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Dave, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 297
Experience:  34 years experience as a repair technician
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I have a subzero 550. It had an ice build up on the left back

Customer Question

I have a subzero 550. It had an ice build up on the left back wall. First repairman said it was low on freon, same company sent another man to put in freon. When he got here he said it was a slow compressor and needed replaced. I called a friend who works on refrig but not subzero, he checked compressor and said it was fine. I called another company who works on subzero. The first man said it was the control switch. They sent another man to install. He refused to install it and said it was the coils in the back had pin head holes and was leaking freon. He replaced the coils. It still did not cool. We picked up the switch and installed it ourselves. It still does not cool. The evaporator fan does not come on when I open the door and press the knobs. I have spent over $700 so far and it is still not working. Any help you can be would be appreciated. I cannot afford a new subzero or a regular frig of any kind. Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Dave replied 8 years ago.
You probably do have a leak in the sealed system. If the fresh food compressor is running, the evap fan should turn on when you close the door. You should have 2 door switches, one each for lights and fan. Have you cleaned the condenser lately, and is the condensor fan running?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes condenser has been cleaned. When I open the door and turn off the switches the fan does not come on, nor was it running when I opened the door.
Expert:  Dave replied 8 years ago.
Is the compressor running?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Expert:  Dave replied 8 years ago.
Then the fan should be running. Usually an ice ball appears on the back left wall because of a leak in the system or a bad compressor. If this is unit uses R134A instead of R12, if it does have a leak in the evaporator, the compressor should also be changed. The oil in an R134A system absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. If a tech puts his gauge on the process tube on the compressor, it should show a high vacuum if the compressor was working low on coolant. The fresh food compartment relies on the above 32 degrees air circulating to defrost, not a heater. So when the system never stops running the ice ball forms where the cap tube comes into the evaporator.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The ball of ice was forming there but the coil was replaced. No one seems to be able to get the right part replaced. The parts so far replaced have been the coil where the ice was forming and the control kit for turning temp 1-10. The freon has been changed for this model and the new freon was put in the compressor. There is no ice forming since the part was replaced but the refrigerator still does not keep below 45. It started to for a few hours went down to 38 but did not stay there and has not gone down since. But since the evaporator fan only runs less than half the time could that motor or switch need to be replaced so it can circulate the air to keep the refrig cool. I just taped the switch to make sure it stays running. I will see if that cools the refrig down.

Expert:  Dave replied 8 years ago.
You would have to check to see if there is a good frost pattern on the evaporator to see if the sealed system is running properly. But if that fan is not running it won't cool properly.