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Old 11-29-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
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New Fridge Break-in Smell?

Recently completed my 71 Safari renovation, part of which was the purchase and installation of a new Dometic propane fridge. The few times that I have fired it up, it fills the cabin with a smell. It doesn't smell like ammonia. If I had to describe it, it would be a hot/oily type of smell.

Is this natural? Are the internal parts breaking in and burning off protective oil residue from manufacturing? The vent behind the fridge is open at the deck (with screen to keep the bugs out) and (I am assuming) open up through the roof. there is no fan to help draw exhaust gases out.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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There is nothing inside the box itself that should have oil on it from manufacturing. The exchange unit on the back may though.

I would open the back of the frig. from the outside and see if the smell is stronger there.

if it coming from the exchange unit on the back I am surprised you are getting it inside. Frigs are generally pretty will sealed off from the outside.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:53 PM   #3
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The way I have it installed in the base cabinet I built for it is as a 'slide-in'. The sides and top trim (with a thin strip of foam) of the fridge makes contact and is flush with the stiles to the left and right, and to the rail on top. It is sealed as far as bugs, etc. being able to penetrate, but not airtight. Should it be airtight? If so, how to accomplish that without adhering/ sealing the trim to the rail and stiles...thereby damaging the trim whenever the unit is pulled out?

Is there such a thing as a break-in smell?

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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
There is nothing inside the box itself that should have oil on it from manufacturing. The exchange unit on the back may though.

I would open the back of the frig. from the outside and see if the smell is stronger there.

if it coming from the exchange unit on the back I am surprised you are getting it inside. Frigs are generally pretty will sealed off from the outside.
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
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My new Dometic 2510 had a little bit of "hot metal" odor on the first couple of test runs. But it was not as noticeable as my new furnace. The fridge does have a flame and flue that gets hot to the touch.

Maybe the smell is less when you run it for a while on AC. However the same parts get hot.

The hot metal smell ought to be strongest at the fridge vent on the roof of the trailer. Maybe there is an open door or window allowing the odor inside. The plastic vent from the counter top to the fridge vent can't have any cracks or holes in it.

My Dometic installation guide was quite explicit on a good seal all around the fridge to cabinet interface. Dometic certainly does not want combustion fumes drifting into the trailer.

David
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:53 PM   #5
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I believe this smell is normal when the propane is used for the first several times. I believe it is just the hot vent "breaking in". We experienced that smell for the first 10 days or so camping with our 2015 FC20 while running the fridge on propane. Since then, no smell.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:40 PM   #6
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Had new direct replacement Dometic installed in our 03 Classic and went directly to campground with fridge on. No odor. Your vent is clear?
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:07 AM   #7
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If you smell it inside the coach the refer is more than likely not sealed as it should be. It has a burner in the back. Combustion and cooling air enter the space either thru the floor or side of the coach. The heat and exhaust fumes from the burner exit thru a vertical vent in most cases thru the roof. This vent needs to be sealed off from the cabin and free of any blockage. If you can smell hot metal chances are CO could be entering the living space. CO is odorless, it can make you sick or even kill you.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:50 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for he input. The last time I fired the unit up was just after installation, when it was still summer. The smell was quite strong then. After writing the post I fired it up once again, making sure there was a good tight seal around the cabinet. I didn't detect any odor inside, and the carbon monoxide detector I purchased didn't go off, so I guess all is good.

I would also be willing to bet that the cooler fall temperatures also assist in good ventilation behind the unit as well, as the warmer air more quickly rises back there in a cooler environment
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:04 AM   #9
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I have run my newly installed Norcold LP fridge several times with no noticeable odor.
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