Question about Sub-Zero 690 Side by Side Refrigerator

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The freezer does not maintain its temperature periodically. It will go from 0 -70, melt everything and return to 0. started last week and happens about 24-36 hours apart. Repairman (long time sub zero expert) cannot figure it out. Checked all the diagnostics tests and everything proves to be ok. The refrigerator side is perfect. Help!

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  • kellers88 Jun 28, 2009

    Thank you for the quick response. Actually, the freezer was full of food when it started (never had a problem with the freezer for the 9 years we owned it.) After the first meltdown, we emptied the freezer, it did exactly the same thing empty. Tried removing the ice maker to see if that made a difference-none!

  • kellers88 Jun 29, 2009

    Thank you. I did notice that when I close the freezer door, I hear two loud swishing sounds, sounds like the compressor. Never heard those sounds before. Could it be the compressor?

  • kellers88 Jun 29, 2009

    Yes, it does has dual refrigeration systems. Door seems to be sealed properly. When the last melt down happened at 70 degrees, the surface where the door seal hits the freezer frame was incredibly hot to the touch. Almost like it was heating the freezer rather than cooling.



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Is the freezer side empty or nearly so? All modern frost-free units must go through a defrost cycle every 8-12 hours of accumulated running time. That figures out to every 20-40 hours in real life, and the box will be in defrost for maybe 15-30 minutes, depending on design. If the box is full of frozen food, the cycle goes unnoticed as you cannot freeze and thaw food that fast (the food actually keeps the compartment cold during the cycle). However, if the box is full of air, the temperature can change very rapidly. I suspect this to be your case. I am dumbfounded that your servicer didn't explain this to you.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jun 28, 2009

    You may have a failure of your defrost timer, with it getting stuck in defrost for longer than normal. That would stretch out the 15-30 minutes I indicated to a much longer timeframe.

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jun 29, 2009

    Compressor problems don't come and go. This is not likely to be a compressor problem. Is the door misaligned? not sealing consistently? Door misalignment is either worn or bent hinge, or unlevel surface where the box sits.
    When this thing thaws, any idea for how long it's in that condition at a time?

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jun 29, 2009

    Just how big is this box? I see other postings regarding this model, I get the feeling this has two complete, separate sealed systems Is that correct?

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jun 29, 2009

    The heater around the door prevents condensation, and subsequent mildew from forming on the door gasket. It accounts for the door seal area being 60-80 degrees hotter than the inside. Being that there's two independent systems, there's a separate thermostat for the freezer that could give trouble.

    This might be it.
    The defrost system also includes a thermo-disc type thermostat that is supposed to cut out when the evaporator reaches a given temperature. If it fails to open it will cause an uncontrolled high temperature. It is an inexpensive part and worth a try.


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Ok, if your defrost heater is open circuit, the unit will sit doing a 'natural' defrost until the temperture rises enough to allow the defrost ntc to sense defrost, hence the defrost times longer than normal.....

Posted on Aug 01, 2009


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