Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor [Problems Solved]

Have you noticed any faults on your Sub-Zero refrigerator compressor? Do you want DIY tips to fix it? This article is for you.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor
Photo Credit: Kowloonese, (under license)

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor Running All the Time – What to Do

If your Sub-Zero refrigerator compressor is running non-stop, here are things you should check:

1. Ambient Temperature

Check the surrounding temperature of the room where you place the appliance. Ensure the temperature of the room is not hot. Also, reposition the refrigerator away from direct sunlight or any other source of heat.

When the refrigerator is in the path of direct sunlight, the compressor will run non-stop. The same applies when a radiator or a cooker is too close to it. The reason is to stabilize the internal temperature of the appliance.

Additionally, the compressor typically runs continuously in warmer months. However, you can help prevent that by placing your refrigerator in a colder room.

2. Refrigerator Usage

Check how often you open the refrigerator. If you open it frequently, warm air will seep into it and increase the temperature as well as moisture inside. Consequently, the compressor will run all the time to stabilize internal temperature.

3. Food Storage

Do not load hot food inside the refrigerator. If you do, the compressor will have to work twice as hard to cool the food. So, leave the food out to cool before packing it into the refrigerator.

Furthermore, if you overload the refrigerator, air will circulate poorly and cause the compressor to run constantly.

Likewise, when you underload the refrigerator, the compressor will run more than it requires. The essence is to stabilize the internal temperature of the refrigerator.

It is ideal to load your refrigerator up to 25% to 75% full.

4. Leaky Gasket

A leaky or weak gasket has the same effect on the refrigerator as opening the door frequently. It allows warm air into the refrigerator, causing more moisture and making the compressor work more.

Therefore, to avoid that, change the gasket once it is weak or has any cracks. In addition, clean the gasket regularly. If there is dirt on it, the door will not seal properly, causing high temperature and moisture buildup.

5. Dirty Coils

Check the coils next to the compressor. If they are dirty, use a refrigerator coil cleaning brush or vacuum cleaner with a soft brush to clean them. If the dirt is sticky, you may need to add warm soapy water to the cleaning tools.

The coils won’t be able to work efficiently when dirty, leaving the compressor to do the bulk of the work. That translates to the compressor running non-stop.

Note that you only clean the part of the coils that do not have electrical connections.

6. Defrost System

Check the defrost system for faults. If any component of the system is faulty, it will affect the running of the compressor. The defrost system consists of the defrost timer, defrost heater, defrost thermostat, and defrost control board.

A defective part of the defrost system may be the reason the compressor is running non-stop. If this is so, let a service technician examine and fix the fault. Alternatively, if you trust your DIY skills, save the cost and do it yourself.

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How to Remove Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor Cover – Quick Guide

To remove the cover of the Sub-Zero compressor easily, follow the steps below:

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Step One

Unplug the refrigerator from the power source to ensure your safety from electric shock or electrocution.

Step Two

Tip the front grille forward, remove the springs behind it, and pull the grille off. If the grille will not come off, check underneath it, and unthread the screws there.

However, for some models, you may not be able to pull off the springs from the grille easily. In such a case, check the front part of the grille. You will see the spring cover. Pull the springs off from there.

Step Three

After removing the front grille, you will see the metal cover barring your access to the compressor. Unthread the screws holding the cover in place at the bottom to gain access to the compressor.

If the user manual of the refrigerator is still available, follow the steps in it to remove the compressor cover.

How to Clean Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor – Quick Guide

Here is how to easily clean the compressor of a Sub-Zero refrigerator:

Firstly, disconnect the appliance from the power source. You can either remove the power cord from the power outlet or turn off the circuit breaker.

Secondly, remove the front grille on the appliance to gain access to the compressor. The grille can either be at the top or on the bottom.

If yours is at the top, tip the grille forward, and remove the springs and the screws holding it in place.

However, if the grille is at the bottom, unthread the screws holding it. Then, unthread the screws holding the mechanical section tray and slide the tray out.

Thirdly, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the entire compressor area. Be careful not to alter the wiring connection there.

The manufacturer recommends that you clean the compressor area every three to six months. If you have a pet, you may need to clean the area more often.

Finally, cover up the appliance, and reconnect it to the power source.

