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Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:23 pm
by SVariance1
I was wondering if anyone would have any thoughts on the following situation. I have an old subzero with a freezer that occasionally will not stay cold enough to keep ice cream frozen. Actually, only the top half of the freezer will not stay cold enough. All of the pull out drawers work well. This has been going on for about 1.5 years. I had a repair guy come out to look at it and he said, the compressor and other parts would need to be replaced. Each time I start looking for new refrigerators, the darn freezer starts working again and this time it lasted for two months.

Any thoughts?

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:28 pm
by jebmke
Make a monthly trip to the appliance store? :P

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:34 pm
by adamthesmythe
It could be that the defrost cycle is not being triggered often enough. OR that there are circulating fans that periodically get stuck.

I'm guessing there are two bad choice for a subzero that needs a compressor. Expensive replacement of the compressor or expensive replacement of the refrigerator.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:10 pm
by corysold
Replacement would probably be much cheaper than a new fridge, especially if you go with Subzero again.

We have built in style fridge and freezer, had an issue once and the repair guy said we could keep it running for 100 years by replacing parts before we'd spend as much as replacement.

Whether you like the look and would rather have a new fridge is a different issue.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:20 pm
by MarkerFM
I'm guessing you or the repair person has already tried vacuuming the condenser. This is necessary with Sub-Zeros every six months or so or they won't operate properly.

If your Sub-Zero is 20 or more years old, it might be time for a replacement. But, they can and do last longer than that, just need to replace some parts once in awhile. We are replacing one that has been running for 19 years only because we are completely gutting the kitchen and it won't be the right style for the new kitchen. Has had some expensive repairs, but looks like new inside and runs fine.

Is your repairman certified/trained to repair Sub-Zeros? If not, I would find one who is and see what they say. Get a price for the repair. New Sub-Zeros $8-10K.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:55 pm
by SVariance1
MarkerFM wrote: Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:20 pm I'm guessing you or the repair person has already tried vacuuming the condenser. This is necessary with Sub-Zeros every six months or so or they won't operate properly.

If your Sub-Zero is 20 or more years old, it might be time for a replacement. But, they can and do last longer than that, just need to replace some parts once in awhile. We are replacing one that has been running for 19 years only because we are completely gutting the kitchen and it won't be the right style for the new kitchen. Has had some expensive repairs, but looks like new inside and runs fine.

Is your repairman certified/trained to repair Sub-Zeros? If not, I would find one who is and see what they say. Get a price for the repair. New Sub-Zeros $8-10K.
I do not know if he tried to vacuum the condenser. I get it serviced periodically and they use a vacuum. The weird thing is when it is working, and you open and close the door, you hear a noise in the compressor area ( it is doing something). When the freezer is not working well, you hear silence when you open and shut the door. This sub zero is 30 years old.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:57 pm
by fishandgolf
We had an old "Cold Spot" fridge that we got from my in-laws many years ago. It was from the late 1950's. Symptoms that you describe were very similar to ours. It would work fine for a few weeks.........then it would go on a blink. Eventually realized that it was probably costing us more in energy......finally replaced it with a newer Maytag.

It was sitting in the garage ready to haul to the trash when our roofing contractor came by one day and said........"I Want to buy that"......got $50.00 for it...... :sharebeer .

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:37 pm
by clockman323
We sometimes have weird temperature variations in our built-in kitchen refrigerator. I bought an AcuRite 00986M remote sensing temperature monitor. The display is a few feet away so I can continuously monitor both the temps in the freezer and refrigerator sides. It also displays min/max variations.

Maybe you could put both sides in the freezer compartment.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:44 pm
by squirm
I would defrost the fridge, I had similar issue and the cooling channel was frozen with ice. I took a hair dryer to it.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:09 am
by goGators

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:11 pm
by jabberwockOG
30 years old? Sounds to me like it is well past time for a new refrigerator.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:16 pm
by SVariance1
goGators wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:09 am Check freezer door gasket.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Acm_MaEF4
It seems like the gasket would be the issue but it looks fine to me. I do not see any tears in it. The repair guy did not mention the gasket. I repair guy took the temperature of the freezer and told me the obvious: the freezer is not cold enough. He blamed it on the compressor. Do compressors die and then come back to life?

