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Sub Zero 550 Freezer Works, Fridge Doesn't  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 09:07 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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I have a Sub Zero 550 Refrigerator, serial number P996021, dated Oct 92.  Yesterday, the top refrigerator warmed to room-temperature, while the bottom freezer part remained cold and seemingly unaffected.  I took off the top grill and cover plate and checked the compressors.  The left compressor (for freezer) is very warm and apparently working fine.  The right compressor (for fridge) is luke warm, and definitely not cold.  However, if I turn the refrigerator temperature control to "Off," the right compressor goes cold.  When the fridge temperature control is on (say at 7), the right compressor makes the occasional clicking noice described in this article: http://fixitnow.com/wp/2005/12/01/refrigerator-warming-up-and-makes-an-occasional-clicking-noise/

I also checked the condenser, the condenser fan, the light in the fridge, and the fan in the fridge.  All of these work fine.  I also took the back cover off inside the refrigerator and there is no ice buildup at all on the black coil unit.

So I'm guessing it's the start relay for the right compressor.  But this is my problem.  I can't find the start relay for the right compressor.  I think I found the relay for the left compressor (doesn't it sit directly in front of the left compressor).  I also sense from other postings that maybe this relay has been discontinued and replaced with an updated part.  Any help is appreciated.  Specifically, if someone could confirm my tentative diagnosis and help me locate the right start relay, I'd be very appreciative.  Thanks.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2008 11:04 pm
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appl.tech.29501
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That is correct, either you have a bad relay or the compressor is shot. The relay should be attached to the side of the compressor....I cannot find it sold seperately on Repairclinic, but one of the Sub Zero guys may know of a source. You can remove the relay and OHM out the compressor to get diagnostics started. Read continuity from post to post, you should get a reading....if you dont then the compressor is shot...also read from post to ground...if you get a reading then the compressor is again shot. all that check out then read voltage through the relay to confirm that the compressor is recieving 120 volts...if it isn't and you have 120 volts going to the realy then your relay is bad. If there is 120 volts going through the relay to the compressor then your compressor is stuck (shot)



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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 12:04 am
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is there a model number on your compressor ?

 



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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 12:10 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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First, thanks for the comments.  This is my first time working on a fridge, and I appreciate the help.  This Sub Zero has been repaired several times and new parts put in, and I'm just trying to avoid the inevitable huge cost of yet another repair bill if possible.

I'm not a tech guy, but have some experience with VOMs (I use to tear apart stereos and rebuild them).  I'll run down and get a VOM today, run the tests, and see if I can squeeze a mirror or something along side the compressor to read the serial number.  Right now, I can't read the number because I can't get in close enough to see it.  I have a new appreciation for what you guys deal with everyday in working on these damn things. 

This may be a really stupid question, but when I'm running the diagnostics on the start relay and compressor, do I need to worry about discharging any (load or other) capacitors so as to avoid potentially getting zapped?

Also, if I do end up having to replace the compressor, is that a job which should be done by a professional (and not a weekend warrior)?  If it's not too complicated and something a lay person can do, does anybody know any good links explaining how to replace a compressor, or is it pretty straight forward?  As always, much thanks for any help.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 01:33 pm
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no high voltage capacitors to discharge or worry about, just the 120v if connected when testing.

Compressor replacement is for the professionals. You'd need a set of gauges, copper brazing torch, device to draw a vaccuum on the freon lines (to get the moisture out), the freon, ect.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:10 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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Alright, I've pulled the relay off the compressor and I've ohmed out the compressor (it's fine) and the relay (it's definitely bad).  So while there may be other problems with the system, this relay is definitely shot.  I've called the local Sub Zero dealer, and apparently, they no longer sell the relay by itself -- you have to buy it with the compressor.  Obviously, I'd prefer not to spend the money to replace the compressor if at all possible, particularly if the compressor, itself, is working fine. 

