Should I repair a 30 year old SubZero refrigerator?

Just purchased a property and it has a lot of high end appliances. Among them a double wide SubZero refrigerator probably was added when the house was originally built in 1972. The refrigerator doors have been altered to have the same wood finish as the rest of the kitchen cabinetry, but the refrigerator does not work. If I plug it in it does not cool and some smelly fumes come out from the bottom. The house has been vacant for a while and the owner is an elderly man now living in a nursing home, he had a stroke and was not able to remember much...
Should I just toss out the refrigerator or try to fix it? It is 33 years old so is it even worth fixing it or not? If I try to fix it do I get a normal appliance guy or some special SubZero experts? If I toss it out this thing is huge I am not sure I can just roll it to the back alley and wait for bulk trash pick up. Also all of the appliances in the kitchen have the custom wood cabinetry finish, the dish washer, trash compactor, refrigerator, so if I buy a new refrigerator, it will stick out like a sore thumb, not to mention it will be smaller, so the custom built slot it slides in, will have room to one side and up.
MC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think I'd spend a few dollars to have someone come out and take a look. It won't be cheap, but neither will a new one to match the rest of the kitchen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since 03 or so refrigerators have been more efficient from gov regulation, up to 60% better. With sub zeros equipment on top it is possibly replaceable, and should be repairable. With the wood you may want a new sub zero, their efficiency rating is very high compared to other makes. Your old unit might cost 15-30$ a month to run a new unit might be 5-7$ a month, there is a payback in new equipment, and utility rates are going up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Door panels may be resuable. Dealer / repair can give relative cost of new v fix. TB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Given the cost of a new one, a $1000 repair bill is small potatoes.
price the high end fridges at Sears.com Kitchenaid's are $5K to $6.4K. New Subzeros will be at or above this price range.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
miamicuse wrote:

It is likely to cost large $$ to fix it and then you will still have a 33 year old frig that is an energy hog. I would consider replacing it if it were working.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wayne Boatwright <wayneboatwright_at_gmail.com> wrote in

Perhaps also the lack of regard for our LAWS? Or maybe their bringing drug-resistant diseases like TB and others that have been eradicated in the US? (definitely "virulent"!)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've worked on several Sub Zero refrigerators. Generally well made. The energy hog is the compressor, which might need to be replaced. (So, you'd get a new one which is less hoggish). I'd call around, and get a couple folks opinion over the phone.
I can think of a couple simple reasons why one might not cool. Including low on freon, inefficient condensor, and a couple others.
Aren't new ones more like a thousand dollars?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Cheap ones are closer to $4000 and up, way up. http://www3.shopping.com/xGS-Sub-Zero%20refrigerators~NS-1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's more than I'd expected. Well, now I know the next time I go repair one -- and help folks to appreciate how inexpensive I really am.
Thank you, Ed.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The inspector told me a comparable one to the size I have will run around $12000. But it will be SS finish and I have to figure out how to redo the wood finish.
Thanks,
MC

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
miamicuse wrote:

Other models in the sub zero line DO come with door panel kits that allow you to attach the SAME door panels and trim that are used on all other cabinets in the room.
It may just be that for THIS size, the only choice is SS.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Who is this inspector? Inspector Clouseau?
Never take too seriously what just one guy says.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

New SubZero refrigerators are more like $8K+ and come in models that allow matching trim to be installed on the doors
Yes, a new compressor with installation is likely to be on the order of $1k or more, and will dramatically improve the efficiency of the unit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Given the unique situation, I would find a good repair company that works on Sub Zero. I'd have them come out, figure out what's wrong with it, how much it would cost to fix it, and what the typical life left in it after that might be. If it needs a new compressor, ask if the new one will be more energy efficient, etc. Also ask about the interchange of door panels to other units. If these panels won't fit current models, it's possible they will fit other older Sub Zeros and if you can wait awhile, you might be able to locate a used one that you could sway out.
Normally, I would say junk it. But in this case, it's certainly worth the cost of a service call to get some accurate info.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

A different SIZE unit DOES offer the door panel option. www.subzero.com shows all the options.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Gammon wrote:

www.subzero.com/subzero/600series.asp
36 inches wide, 42 inches wide, and 48 inches wide all with door panel options.
600 series models use less power than a 100 watt incandescent lamp.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You mean I coulda got a grand for that compressor I installed? I'm way too cheap.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Im sure it is more than just the compressor that has made new units 60%+ more efficient, even replacing the whole cooling system is probably a good investment compared to buying a new unit. Since it is top mounted it should not be that hard to do. If it is recessed, lining the walls and back with R7.2" Polyisocyanurate foamboard will likely double or more the present insulation value.
Wood inserts on the doors help alot in insulating. I would bet that if you measured the doors the panels you have that they can be interchanged with new models. I did that on a 60s Kitchen Aid diswasher, they fit perfectly.
Definatly have a repairman get it running then review your options, find someone that Knows Sub Zero, not a student.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.