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:51 pm
by goGators
SVariance1 wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:16 pm ...
Do compressors die and then come back to life?
...
Assume that the compressor died, would the entire unit become warm? But you stated
SVariance1 wrote: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:23 pm ...
Actually, only the top half of the freezer will not stay cold enough. All of the pull out drawers work well.
....
You might also want to take a look at this list
https://www.repairclinic.com/RepairHelp ... t-freezing

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:38 pm
by vaught
I also have a sub-zero and had the same issue. My fan motor went out in my freezer. Also a side by side so the freezer portion goes from floor to ceiling. The technician knew immediately because the top of my freezer was warm and some food had begun to spoil. Yet the bottom part of my fridge was ice cold and even had some still frozen ice packs.

To prove it, he put one of the ice packs on the top shelf while he ordered the replacement motor and by the next day that ice pack was liquid while the ice packs at bottom of freezer were still frozen.

I don't remember exact cost but it was a fairly cheap part compared to other parts and a quick fix by the repair man.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:46 pm
by SVariance1
vaught wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:38 pm I also have a sub-zero and had the same issue. My fan motor went out in my freezer. Also a side by side so the freezer portion goes from floor to ceiling. The technician knew immediately because the top of my freezer was warm and some food had begun to spoil. Yet the bottom part of my fridge was ice cold and even had some still frozen ice packs.

To prove it, he put one of the ice packs on the top shelf while he ordered the replacement motor and by the next day that ice pack was liquid while the ice packs at bottom of freezer were still frozen.

I don't remember exact cost but it was a fairly cheap part compared to other parts and a quick fix by the repair man.
Yep. I am going to contact the repair person again.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:48 pm
by renue74
jabberwockOG wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:11 pm 30 years old? Sounds to me like it is well past time for a new refrigerator.
Any appliance or wife over 30 years needs replacing. (OK...maybe not wife)

I would considering purchasing a new fridge. You've well used all you can out of that purchase. You can purchase a new, more energy efficient model that makes you sleep at night because you got the "energy efficient" version and it will save you money. (just don't calculate the payback.)

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:05 pm
by adamthesmythe
renue74 wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:48 pm
jabberwockOG wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:11 pm 30 years old? Sounds to me like it is well past time for a new refrigerator.
Any appliance or wife over 30 years needs replacing. (OK...maybe not wife)

I would considering purchasing a new fridge. You've well used all you can out of that purchase. You can purchase a new, more energy efficient model that makes you sleep at night because you got the "energy efficient" version and it will save you money. (just don't calculate the payback.)
Components of the defrost system or the circulating fans are a possible cause, and would be cheap and easy to fix. I would fix these even on an old appliance if parts were available.

A compressor, on the other hand, would be very pricey, not least because it is part of a sealed system..

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:25 pm
by bob60014
SVariance1 wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:46 pm
Yep. I am going to contact the repair person again.
[/quote]

I would have found a new repair person months ago!

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:02 pm
by HomeStretch
SVariance1 wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:46 pm
vaught wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:38 pm I also have a sub-zero and had the same issue.
Yep. I am going to contact the repair person again.
Try calling Sub-Zero.

I had a similar issue with my Sub-Zero. 1st time was one month after warranty expired. 2nd time was at 7 years old. Repair part and labor was about $500 each time. 2nd time I called SubZero customer service in Wisconsin. CS was amazing. They said that the freezer compressor and fan rarely fail, never mind twice on a 7-year old Sub-Zero. They paid for the part, most of the labor and $200 towards the food spoilage.

Re: Refrigerator Issues

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:28 pm
by michaeljc70
jabberwockOG wrote: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:11 pm 30 years old? Sounds to me like it is well past time for a new refrigerator.
+1. I wouldn't be sinking money into a 30 year appliance. The new one will be much more efficient too.