the coils, which I believe are located in the bottom half of the back wall, are freezing up once side clear to the other. I just checked, and after being restarted for the past several hours, the freezer and fridge are at the set temps, and none of the machinery is running at the moment...so it's not a problem of the compressor running continuously.

I called the local appliance repair (which is also a retailer) and they are going to try to get over in the next few days. They are an authorized repair company. But my concern is that I get someone who doesn't have the experience to pinpoint and fix the problem. If it's a matter of replacing the cold control, I have no problems doing that myself.

Any assistance troubleshooting before the expensive guys get here would be appreciated. Also, if it is the cold control, is this part of what Sub Zero covers in their 12-year parts warranty? I plan on calling Sub Zero in the am, but thought I'd ask here, too.

Thanks again.

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:42 AM

Fridge or Freezer side ?
Fridge side uses "off cycle" Defrost... Freezer uses a Defrost Timer ..
You may need to remove the Evaporator Cover and have a look at the frost pattern.
12yr warranty ... on the Sealed System (not the Cold Control)
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#3 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:51 AM

Fridge, my unit is a 36 inch fridge with fridge on top, freezer drawer on bottom. I will remove the evaporator cover to see the pattern. Can you tell me in advance what types of pattern might mean what? I will probably have to wait several days, as I thawed it all out yesterday. Which also begs the question, should I cancel the service call for this week, since there might not be enough ice buildup yet for them to diagnose? (Not to mention I'd rather replace a bad part myself if I possibly can.

Thanks again.

#4 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:31 PM

yes, the Fridge side uses the "off cycle" defrost.....
unless there is no "off cycle" due to the fact the Compressor may be running "forever" ...
if the Fridge can't keep temperature due to a leak in the Sealed System
(common on SubZero's)
The Evaporator should be slightly, evenly frosted after a few hours of Compressor run time ...
.

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

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#5 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:05 PM

So....could be a leak in the sealed system...obviously repairman can test for that, find the leak, and repair. OR...could be a bad cold control (thermostat) causing the compressor to keep running. Is there a good chance the issue is one of those two items? If so, I guess I'm stuck paying the repairman to determine which it is, unless is there a way you can tell me to test the function of the cold control; if I can determine that is a problem, then I can change it out myself and avoid the service call. Is there a way to test the cold control?

#6 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:23 PM

a view of the frost pattern could determine if there's a leak ..
Compressor would run "forever"
(leak ... usually a bad Evaporator .. replacement ...)

sorry abut the YouTube in my "signature" ..
new forum software ... Samurai is debugging it
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one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#7 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:35 PM

I will take the evaporator panel off in a couple days to see if what the frost/ice pattern looks like, and upload a pic. Meanwhile...is there a testing protocol for the cold control (thermostat?)

Enjoyed the video :-)

#8 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:58 PM

...is there a testing protocol for the cold control (thermostat?)

is the Fridge at the correct temperature ? > then Cold Control may be OK
Is the Compressor running "forever" ? > bad Cold Control OR sealed system leak
Frost pattern on Evaporator > would determine ...
.

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

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#9 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 03:07 PM

--The Fridge temp stays right where I have it set---38 degrees.
--Compressor seems to be running a LOT...I will keep an eye on it to see if it turns off very often.
--It sounds like the frost pattern is the key to evaluating this...I will take panel off and get pic.

Meanwhile...one last question re: cold control. If the compressor is running, the fridge is set to 38 (and is at 38)...and I turn the temp up to 45...should the compressor turn off immediately, or within moments? Would this be a way to test the cold control?

Thanks for the quick responses. I think I am going to cancel the service call until I can better evaluate with your help.

#10 phkemp

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 05:22 PM

I have a pic of the evaporator, but can't see a button to attach it? So I'll describe... It's only been about 18 hours since fully defrosted. I can say that the entire coil has frost on it, with some bits of actual ice higher up in between the fins. Probably need more time to evaluate. Meanwhile, can you answer some questions so I can accurately try to diagnose:

1. I left the evaporator cover off to observe it. Does this matter, should I reinstall it for a few days before removing to re-evaluate?
2. There is a larger fan in the mechanical are above the unit, which runs often. If this fan is running, does it mean one of the compressors is running as well? It seems to run a lot, but I noticed if I turn the temperature control lower, I can hear a click, and what I think is the compressor starting up. Does this fan next to the condensor coils run when the compressor is operating, as well as for a period of time after? What I am trying to figure out is how to tell when the compressor is running, and when it's off.
3. If the compressor is off and I lower the temperature, should I hear the compressor fire up right away?
4. Conversely, if the compressor is on, and I increase the temperature, should I hear the compressor turn off ASAP.

Thanks again for all your help.




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