Sub-Zero Door Difficult to Open


  • Why is the door hard to open?
  • Hard to open refrigerator or freezer door stuck closed
  • What causes the door vacuum to be so strong?
  • Why do I have to use both hands to open the refrigerator door?
  • Door does not open as easily as before?
  • Is there any lubricant to use to lubricate the door from sticking so hard?
  • Door frozen or stuck shut
  • Refrigerator or freezer door appears to be locked shut

Steps to Verify Issue:

  1. Wait several seconds (up to 60) after the door closes for pressure to equalize before reopening the door.
    • This may be a normal condition as Sub-Zeros are designed for an airtight seal.
    • Ambient room air mixed with the cold compartment air creates a vacuum until the pressure equalizes.
    • The greater the difference in temperatures the longer the vacuum may last.
    • The refrigerator and freezer doors do not have a lock. Depending on the strength of the vacuum, it can seem like the door is locked.
  2. If the door does not open after being closed for a minute, open the door when possible and inspect the door gasket.
  3. Inspect the back wall of the refrigerator for condensation, frost, or ice buildup. Refer to Frost on Back Wall if needed.
  4. Check for an Ice Buildup in Freezer.
  5. Clean the Condenser.
  6. Remove the unit’s crisper drawer and crisper shelf assembly; if equipped, remove all lower storage drawers as well.
  7. If there is condensation, water, or ice near, behind, or underneath the drawer(s), check for food debris, standing water, or ice built-up in the drain trough or drain tube along the back wall. The drain trough and drain tube are visible on 200, 300, 500, or 600 Series Sub-Zeros.
  8. The drain tube may be clogged.
  9. Avoid lubricating the plastic face frame of Classic, 400, 600 and 700 Series units. The face frame can crack or deteriorate when exposed to lubricants like Vaseline.
  10. If all other options fail, it may be necessary to demagnetize the door gasket. This procedure should be done by a Factory Certified Service.
  11. See also:


If these steps do not resolve the issue, no further troubleshooting advice is available. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair.

Thank you for your request. A Customer Care representative will contact you.

An error occurred. We were unable to submit your request.

Related Questions

We're standing by with answers

Whether you're shopping for appliances or have questions about those you already own, we've got the resources you need. Talk directly to a customer care expert at the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove service center, or connect with an appliance consultant at an official showroom near you. Get quick answers online, or reach a certified service provider or installer. And much more.

Call us at (800) 222-7820

Customer Care and Support