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How To Clean Your Sub-Zero Condenser (Sub-Zero Problems)

Tim Willis  |  July 02, 2014  |  3 Min. Read

Appliance Service  |  Appliance Repair  |  Refrigerators

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I have been repairing appliances for 15 years. Cleaning a condenser bi-annually is the easiest and best preventative maintenance you can do for your Sub-Zero.

How A Sub-Zero Works

Sub-Zero refrigerators are unique in design in that they have a duel compressor cooling system. Unlike other refrigerators there are separate refrigerator cooling systems for both refrigerator and freezer compartments.

An indication of an airflow related issue is when both compartments are rising in temperature and the flashing service or vacuum condenser indicator is on (Figure 1). 


Most Sub-Zero service is performed via an easily accessible compartment on top of the refrigerator. The condenser is on the left side. It blows air to cool the gas inside. Behind the condenser is the compressor.

The compressor is the heart of a refrigerator and pumps Freon gas down through the coils. It literally sucks the heat from within the box of the refrigerator at the same time. As the Freon returns to the compressor, it passes through the condenser 

Condenser coils quickly become blocked with household dust, pet hair and other particulates in the air (Figure 2). As this occurs the condenser coils become plugged and restricts the air flow through the condenser.

The condenser of all Sub-Zero Refrigerators requires vacuuming at least twice a year. Doing so will ensure that your refrigerator runs efficiently and operates properly preventing the system from overheating and damaging the components.

How To Clean The Sub-Zero Condenser


The condenser is located behind the flip up grille. To access, pull out the bottom edge of the grille and rotate upward. Use a soft bristle brush and vacuum to remove dust and lint from the condenser. Refer to Figure 3.

By carrying out this regular preventative maintenance you can save hundreds of dollars in Sub-Zero refrigerator service. Complete cleaning instructions are found in the owners use and care manual, online at the Sub-Zero website, or call Yale Appliance Service and we’ll send a factory trained & authorized technician to clean your condenser for you.

Special notes: Before cleaning the condenser, turn the power off at the control panel. Wear gloves to avoid injury from sharp condenser fins. Sub-Zero models 400 and 700 series condenser units are on the bottom of the refrigerator.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Service and Repair Guide


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Tim Willis

Tim Willis has over 10 years experience as an Appliance Repair Technician with Yale. He likes paintball, cruising and gaming and also claims to not have used an alarm clock in seven years.

Read more about Tim here.

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