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Justin, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 829
Experience:  Owner of Shaffer's Appliance Service
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Subzero 427RG. 2 compressors. Frige drawers working fine,

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Subzero 427RG. 2 compressors. Frige drawers working fine, 34degrees. Wine cabinet is not working. Reloaded yesterday with a heavy load and it did not cool down. This morning turned the wine compressor off, vacuumed the coils (minor dust). Powered on and heard the compressor kick in and started cooling. However now it has stopped cooling again. Any thoughts?

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is Justin. I will work hard to help you solve your problem, start to finish. As we move forward with your problem, please remember to provide positive feedback after you accept my answer. You will still receive additional assistance at NO EXTRA CHARGE should you require it. Now, let's get started shall we...

Is the wine cooler compressor running currently? If not, feel it briefly with the palm of your hand. Is it exceptionally hot?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was not running first thing this morning. I shut it off, then power cycled. It came on and ran. Right now it sounds like a motor is trying to start, then stops. Coming from front left bottom of unit. It is warm. Can hear the click of a motor relay, it makes a creaking sound, then cycles off. It keeps repeating every 15 seconds


Ok, is the condenser fan running down there? The sound you're hearing may be the compressor shutting off on overload. This can be caused by a failed relay, overload, or because the fan isn't running to cool the compartment down. Please verify the condenser fan is running for me if you can. Are you able to place your hand on that left compressor?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Fan running to the right constantly. Yes. Can touch it. It's very hot and that is what is making the noise.
Ok, it sounds like the relay and overload may need to be replaced on that compressor. The one thing you can try before purchasing parts is turn the unit off for a few hours. Place a box fan in front of that compressor and just let the air blow on it. The heat will dissipate from the compressor. Once it is cool to the touch, restart your unit. If it starts up ok, it may indicate a tight compressor rotor if it shuts down again. The fact that it did start, then stopped indicates one of two things. Either the compressor is locking up, or the relay and overload is weak and failing. Allowing it to cool down completely should indicate what needs done. If the compressor does not start when it is completely cooled off, I'd recommend purchasing the overload and relay. If it does start, then shuts down in a few hours or a day or so, that leads me to believe the compressor has a tight rotor and is locking up once it warms up due to running. Does this make sense so far....?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It does. If the compressor has a tight rotor, does that indicate that it needs to be replaced? And, if yes, that means digging into the sealed system including refridgerent which is out of my personal capability. The good news is that it is still within the sub zero 5-year sealed system warranty (however outside of the 2-year bumper to bumper). If I do as you suggest and it does not start up, I will replace the overload and relay as I believe that is not under warranty. If it does start and stops in a day or so, I can assume it's the compressor and call sub zero to come replace it for free. Does that seem lik a good plan to you? BTW, great help so far. Thanks.
Absolutely Tim, it's my pleasure to help. I will tell you this, Sub Zero is fantastic in their customer centricity. I am willing to bet, and almost with 100% certainty, that if you called them, even though you're outside your 2 year warranty, they'd probably honor the parts and labor even if it only was a relay and overload. The steps I provided you should help you determine which one it is for your own piece of mind, but I'm pretty sure they'll stand behind you. I worked closely with SZ and Wolf for many, many years. I know their goal is to satisfy their customers. Worst case scenario for you, if the compressor is just really hot and needs to cool down, you will provide the cooling period with the fan. A failure outside this period just means you probably have a tight rotor. As I stated though, if it doesn't start at all after the cool down, you can almost be certain the relay and overload needs replaced. It's not to say that the compressor didn't cause the relay failure, because that does happen when they get tight. I hope you do give SZ a call. Let them know you know it could be a relay, but ask them this one time to give you a free service call on it. I'm pretty sure they'll help you out. If you have any other questions, please ask... In the meantime, I feel satisfied I got you pointed in the right direction. I want to remind you, that after you have given me your rating, you may come back to this question, free of charge for as long as you like.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Subzero came out last week. They agree it is sealed system problem. He ran onboard diagnostics and could not get to the required temperature in 5 minutes. He did not have his gage set with him (really???). Another guy is coming back tomorrow morning to check pressure and die check for leaks. They suspect one of the evaporators in the cooler is bad. Will order the part and come back. They say it is a half day job. Lots to pull apart. I will update you once it is fixed for your own reference.


Leak is probably either in the evaporator or heat exchanger. Surprised he didn't have his gauges with him. Kind of strange, but keep me in the loop.