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sroland

Sub Zero 550 Refrigerator Not Cooling - Confirm Diagnosis please?

8 posts in this topic

Hi All,

I understand this is a common topic, I have searched a read the wealth of information, thanks for this great resource.

I think I need an evaporator, but I would like an expert to confirm my diagnosis:

Sub Zero 550, not sure what year, don't know where the nameplate is.

Freezer is cold. Fridge is not, is running about 50deg F.

Here are the facts:

-The fridge compressor is running constantly, warm to touch and humming.

-Condensor fan is running contstantly (I understand that is normal on the older models).

-The evaporator fan turns on when the door is closed.

-The evaporator coils have almost no frost on them, except in the upper left corner where the pipe enters the evaporator. Below is a picture.

Please advice, should I call my refridgeration guy and get a quote on an evaportator, or is it possible I am missing something and this could be an easy fix??

Thanks in advance.

Sean

photo-1.jpg

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Yes, looks like you have an evaporator leak. 

 

Open the refrigerator compartment door, the model and serial tag will be on the door frame around the door when the door is opened.

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... Sub Zero 550, not sure what year

... The evaporator coils have almost no frost on them, except in the upper left corner

1) serial number would determine year, and whether R12 or R134 refrigerant

2) sounds like the all-too-common leaky Evaporator

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Your evaporator looks to be the original.....Long warranty on the sealed system................12 years on parts if I remember correctly.................If out of warranty, I do this repair for  550 clam$.........50% of the time, with in a year,  I get called back for not cooling......The cold control has failed.............( possibly the realigning and moving the capillary tube of the cold control / disconnecting from the evap. panel)...................The cap tube  needs to be crimped into the fins  on the rear side of the new evaporator, before it is installed....

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Mine was manufactured 1996, so I guess technically I am out of warranty, but maybe Sub Zero would honor it anyway since so many seem to have this issue?

 

Anyone have luck contacting customer support and asking for warranty, even if they are out of the period? Any advice or fighting points I should highlight?

 

Sensei, looks like I can get the part online for around $100. If I had everything opened up, parts ready to go, what would you think of charging for installation?

 

Or do refrigeration contractors make a good markup on parts, so are unlikely to want to install if they don't supply the parts?

 

Thanks,
Sean



Also, is the frost in the left upper corner always symptomatic of an evaporator failure, or simply a leak somewhere in the closed system?

 

Just wondering if it is worth having a refrigeration guy go through the entire system, or can I safely assume the evaporator is the failure item given the symptoms expressed?

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You have a sealed system issue whether it be the evaporator or the compressor.

It would be best to call in an expert to determine which.

An honest and qualified person would charge with nitrogen followed by a vacuum test to determine if the system is leaking.

If there are no leaks,your compressor is at fault.

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... simply a leak somewhere in the closed system?

... can I safely assume the evaporator is the failure item

1) yes

2) common on Sub Zero's

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To my knowledge Sub Zero is not very forthcoming with after warranty concessions or authorizations even with an extensive service history.  An authorized service provider would be required to do the repair.  But it never hurts to call.

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