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Old 07-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Rainstorm knocked out frig! HELP!

We drove through a hellatious rainstorm for about an hour in SD today, with heavy winds and blinding rain.

Now parked in Pierre, the frig will not work on electricity or propane. Nothing.

Doug removed the external vent, and mopped up a lot of water that had collected in there. He has left the vent off to help dry everything out.

There was also some water in the storage area under the frig, presumably blown in thru the refrigerator vent?

He replaced the frig fuse, although the one in there looked okay. All the other fuses seem to be okay.

The Dometic manual says not to spray water in through the outer vent when washing the vehicle, so water apparently causes problems.

What to do? Suggestions, please.


Maggie
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Your control board probably shorted in the deluge. You can bypass the board for 120VAC electric use, but you will have to operate it manually, as you will have no thermostat. Verify that you have 12VDC power at the connection block for the fridge. If you have it there, the board is probably toast.

Find the 2 wires connecting the electric heating element to the board, remove the 1/4" push-on plugs from the board. Make a jumper cable that will allow you to connect the hot and neutral leads from the 120VAC outlet in the fridge plenum directly to the heating element.

This will provide 120VAC power to the heating element that will provide the heating source to keep your fridge cold.....but it will be running WIDE OPEN! and will freeze the contents of the fridge.

If you modulate the power to the element, perhaps 1/2 hour on, then 15 minutes to 1/2 hour off by unplugging the jumper from the 120VAC outlet, you can manually regulate the temps.

Before retiring for the evening, get the fridge very cole and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR until morning....with the element disconnected.

Hopefully, you can get a new control board ASAP!
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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A neighbor here has just looked at things, says the GFI switch won't reset, probably due to moisture somewhere.

We have everything opened up. The area underneath the frig is quite wet.

We have unplugged from electricity, hoping the frig will start off the propane.





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Old 07-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Lewster, you may as well be speaking Russian.

We haven't a clue what you are talking about or how to do those things.

There is an RV dealer near here. May have to head there in the am.

Thanks for your help.


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Old 07-07-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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The GFI switch reset, now that we are not plugged into electricity.

Don't know if this will at all affect the frig working off the propane.



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Old 07-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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Lewster, what is the control board, and where should it be located?

Frig is not lighting, Doug has headed to get ice so we can empty the frig and freezer into the soft-sided coolers we keep for emergencies.


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Old 07-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Sorry, I was caught up.....I guess speaking in tongues! Too technical?

Anyway, if you have no 12VDC power to the fridge and your control board, IT WILL NOT WORK! That is irrespective of having 120VAC thru your GFCI or not.

The control board uses the 12VDC to regulate all of the functions of the fridge.

There should be a white terminal block at the back of the fridge with 2 heavy wires entering and a couple coming out. Check for 12VDC there.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Okay, then that is behind the vent Doug removed, and which had a lot of water in it.

We saw those white cords, but seriously don't know enough to touch them and mess with them.

Putting everything on ice, and going to this RV place tomorrow.

Note to self: when caught in heavy rainstorm with winds up to 50mph, pull off road and park so rain and wind are anywhere but on driver's side where frig is located.


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Old 07-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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Doug & Maggie,

Can't really help just wishing for an easy fix and safe travels. Lessee SD with time to kill, been to Wall Drug or at least seen the Wall Drug signs?

Good luck.

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Old 07-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #10
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Thanks.

I'm really looking for a magic wand, but none has come forth.

We have been to Wall Drug, on a previous trip.

We have precious few problems with this rig, but it really takes the wind out of one's sails when something major like a frig goes out.

In the city park here, the neighbor who came to help lost the cover to his AC, parked here in the same storm that swept us in.

May be a pile of us at the RV dealer in the am.

Maggie.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:20 AM   #11
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Got up this am, and the GFI switch reset. Apparently, everything dried out on the night,

Frig has been on 25 minutes, all seems well.

We are going to go by the RV place here in Pierre in a bit, and have them take a look at things. We have had high winds blow the frig out in the past, but never rain.


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Old 07-08-2013, 06:23 AM   #12
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For some reason, I thought the Interstates used a compressor fridge... not true, apparently? (If it runs on propane...)
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:33 AM   #13
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I don't know what a compressor frig is. Doug says it is like the one at home.

We have a Dometic, runs on electricity or propane. The guy here in the Lexington said it is exactly like his.

I'm tired. We didn't sleep terribly well.


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Old 07-08-2013, 06:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
I don't know what a compressor frig is.

We have a Dometic, runs on electricity or propane. The guy here in the Lexington said it is exactly like his.

I'm tired. We didn't sleep terribly well.
A compressor fridge is what you have in your house at home - it uses a compressor to move the refrigerant around, making it far more effective. This is usually what you hear running in your fridge at home.

An absorption fridge, what they usually use in campers, has no moving parts - the fluid moves via convection and gravity alone and can use any heat source (hence how they can run on 120 volt, propane, or even 12 volt if you have a lot of patience). The advantages are they use very little energy and can use different sources, and they're usually silent or close to it; the disadvantages are that they're not as amenable to being opened and closed all day and are usually slower to cool down initially - although, I have to say, the Norcold in our trailer is much better about both of those things than the fridge in the B190 was.

Newer absorption fridges have a 12 volt control board in them so they always require 12 volt power while operating, even if you're using propane (the one in my old B190 didn't have a board and so could run without any electricity at all). There's good and bad in that; it's usually not a problem though since almost everything else needs 12 volts too, and they don't draw much power.
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