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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 9619
Experience:  30 years repairing appliances
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I have a sub-zero model 211 RFD and just recently replaced

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I have a sub-zero model 211 RFD and just recently replaced the compressor and fan since the freezer would not get cold enough. This is the second compressor in 26 years of use. I realize that the unit has a defrost cycle but wonder what temperature range the freezer goes through throughout the day and night. Sometimes when I get up early in the morning the temperature in the freezer is 32 degrees and then it gradually drops down to 0 to 10 degrees. I have the cold control set at about 4.75 since a setting of 5 caused the fresh food part of the refrigerator to be too cold causing milk, for example , to start to freeze. I have not had the cold control replaced as far as I can remember. Does the above temperature fluctuation seem normal for this older model?

The Home Smithy :

Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. If the answer I provide for you is helpful, please click 'ACCEPT'. I won't be paid if you don't. Thank you.

The Home Smithy :

If the unit is maintaining a temperature of 32* or cooler then the unit is operating as it should. If the unit is getting to 0* and then going up to 32* then that is a considerable temperature rise and you may have a defrost system that is staying on too long.

The Home Smithy :

This is of course taking into consideration that 32* is the actual reading on a thermometer and not considering 32* as freezing temperature.

The Home Smithy :

e.g; 0*= freezing

Customer:

How do you fix the defrost system staying on too long? I have the thermometer in the freezer section to monitor temperatures in it. Is the cold control functioning properly?

The Home Smithy :

The defrost system has a few componants that may cause this problem. It depends on whether you have an old type defrost timer (most likely in your case) or an adaptive defrost system. If there is a defrost timer then replaceing it would solve the problem. If it is an adaptive system then testing of the system will be required.

The Home Smithy :

the cold controls, from what you describe seem to be functioning properly as the unit is cooling down to freezing after it warms up.

Customer:

To summarize , it sounds like the cold control is working okay but a defrost timer may be allowing the defrost temperature to go too high thus causing things like frozen bread in the freezer to start to thaw. The technician has not mentioned a defrost timer so I don't know where it is located on this model.

The Home Smithy :

Ok after looking this up your unit has a defrost terminator switch that is the most likely problem. I would go ahead and change out the timer as well as they both seem to go out within a short time of each other.

The Home Smithy :

The terminator switch is located on the evaporator coil. Exactly where Im not sure. I cant bring up a diagram of your particular model.

Customer:

This is a built in refrigerator with the compressor on top of the machine and the evap part near the floor I believe.

The Home Smithy :

Please stand by. Im trying to locate the parts for you.

The Home Smithy :

Still looking please stand by

The Home Smithy :

Ok I have the model. Looking up the information now.

The Home Smithy :

Ok unfortunatly the parts are not available on line. You will have to go to SubZero directly (or your local appliance parts store) and get the parts from them. Sorry.

Customer:

Okay this is helpful information to deal with the appliance repair company. It does make sense and i wonder if I really needed a new compressor but that is behind me now. Thanks for your detailed help.

The Home Smithy :

You are most welcome.

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