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Old 07-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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2010 22' Sport
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Diagnosing Refrigerator Problems

Hello all. On my last trip, the site I was on left me unable to get my Airstream completely level, and the refrigerator gradually warmed and left me unable to operate on gas. The unit is clearly firing up, I hear the flame, and have heat at the back of the unit.

Once back in the driveway I have tried again with gas, unsuccessfully, same as at the campground. I have plugged into the house, and successfully cooled on both 120 V and 12 V power, so at least parts of the fridge are working.

This now leaves me unsure how to diagnose the problem, I find different answers around the net, and no help from the manuals that came with the Airstream. I was initially thinking the cooling unit was now blocked and shot, but I am reading elsewhere information that has me questioning if that is correct since it cools on electric power. Can anyone offer any tests I should do to troubleshoot the source of the problem? I'll be heading out for the weekend, and have 120 V power for the trip, but will be looking to get the problem diagnosed shortly afterwards so I can fix this.

The fridge is a Dometic RM 8501 in a 2010 22FB Sport model, if any of that makes a difference in the diagnostics.

Thanks for the help, and enjoy the holiday week everyone!

Eric
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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If it is working on 12 and 120V then the fidge itself is OK.

Your problem is with the flame side. Clean the burner head and flue and adjust to the instructions on the OEM site troubleshoot help file.

http://www.dometic.com/FileOrganizer...eration_EN.pdf

Good luck
Dave
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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Also check your LP pressure at the fridge, low pressure will affect how much it will cool on gas.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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Yes, and yes to the previous posts.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Refer problem on gas

Hello

I had this exact problem with a Dometic RM2310.

There was a tiny spider web or something in the gas orifice.

Even though the flame looked fine, this web or whatever disrupted the flow of gas just enough to disable the cooling.

I removed the gas jet and cleaned it out with carburetor cleaner and compressed air and it's worked fine ever since.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:07 AM   #6
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Reefer Problem

PS - Don't use any kind of "tool" to clean out the soft brass gas jet in the fridge - doing so will ruin the jet, since the tiniest scratch inside it will disrupt the gas flow and you'll have the same problem you started with.

Use carb cleaner, wood alcohol or something similar and compressed air to blow it out.

When you're done, look into the tiny hole with a magnifying glass and verify that the inside it perfectly clean. It only takes tiny amount of anything in there to mess up your flow.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for weighing in everyone. This sounds far better than I'd feared, I will clean the burner next week and report back.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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Be very careful with the orifice in the brass gas nozzle. The hole is actually a hole drilled through a ruby. When you take it out of the gas valve soak it in alcohol(nothing else). If you hold it up to a light and look through it you can see the red of the ruby.
The ruby is very hard and doesn't erode with the gas flow. That is why they us that material.
Try blowing compressed air up through your chimney above the gas burner. That should clear out spider webs in the flue.
These ammonia fridges are extremely sensitive to disruptions in air flow etc.
Al
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:15 AM   #9
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I have been trouble shooting the exact same problem with my refrigerator. I cleaned the burner orifice and got some improvement. I need to check the chimney for obstructions. Can anyone point me to instructions for checking gas pressure and adjusting gas pressure?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:38 AM   #10
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Dometic Manual

I have a Dometic service manual which is inclusive of many models. I'd be happy to send you a PDF copy if you email me.

I agree, cleaning is always a good start, and remember, the jet is a hands/ tools off item, only solvents!

FWIW, I use an old ultrasonic jewlery tank to clean those jets, works like a charm!
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