subzero refrigerator misbehaving

Old 07-06-06, 06:22 PM
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subzero refrigerator misbehaving

My 16 year-old model 511 fridge (30") recently started collecting water under the hydrator bins and then formed a patch of ice on the back wall of the fridge about halfway from the top of the fridge compartment.

I have not been home for the past few weeks due to home renovation work being done. Fridge has been opened minimally. It is quite hot in the residence (sunny top-floor apartment) with no air conditioning running.

Anyway two days ago I checked the thermometers I keep in the fridge and freezer. The freezer was fine, right around zero; but the fridge was reading close to 50 degrees.

I had someone look at it and there is a suggestion that I might need a new compressor, to the tune of $1,000! But then I have also been told it could just be a clogged drain line.

Any ideas for troubleshooting?
Old 07-06-06, 06:26 PM
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Your evaporator fan is likely shot. As a result the freezer (evaporator coils) are iced over and preventing any cold air from reaching the refrigerator.

Or, it could be as simple as your defrost timer malfunctioning. But, I favor the fan theory. When you open the freezer your should hear the evaporator fan running when the unit is cooling. If you do not, look behind the back panel of the freezer. Sometimes it is just a matter of the fan blades have worked their way down the shaft and are in a bind (if it is a fan that just slides on the shaft.)
Old 07-07-06, 03:06 PM
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It is not your compressor because your freezer is getting cold. Nothign would get cold, or cold enough, if the compressor was at fault. Who told you this?

A refrigerator works like this: When the refrigerator thermostat, located in the ceiling of the refrigerator compartment, calls for cold, the compressor runs and the refrigerant goes through coils hiding behind the liner of your freezer compartment. Then the evaporator fan that was spoke of blows it both out into the freezer compartment and also baffles it down into the refrigerator compartment where the thermostat is.

So obviously, for one reason or another, the air is not getting blown out of the freezer down into the refrigerator. Look for the mentioned fan problem or possibly ice blocking the pathway within or below the baffle leading down into the fridge compartment.
Old 07-09-06, 09:32 AM
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sub=zero freeze-up

Appreciate the input. Sub-zeros have two compressors, one for freezer and one for fridge, or so I was told so some observations don't pertain. But I like the sound of the evaporator fan theory. It's definitely not the defrost timer.

Being unhandy, I will have to get someone in to do the work, but it would make me more comfortable to have a handle on what may be wrong so that I don't get completely ripped off
Old 10-17-06, 10:15 PM
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I have the exact same problem with the subzero 511.

I'm usually chipping away ice blocks at the back of the fridge by the drain.

Did you manage to replace the fan? Is everything working now? I'd like to be able to repair the job since the water on the floor has been eating away at the wooden panelling that the subzero is encased into

Please let me know if you're still having problems or if you managed to get it working again with no problems.


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