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Sub-Zero Compressor Run Time


  • How long should a compressor run?
  • What percentage of the day does a refrigerator or freezer turn on for?
  • Why does the compressor run so long?


There is no set time period for how long a compressor runs.

  • Several factors affect compressor run time, including:
    • Ambient room temperature
    • Unit temperature
    • Amount of food in unit
    • Temperature of food in unit
    • How often or long door is open
  • It is possible condenser fan motor noise is mistaken for compressor noise. Refer to Condenser Fan Motor Operation for additional information.

Depending on model number, it is possible for both compressors to run simultaneously or concurrent to one another, making it seem like the unit is running non-stop.

  • 500, 600, 700-2 (and above), 648PRO, 400 Series with both wine and refrigerator sections, Classic (BI) and Designer (formerly Integrated) Combination units have two compressors.
  • 400 Series Wine Only, all freezers or all refrigerator 500, 600, 700 Series, Classic, and Designer units have one compressor.
  • The number of compressors varies on 200 and 300 Series units. Refer to 200 and 300 Series Number of Compressors and Controls for more information.
  • To determine model number, refer to Sub-Zero Serial Tag Locations.

Possible symptoms of a compressor running excessively include:

  • Food spoilage
  • Elevated unit temperatures
  • Condensation or moisture build-up
  • Frost or ice build-up

If the compressor seems to be running excessively:

  1. Clean the Condenser.
  2. If these troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, service is necessary to expertly diagnose and repair the product. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair.


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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