Sub-Zero 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
  • Elevated temperature in the refrigerator
  • Refrigerator stopped working

Steps to Verify Issue:

Only a Factory Certified Service technician can determine the exact cause of a cooling issue. Use this troubleshooting as a starting point to resolve warm refrigerator temperatures.

For a 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.
  3. Correct or remove anything blocking the door from closing.
  4. Check the door gasket or rubber seal around the door for damage.
  5. New groceries or warm food will raise temperatures for a time. Temperatures should return to normal after several hours.
  6. It is not necessary to clean the condenser on a unit that is less than 6 months old.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

For an Existing Sub-Zero Refrigerator

  1. Check the setpoint temperatures for the compartment. Always allow 24 hours for unit to reach new temperature setting.
    • On an electronic control panel, 38°F is the recommended 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.
    • See Refrigerator and Freezer Temperature Settings.
  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.
  3. Correct or remove anything blocking the door from closing.
  4. Check the door gasket or rubber for damage.
  5. New groceries or warm food will raise temperatures for a time. Temperatures should return to normal after several hours.
  6. Clean the Condenser if it was not cleaned in the last 6 months.

    IMPORTANT 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.
     
  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 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 or turned off. See Sub-Zero Control Disabled or Turned Off - Displays Double Dashes.
  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.

For Warm Freezer Troubleshooting

For freezer or ice maker issues, see Warm Freezer Troubleshooting and Ice Maker Does Not Make Ice.

Additional Resources

Temperature Information

Door Alarm Settings

Controls and Error Messages

Other Troubleshooting

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