Question about Sub-Zero Refrigerators

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Sub zero sxs refer modle 532

There is frost buillding up just below the halfway point in the fresh food section starting from the center going to the right. the fresh food section is not cooloing properly. What could the problem be?

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A refrigerator or freezer that is cooling, but cooling poorly, may have a problem in one of several areas:

Evaporator coils
Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt.

Evaporator coils Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

  • The defrost timer

  • The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)

  • The defrost heater

If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem

Condenser Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush (see the Appliance Accessories section) and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator.

Posted on May 14, 2008

  • Swilin Sampson
    Swilin Sampson May 14, 2008

    This could also be due to a problem with the air baffle unit, or the evaporator
    fan, wherein cold air from the freezer does not get directed into the
    fridge section. Could even be a bad door switch preventing the fan
    motor from running.
    If you find that the freezer is not cooling as well, it could indicate a problem with the compressor.

    any case, I would recommend you contacting a professional to service
    this. If it is under warranty, then best contact the manufacturer or the
    point of purchase.

    Hope that helps! Should you have any further questions,
    please feel free to post them here.


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The problem is with the damper door.Please check that it is not cracked.

Posted on May 14, 2008

  • Priya darshan May 14, 2008

    I am really sorry please ignore my first post as it was for my another client.

    Ok now coming to your problem:

    1. You need to use thermometers. Test the freezer temp for a while. Then the refrigerator compartment for a while.

    2. Does the compressor run AND also the evaporator fan run (the later
    of which is located in the back wall of the freezer compartment)? They
    should be.

    3. Do you see any water down in your drip pan that should be either
    located under your refrigerator (accessible by removing the grill at
    the bottom front of the refrigerator, which just snap off and back on),
    or ontop the compressor at the back? If there is no water at all, based
    on your symptoms, you could have a case of frozen defrost water at the
    cup that allows this drainage to go through the cup and then tube, back
    of the refrigerator and down a tube into the drip pan. Check for ice in
    and around that cup which is located at the top rear of the
    refrigerator compartment. If that is clogged, chances are ice has
    formed, blocking where freezer air gets into the refrigerator
    compartment at the upper rear of the refrigerator compartment.

    If this is what has been going on, what I do is...first unplug the
    refrigerator...then take food out of the freezer and put it in the
    kitchen sink basins and blanket or towel over it to keep it froze. I
    also move out of the refrigerator compartment the food most likely to
    spoil quick... like the milk, and some other stuff, and to clear away
    stuff in the area of the defrost drain cup. Then I use a hair dryer to
    thaw for a bit back at that cup. Then when I can tell that the cup is
    thawed...then I pry off the flexible rubber or plastic cup and then use
    a piece of tubing I carry with me, and put the tubing (you can buy this
    at home centers, hardware stores and auto stores) and jamb it in the
    defrost drain tube hole and blow and see if you are able to blow out
    any gook (if your tube is a little ill-fitting you may have to wad a
    rag or toweling aroudn your inserted tube to get a better seal when you
    blow). When you know you are able to blow through the line and see
    evidence of it in the drip pan below, then you can replace the drain
    cup. You may also be able to do this job from reverse by simply
    removing the drain tube from below, where it sets in (just above,
    actually) the drip pan below, and then blow *up* the drain tube. After
    doing this, knowing the tube and cup are clear...Then place the
    hairdryer in the freezer compartment...shutting the door on the cord,
    and let it run inside to defrost the refrigerator. Then the thawing ice
    from the evaporator coils and maybe around the fan will thaw and run
    out into the cup and down the tube into the drip pan. Look to see,
    after you have been defrosting for say 15 minutes, to see if you are
    getting lots of water to now thaw and drain into the drip pan below. If
    you see such evidence, then you will know that this was what your
    trouble was all about.




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