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Old 06-30-2003, 01:29 PM   #1
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Refrigerator DC Fan

Why is there a dc powerd fan in the back of the refrigertor compartment. It runs all the time during outside temp above 75f when the fridge is running? Is it needed?
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:09 PM   #2
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The fan is to assist in the venting of the "heat" fins, which carry off the heat from the ammonia circulating through the system. The fan helps to dissipate this heat and makes the system more efficient and effective, as the only venting are the finned doors on the outside of your Bambi. Mine seems to come on only when temp is above 80, generally does not run at night. I have a fuse which I can remove which kills the fan, which I have done on occasion for noise reduction and just to see the effect on the reefer. without the fan, I can see the reefer is not as efficient, but by turning the thermostat to a colder setting, still get adequate cooling and freezing.
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, I too have been able to disable the fan with the fuse. I think I will try a new way of mounting it more securley than the sheet metal screws AS is using, I guess I will have to live with it or improve it. I wonder if replacing the heat sensing element with one that turns on at a slightly higher temp would help cut down its running time? Has anyone else had problems with the cabinet latches breaking? I am not hard on them and I have no kids swinging on em they just pull out of the doors.
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:25 PM   #4
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Fan

I replaced the fan with a lower-powered, quieter fan and cut some thin aluminum to better duct air across the fins. The new fan is not nearly as intrusive noise wise and takes about 1/2 the power. Cooling is just as good or better than before. You could experiment with a resistor in series with the fan and get about the same result. There is no reason the fan has to turn as fast as it does... the refrigerator is designed to work with just thermal airflow cooling and no fan at all.

If Airstream had just installed the upper door about 6" higher, the fan would probably not be needed at all. As it is, they created a perfect heat trap that ruins the intended cooling of the fins.
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Old 06-30-2003, 03:46 PM   #5
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I have yet to hear mine go off once yet. I wonder if it's broken.

Eric
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Old 06-30-2003, 04:13 PM   #6
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Eric, is that "go off" as in turn off? Or "go off" as in turn on? In either case, If you are using your Bambi where the outside temp ranges between 80-85 (or higher)during the day, and 70 or under at night, the fan should cycle on during the day and off at night. It does not cycle according to the reefer temp, but according to the ambient temp. around the heat fins.

If this is not happening, then there is a problem
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Old 06-30-2003, 05:30 PM   #7
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My bad...it never has turned on, ever. The fridge is cold and all, but the fan has never turned on and the outdoor temp was in the 90's.

Me thinks something is up!

Eric
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:08 PM   #8
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Eric, you might check to see if there is an inline fuse to that fan. Mine has one about 8-10 inches away from the fan on the black wire to the fan. If I take the fuse out, the fan is dead, or if the fuse is blown, same effect.
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Old 06-30-2003, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rickk48
It does not cycle according to the reefer temp, but according to the ambient temp. around the heat fins.

If this is not happening, then there is a problem
If the Bambi fan is the same as my International, fan (I can't see why it would differ since the refrigerator is identical), the fan is controlled by a thermostat that is mounted on the end of the finned radiator. The fan should run only when the surface of the radiator is above a set point.

When I first turn on my refrigerator, it takes about 15-20 minutes before the finned radiator gets hot enough to start the fan. OTOH, the fan will run for quite a while after the refrigerator is turned off. The fan will cycle on and off during hot nights.
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Old 07-01-2003, 11:22 AM   #10
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I'll check it out. Thanks Rick. I am thinking that even though it's cooling the fridge really well, from the sounds of it, that fan should be on and I have yet to see it operate.

Thanks all for the info as well!

Eric
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Old 07-01-2003, 12:00 PM   #11
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I found last week camping in 100 degree temps that my fridge had to be turned up to max on the thermostat setting.

Would the addition of this fan allow the thermostat to be set lower and still keep the fridge cool?

Also, last year when in the mountains, the fridge was fine in the day by nearly froze stuff at night because of the outside temp dropping to around 40. Would the fan let me keep the thermostat lower for night, but mantain the cool during the day w/o changing the thermostat?
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Old 07-01-2003, 02:23 PM   #12
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Safari Tim

I think the fan we are talking about is being used on our units because our reefers are not vented up through the roof as on older models. In other words, your unit receives adequate venting as is. Addition of the fan, I would think would enhance efficiency on extra hot days, but would not affect the cooling at night in cold outside air conditions. I also notice that when in cold outside conditions, my reefer gets colder, and I have adjusted my reefers thermostat accordingly.
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Old 07-01-2003, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rickk48
Safari Tim

I think the fan we are talking about is being used on our units because our reefers are not vented up through the roof as on older models.

Oh, that is interesting.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-01-2003, 04:57 PM   #14
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Puzzled

I have the same refrigerator as the currrent Bambi, with the same fan initially, and I can freeze items in the bottom of the box in 85+ degree weather if I turn the thermostat more than about 15 degrees from the full warm position. We froze all our salad makings on our first trip last year before I was used to where to set the knob.

I have the best refrigerator thermometer I could locate hanging in my refrigerator. I also have a battery-powered circulating fan that sits in the bottom of the box to better even the temperature. What puzzles me is that you say you have to change the thermostat night and day. Day or night, summer or winter, the temperature inside my box doesn't vary more than a couple of degrees. This is how it should be if the thermostat and the vent fan are doing their job properly.
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