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Subzero 550 FF not cooling, frosty FF evaporator


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7 replies to this topic

#1 balboni

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 11:24 PM

Just moved into a house that has a 1992 Subzero 550 built-in (serial number M989921). 

1. Loaded up the fridge and freezer with food and noticed several days later that ice cream is soft and fridge is warm (60 degrees F). 

2. I turned both temperature settings to 10, but that did not seem to make a difference. 

3. Removed grill and vacuumed condenser which had some dust but didn't look too bad.  Freezer temp is about 7 degrees, but FF compartment still warm. 

4. Confirmed condenser fan is always running. 

5. Confirmed both compressors are hot to the touch. 

6. Removed Fresh Food evaporator fan cover and confirmed that when the right-hand switch is depressed, fan turns on. 

7. Removed back wall of fresh food compartment and the top half of the evaporator has some frost on it with build up and the extreme right and left-hand sides. 

 

Because there is a separate compressor for the fresh food and freezer compartment, my understanding is that there is no defrost cycle for the fresh food compartment.  Is this frost build up a consequence of low refrigerant (R12) which indicates a leak and possible evaporator replacement, or could this be due to something more simple?



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#2 DiamondStar Ltd.

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Posted Yesterday, 09:44 AM

In my experience, frost build up happens for a few reasons.  Of course, lack of defrost is one reason.  Lack of air flow through the area.  If the Evap Fan is running properly, could the ducting be restricted?  And then, near the inlet tube to the evaporator in many systems there is usually buildup, that is the coolest point.

 

Any more feedback techs?



#3 Appliance Angel

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Posted Yesterday, 10:21 AM

#1Its possible you're low on refrigerant. You could use pressure gauges about now.

It's a cycle defrost so when the FF temp sensor cools to the set point then it'll cycle off, and it isn't.

You should be seeing a full complete frosting pattern not half.

Outside of a system restriction or a weak compressor( once again , the gauges)

 Refer to #1 good Luck



#4 PDuff

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Posted Yesterday, 12:20 PM

Sounds like a sealed system leak in the refrigerator compartment evaporator.  Eventually frost will accumulate at the upper/left corner and not spread further.

 

You're out of any sealed system warranty coverage, but be sure whoever replaces the evaporator is able to obtain Sub Zero parts.



#5 TheApplianceTechnician

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Posted Yesterday, 08:11 PM

It's strange to have a "both compartments not cool enough" complaint. I'd take a good look at the fan. It may not be spinning fast enough. That would be a slim possibility but still possible. I run across that about once a year.

 

1. Hold your hands in front of where the air comes in and air goes out areas and see if you can feel air flow with your hands about a foot away from the vents. If you don't it may be a lack of air flow problem.

2. Shine a light through the condenser to see if you can see light coming through it. Front to back, top to bottom.

 

Sometimes using a vac is not good enough to clean a condenser and you have to blow compressed air through it to get the build up out of it.

 

The refrigerator side should never freeze up under normal operation. Being that the refrigerator stays above freezing there is no defrost cycle needed. In this case a %50 ice build up is an indication of a different problem. I wouldn't suspect a freon leak because half of the evap is frozen. If it was about a 10 inch area at the inlet of the evaporator then yes I'd go with freon leak, but that's not your symptom from what you're saying here.


Edited by TheApplianceTechnician, Yesterday, 09:00 PM.

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#6 TheApplianceTechnician

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Posted Yesterday, 09:00 PM

In greater detail, some may be redundant but oh well.

 

 

2. I turned both temperature settings to 10, but that did not seem to make a difference. 

   

It's not going to. Think of it as a car. If you can't get to 40 on the speedometer you won't get to 100

 

3. Removed grill and vacuumed condenser which had some dust but didn't look too bad.  Freezer temp is about 7 degrees, but FF compartment still warm. 

  

  7 degrees is on the high side for a freezer. It should be between -10 and 10, so that's the high side.

 

4. Confirmed condenser fan is always running. 

   

Sign that something's not right. One or both of the units are running too long. Unless it's one of the one's that the fan runs regardless of the compressor being on and by the age of it it does fall into the category of fan running most of the  time.

 

5. Confirmed both compressors are hot to the touch. 

Hot is subjective. They will be warm to hot when running but shouldn't be hot. I can't tell you the temp because I don't know it but as a general rule, if I can't hold my hand on it for a few seconds it's too hot.

 

6. Removed Fresh Food evaporator fan cover and confirmed that when the right-hand switch is depressed, fan turns on. 

 

Rules out evap fan. Make sure the lights turn off with the other switch.

 

7. Removed back wall of fresh food compartment and the top half of the evaporator has some frost on it with build up and the extreme right and left-hand sides.

 

 A Picture would be helpful here. It doesn't sound like a freon issue because you say the top half and mention both sides having frost. We'd need a pic to get a better idea. But a pic after it's been running for a while with the door closed. If the door is open with the fan running I wouldn't expect the middle to frost over because of the room temperature air keeping it warm.


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#7 balboni

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Posted Yesterday, 10:02 PM

Here are the right and left hand side of the FF evaporator.  This morning the freezer temp was down to -4F and this evening it is 1F.  I think this means there is a problem with the FF system only.

I tried shining a light through the condenser.  It only shines through in certain locations.  I will try blowing compressed air through it tomorrow (sleeping kids will not appreciate me turning on the air compressor)

I would like to check the pressure and temp of each system at the valve on the compressor.  What is the running spec for both the FF and freezer systems?

 



#8 balboni

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Posted Yesterday, 10:15 PM

Here are the pictures of the evaporator:

open?id=0B2AUlaaUVapwWG5HcU5ITE9mTm8&aut

open?id=0B2AUlaaUVapwZHhydkZnaG5EQkE&aut


https://drive.google...EQkE&authuser=0

https://drive.google...mTm8&authuser=0






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