Sub-Zero Excessive Refrigerator Compressor Run – Quick Fix

Here is how to fix a Sub-zero refrigerator compressor that runs excessively:

  • Ensure the refrigerator door closes and seals tightly.
  • Check the condenser fan and coils, and clean them if they are dirty.
  • Check the condenser fan blades for anything that may be obstructing them. Also, ensure you tighten the fan blades if they are loose.
  • Determine if the sealed system is leaking. If it is, have a service technician examine and repair it.

Sub-Zero excessive refrigerator compressor run is an error on a Sub-Zero refrigerator. It either shows your refrigerator is running for a longer time or non-stop. And the code appears like this- EC50.

Alternatively, check your user manual to see how to clear the Sub-Zero excessive refrigerator compressor run error.

Sub-Zero Freezer Compressor Hot – How to Fix

It is normal for a compressor to be hot when it runs but not excessively so. But if you find yours becoming too hot, the following are possible causes and how to fix them:

1. High Temperature

If the temperature inside the freezer is too high, the compressor will work harder to stabilize it. As a result, it will start to heat up.

So, set the temperature of your freezer according to the recommendation of the manufacturer. That will keep the compressor from overworking. Ideally, set the freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Faulty Temperature Control Thermostat

Turn the thermostat to the highest point and as you do so, listen for a click. If you hear the click, leave the thermostat. But if you don’t, run a continuity test on it with a multimeter. If you don’t find continuity, replace the component.

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The temperature control thermostat monitors the internal temperature of the freezer. When the internal temperature becomes warm, the temperature thermostat will signal the compressor to supply cold air.

So, when the temperature control thermostat malfunctions, it may cause the compressor to run non-stop. Consequently, the compressor will overheat.

3. Low Refrigerant

To fix this problem, find a licensed service technician. However, if you can handle the repair, you need to first identify the leaking spot and seal it up. If the leak is due to corrosion, you may have to change the entire piping.

Afterward, refill the refrigerant to the right amount.

The refrigerant is the gas inside the cooling system that helps with the cooling of the freezer. If the refrigerant is shorting in the cooling system, the temperature inside the appliance will start to warm up.

As a result, the compressor will work harder to stabilize the temperature inside the freezer. As a result, the compressor starts to overheat.

4. Failed Condenser Fan

Part of the function of a condenser fan is to cool the compressor. So, when this fan fails, the compressor will automatically start to heat up.

The common reasons for condenser fan failure are something stopping the fan from spinning freely, or a faulty fan motor. Whatever the cause of the fan failure, it is usually an easy fix. Either clean the fan or change the fan motor.

Supco SM0740 120V Condenser Fan Motor Replaces Sub-Zero 4200470

If you are going to change the fan yourself, here is a video to guide you…

5. Wrong Location

Check to see if sunlight hits the freezer directly. Also, check for any other source of heat close to it that may be adversely affecting it.

If the location of the freezer means it gets hit by heat, it will get warm easily. Consequently, the compressor will work twice as hard to stabilize the internal temperature of the appliance.

So, if this is your case, relocate the appliance, or hang a curtain there if possible.

6. Bad Compressor

If none of the points above is the cause of your compressor overheating, the compressor may be faulty. Let a service technician look at the compressor to determine if this is the case.

Note: The solution to a faulty compressor is replacing it. However, newer appliances do not usually have a compressor problem. The compressor only gets weak as it ages. So, if a new refrigerator has a compressor problem, contact Sub-Zero to report it immediately.

How to Remove Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor – Quick Guide

Here is a visual guide on how to remove the Sub-Zero compressor…

It is important to note that some Sub-Zero refrigerators/freezers have two compressors. So, check your user manual to confirm if yours fall under this category.

However, we do not recommend this repair if you are not a service technician. Not only does it require experience, but the coolant is also most times a safety hazard. So, apply caution when you carry out this repair.

Contact Sub-Zero for a service repair if you feel there is a problem with the compressor on your appliance.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Compressor Noise – Solved

The noise from your Sub-Zero refrigerator compressor area may be due to any of these:

1. Operation of Condenser Fan

During the operation of the condenser fan, it is normal to hear either a buzzing, rattling or banging noise. Additionally, you can hear a clicking, vibrating, or humming sound.

2. Faulty Component

Sometimes, the noise from the compressor area is not normal. For example, if the compressor or fan is malfunctioning, you will hear a loud unusual noise.

Let a service technician look at the compressor area to determine the cause of the noise and repair it.

