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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
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Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Our refrigerator vacuum condenser light is flashing. Sub Zero

Resolved Question:

Our refrigerator vacuum condenser light is flashing. Sub Zero 642. I know you have addressed this issue before. I would like information on how to fix so I can print it out for my son. I now we need to check to see if the fan is running. I think I read the coils should be cleaned. If condenser needs replaced, can we order it on-line? I would appreciate a step by step instruction on how to fix, if not too much trouble. Thank you so much for your site, your time and your help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 5 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

So I will tell you in advance "vacuum condenser light" doesn't mean it's going to be an easy fix. What this means is that the compressor has ran for more than 24 hours and hasn't reached the proper temperature inside the refrigerator. That being said, condenser coils that are dirty and the fan not running can definitely cause this problem and are the first things to check. With this 642 model of Sub Zero, a much more common issue is that the evaporator coil developes a leak and freon is leaking out causing the unit to warm up slowly. For that issue, you will need to call a technician---that is not something you can fix yourself.

As for checking the fan and cleaning the coils, just get a step stool out and remove the panel above the doors on your refrigerator so you have access to the compressor compartment. Look for the fan and listen to make sure the fan is running. If so, then you need to clean the condenser coils which look like silver fins in rows to the side of the condenser fan motor. There is a brush designed to clean out these coils called a "condenser coil brush" which you can pick up at Home Depot and Lowes. Clean the coils and then use a vacuum to clean up all the dust.

If the error still won't go away after 24 hours, then you need to call a technician to check the freon issue.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What about a bad condensor, Or isn't that possible. I read a situation like this on a forum and they said the compressor or condensor could be bad (not I can't remember which they said) and that it could be replaced fairly easily.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 5 years ago.
It's possible but really not likely and a compressor is something you'd need a technician to replace---it's a $1500 repair for these units. Anyone who said it was easy on the internet was completely wrong. To top it off, you must have a license to work on the freon system and replace the compressor.

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