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Old 12-10-2016, 11:31 AM   #16
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


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Originally Posted by hardwareman View Post
I never suggested you screw with the sealed system, I simply pointed out that you can get a good idea of your charge by feeling the suction line
I was trying to agree with you because you had a good suggestion.

Here is what I still don't understand. The compressor and sealed system must be fairly good since the unit will cool down to the proper temps. The unit does not go over 47 deg on the high end. So it seems to me that the thermostat is also working properly on the high and low end but maybe not in the middle temps. Although I did notice that you can adjust min and max pot on the back of the thermostat.

The compressor is stopping above the min temp called for by the thermostat. Only three reasons I can think for that.....one the defrost cycle kicks in or two, the thermal switch on the compressor opens so that a compressor cool down is accomplished or three, the thermostat stopped the call for cooling for some reason.

So my only conclusion is that the cooling capacity of the system is somewhat diminished because it takes too long to get to temp. A few things could cause that:

1. An undercharged system
2. A weakened compressor
3. Blocked condenser coils
4. Condenser fan not working properly or just dirty
5. Door gaskets not sealing properly
6. The insulation around the unit is compromised...wet, iced up or fallen down.
7. The thermostat is compromised by touching metal, icing up or just not operating correctly.

Any feedback is welcomed and thanks for your help.

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Old 12-10-2016, 11:36 AM   #17
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Easy to tell if it's the thermostat. Just do like I suggested above. When compressor cycles off and it's still warm check for power to compressor. If it had power you most likely have a sealed system issue. If it doesn't have power then either it's your thermostat or defrost timer is sticking.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:37 AM   #18
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Also could be a defrost control stat that is bad. But verify if it has power to compressor first and we can guide you from there.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:30 PM   #19
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


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Originally Posted by BayouRunner View Post
Also could be a defrost control stat that is bad. But verify if it has power to compressor first and we can guide you from there.
I have replaced both the defrost timer and the defrost thermostat.....but that does not mean the new parts are working correctly. I believe I can tell if the defrost cycle is not operating properly by looking at the electrical use of the unit. There are three fans, a compressor and three lights that consume power beside the defrost heating element. They all use power at different levels and at different times but my CT clamp on the circuit should help me decipher what is going on and when. I'll have a closer look.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:23 PM   #20
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Well then if it's still the same problem I would not worry about the defrost timer or stat. It could be the thermostat but they have gas in them and when they leak the temp goes up. I don't think it would go down to zero then to 45. But you will have to test to figure it out. I wouldn't buy parts and change them. Another scenario is the unit is slightly low on refrigerant and the ice is building up around the top of the coil and not freezing at the bottom. Then it builds up ice around the defrost stat and when the defrost cycle kicks in the unit does not go out of the defrost cycle and the unit gets real warm until the timer starts back up. Some of those old sub zeros don't have a defrost heater so I can't say for sure what you have. They just blow the fan across the coil to thaw the unit.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:24 PM   #21
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


OK guys I think I know what is going on with this SubZero 35 year old senior refer/freezer.

The compressor will run for hours and slowly cool the freezer and refer. During that time if the defrost system kicks in then the refrigeration process will stop and the box both freezer and refer will warm up until the timer resets. Then the compressor will again try to cool to the low temp set point.

So not only is the defrost system adding heat to the system but any door activity will aggravate the warming process.

The sealed system has just enough refrigerant to keep this cycle going. So the compressor is running overtime just to keep up....sometimes it is not enough and the whole box heats up.

I have used a IR gun to determine the compressor temp...around 145 F so the compressor is not shutting down on high temp. It is just running inefficient because of low gas.

I'm going to add some more Hot Shot 2 to this system. Around 1 to 2 oz to the 14 oz system.....will let you know if that is the fix.

Thanks everyone for your input especially BayouRunner.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:42 PM   #22
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Finally found the problem.......light in the freezer stayed on 24/7 due to defective door switch. Light was injecting heat into the system causing large temp swings and long cooling cycles.

I wasted a lot of energy in the last two years because of this problem, but the sealed system on this SubZero keeps chugging along.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:08 AM   #23
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Even with the door switch fixed, you could probably also consider changing your fridge/freezer bulbs to LED.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:34 PM   #24
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


OK guys....all you DIY'ers and maybe some of you appliance repair techs will appreciate this.

If you have read through this tread you realize that I have been trying to repair a 37 year old SubZero built in refrig 211RFD. For the last 2 1/2 years I have been battling a large temp variation in the unit. I replace just about every part available but no improvement. I researched every possible explanation for this temp swing.

As I explained a few posts above the problem was a 40 watt appliance bulb being on 24/7 in the freezer unit. I thought initially the problem was the switch and I blamed the switch. But after replacing the switch, I tested the switch and found it to be functioning fine.

The real culprit was the the 2" x 2" small metal plate that pushed the switches in when the freezer door was closed. Yes, the fix was only to bend the metal plate a small amount toward the freezer compartment. Somehow the plate was bent ever so slightly backward so that the plate did not push in the switches enough.

I'm just posting this to close the loop. The solution was to bend a metal plate approximately 1/4".
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:56 PM   #25
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


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Originally Posted by Druidia View Post
Even with the door switch fixed, you could probably also consider changing your fridge/freezer bulbs to LED.
Took your advice and replaced all the appliance bulbs in my SubZero and also in my bulk freezer.

Used these parts:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks for your suggestion. Better lighting and 10 times less power and heat. (4 watts vs 40 watts)

Just a follow up on my 37 year old SubZero.....it is running like a brand new machine. Of course I've replaced about every moving part and a lot of the non-moving parts.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #26
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanS26 View Post
Took your advice and replaced all the appliance bulbs in my SubZero and also in my bulk freezer.

Used these parts:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks for your suggestion. Better lighting and 10 times less power and heat. (4 watts vs 40 watts)

Just a follow up on my 37 year old SubZero.....it is running like a brand new machine. Of course I've replaced about every moving part and a lot of the non-moving parts.
Just curious about your bulb base size since you show a link to an adaptor which looks like your subzero takes a medium base and you're adapting it down to fit the smaller E17 LED base. Is that correct? I thought your SubZero took the E17 base bulbs, but it's been awhile since I looked.

If you do have medium base bulbs, I've been using the GE LED Light Stick bulbs in my refrigerator for over a year. It's not a SubZero and I had to cut down the lens so it would fit. Your SubZero has more room for the bulbs.

Home Depot (in store) is closing out on them at the moment for $2 a three pack.

https://www.amazon.com/GE-Lighting-3...Ge+light+stick
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:44 PM   #27
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Re: SubZero 211RFD Temperature Variation


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Originally Posted by Koa View Post
Just curious about your bulb base size since you show a link to an adaptor which looks like your subzero takes a medium base and you're adapting it down to fit the smaller E17 LED base. Is that correct? I thought your SubZero took the E17 base bulbs, but it's been awhile since I looked.

If you do have medium base bulbs, I've been using the GE LED Light Stick bulbs in my refrigerator for over a year. It's not a SubZero and I had to cut down the lens so it would fit. Your SubZero has more room for the bulbs.

Home Depot (in store) is closing out on them at the moment for $2 a three pack.

https://www.amazon.com/GE-Lighting-3...Ge+light+stick
Yes, this older SubZero uses the standard base. I probably should have gone with the bulbs you recommended, but done is done and these small 4W LED's seem to put out enough light in this smaller unit.

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