Does anybody know if there's a way to buy just the relay or am I stuck buying the whole compressor?  The part number and other information stamped on the relay is:

9660-042-112  Mexico 11K2R

As always, much thanks for any help.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:12 pm
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do you have the model number of the compressor ?



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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:24 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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Ya, I was hoping you wouldn't ask that ...  I'm having a hard time getting into the tight space where the compressor sits to read the damn numbers, but I'll try again.  Also, I'll see if I can find somebody with better eyesight and who's smaller to fit in there to read it.  I don't know how you guys ever get into some of these tight places to reach these parts, I'll tell you.  This fridge is a built-in, and it's virtually impossible to pull it out without ripping the wall up.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:28 pm
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a flashlight and magnifier (or reading glasses)  :ooo:  sometimes helps to read those numbers,

maybe even a small mirror   

Last edited on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:31 pm by RegUS_PatOff



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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 06:39 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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ya, actually, i need one of those small mirrors at the end of an instrument like the dentists use.  then i guess i'll have to transpose the numbers because they'll come up backwards. 

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 Posted: Mon Feb 18th, 2008 11:14 pm
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Last edited on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 11:20 pm by RegUS_PatOff



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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 12:54 am
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SubZeroNovice
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there you go.  so one of the reputable appliance stores in town here actually just found a new replacement relay in Texas, and it's being Fedex'ed for delivery to me on Wednesday.  if for some reason that doesn't work, i'll go out and get one of those dentist's mirrors and get in there and figure out that dang compressor number and post the number here.

in the meantime, thanks again for the help.

 

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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 01:24 am
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actually, i do have one last question before getting the relay.  the relay i'm replacing is for the fridge compressor, not the freezer compressor.  i've noticed that the freezer compressor is running pretty hot -- you can leave your hand on the outside of the compressor for only about one second before it's too hot to touch.  meanwhile, while the fridge compressor isn't working properly (hopefully because of the bad relay -- it seems like it's just constantly clicking on and off), it's still running pretty warm, though you can still keep your hand on it.  i've been reading here in these threads that a hot compressor usually means an air flow problem.  so i cleaned out the condenser with one of those cans of compressed air, but that didn't seem to cool down the freezer compressor.

is it possible that i've got an air flow problem in addition to the bad relay?  would an air flow problem cause that relay to burn out?  besides cleaning out the condenser, is there anything else i can do to help with an air flow problem.  i note (as noted in my first post) that there was no condensation or ice build up at all on the evaporator coil (or whatever it's called) on the inside of the back wall of the fridge.  but i gather that could be because there was no cold air getting into the fridge compartment.  also, the condenser fan runs continuously (without ever stopping).  is that a further indication of an air flow problem?  right now, the entire unit is shut down pending arrival and installation of the replacement relay.

thanks for any comments.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 01:41 am
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which condenser fan runs continuously, the fridge ?

the condenser fan should be running whenever the compressor is running (or told to run)

Tecumseh Relay Cross Reference

http://www.climaticcontrol.com/info/tecumseh/tecrelay.htm

9660-042-112 = P82982

but I couldn't find a link to relay # P82982

I have a 5 MB SubZero 500 series service manual I could email to you.


MODEL 550 Prior To Serial # M1204990/P1214590 except between #M/P1184141 to #M/P1184239 Compressor EM30SC 


MODEL 550 Starting with Serial # M1204990/P1214590 and between #M/P1184141 to #M/P1184239 Compressor EMI30HER relay 1351400:


http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R=154&N=817442

Last edited on Wed Feb 20th, 2008 07:32 pm by RegUS_PatOff



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SubZeroNovice
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ya, i gave all this info (the unit serial and part nos. info) to the parts store guy here in Colorado, and the guy said he found the correct relay, so we'll see.  hopefully, it'll be the correct relay.

the fan i'm talking about that runs all the time is what i believe is referred to as the condenser fan.  it's the fan that sits right next to the condenser up in the space area above the fridge compartment.  on one side of this fan is the condenser, and on the other side are the two compressors.  it's this fan that runs all the time.  it sounds like you're saying this fan should be running anytime either or both of the compressors are running.  that makes sense.  i just thought that at some point, the compressors would turn off and the fan would then also turn off.  as far as i can tell, the freezer compressor runs 24/7, and hence, also this fan.  but maybe this is occurring because the fridge compressor is not working correctly or because there is an air flow problem.

sure, if you'd like to email me the manual, that'd be great.

thanks again for the help.  did you have any other thoughts re the air flow issue?

