Question about Sub-Zero 661/F Side by Side Refrigerator

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Brown fluid leak (smells like dirt) from Sub Zero

I have a Sub Zero 511, about 20 years old. I noticed some brown, coffee-like fluid on the floor near the toe plate. The same liquid appears on the refrigerator door hinge, near the screw holes. There's similar residue on the door gasket. The liquid smells earthy or dirt-like. The unit is working and producing cold air. This happened within the past 12 hours. During the night (before discovering the problem), I heard a bang or pop sound coming from the area near the refrigerator, but didn't think anything of it at the time. Perhaps the noise and the leak are connected. Do you have a possible explanation? I'd like to have an idea of the problem before contacting an authorized repairer. Thank you.

Posted by Anonymous on


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 237 Answers

SOURCE: Sub Zero 642 - Gasket on the Door is really HOT

That is normal and is designed that way to keep moisture from forming water drops on the door seals. The "old days" used electric heaters but most now use the heat from the compressor liquid. If it's really hot you may have dust all over the condensor coils and should be cleaned to reduce the compressors heat output. Other than that, it's normal operations!

Posted on Jan 31, 2007

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Sub Zero 632 leaking water

Had the same problem on the same model (632). Turned out to be a plugged drain tube on the condensate collection trough located on back wall of the refrigerator. Simply pull out the crisper drawer (the drawer below the lowest shelf) and you'll bee the trough. The drip tube can easily be plugged by a vegetable leak or grape, etc which had fallen into this trough. Hope its as simple for you as for us.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008

SOURCE: Sub zero 550 (14 years old) has a small but steady leak onto floor from freezer compartment. Small amount of frost buildup on inside of door. Food is frozen and the door "appears" to seal we

Right hand side wall in the freezer - take a look- any frozen water or moisture? Need check a drain line, usually defrost heater inside the freezer wall getting bad and draining water just freezing inside of it.

Posted on May 14, 2009

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is car 4WD?
ok, is this your first car?
is this your first car with A/C? for first time ever using and A/C?
(btw front defrost mode uses A/C functions)

if pure water, its just A/C condesate, 100% normal all cars.
today cars have a wide variaty of new fangled fluids.
in the olden days we had tan, and green'
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toxic AF (antifreeze) green, pin, yellow, red, orange , etc. now.
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but is soaping to the touch.
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Some axles and transmissions have (gear boxes) have hypoid gear lube that is brown and stinks to high heaven.. nasty smell.
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it smells sweet. and sticky.
that is what we have today.

find your cars A/C condensate drip tube under car
and memorize that location, then when it leaks, you know.
its that.
on some cars its at passegers toes.
on my jeep its dead center, of car.

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dirty transmission fluid sounds like you have a rusted line

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1 Answer

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Mark, the "brown stuff" is a build up of old soap, dirt and often mildew. Yea, gross huh? The best way to get rid of it if you have a bad case (which sounds like you) is to remove the spin basket and actually clean all the crud out. Once it has been cleaned then you should do at least 1 load of wash a week on HOT and it helps keep the gunk away. Some places offer products that are supposed to remove the gunk but I have yet to find one that does. The brown stuff is not related to a bad seal on the shaft. Good luck!

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1 Answer

Sub zero 550 (14 years old) has a small but steady leak onto floor from freezer compartment. Small amount of frost buildup on inside of door. Food is frozen and the door "appears" to seal we

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