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Sub-Zero 561 Refrigerator Not Cooling  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 01:03 am
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smash
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~20 year-old SZ 561 (SN P863785) is inconsistent in cooling. Sometimes it gets down to temp, but it is spending most of the time around 60°F. I've read through many of the similar topics (and I never know whether to post to one of them, or start a new one).

The freezer works fine (except for the ice maker, but that's for another time).

A few years ago, there was a sealed system leak (glacier forming on the evaporator coils in the classic SZ pattern). This was fixed, and I also replaced the defrost timer at the same time.


I've been through the warm refrigerator fire drill:
  • The condenser fan runs continuously
  • The condenser is as clean as the stupid design allows
  • The evaporator has a small bit of frost on it (and it measures 7°F with an IR thermometer)
  • The evaporator fan runs when the door switch is closed
I shook the condenser start relay, and it does not rattle. (But the Overload,ti 4tm734lfb does).

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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 03:23 am
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smash wrote: ... The evaporator has a small bit of frost on it ...

doesn't look good ..  picture ?

 

The Condenser Fan is wired direct to the Line Power on that model/serial #

Does the Compressor run ?



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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 06:04 am
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smash
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Yes, the condenser is running.

Here is the evaporator. The unit was only off for a short while, and had the door open while I emptied it. It did not go through a full defrost. When I first opened it up, it was no worse than this

Attachment: Copy of _MG_3834.JPG (Downloaded 68 times)

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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 09:20 am
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smash wrote: ... It did not go through a full defrost....

I think it didn't go through a full frost ..

Sealed System leak ?

The Evaporator should be compleyely, evenly, frosted after the Compressor has been running at least one hour.

 

 

 



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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 04:21 pm
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Fresh food side is an 'off-cycle defrost'... If the f.f. side was off for a short while,  'I.E. as you removed the food stuff' and  the unit started, the small  drops of water that normally would have dripped off, refroze into the small ice pieces you see in the picture........ The frost pattern  appears to be O.K.,........................ cannot see the last passes on the evaporator............... How long did the unit run for this frost pattern??

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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 04:57 pm
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smash
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This frost pattern was after about 2 hours, but with the rear panel off, and a fair amount of door opening and closing.

After letting it run overnight, the frozen condensation spots are gone. When I opened it--the rear panel is still off--the compartment was 38°F, the evaporator coils were ~45°F, and the condenser was not running. It kicked in a few minutes later, and the evaporator dropped to around 5°F. I am seeing relatively light frost uniformly on the condenser when it has been running.

All of this is with the thermostat turned to 10.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2010 09:20 pm
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smash
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I think that I'm giving up on it. Rather than spending another $500+ on this, I think that I'm going to get a new one. Unfortunately, since this is a built-in, and I don't want to spend $7K+, I probably won't find something that fits. But the kitchen really wants a built-in style, so I need to remodel the cabinet where this goes. And the wife wants new ovens that are installed right next to it.

So, can you recommend a reliable, good brand (and model - 24" depth) that looks good in a built-in style. And twin ovens...

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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2010 10:18 pm
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smash wrote: I think that I'm giving up on it. Rather than spending another $500+ on this, I think that I'm going to get a new one. ...

? ? ?

I wouldn't give up, yet.

we didn't even determine what the problem is.

It could just be a bad Fridge Cold Control ..

If the Fridge is too warm, and the Compressor isn't running, ...

Is the Compressor hot ?

does it try to run ? (clicks) ?

OR does the Compressor run "forever" and it still isn't cooling enough ?

Do you need the service manual ?



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 12:48 am
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The fridge is too warm, cycling between ~35°F and ~ 60°F. The compressor runs; when it runs, the housing gets up to about 150°F.

The only click that it makes is when the refrigerator compressor cycles on, and it's just one click, although it can be a little loud.

