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Sub-Zero 200, 300, 500, and 600 Series Refrigerator Drain Tube Cleaning


  • Drain tube is frozen, clogged, or dirty
  • Water behind or under crisper drawers
  • Water coming out front of refrigerator door
  • Ice behind crisper drawer in the drain area
  • How to clear, clean, or unclog the drain tube
  • 501, 511, 532, 542, 550, 561, 590 clogged drain tube
  • 601, 611, 632, 642, 650, 661, 680, 685, 690, 695 clogged drain tube


  • Frozen drain tube
  • Food particles in drain tube causing clog

CAUTION: Do not to disconnect the drain tube from the drain trough. Do not to put anything down the tube such as a brush, as it may pierce the tube.

1. Turn off the refrigerator either at the Unit On/Off button or turn the control dial down past 1 to OFF.

2. Remove the crisper glass shelf, then the crisper drawer. Water or ice may collect behind the drawer.

3. If there is ice on the floor of the refrigerator section, make sure the refrigerator temperature is set correctly to 38°F or 5 on a dial control. See Temperature Settings.


4. Remove ice by defrosting unit. Refer to Manually Defrost a Sub-Zero for instructions.

5. Remove the two screws holding the kickplate to remove the kickplate at the bottom of the unit.

6.On 601, 501, and 201 models, also remove the lower grille by removing the screws on right and left corners. Then pull the bottom of the grille out and up to release it.

7. To make a cleaning solution, mix one quart of warm water with two caps full of bleach and a few drops of dish detergent.
  • If there is standing water in the trough that runs across the back wall, remove the water with a turkey baster, sponge, or towel.

8. The drain trough extending across the back of the refrigerator is now visible. Use the turkey baster or similar to squirt or pour the bleach solution down the drain until it no longer overflows into the refrigerator. The solution should drain into the pan below the unit.

9. When done, remove and clean the drain pan, since solution sitting in the pan could damage the plastic. See Sub-Zero Drain Pan Removal.

  • If a drain pan heater kit with coils is installed which prevents removal of the drain pan, leave the drain pan in place and use a turkey baster to empty it.
  • This is for all models except 601 and 501 models.
10. Install the kickplate and screws.
11. Turn the unit back on.
12. For clogged drains accompanied by poor temperatures, door sealing issues, or service indicators, contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair.


  • Compressed air may be used to clear out the drain tube.
  • If water collection is a concern while waiting for service, place towels on the floor of the appliance or on the kitchen floor in front of the unit.

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

See also:


Need further assistance? Contact Customer Care at 800.222.7820 or provide your information below and request a Customer Care representative contact you.

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