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Appliance Medic
Appliance Medic, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 10831
Experience:  Factory Trained CFC Technician
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I have a 27 yr old sub zero 501r i recently bought. It worked

Customer Question

I have a 27 yr old sub zero 501r i recently bought. It worked well, then it heated up on the top shelf a bit. A technician came by and said replace the thermostat because the system didn't turn on when turned all the way up. He checked the freon and said it was okay. I replaced the thermostat. It worked for a while. Two days ago it started to heat up the top shelf again. I was gone all day yesterday. At night i put the gallon milk in the freezer. This morning it froze. I put it on the top shelf at 6 am and at 10 it was almost totally thawed. What could be my problem? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Hi, is the refrigerator compressor running?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, this is my first time. I thought this would happen quicker. I need help now. What can i do?
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Is the compressor and the fan next to it running?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not now.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
The compressor and fan should be running if it's not cold. Have you double checked the wire connections on the thermostat? One may be loose. The thermostat is what tells the compressor to start and stop.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The compressor and fan work sometimes and even blow down cool air. The top shelf is very warm and the others aren't.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the compressor should be running if the temp is not 38. You need to make sure the connections are good and the thermostat is good.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you familiar specifically with the 501R?
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Yes, single units. Compressor on bottom. I know them well.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would cause the top to heat up rapidly?
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
The fan not running, the light sticking on, low freon. Those are the things I would check.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The top fan runs. The light turns off when i push the button. The technician checked the freon. I am going to empty the fridge and look behind the panel. Are these symptoms possible from a problem with the overload protector or compressor starting relay?
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Is the fan by the compressor running? Is the compressor hot or cold? Is the compressor making any clicking or humming/buzzing type sounds? If so, the compressor may be locked up or the overload relay which is the start device could be bad.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The compressor isn't doing anything. It is very hot. I don't know what "normal" is.
WE are emptying the fridge.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Is the fan next to the compressor running when the compressor runs?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When it was last running this morning, the fan was running, but the compressor seemed "slow",
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The compressor is now running normally. The fan on bottom and on top are both running.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Unplug it or flip the breaker. Let the compressor cool down for about 5-10 minutes. Plug it back in and see if the compressor tries to start.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I opened the back. With the compressor running the coils had a little frost; what i would expect.When the door was open, the fridge tipped forward and water came out the bottom of the fridge (below the drawers). I turned off the fridge and waited 10 minutes. I turned the breaker back on and the compressor came right on.It is now blowing cool air down
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
When the compressor is running the coils should have 1/16 frost from top to bottom. Is the evaporator only partially covered in frost? The top left side? Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The evaporator is covered evenly in frost. The "curves" are covered the top 2/3s. The bottom 1/3 isn't.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a way to upload a picture of it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes. I will take a picture and get it on this computer.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is an overall shot. I have close ups if you need them.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
That actually looks decent. It should be all the way down. Once the panel was back in place and the door was shut it probably would be. So the issue has to be with the thermostat or possibly a bad start device or compressor. How long does the compressor run for before it kicks off?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think the compressor has been running since i turned it on 35-40 minutes ago. The thermostat came from sub zero but was exactly like the one i took out. About three weeks ago.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
So it hasn't cooled properly since you replaced the thermostat?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would say it has cooled properly.. Before we replaced the thermostat the problem was the top shelf would occasionally get very warm. The tech said replace the thermostat. I did. It worked and the top shelf got warm once and was fine for a few weeks. Then Wednesday the top shelf gets warm again. If i remember right, i had the thermo on 10 and pushed the fan button and it didn't come on. (i didn't check to see if the compressor was running.) I was gone all day Thursday/yesterday and it was warm when i got home. It was warm this morning when i contacted you. What is strange is the lower shelves stay cool.
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it sounds like an air flow issue for sure. Maybe the door is not shutting properly or a fan switch not working correctly every time. To me I would suspect the fan motor, the fan switch, door not shutting correctly. It has to be one of those. This is not an easy one I wish it was. We work on the honor system here at Just Answers. Were not credited for our work until you rate our answers positively. After you rate our answers positively the question does not close. You can come back and ask follow up questions for no additional charge. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does an air flow issue make the fridge ceiling warm?
Expert:  Appliance Medic replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it would. You either have a fan that's not coming on or the lights are coming on. Take the lights out run it for a couple days and eliminate the lights. We work on the honor system here at Just Answers. Were not credited for our work until you rate our answers positively. After you rate our answers positively the question does not close. You can come back and ask follow up questions for no additional charge. Thank you