I got a call a week ago from a customer who was in an agitated state over his refrigerator. Now this is somewhat normal because when the milk and beer are warm, its time to act!
But this was more than the “normal” reaction, he was very, very, upset. He had a five year old, built in 42 inch Subzero refrigerator, with custom wooden panels. He had called a local appliance repair company to come over and repair the unit because the fresh food side was not cooling. The tech arrived, went over the refrigerator and concluded the customer needed to buy a new one………..Yep, $9000.00 refrigerator barely 5 years old and its time to get a new one.
I understood immediately why he was so upset, I would have been even worse! He called Subzero to complain and they gave him our number. I right away told him over the phone that the unit had been mis-diagnosed and there was no way he should even think about replacing a 5 year old refrigerator with a 20 year service life. We set up an appointment.
Once there I saw the “Service” light flashing and the inside temp was 68 degrees, freezer was working fine. I opened the door and pressed both door switches down to test the evaporator fan. (one switch controls the interior lights and the other controls the fan) Right away I noticed that the light did not go out when the door switch was pressed. Aha!!!! The first clue, I accessed the two compressors and the fresh food compressor was overheated and had shut down.
I killed power and put a room fan on the compressor area to cool it down, while I went to the van for a door switch. I returned, installed the door switch and waited about 15 minutes more for the compressor to cool down enough to start. I reassembled everything and powered the refrigerator back on. Thru the diagnostic mode I could see the fresh food evaporator cooling. 24 hours later I called the customer, he was calm and jovial. His refrigerator was cold, his wife was happy and he was going skiing!
So the interior lights had been staying on and over loading the compressors ability to remove heat. The lights have their own thermostat to prevent any melting but they still stay on for awhile. The lights combined with the “in floor” heat was too much for the compressor.
The customer now has our number, he realized when it comes to the specialized high end appliances such as Subzero/Wolf, its best to call the factory trained and authorized servicer. We usually have the parts and know how to best service these appliances without added agitation.