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Old 09-17-2008, 09:18 AM   #1
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12volts and Refers...

In preparation for an upcoming rally, I went out to start the fridge thismorning. this is a new-er dometic; not the original gas-only model. It doesn't have the auto-switchover from electric to gas feature; you have to manually select "gas" or "electric". But it does require 12v to run. When you turn the knob to "gas", the ignitor starts clicking, and you have to manually depress a button to bypass the gas safety valve until it lights, and the thermocouple warms up.

So anyway, I turned it on to "gas" thismorning, and no clicking. The battery has been removed from the trailer; its inside, on my bench charger, (which is another thread entirely). But the trailer is plugged in to 30 amp power, and the univolt is buzzing away...there should be 12v there. or should there be? . I don't see how there couldn't be 12v there, just because the battery was removed...unless the wires were connected directly to the battery...which they weren't.
maybe the thing is just plain busted, and the fact that I had removed the battery from the trailer is just a destracting coincidence.
Anyway, I flipped it over to "electric". But I wonder...does it still need a seperate 12v supply to run? I don't imagine the fridge has its own 110vAC-12vDC converter built in...
won't know 'till later if its working or not, since these things don't make any sound. no time to troubleshoot, thismorning; I just wanted to get it started on my way off to work.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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The ignitor exciter might be missing its excitingator. My refrig ignitor wire had been wired direct to the battery. You might check if your ignitor wire is hooked up to the 12Volt side, with your battery out.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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Not sure I quite understand what you're saying. there were no wires connected to the battery, other than the standard battery cables that connect it to the univolt. The refer's 12v supply wire comes off the 12v outlet that is located in a cabinet above the fridge.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #4
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12V need for gas valve control? ignitor?
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
In preparation for an upcoming rally, I went out to start the fridge thismorning. this is a new-er dometic; not the original gas-only model. It doesn't have the auto-switchover from electric to gas feature; you have to manually select "gas" or "electric". But it does require 12v to run. When you turn the knob to "gas", the ignitor starts clicking, and you have to manually depress a button to bypass the gas safety valve until it lights, and the thermocouple warms up.

So anyway, I turned it on to "gas" thismorning, and no clicking. The battery has been removed from the trailer; its inside, on my bench charger, (which is another thread entirely). But the trailer is plugged in to 30 amp power, and the univolt is buzzing away...there should be 12v there. or should there be? . I don't see how there couldn't be 12v there, just because the battery was removed...unless the wires were connected directly to the battery...which they weren't.
maybe the thing is just plain busted, and the fact that I had removed the battery from the trailer is just a destracting coincidence.
Anyway, I flipped it over to "electric". But I wonder...does it still need a seperate 12v supply to run? I don't imagine the fridge has its own 110vAC-12vDC converter built in...
won't know 'till later if its working or not, since these things don't make any sound. no time to troubleshoot, thismorning; I just wanted to get it started on my way off to work.
Chuck,

First thing you should do is get the voltmeter out and probe the 12VDC outlet that feeds the fridge. If you have no 12VDC there....the fridge will not work! It needs a constant supply of 12VDC not onlt to work the LP side, but the 120VAC side as well since the unit uses 12VDC as the control voltage thru the control board(s).

As I recall (I'm NOT a univolt expert), they put out a much higher voltage than 12VDC (which is why they will boil your battery dry if left un-attended), and this voltage alone without the battery as a filter may possibly damage the electronics in your fridge.

No 12VDC............no operation!
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:30 PM   #6
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I know this is going to sound simple, but I have had the problem. Check the igniter and see if the gap has changed. I had a problen with the igniter moving its self due to vibration. I had to epoxy it in place. Same symptom no spark, no light gas.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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Chuck,

First thing you should do is get the voltmeter out and probe the 12VDC outlet that feeds the fridge. If you have no 12VDC there....the fridge will not work! It needs a constant supply of 12VDC not onlt to work the LP side, but the 120VAC side as well since the unit uses 12VDC as the control voltage thru the control board(s).
I know it needs 12v to operate; I'm just sayin'...there should be 12v there. its plugged in to shore power, and the univolt is working. I didn't think to check the outlet 'till I was already on the road to work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
As I recall (I'm NOT a univolt expert), they put out a much higher voltage than 12VDC (which is why they will boil your battery dry if left un-attended), and this voltage alone without the battery as a filter may possibly damage the electronics in your fridge.
hmmm....now we may be on to something. I was just recently testing the univolt, and it puts out 14v. Which is exactly what its supposed to do. I checked the service manual...it says "between 13.8 and 14.2". But with the battery connected, and testing at the terminals, the voltage reads 13.5. That makes me wonder if the 12v circuit board has some sort of over-voltage protection (like most computers) that prevents it from working with this higher than normal voltage. either that, or I fried it by sending it 14v.
(fwiw, I don't think a normally operating univolt should be "frying batteries left and right", as is often purported here. not at that voltage, anyway. eventually...yeah, but it should take it quite a long time. I think the problem is that when these old univolts fail, they can put out much higher voltage. the voltages I'm measuring are hardly any different than what these new-fangled smart-charges quote as their "float" charge...which I know, isn't the best thing in the world for a battery, long term, either, as it probably never gets a really "full" charge without that bulk mode. but anyway...).
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:40 AM   #8
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well...I don't know what was going on yesterday morning...maybe my coffee hadn't kicked in yet? but anyway, when I got home last night, I checked the outlet. yes, there is power there. I opened the fridge...yes, its cold. working perfectly. I flipped the knob over to gas, and the ignitor started clicking away. must have just needed to jiggle the knob a bit.

{sigh}. Oh, well. Log this one on the help-desk as "adjust user brightness, ID one-zero Tango (ID10T)"

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