The Sub-Zero Condenser Fan Guide
The purpose of this post is to show you how to replace the Condenser Fan Motor in your Sub-Zero Refrigerator.We will go into detail about the different Sub-Zero configurations used to mount the Fan, best practices in replacement, when to replace and why. I have been doing this a long time and will try to post pictures to accommodate my descriptions.
If you have come to this page simply looking to have an experienced technician dispatched to your residence in the New York and New Jersey area, please give us a call at +1 (800) 200-2306 or Email Us and we will be happy to help.
Tools Needed: Phillips Head Screw Driver, 1/4 Hex tool, Wire Strippers, Needle Nose Pliers. Voltage Meter.
Parts needed: Sub-Zero Condenser fan motor 1300 rpm, Sub-Zero Fan Blade, 500 Series Grommets(optional) 600 Series Wall Grommets (optional) 700 series wall grommets (optional)
Step One: Determine if the motor needs replacement.
Ask any air conditioning technician, a condenser fan breaking down can wreak havoc on the system. In the Sub-Zero’s case, this motor regulates the operating temperature of the Compressors and the Condenser. When this fan fails the system fails until airflow is restored. We treat this motor as a mandatory ten year service item in our company. If we run into one that is ten years old and still running we evaluate it for replacement. If we see that the condenser has not been cleaned, or there is oil leaking from this motor, we recommend a replacement. Also, any time we replace compressors, or do sealed system work, we usually are replacing this part. We do this because we have noticed a pattern of failure amongst these motors when they over heat. When one fails it causes a chain reaction usually resulting in a burnt our compressor. This is a good item to just replace after wear and tear, akin to a timing belt in a vehicle at 100k miles. If your motor has failed already you may get an EC Message, a service light or Vacuum Condenser message. Your door frames and handles may overheat due to the refrigerant lines in them overheating.
Step Two: Cut Power, Remove Condenser Fan from unit.
Before touching anything you should turn your unit off at the control panel inside the refrigerator. If you are not sure, go hit the circuit breaker. Once the grill and sound baffle is removed you may want to unclip the main power coming into the unit. Most of the time you can find this pretty easy, its usually located in the front left of the upper compartment. If you can unplug the unit, do it, just make sure you don’t drop the plug behind the unit.
In the 200, 300, 500, 600 and BI series the fan motor is located on the right side of the compressors. There are a few mounting configurations but they all do the same thing, they fasten the motor in place. Your job is to remove the fan motor and its mounting bracket in one piece. On some 600 series and all BI units the motor is held in by three arms that attach to the walls, in this case we leave the arms in and only remove the fan motor.
500 Series- units have four screws holding the mounting bracket into the floor of the unit, remove all four screw and the one ground screw(green wire). Unclip the electrical and pull fan out of unit.
600 Series units with brackets have a three screw mounting bracket, (image on left). Simply fully remove the screws closest to you and only loosen the one screw in the back. The back screw does not need to be taken out because the bracket only hooks onto it. once the two front screws are out and the rear screw is loose, simply push the fan towards the back wall, it will disengage from the mount. Unclip the the electrical and pull fan out of unit.
400, 700 and IC Series units require that you remove the lower grill, remove the two screws holding in the mechanical tray and slide the tray out onto the floor. Watch out for your water line that enters your solenoid on the right side of the unit.This will expose the compressors, the condenser and the mounted Condenser Fan Motor. It is best to have a piece of soft wood handy to slide the trays onto so that you don’t scratch your floor. This also provides you with the proper height so that sliding the tray back in is a breeze. Unclip the electrical and pull fan out of unit.
Step Three: Remove Fan From Mounting Bracket
200, 300, 500 Series: Four 1/4 hex Screws in the bottom of the bracket need to be removed.
600 Series: Three 1/4 hex screws hold the fan to the bracket.
Step Four: Inspect Grommets, Spacers.
When these machines over heat the grommets become brittle. Not replacing the can result in louder noise during operation. We stock the grommets on our trucks so we can replace when neccessary.
200, 300, 500 Series: Take your time to inspect the grommets in the feet of the mount. If they are brittle you should replace the grommets
600 700 BI series: Inspect the grommets in the wall of the unit that are threaded, make sure they haven’t popped out of place on the deinstall.
Step Five: Replace Fan Blade
With your new fan blade in hand, line it up with its proper mounting location on the front of the motor. This is pretty universal and intuitive. There is a raised section of the fan shaft that fits right into the blade.
Step Six: Remount the Fan into its Mount
At this time you should remount your fan into its mount the same way you removed it. Do not forget the ground wire!
Step Seven: Install New fan into unit.
Reinstall your fan, be sure to tighten all screws well, do not forget the ground wire leading to the floor of the unit. Make sure upon installation all wires are out of the way of the blade. Clip electrical back together. Turn unit on, watch fan spin. It should start as soon as one of the compressors cycles on. Put your units grill back on, slide mechanical tray back in if you have one.
Best Practices & Technician notes: Use the factory part directly from Sub-Zero. If you are searching amazon or ebay you just can’t be sure you are getting the real thing, most of the time you wont get a fan with the proper electrical clip, in which case you just splice it onto the fan and use wire nuts. If you get a 1550 RPM fan which is what we find mostly on EBAY and Amazon, its going to be too loud, almost always. If you are one of my customers on the East Coast your part will be coming from the gentleman at North East Certified Part Distribution. Before you call them you should Have your Model and Serial Number Handy.