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Randy 43
Randy 43, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3279
Experience:  20 yrs experience 18 in home,gas license , refrigeration expert
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The freezer defrost termination switch was blowing the main

Resolved Question:

The freezer defrost termination switch was blowing the main breaker in my sub zero 690. I noticed a pinhole in the switch and replaced it. Before I realized that I had a pinhole in the evaporator line matching the pinhole in the defrost termination switch I lost a lot of freon. I patched the leak but now the freezer does not come on. A repairman came out today and claimed that the entire system needs to be replaced under warranty and it will only cost me $1500. He claimed that my system control board was okay but there was only 10 lbs of pressure and it requires 16. The refrigerator side works fine.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Randy 43 replied 1 year ago.

Randy 43 :

Hello, so only the evaporator line only has a leak? compressor and the suction line are ok? how did you patch the hole? and was it leaking for a long time ? thx randy

Customer:

leaked for about 24 hours; that is the only leak I'm certain

Customer:

patched it with JB weld putty

Randy 43 :

what was used to patch the evaporator?if it had a hole just about alll the freon wouldve leaked out pretty quick

Randy 43 :

sorry ,you beat me to the punch there

Customer:

it was a pin hole and when I noticed it the next day I could still feel freon leaking out; i think the terminator switch was actually patching it.

Randy 43 :

parts should be under 12 yr warranty , he is charging you $1500 for labour?

Customer:

yeah, he wants to replace everythiing and told my that since the pin hole had been patched with putty he couldn't repair it

Customer:

this is the only factory authorized service center in the SF bay area

Randy 43 :

how old is the fridge again?

Customer:

11 years

Customer:

isnt' it weird that the freon would punch a hole in the evaporator line as well as the defrost terminator switch; am I misinterpreting what happened?

Randy 43 :

that seems a bit excessive ? the compressor should be ok if it only leaked for that short of time ..changing the freezer evaporator and suction line isnt fun and could take 3-5 hours , i would think the labour for something like that would be half the cost ? ive done it and was in and out in 3 plus hours ..charged $600 labour , I would call Sub Zero and see if they are willing to do something as far as the labour goes , they are pretty reasonable , they may give a concession for 50% labour or more ..but i think that quote is definately on the high side

Customer:

Can't the pinhole be patched? What caused it?

Randy 43 :

it wouldnt be the freon that pinched the hole ,it wouldve been the electricity that runs through the defrost thermostat

Customer:

is that common?

Randy 43 :

shorting against the metal, no very uncommon

Customer:

so now that I have a working switch why won't the freezer restart?

Randy 43 :

if you are sure the evaporator is sealed completely .you can get a local guy to just recharge the system. but he will leak test the system

Randy 43 :

it will be a vacuum of the system and recharge

Customer:

can the pinhole be sealed with solder or something more permanent/reliable than the putty?

Randy 43 :

yes, all the copper connections but the evaporator is aluminum , that is why they want to change it

Randy 43 :

hard to get aluminum to seal ,torch too hot it `will just melt

Randy 43 :

only the ends are copper

Customer:

you know I might not have explained it quite right; the line with the pinhole is copper and feeds directly into the evaporator that is next to the icemaker ...

Customer:

maybe evaporator isn't right ... condenser???

Randy 43 :

the control bulb will still damage the evaporator , the evaporator is in the freezer section , the condenser is the coil up top where the compressors are ,and a fan in front of it

Customer:

okay so the pinhole is definitely in copper

Randy 43 :

yes if it is in copper and you have enough room to weld it in place with proper protection and the hole is not excessive . a small dab of silver solder will fix it , all depends on room and confidence of the person doing the welding

Randy 43 :

it is generally tight in that area with little room

Customer:

so any good refrigeration guy can recharge the system and then if there are no leaks it should start to cool again? Does 10lbs of pressure mean that it can't cool and so the compressor doesn't run?

Customer:

compressor was working fine before the switch shorted out

Randy 43 :

if it doesnt have enough freon it wouldnt cool ,even if compressor runs

Randy 43 :

and yes if you get any guy to repair the weld then it wouldnt require any warranty parts

Customer:

right but compressor isn't trying to run since I replaced the switch; does that indicate something else is wrong?

Randy 43 :

it would still need the system vaccuumed and recharged and possibly a filter drier changed

Customer:

what should that cost?

Randy 43 :

if compressor doesnt run it may have blown the overlaod on the compressor ,it protects the compressor

Randy 43 :

$200-$400

Randy 43 :

approx

Customer:

okay thanks; any recommendations in the san jose, ca area?

Customer:

where is the compressor overload switch located? is it resettable? replaceable?

Randy 43 :

sorry not off hand , but i would call subzero customer service there may be another servicer in the area? and see if they are willing to do something for you on the costs

Randy 43 :

replaceable , it is in the electrical box that attaches to the compressor

Randy 43 :

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Randy 43 :

you can check it for continuity if you have a meter?

Customer:

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX one of the things I unplugged to see what was causing the breaker to open. ill check to see if I left a lead off; yea I have a meter; how do i check it?

Randy 43 :

\one terminal on the terminal and the other terminal on the other side pin hole connector ,it should have continuity

Randy 43 :

test lead sorry

Randy 43 :

test lead on terminal other test lead in the hole connector

Customer:

so it is a break once?

Randy 43 :

yes, if it goes it wont reset ?if there was a short it probably blew

Customer:

okay, thanks Randy 43; you've been very helpful

Randy 43 :

no problem good luck,let me know if i can help you further

Randy 43, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3279
Experience: 20 yrs experience 18 in home,gas license , refrigeration expert
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