SubZero 550 Dilemma

arlingtonduplexApril 25, 2013

I am following up on this link because I have a similar issue regarding an 18 year old SubZero 550. I just acquired this unit and found that after moving it (inlcuding being on its side for a portion), the freezer no longer works. The refrigerator is working fine. It was left upright about 6 hours after the move before plugging in and the fridge cooled down but not the freezer. I then unplugged the unit again and left it overnight. Still no cooling in the freezer. An appliance repairman said that the freezer compressor is working but that the system appears to have lost all freon. Either it was damaged in the move and a leak resulted in the loss, or it was low to begin with and the move somehow caused the rest to go. Is it possible unplugging it again and allowing it to "settle" more would redistribute any freon? Is it worth it to add freon back to the system to see if it will work again? I was told this cost depends on how much freon (an unknown) but could be $600 and there's no guarantee. To find the leak would involve a new radiator (where there is some evidence of damage) and possibly the separate radiator in the freezer as well as freon for both the fridge and freezer once evacuated (I imagine even more $$). I was so excited to get this unit after reading how long they can last (and how good they are until then end) and don't want to give up. I would definitely appreciate any advice. Thanks!

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Adding freon would be a waste of money, if it leaked out once , it will leak out again.

SZ did have a problem with "Leaky Evaporators (Radiator) but I thought that was more around 2004-2007 or so, but you could google SZ Fridge Evaporator to get a better idea of the time frame.

At any rate, since the fridge is still working, I would just get a quote to replace the evaporator in the freezer and recharge.

Good luck with it!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Gary is right, the freon didn't evaporate. It left via a hole in the system. Got to find that first.

Re: fixing it. If you bought XYZ fridge and it broke out of warranty and the repair was going to cost you 10-15% of it's purchase price would you go for the repair or start shopping for a new one?

What is the condition of the door gasket, shelves, bins and ice maker ?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Thanks for the responses, including the advice on how to look at the repair cost. It helps a lot. I think I would pay 10-15% of the purchase price for the repair. The refrigerator including shelves, trays (even egg trays after all this time) is in above average condition. The freezer is what exhibits the most wear and tear overall, including a tear in the rubber seal (gasket?) in the top around the door and a wire bin that's wheel has been taped on. No ice trays. I assume there is an ice maker (there's a bin to hold ice), but I haven't even gotten far enough to think about hooking it up. If this still sounds worth it, I will proceed to get an estimate limited to replacement of the evaporator in the freezer only (nothing up top?) and recharge the freon? Thank you so much Gary and xedos.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:18PM
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FYI - I grew up with a 500 series all freezer. It's icemaker gave up the ghost in the 70's and never could get fixed. Got an ice machine in the bar/pantry and didn't worry about it. A new ice maker will run you $100-200 + install and may not solve the problem. A door gasket will be $75- $125 if you can get one. A wire bin $60- $125 again if they are available.

A complete overhaul of the sealed system will run you $500-$1200 but should last another 10-20 years.

FWIW - SZ still makes those 36" all fridge all freezers. However, they are different sizes now. SO, before you go building the cabinet space to fit these you might want to consider what is going to go in there and its size before you commit suing or repairing these. At the least you need to accommodate for easily alteration - usually making the space taller.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:18PM
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