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Sub-Zero Door Difficult to Open


  • Why is the door hard to open?
  • Hard to open refrigerator or freezer door, seems to be frozen or stuck or locked closed or shut
  • 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?


Wait 30 to 60 seconds after the door closes for pressure to equalize before reopening the door.

  • This may be a normal condition as Sub-Zero products 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 may seem as if the door is locked.

If after staying closed for a minute, the door cannot be opened or is still difficult to open:

  1. Open the door when possible and inspect the door gasket. Verify it is clean and not torn.
  2. Inspect the back wall of the refrigerator for condensation, frost, or ice buildup. See Frost on Back Wall.
  3. Check for Ice Buildup in the Freezer.
  4. Clean the Condenser.
  5. Remove the unit’s crisper drawer and crisper shelf assembly; if equipped, remove all lower storage drawers as well.
  6. If there is condensation, water, or ice present near, behind, or underneath the drawer(s), check the drain trough or drain tube along the back wall for food debris, standing water, or ice buildup. The drain trough and drain tube are visible on 200, 300, 500, or 600 Series Sub-Zero models.
  7. Clear the drain tube of any blockages.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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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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