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Jan 142011

Sub Zero refrigerators have two separate compressors, one for the freezer and the other for the refrigerator.

Sub Zero Refrigerator no cool possibilities:

-Dirty/clogged condenser coil
-Defective condenser fan motor
-Defrost thermostat(Located on freezer evaporator)
-Leaking evaporator

Leaking evaporator job’s make up for most of our Sub Zero no cool complaints. Over time the evaporator will break down and the freon that is inside will slowly leak out. When this happens you may start to notice you have to turn the control colder and colder.

Another sign is if you notice frost in the upper left hand corner in the refrigerator. When freon leaks out it will create a frost ball on the capillary tube, in turn creating visible frost on the back panel of the refrigerator. This repair should only be done by a professional certified CFC technician. To handle freon you must be certified.

Sub Zero condenser fan motors will often fail, when doing so it will create a no cool condition. To verify the operation of the condenser fan motor remove the grill assembly.

There are several screws coming in from the bottom side of the of the grill once removed the grills top will pull forward and reveal two springs, remove the springs and grill will lift off. Certain Sub Zero refrigerator’s and freezer’s grill’s are removed¬† by lifting straight up on the panel, the bolt heads slide out of the metal bracket.

With the grill placed safely out of the way, you will see the fan motor in the middle up top. The fan is situated in the middle, this enables the fan to cool both the compressor and the condenser.

The fan should be running when ever the compressor is turned on, if the compressor is running so should the fan. If the comp is running and the fan is not you more than likely have a failed fan motor.

To verify this use a volt meter and test the two wires going to the condenser fan motor, there should be 110v present.

You may find the unit is defrost mode when you access through the panel, if this is the case you can simply advance the timer into cool mode. To do so twist the center part of the timer with a small screwdriver. The center will twist thus sending the refrigerator into cool mode. You should hear the compressors and fan in the freezer running when the unit enters cool mode, the condenser fan motor should also be running.

  27 Responses to “Sub Zero Refrigerator Not Cooling Fix”

  1. I have a sub-zero, the freezer section works fine. However, the refrigerator section is not operating, what do you think it wrong.

    • Hi,

      Sub Zero refrigerators have several common issues. It could be a thermostat issue or a sealed system issue. Both are very common on Sub Zero refrigerators. I would need a little more information to help you diagnose your sub zero. Is there frost on the back panel? Is the fan motor running inside the refrigerator? Is the fan by the compressor running? Are the door seals and center hot? Post back and I will assist you friend!

      • My subzero has really hot seals and the condenser fan is not running unless i give i a kick start with my finger. Could you help me as to what the problem is?

  2. I am having a similar problem, my model is sub-zero 511. The fridge section is not cooling and the freezer works great. I cleaned the condensor coils in the upper section (freezer got better, fridge got worse). There was frost on the back panel a month or so ago, lowr left corner of the fridge section (inside). All fans are working good and the door seal are not hot and appear to be sealing.

  3. Hi,

    Our sub zero is refrigerator is not cooling. The freezer is good. There is no frost in the refrigerator. I hear the fan and the temp is at a steady 52 degrees. What are your thoughts?

    • Kim
      Im having the same problem. Had repair men back and forth for 6 weeks now. Any suggestions?

      • My Sub Zero 611 fridge temp is high (44 – 50) and won’t cool. I cleaned the condenser and yet its still not going down. Freezer is fine and the fan is running.

  4. Hi,
    I have a Subzero 600 series fridge that is cooling down to 34 when running but does not cycle often enough to maintain the temperature. Thermostat set at 34, thermistors checked for resistance, both fans are working and coils are clean. No frost on back. Everything is removed from inside and coils are exposed when I checked the thermistors. Any ideas?

  5. Hi,

    I have a 632-0 made in 2002. Freezer is fine, refridgerator runs warm but erratic. Condensor is clean, fan is working. Evaporator fan works, but the evaporator coil freezes up in the upper left hand corner. If I defrost it, it will work for a day or two, then freeze up again. I just changed the evaporator thermistor. No change.




    • Gary,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. This normally means the refrigerator side has a freon leak. It’s actually really common on these units. When the evaporator leaks there isn’t enough freon to flow through the evaporator it only flows several inches. If the freon only flows several inches into the evaporator, it builds up ice there.