And today, the freezer seems to not be working. Maybe it's jealous of all the attention that the refrigerator is getting, but I've not seen it cycle on, and the compressor housing temperature has dropped down to ambient. Although I just now turned the defrost timer, and the freezer condenser kicked in. So maybe I did something to it Tuesday.

You sent me the service manual a few days ago, for which I thank you.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 06:36 am
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The compressor temp is about right,  the speed or R.P.M. of the condenser motor could be slow.........( the  condenser is tied to both the freezer and the fresh food section ) ........................The cold control could be failing, not sensing the correct temps.... the cold control is  reasonably priced....cannot check the price just yet.................  ( you stated that you turned the defrost timer and the freezer condenser turned on??? )

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 05:04 pm
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smash
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I think that the control is $71 if I have the correct part here. Is there a way to test it?

I turned the defrost timer on Tuesday, and by Wednesday, the freezer was warming. Its compressor was not running. I turned it again Thursday, heard a click, and it started up. The freezer is now fine, and the housing is around 180°F. I thought that, being a timer, it would cycle back on no matter what I did, but that did not seem to be the case.

Is there an easy way to test the speed or R.P.M. of the condenser (fan?) motor? It does seem to be running without any hindrance.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 05:52 pm
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smash wrote: ... I turned the defrost timer on Tuesday, and by Wednesday, the freezer was warming. Its compressor was not running..... I thought that, being a timer, it would cycle back on no matter what I did ...
The Defrost Timer is for the Freezer (as shown in the service manual)

The Fridge doesn't use one.

The Cold Control shown is the correct one.

You could by-pass the Cold Control for testing, but the Compressor or Start Relay could be bad.

More testing would have to be done.

wait.. are we still talking about the Fridge side, or the Freezer side ?



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 06:32 pm
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smash
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Yes, the fridge side. I obviously screwed up the freezer side, but then recovered.

> More testing would have to be done.

What testing, and how?

> You could by-pass the Cold Control for testing, but the Compressor or Start Relay could be bad.

Is this just simply connecting the Cold Control terminals? Adjusting the cold setting does (sometimes) trip the thermostat, and cooling turns on (or off). There is no question that the fridge runs and gets cold, but it does not hold cold--it fluctuates and rises too much. When I do short across the terminals, the compressor does run. The fridge gets cold.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 06:33 pm
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smash wrote: .. Is this just simply connecting the Cold Control terminals? ..

yes ..



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 07:04 pm
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smash
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OK, so I short the terminals, it runs. What does this tell me? What should I be looking for?

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2010 08:37 pm
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OK, leave it connected for a few hours or more to see if the temperature gets and stays cold..



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 Posted: Sat Jun 26th, 2010 12:36 am
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smash
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After about 4 hours with shorted terminals, it is down to about 22-25°F (depending on where I measure). The water that the thermometer is in is freezing. The compressor is hot, around 150°F.

Does this suggest that the problem is the cold controller?

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 Posted: Sat Jun 26th, 2010 12:59 am
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yes ...



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 Posted: Sat Jun 26th, 2010 01:28 am
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smash
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I just dug into the piling system, and see that the evaporator was replaced for a leak in July '05, the defrost timer in August '05, and the compressor and thermostat were replaced in September '05.

Last edited on Sat Jun 26th, 2010 01:30 am by smash

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 Posted: Wed Jun 30th, 2010 05:13 pm
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The replacement cold controller has now been in for about 20 hours. The temperature in the upper portion has not gotten below 50°F. The temperature of the lower back panel is 36°F (measured with an IR thermometer), although the lower portion of the refrigerator is 41°F. I started at setting 5, but have gradually inched it up to 9.

Now what?

In other news, our back-up party refrigerator--where I had put everything while working on the SZ--died yesterday. It is a True GDM-223 Commercial Reefer. I thought that I heard a noise like a circuit breaker popping, and now it is not cooling. The condenser fan is running, as is the top fan. Do y'all know about these things?

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