Warm Refrigerator Troubleshooting

Cause:

  • Fan in unit not working properly
  • Temperature sensor or thermostat malfunction
  • Compressor, evaporator, or condenser issue
  • Problem with door seal or gasket

Topics:

  • What to do when temperatures rise in a refrigerator
  • Warm or high temperatures reported in refrigerator section
  • Why is the refrigerator not cooling or will not hold set temperature?
  • Unit does not cool well in warm months or humid, warmer temperatures
  • Food spoils before expiration date or food going bad quickly
  • Refrigerator stopped working

Steps to Verify Issue:

Only a Factory Certified Service technician can determine the exact cause of a cooling issue.

New Installation:

  1. Verify the unit is on and running for at least 24 hours. If not, wait 24 hours for unit to cool properly.
  2. Verify the door closes and was not left ajar for a long time. Turn the door ajar alarm on if it is not on to make sure the door is closing all the way. See How to Turn on a Door Ajar Alarm for instructions.
  3. Correct or remove anything blocking the door from closing.
  4. New groceries or warm food will raise temperatures for a time. Temperatures should return to normal after several hours.
  5. It is not necessary to clean the condenser on a unit that is less than 6 months old.

For any warm temperatures in a Sub-Zero refrigerator:

  1. Check the setpoint temperatures for the compartment. See Refrigerator and Freezer Temperature Settings.
    • On an electronic control panel, 38°F is the factory setting.
    • For a dial control, set the dial between 4 and 6. 1 is warmest, and 10 is coldest.
    • 200, 300, and 500 Series Sub-Zero products have dial controls.
  2. Verify the door closes and was not left ajar for a long time. Turn the door ajar alarm on if it is not on to make sure the door is closing all the way. See How to Turn on a Door Ajar Alarm for instructions.
  3. Correct or remove anything blocking the door from closing.
  4. New groceries or warm food will raise temperatures for a time. Temperatures should return to normal after several hours.
  5. Clean the Condenser if not done in the last 6 months.
    • Note: If the temperature is above 48 degrees (set at 38), it is unlikely to recover from a condenser cleaning.
    • Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair. The service call can be canceled if the temperatures do return to normal.
  6. Verify the unit is not in Showroom mode. This is only likely if unit was a product on display in a dealer showroom. See Sub-Zero Showroom Mode Guide for instructions.
  7. If temperatures do not appear, or the control panel does not respond, verify the unit is not in Sabbath mode. See Sub-Zero Sabbath Mode for instructions.
  8. If the lights are off and there is no cooling in the refrigerator but the freezer is working normally, make sure the refrigerator was not disabled. Refer to Sub-Zero Control Displays Double Dashes for more information.
  9. Verify if only one or all sections are not cooling. This information is helpful if service is necessary.
  10. Wait 24 hours for the unit to return to normal temperatures after correcting any or all of the above.
  11. If the refrigerator is still warm after these steps are complete, service is necessary to expertly diagnose and repair the product. Contact Factory Certified Service to schedule an appointment for repair.

See also:

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