Sub Zero 561 not cooling

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Old 10-05-14, 12:45 PM
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Sub Zero 561 not cooling

Hi,
I'm having problems with a sub zero 561.

On the fridge side, it's not cooling very well. I exposed the evaporator coils and only the top 1" of a 12" tall coil are showing any frost. This is after running it for about an hour. Internet wisdom (oxymoron) suggests that it's a sealed system failure. I've located a new coil, but wonder how much R-12 this system takes?

After seeing that the fridge isn't cooling well, I turned the fridge control off.

On the freezer side, it does seem to be cooling well, but the control doesn't have any noticeable effect of temp. I can turn the control up or down, without any relative change in temperature. The unit will operate between 10* -20*, and it seems like the change is based on how long it runs with the door closed. The unit also doesn't have any food in it to help maintain temperature. The odd part is that I had the unit running yesterday for about 12 hours and the compressor, condenser fan and freezer fan all ran continuously. Last night before I went to bed, I turned the freezer control off, and the condenser fan continued to run until I unplugged it 4 hours later. I have not looked at the evap coils for the freezer. I can advance the defrost timer, and the compressor will stop running.

Also, both compressors are hot to the touch after running for an hour or so.

I appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks,
Don
 
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Old 10-05-14, 01:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It certainly sounds like you have a leaking sealed system. The 561 was known for leaking evaporator coils on the fridge side. You may also have a defective freezer thermostat. Those compressors will run hot.

Early model 561's used 7-8 ozs of R-12. Later model 561's used 7 ozs of R-134A. That's about all the info I can give you on the charge as we don't discuss the details of charging a sealed system.

The following link may be of some use to you as there is very little online info available for Sub-Zero.

appliance911seabreeze_Sub-Zero_Built-in_500_Series_Service_Manual.pdf
 
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Old 10-05-14, 06:25 PM
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Thanks, the reference material helps a lot. In looking at the specs for the freezer control, it shows that the cut in is -1.5*, and cut out is -8.5*. Since it's never getting to -8.5*, it's never cutting out or shutting off. Is that correct. I guess the way to check it is maybe add some frozen mass to the freezer, and see if it gets to -8.5*. Does that make sense?
 
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Old 10-05-14, 06:37 PM
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I don't think adding mass will help as that would be something that would have to be additionally cooled. The freezer should be able to reach temp empty.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 12:18 PM
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Hi,
Sorry for the delay in responding. After watching the freezer temps for a few days now, I've seen in get down to -12. The only time the compressor stopped running was when the defrost cycle kicked in. Given that the fridge got below the -8 cutoff point, I'm questioning if the freezer control is working properly.
Another question,
When I got the unit, the previous owner told me it was leaking water into the pan. I hadn't seen that until today. Up to this point, the evap coils have maintained frost the whole time (albeit only covering about 25% of the coil). Today I open the fridge side up, and there's no frost, and it's complete with a puddle in the pan. Since there's no defrost cycle in the fridge, I bypass the temp control, and I've got frost again. Wouldn't this suggest that the control is bad? Could it be anything else, like low refrigerant that would cause it?

I had a question about refrigerant, but I won't ask it given your last statement. I will ask if a refrigerant system is still considered sealed when the factory provides access ports? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, just curious.

Thanks,
Don
 
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Old 10-08-14, 12:31 PM
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Whether or not there are service fittings..... that's considered the "sealed" system. The sealed system is the condensor coil, evaporator coil, compressor and any filters. We don't discuss the pressure readings involved with the charging process.

The evaporator coil should frost over evenly. If only a quarter of the coil is frosted.... the charge is low.
 
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