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BradleyG

Subzero Refrigerator #532 Ice on back wall of Fresh Food Section

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Low end apprentice (me) has another high end appliance question.

I have a question about Subzero refrigerators specifically Model #532, with 2 compressors and 2 evaporators.

There is ice buildup on the lower left side of the back wall of the fresh food section. I spoke to a Subzero tech and he said the cause of this is a refrigerant leak.

I am trying to figure out why this is so. I would explain it by saying: I know that the refrigerator evaporator uses off cycle defrost. I figure the refrigerator compressor is always running because the cold control is not being satisfied. (Customer has control set to 10, the highest setting). So the refrigerator evaporator never has a chance to defrost. So even though there isn’t enough a full amount of refrigerant, the coils over time are getting all frosted over. This is near the fresh food back panel, so when moist air hits the cold surface of the back of the fresh food section wall frost forms.

Can someone let me know if this is right? Thanks a lot.

PS Many thanks to this website for making the Subzero service manuals available.

PPS The subzero tech was easy to get hold of, I just called customer service and they offered to let me talk to him, Subzero customer service # is 800-222-7820 8-5 central time if anyone else is interested. Thanks for listening.

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if you can remove that cover and have a look at the frost pattern of the Evaporator Coils.

They should be evenly, completely, lightly frosted.

If there's a leak, the entire Evaporator won't be frosted ...

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Sensei, thank you for your reply.

Could the refrigerator evaporator, not the freezer evaporator, be thickly frosted due to a leak because there is no off-cycle defrost occurring? Otherwise, how would the back wall of the refrigerator (not the freezer) get a big frost build-up on it?

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You will find ice/frosting only on the very first few inches of the evaporator.

Where the capillary tube enters the evaporator it will grow a giant iceball because the compressor never turns off because it never gets cold enough. Being low on freon causes only the first few inches or maybe a few rows of the evaporator to frost but it doesn't have enough cooling capacity to ever satisfy the t-stat so just runs continuously trying to get cold enough and growing the iceball larger until ice is seen on the back wall of the refrig panel as you are seeing now.

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Thank you Willie for your explanation. That explains it perfectly. Your reply is very much appreciated.

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