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- > Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help > The Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum > Sub zero: Refrigerator cools fine, feezer not

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Sub zero: Refrigerator cools fine, feezer not  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2005 05:07 pm
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rivrwing
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Hi, This question regards a SubZero Model 211 RFD refrigerator over freezer unit from 1988, one compressor runs both top/bottom.  This was installed in my then father's house, much to his later regret and the great joy of the local service/repair guy who had his own key to the house for awhile.  It's my house and fridge now, and since it's a built-in unit I appear stuck with it.

New compressor and coolant change 4 months ago with accompanying huge bill!

Current issue began a week ago when freezer temp began rising slowly from it's regular 5 degrees up now to about 34 degrees.  The refrigerator top shows no change, and both top/bottom will cool down proportionally if thermostat is turned cooler, at least last I checked.  Initially a stream of ice formed on the freezer rear adjacent and below what appears to be a drain tube ( which has a mesh/wire electrical thingy that runs down through it after passsing right through the fins/coils of the freezers internal "fan/evaporator etc unit").  I shut the unit down for 24 hours to see if a frozen drain could be the problem.  When restarted it appeared that it might be cooling better, but temperature quickly began rising again after a very brief time of normal functioning.  Removing the cover off of the freezers "etc unit" (see above), I found ice formed on the bottom of the cover, also across the bottom of the fins the coils are running through, and there was additionally a dense frost/ice coating on  the "tubing" apparatus running diagonally across the face of the fin/coil component.  By the time I stopped pondering the appearance of all this all the ice had begun to drip and fall and so I loosely scewed the top scews back in, to keep the fan in position, and left the bottom screws out putting a pan to catch water underneath hoping that allowing draining this way might reveal some info.  No luck, water drained out, temperature kept rising, and here I am with a fridge that will keep my beer cold, but no freezer ice to fill a cooler!  Hope you can help!

Thanks!

Dave

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2005 05:15 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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I can't tell from your description if you've had a defrost system failure or another sealed system problem. A picture of your evaporator with the frost you described would help. You can post it here as an attachment.

Is the evaporator fan (the one in the freezer) running?



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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2005 08:12 pm
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rivrwing
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The fan is working, at least it appears to run when the door is shut and slows to a stop when the door is opened.

The red arrows in the attached photo show the frosted tube/pipe length along the front.  The frost diminishes along the tubes as they wrap around the size of the unit.  The Blue arrows show the cable/wire that begins in front and then travels throught the evaporator and down and out the drain tube (a defroster cable??).  The additional ice buildup, which is no longer visible at these higher temps, seemed to be a result of liquid pooling in the bottom of this tray/cover until it rose up into the fins of the evaporator. 

 

Thanks for the quick reply!

Attachment: Subzero copy.JPG (Downloaded 36 times)

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2005 08:50 pm
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nickfixit
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You have a sealed system problem. You either lost some refrigerant (leak), or the system has a restriction in the heat exchanger or evaporator.

You need some hands on diagnosis. Ask the guy to "blow out" the system and check for a low side leak.

Nick



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 Posted: Mon Aug 8th, 2005 02:53 pm
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rivrwing
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Nick,

Thanks for your reply, looks like you speak for the exalted grand master himself?  Thanks to both of you for your help with this!  Too bad I cannot tackle the issue myself.  Appreciate your time.  Does he share his beer with you??

Dave

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 Posted: Mon Aug 8th, 2005 09:29 pm
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nickfixit
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Your photo was all I needed. It's clear that there is a sealed system problem.

It helps a bunch when photos get posted.

Let us know how it turns out.

Nick



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 Posted: Mon Aug 8th, 2005 11:16 pm
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ApplianceTerminator



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Boy  .... Thats an ugly photo ...  Sealed system without a doubt    ......think the  211's had r12 also    cha-ching ....  goes the bill  .... If they did it 4 months ago  dont worry  ...... Had some of the older sub zeros where the condensate line sits in water and then they get porous and suck water in... I would walk away from those   thats a nightmare ...

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 Posted: Tue Aug 9th, 2005 02:25 am
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nickfixit
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The guy who did the work 4 months ago is now married to this dog, I don't envy him at all.



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