Question about Sub-Zero 690 Side by Side Refrigerator

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Subzero 590: freezer works, refrigerator not cooling

Tried vacuuming the coils to no avail.Turned unit off for a full day (moved food to a backup fridge).

Turned off both freezer and fridge (using dials inside fridge). Cycled the master switch at the top of the unit -- that works -- fan in front of coils comes on/spins an lights work in both freezer/fridge.

Turn on freezer portion with dial in fridge (set to 5), and I can hear the system startup (and I can see it getting power - put a meter on the condenser).

Turn freezer off again and turn on refrigerator - no sound of life. Put meter on that condenser and I'm not getting any reading.

Ideas on what it could be and rough cost to repair? Assuming it's worth repairing given the price of a replacement! Unit has a date code of June 1991.

Thanks!
Martin in New Hampshire

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  • Anonymous Apr 10, 2009

    The frezzer is working fine, but the refrigerator is approx 65 degrees. My model is 690 dual refrigeration. Just wondered of anyone knows if it would be the condensor, Coils or ?????

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This is a Sub Zero and many technicians do not realize that these units most all run on 2 separate systems. 2 cold controls 2 compressors 2 evaporators. They share a condenser and condenser fan motor. What you are describing is most likely a bad cold control. It is pretty common for these to get some age and go bad. If you are very savvy with repairs yourself then if you access the compressor area and feel that the compressor on the right is cool and the compressor on the left is warm then you know that the ref. compressor has not been running. UNPLUG THE UNIT OR CUT THE BREAKER OFF. Remove the shelving from the fresh food section and the cover to the lights and the panel below the lights and lean the back panel forward to access the cold control. You will see 3 wires to the cold control. The green wire is the ground wire of corse. Unplug the other 2 wires remembering their location on the control unit. Take a jumper wire and jump these 2 wires. If when you power the unit up the right side compressor comes on then you know that your fresh food cold control is bad. Replace fresh food cold control.

Posted on Apr 11, 2009

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Considering the age of this refrigerator I wouldn't bother with it. But that's just my opinion. First, you have to turn both sections on for it to cool in the refrigerator side. The compressor that cools the freezer also cools the fridge. Second, you haven't mentioned whether or not the fan inside is running. If it is not running then you may have a simple solution. Replace the evaporator fan motor. If the fan runs but no cooling comes out after 20-30 minutes of running then you've got bigger problems. It wouldn't be worth the expense to repair.

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

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