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Appliance Guru
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My Sub Zero 550 is not cooling properly and hovers around 40

Customer Question

My Sub Zero 550 is not cooling properly and hovers around 40 degrees while the freezer seems fine. I've cleaned the condenser and even removed the fan to vacuum it on the inside (cleaning the fan blades too). I also made sure the tiny metal louvers on the condenser are straighten. I have no idea how long a Freon charge lasts but I've lived here for 8 years. When I cleaned it, I turned the unit off then turned it back on after about 20 minutes. I turned it back on and could hear the unit cooling again. It went from 60 degrees back down to 40 in about 15 minutes but hasn't gotten colder than 39 over night. I need information on how to fix it, not just the name of the part that could be bad. I'm also ok to do more tests.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

Hi, My name is ***** ***** I'm going to do everything in my power to answer your question to your full satisfaction!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ezekiel.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The fan is running above and the grill is feeling pretty warm but I recall that being similar to when the unit was working ok.
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

Hello so the freezer is that ok but the fridge side is at 40 and wont go any lower is that correct

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Freezer reads 0 degrees as set and the ice is solid and dry.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
still there?
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

ok its very common that on subzero if its a 40 then its low on Freon but if they keep recharging it. then your leak is in the evaporator

Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

very common because its a sealed system

Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

to fix this you will need to have the fridge side evaporator replaced

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have not charged it yet.
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

that is where your at now ive replaced many it will fix this problem

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have not tried to recharge it. How long does a charge last?
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

if you ever have to charge it its a sealed system a full charge depending on the size of the leak can last 1 week 6 months there is no time frame

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, I mean how long does the freon last (when there is no leak).
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

99 percent of the time its in the evaporator it has a plastic coating on it and over time

Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

when there is no leak 10 15 plus years

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I lived here for 8 years and have no idea on when it was charged. The 550 is an older model. Do you recommend adding more freon?
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

yes definitely worth a Freon charge at least twice to keep it going as long as possible

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
What product (kit) can I use to charge it?
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

you will need some refrigeration gauges and know how to read them as well as some Freon 134a it takes 10 onces of freon

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Like this one?https://www.amazon.com/Interdynamics-322-2PK-Sub-Zero-Re-Chill-Refrigerant/dp/B00081170I
Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

that gauge is for automobile ac units not refrigerators the can can be used

Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

please rate me high as that's how the site pays me thanks

Expert:  Ezekiel replied 7 months ago.

are you there please

Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 7 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using this service! If you are a JA Member I would like to personally thank you and welcome you back! I am Appliance Guru an extremely experienced tech on the site and I try to get to as many customers as I can. NOTE it takes time for me to type research and add links so please wait for me to respond back I can only do this so fast. Secondly, I do not know your skill level so please try and let me know if I am going beyond your knowledge or comfort zone thanks! I strive for a 5 star rating from everyone especially our JA members.

Answer:

You should remove the rear panel to expose the evaporator to check the frost pattern on it to see what exactly is going on with it. If you remove the light cover you will see 3 screws along the top edge of the back panel. Remove all the shelving and then pull the rear panel towards you and lift it up and out. See if the evaporator looks like this.

CLICK HERE

If it looks like that then you may have a low freon condition. If it does not then get back to me. If it does you can then see if your 550 has a charge valve for the small compressor on the charge port, if so you can get the unit recharged. Note get a tech out to do it as you could do more damage than good and be totally out of luck trying to charge this system. It is not worth ruining a refrigerator that will cost you 9,000 dollars to replace.

All I ask is please use the Star Rating Link at the top of your page before leaving, that is the only way I am paid anything through the site and that will also get you a DIRECT LINK emailed to you to get back to me!.....tips are greatly appreciated so thank you very much for using this service. If you have any other questions just post back to me here anytime!