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Member Since 09 Mar 2009
Offline Last Active Oct 22 2014 06:52 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Subzero 3211RFD Condenser Cooling

07 June 2013 - 06:36 AM

Just to close this out for anyone doing a search, the issue was inadequate cooling of the condenser. Fan turned out to be OK, but even though the condenser was well  vacuumed out, that wasn't sufficient. I had to remove the shroud assembly around the condenser, vacuum, then I sprayed it down on both sides with coil cleaner. What a mess, but it got tons of dirt out. Took a couple of hours.


I did leave the front baffle that sits in front of the two compressors off as it does help cooling and there doesn't seem to be any adverse effect to icemaker operation (was concerned about line freezing) or the drip pan contents evaporating. it is noisier than before, however, but not too objectionable.


My recommendation to any homeowner that inherits one of these and wants to keep it would be to remove the doors, get a handtruck and take the entire carcass outside, and go at the entire top area with compressed air and a pressure washer for the condenser. While that might seem like a lot of work, price a 48" replacement and then it won't seem so bad :wink:

In Topic: Subzero 3211RFD Condenser Cooling

23 May 2013 - 10:18 AM

Thanks Sohei. I did have that internal panel off early in my diagnosis phase and evaporator coil and inlet were not iced up.


At this point I'm running without the top compressor area baffle in place and performance is normal although room noise level is certainly higher. Fridge compressor is not overly hot (can comfortably put your hand on it) or running that often and temp in fridge maintains a steady 30-40 degree range.

In Topic: Subzero 3211RFD Condenser Cooling

23 May 2013 - 09:47 AM

Yes, overheating showed up recently. The temp in the refrigerator side of the unit started creeping up to the point where I pulled off the top panel to listen for the compressor cycling and found it going on/off frequently and very hot to the touch. I suppose some sort of thermal cutoff was at work to keep the compressor motor from burning up.


I'll take your advice and leave the panel off and watch it. And just for fun I'll throw another condenser fan in there. I found a brand new one for $40 online so worst case I'll have a spare. And with the fan pulled out for the swap I can get in a bit on that side of the compressor for more vacuuming.

In Topic: Subzero 3211RFD Condenser Cooling

22 May 2013 - 10:08 AM

I thought about the dust storm issue, too - lol. I've cleaned with a good shop vac with a brush attachments from the inlet side. Pretty hard to get at the outlet side without some major disassembly.


That fan motor is original as far as I know. I did clean it all up a couple of years ago. I didn't look for a date code.


The way this unit appears to be designed is that the air is pulled in the front right, pulled over the condenser by the fan, then pushed down the rear of the fridge by way of a solid panel that stands off about 1.5" from the back. The air then exits down over the drip pan and out the kick area.


With the front baffle removed as in the picture, air does in fact just drift out the front left area.


That front baffle is a white piece of steel with fiberglass insulation on the side facing the compressors. While it doesn't create an airtight seal at the front, it does block off most of the area directing the air to the back.


I'm guessing the design was not only to move air over that drip pan, but also to keep the icemaker line where it enters the freezer from freezing up? That's why I'm hesitant to just leave it off. I keep thinking Subzero put it there for a purpose.


And I'm not sure on the dryers as I wasn't looking for them specifically. According to service manual driers were originally next to the condenser. I can't see how to attach a copy of that manual here but if anyone would like a copy PM your email info and I'll be glad to send it out to you. 

In Topic: Subzero 3211RFD Condenser Cooling

22 May 2013 - 05:28 AM

OK, here's some video. There is audio if you turn up your speakers a bit.

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