Last edited on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 11:37 am by SubZeroNovice

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 05:38 pm
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So, of course, the parts store here received the wrong relay today.  When the store called their distributor again, the distributor this time asked for the parts number on the compressor.:shock:  I should have listened to you in the beginning ...

Anyway, I went down and bought one of those telescopic mirrors that also magnifies.  Works pretty well.  So on the side of the compressor is a thin metal plate with a bunch of numbers stamped on it.  Here are the numbers exactly how they appear (four rows):

AZ225   8R   034   AZ 1328D

8:E2992   C1   56093

V115H   60   PH1   LRA: 10.9   27000

V100H   50   Made in Brasil   T&B

Please note that immediately after the "H" in rows three and four is either a "2" or "s" in superscript (as if it were "H" to the "2nd" power).

Finally, stamped in white stencil on a different part of the black housing of the compressor is the number "943."  I'm not sure what that stands for, but it might simply be a number for the black housing around the compressor.

I hope these numbers mean something to somebody.  Thanks again for any help.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 07:30 pm
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V115H   60   PH1   LRA: 10.9   27000

Volts=115  60 cycles phase=single  Locked Rotor Amps = 10.9

V100H   50  (reserved space for overseas info)  Made in Brasil   T&B

AZ225   8R   034   AZ 1328D

8:E2992   C1   56093

Tecumseh Europe AZ1328D Compressor

that Tecumseh P82982 relay from above post may be the one ...

see if your distributor can do anything with these numbers

I'll keep looking

there's also universal "solid state start relays" depending on the compressor h/p


 

Last edited on Wed Feb 20th, 2008 08:12 pm by RegUS_PatOff



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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 08:32 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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Thanks for the answers.  I'm guessing you'll be helping a lot of lay people over the next several months and years who read this post and wonder what all the compressor numbers mean.  For the record, the AZ1328D number is apparently the correct compressor number.

Yup, we just found the relay.  Actually, another parts store was able to get Sub Zero to sell them just the relay.  I should have it tomorrow.  I don't understand why one parts store can order it from Sub Zero, but another can't.  This parts store is the main parts place for Colorado, so maybe they have more pull or something.  Whatever ...

When I was in the parts store, their service guys came in.  I got to talking with them, and they seem to think it's unlikely it'll be just the relay.  They think it'll also be the compressor.  Their thinking is that if it were a bad relay, there would be no power/current going to the compressor at all, and hence, the compressor would not be heating up the way it is.  They think the compressor is likely stuck (busted), and it's actually the overload protector that keeps clicking the compressor on and off.  I did ohm out the compressor before and it checked out fine.  Also I ohmed out the relay and it was definitely bad.  Any ideas?  In any event, I guess we'll know tomorrow.

God, I hope it's not the compressor.  There's just nothing inexpensive about a Sub Zero.  I don't understand why Sub Zero can't build units that don't keep breaking down after about year 7.  They're great fridges, but they break down.

Thanks again for the info.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 08:49 pm
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The start relay switches the voltage from the "start windings" to the "run windings" as necessary.

It can go bad over time after all that switching.

The overload is a separate device that protects the motor if it won't run for whatever reason (bad compressor, bad relay, ect).

It normally doesn't get much switching



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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2008 09:04 pm
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SubZeroNovice
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Do you think I'll end up having to also replace the compressor?

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