Vinotemp VT-52N (updated SKU: VT-52SN) Clicking Sound and Repair

 

I decided to write this post in hopes of helping others who are experiencing a ‘clicking’ sound coming from their Vinotemp wine cooler.

NOTE: This is in no way a self-repair tutorial, as I am not certified in any way to diagnose / repair a Vinotemp… so treat this post as ‘entertainment’ as I document my experience with remedying my problem with my wine refrigerator.

About a month ago my 9-year old Vinotemp VT-52N wine refrigerator (some call it a wine chiller) started to make a clicking sound, with the temperature display flashing all its LED ‘bars’. This seem to happen whenever the fridge should be engaging the compressor to kick in and cool the wine – I notice this after watching it on and off for two days – I also have a separate thermostat inside the fridge, and whenever the temperature rises a few degrees above my pre-set wine fridge temperature, the clicking sound happens.

My first plan was to go the “official” route – get help from Vinotemp. At that time (November 2016) on Vinotemp’s service page they referred customers who are no longer on a factory warranty to a company called A&E Service. I called them to schedule for a technician to come to my house. Two days later the technician come on site, and told me he would need to order a “PC board” since most likely that is failing… Total charge for the visit was $99, and a advanced charge for the installation of the PC board for $219.80. The PC board will be charged separately, $150. I went with this figuring it was still cheaper than buying a new Vinotemp – a similar model would cost me around $700. I was told that the part should arrive within 2 weeks and they would return to install it for me.

Two weeks go by and I suddenly receive a call and they tell me that the part can not be ordered, and they would refund me $219.80, which brings me the total A&E diagnostic visit to $99.00, plus a wine refrigerator that no longer works…

I decided to look on line, and during my research I realized that these wine refrigerators are actually quite simple – the main components are – compressor (holding the cooling fluids), thermostat, a motor, fan, and this “control board” (which A&E said they can not order). On further research, I realized that this control board (as well as most other components on my VT-52N can be purchased DIRECTLY from Vintotemp – I searched for “VT-52SN” which the web site instead recommended that I search for “VT-52SN”…

Here is the link to the search results

Voila! VT-52SN Control Board, for a mere $72.00!!!

I figure I might as well try to order and install this myself – if that doesn’t work, THEN I’ll go buy myself a new wine fridge…

Received my control board in about 10 business days, and this morning I pulled the wine fridge out, unplugged it, and replaced the old control board with the new one.

So far it’s working like a champ for the past 8 hours, and no clicking/flashing whatsoever!

Lesson learned: sometimes it pays to research a bit on the Internet – A&E marked up a $72 part to $150, and would have charged me another $219.80 to install this board, all of which took me 20 minutes (10 minutes were spent on removing my 45+ bottled of wine from the refrigerator) to do myself!

Epilogue: On Vinotemp’s web site (January 2017) they no longer refer customers to A&E – I must have been on the last days of Vinotemp and A&E’s business relationship, hence A&E’s inability to order the part. I guess I got lucky then… 🙂

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