      I see this issue at least once a week. I can’t tell you how many of these evaporators I’ve had to replaced in the last 12 years. If you look closely at the top of the evaporator, you will most likely see small holes.

      If you are in the Portland metro area, I could come take a look at it for you.


      • Matt,

        Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, I live on Lond Island, in NY. I really appreciate the info though so I can stop pulling my hair out.


      • What is the cost roughly to replace the evaporator? I am debating getting a home warranty to cover this as my 700BR refuses to cool to less than 51 degrees now (and the fan is on constantly too). I live in the Seattle area.

        • The cost should be around $600-$800. Depends on when the unit was purchased. These units have a 6 year sealed system warranty and a 12 year sealed system part warranty.

  6. Another 532 not cooling. Hubby is checking to see if the fan is running, but the center part – where the doors come together is super hot. Is that an indicator of a specific issue for trouble shooting? Thanks.

    • Hi, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Yes, that means you have a bad condenser fan motor or the condenser is very dirty. You will need to remove the grill and check the fan and the coils. The most common issue is the fan. It fails often.

  7. Hi.
    Having the same type of problem as others with the refrig side not cooling on a 532. However, instead of an ice ball, I have a frost layer across the whole lower back panel. Exposed the evaporator, defrosted, but the cooling got no better after putting back together. Condenser is clean, fans all work, seems not hot. Perhaps the thermostat?
    Any direction appreciated. The local authorized SubZero repair won’t quote any repair costs or part cost over the phone. Want $95 to check out the system and will not apply to the repair cost

  8. Subzero 650 unit – vacuum condenser message keeps coming up even though the condenser has been vacuumed clean. The Freezer is not getting cold enough and has been hovering around 21 degrees. From time to time, it will get colder, but then warms up again.

  9. I have a sub zero model 650. The lighting in the fridge and freezer is not working and there is no power to the switches. At the same time, the fridge is not cooling. Could this be a control board problem because they both happened at the same time? or two coincidental problems?

  10. Please help! I have a sub 642 1997. The freezer works great and the fridge is not staying cold. Noticed it’s little colder on bottom. Cleaned out top inside grill and fan works when door is closed. We had an air condition guy put freon in with dye because he said it was low. However, now warm again and when I exposed the coils they were all frosted over and no signs of the red dye. I just want an idea of what this is and how much it will be because I don’t want to put too much money into it especially if the fridge is worth less than the repairs. Thanks!

  11. Matt, I have a Sub Zero 650. I noticed there was a EC code 50 so I cleaned the condenser which was very dirty. All temps were at set temps freezer 2. And fridge 36. The next day I noticed fridge at 48 and rising. Repair person came out diagnosed it as a compressor relay switch. $250 dollars and 16 hours leter the fridge temp is still at 57 degrees. I can fell compressor running but it’s only warm. Thoughts?

  12. i have a sub zero 561. refrigerator fan has no power.. fan switch and wiring is good. what else could it be

  13. I had an EC 50 message in my Sub-Zero 611 so I cleaned the condenser. The temp is running high and fluctuates between 43 – 50. The freezer is fine, the fan is running, and the door seal is tight. I don’t see any frost so I’m at a loss as to what the problem is. Any help is appreciated!

  14. I’ve got a subzero 561 model. The freezer side works ok. But the refrigerator side runs continuously and temperature is always too high. I can confirmThe condenser fan and the compressor is working properly. When it is hot in the room, I can feel the center wall that separate freezer and refrig side is hot. Any suggestion what might be the problem

  15. My condenser fan periodically stops (I can open the top grill and see that blades do not rotate).
    If I rotate them manually a few times, the fan starts working and works for a couple of days. Then it stops, and I had to repeat this manual start-up procedure.
    Recently even this did not help and the fan did not start at all. But after some time it did start by itself. Then it worked for a couple of days and stopped again.
    What might be the reason? My Sub-Zero model is 561 and it’s in operation for about 15 years.

  16. Hi Matt,

    I have a Subzero 650, fridge won’t hold temp, freezer is fine. Fridge has a ice ball at the evaporator feeds. Already replaced the thermistor (an error message) and the door gasket (overdue). If your Portland is Portland, Oregon, how can I contact you about a repair? I’ve already ordered the evaporator and dryer from Sub-zero. The quote I received from a local repair seemed quite high. ($800 labor, $450 parts).


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