It is pertinent to note that noises from the compressor area may be louder at night. Likewise, if your apartment has an open floor plan, the noise may be disturbing as well.

However, when the noise is new or gets louder as time goes by, do not neglect it. Contact Sub-Zero. Your appliance may be due for a service repair.

Sub Zero Freezer Compressor Not Running – Solutions

Here are possible solutions to your Sub-Zero freezer compressor that is not running:

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1. Change Faulty Condenser Fan

Check to see if the condenser fan is faulty and change the fan if it is. To check the condition of the condenser fan, first, spin the fan blades to see if they swirl freely.

If the fan blades do not turn freely, see if there is anything tangling it or the fan motor shaft. If there is, remove the object. Otherwise, use a multimeter to check the fan for continuity.

Bear in mind that if the condenser fan does not have continuity, change it. It shows the fan motor is faulty.

Part of the function of the condenser fan is to cool down the compressor when it is working. So, when the condenser fan starts to malfunction, the compressor will start overheating. And eventually, stop running.

2. Change Faulty Start Relay

To determine if the start relay is faulty, detach it from the compressor and shake it. If it rattles, the relay is most likely defective. Change it.

Alternatively, test the start relay for continuity. Using a multimeter, check between the start and run terminals for continuity. If there is continuity, the start relay is faulty.

Note that the start winding works hand in hand with the start relay to trigger the compressor to act. So, when the Start relay fails, it cannot work in conjunction with the start winding. Hence, the compressor will not be able to kick-start.

3. Replace Malfunctioning Temperature Control Thermostat

To check the temperature control thermostat, turn the dial from the lowest to highest while listening for an audible click. If you do not hear a click, the thermostat is likely faulty.

However, to further confirm, use a multimeter to check the thermostat for continuity. If there is continuity when you change to different settings, the thermostat is faulty. Replace it with a new one.

The temperature thermostat sends voltage to the cooling system; the compressor is inclusive. Therefore, when the thermostat is malfunctioning, the compressor may not run.

4. Replace Failed Start Capacitor

Use a multimeter to test the start capacitor. Then, replace the start capacitor if it is not functioning.

When the compressor is starting up, the start capacitor gives it a power boost. So, when the start capacitor fails, the compressor may not be able to start up.

5. Change Defective Thermistor

Use a multimeter to test the thermistor. While testing the thermistor, its resistance should change alongside the freezer temperature. If the resistance remains the same, change the thermistor. It is defective.

The job of the thermistor is to monitor the internal temperature of the freezer and send the reading to the control board. The control board will then use the temperature reading to measure the voltage it sends to the fan motors and compressor.

Therefore, when the thermistor is damaged, it alters the whole process, causing the compressor to stop running.

Apart from the defective parts above, the temperature control board may contribute to the compressor not running. However, this can only be true if the control board is damaged; rarely the case. So, ensure none of the components are why the compressor is not running before considering this repair.

Moreso, when the compressor is old, it may likely stop running. That is due to the wear and tear that happened to it over time.

If you are still unsure why your Sub-zero freezer compressor is not running, contact the Sub-zero service center. They will further assist you.

Note: These fixes also work for a Sub-Zero refrigerator compressor that is not running.

Sub Zero Refrigerator Compressor Problem – Solved

Here are the signs that indicate the Sub-zero refrigerator compressor has a problem:

One sign of a problem with the Sub-zero refrigerator compressor is when the inside of the unit starts getting warm.

The second sign is when the compressor starts making a disturbing noise. It is normal to hear a low hum when the compressor is running. However, if it becomes louder, it shows something is wrong with the component.

Thirdly, when the compressor starts to overheat, it shows something is wrong with it. Check the components that may cause the compressor to overheat and fix the problem.

Fourthly, when the compressor runs constantly, it is a course for worry. Do not neglect it.

Finally, when the compressor fails to run, there is no doubt it has developed a fault. Sometimes, some defective refrigerator components may be the cause of the compressor not running. Other times, the compressor is simply weak or damaged.

Whatever the reason for the problem with your Sub-Zero refrigerator compressor, do not overlook it. Fix the problem as soon as possible to avoid causing irreparable damage to your refrigerator.

Important Note

Switch off your Sub-zero appliance or disconnect it from the power source before working on it. Furthermore, contact Sub-zero if you doubt any information on this article, or chat with our technicians for further assistance.

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