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Old 08-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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Do you have to turn refrigerator off when its disconnected from electric

Hi,
Another question from an 71 LAND YACHT airstream newbie. When we last used the refrigerator in the airstream, we disconnected the trailer from power, we took out the food, propped the door open and left it. Now we just plugged into power tonight, to get it ready for this weekend. Do I have to do anything to make sure the refirgerator goes on? Will it go on by itself? It's on electric now (we hadn't changed it) but this weekend we will camp without utitlities and need to run it on propane, I know we have to open the refrigerator panel on the outside and then i'M LOST. Thanks for the information everybody gives here!
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Do you know what fridge model you have. The newer ones are automatic and self ignite. Going back in time there were manual ignition ones which have a pizeo ignitor inside the trailer (push button on the front of the fridge). If it's original to '71, it could be one which has to be ignited with a match outside at the rear of the fridge. No clue what you have.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
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It looks like the orginal fridge, I'll go check it in the morning. Do I have to light the pilot if I have the trailer plugged into electricity?? I thought I could run it on either. Last time I ran it, I was plugged in. thanks
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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The old ones have a manual switch, usually inside the coach on the fridge front which has positions for electric or gas, turn it to gas and go outside and look for a knob on the rear of the fridge to hold in and light the pilot....like an old stove or water heater.

The ones with a pizeo ignitor also have a manual knob on the front of the fridge for gas and electric, but have a push button ignitor inside and another knob to push in till it lights. These usually have an optic "fiber" or tube whereby you can see a blue glow when they light.
The newer ones are fully automatic, sensing when 120V is present or not and choose the mode all by themselves.

If you don't have a manual, look for the make and model on the unit and do a web search for a proper manual. I just can't quite see your fridge from here
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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My '75 refrigerator has a set of controls on the interior of the refrigerator at the very bottom. From left to right, it's the ignitor, a prism that lets one see if the flame is lit, the override that lets gas run to the burner for lighting, the main control that switches between gas and electric and has the gas thermostat setting, and finally the electric thermostat. There's an instruction plate right next to all those controls that walks you through how to set the refrigerator for gas or electric operation.

You'll want to be sure to light a burner on the stove for a moment to purge some air that might be in the gas lines, or it could take you a while to get the refrigerator lit. Its burner doesn't flow that much gas, so it would take longer to purge the system through only the fridge burner.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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Hi,
I just looked up in the manual and its the original 1971 Domestic refrigerator. it sounds exactly like yours with the controls at the bottom. Does the gas burner have to be lit for the refrig to work?? My refrig compartment on the outside is locked and I've sent to out-of-doors mart for a replacement key (I didn't get one with the trailer) So I can't access the rear of the fridge. So my question is....can it just run on electricity without the gas being lit at all??? When I had some work done on the trailer they did replace my thermal-coupler in the refrigerator.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggiefoss View Post
Hi,
I just looked up in the manual and its the original 1971 Domestic refrigerator. it sounds exactly like yours with the controls at the bottom. Does the gas burner have to be lit for the refrig to work?? My refrig compartment on the outside is locked and I've sent to out-of-doors mart for a replacement key (I didn't get one with the trailer) So I can't access the rear of the fridge. So my question is....can it just run on electricity without the gas being lit at all??? When I had some work done on the trailer they did replace my thermal-coupler in the refrigerator.
Thanks for your help.
It's either/or. To turn on the electric heating element, you're turning off the gas (when you put that middle control in the "ELEC" position.)

When everything it working right, you don't need to open the outer locker to light the gas. That depends on the manual ignitor working properly, and the only way to really tell would be to either light it successfully, or maybe look in the prism in total darkness and you can see some spark from the ignitor (that's a total guess, I haven't tried that... so far my ignitor is working.

If the electric element is still heating, you can run it on electricity as long as you have 120V service. On my refrigerator, the gas cools it more quickly, but that's mostly noticeable when the weather is really hot. Once it's cool inside, mine works well enough on electricity up to 105F exterior temperatures, but at that point I have to swap cold packs between the freezer and refrigerator section a couple of times a day.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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Maggie,

Yes the unit will run on either gas or electric. It only runs on one at at time.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Maggiefoss View Post
Hi,
I just looked up in the manual and its the original 1971 Domestic refrigerator. it sounds exactly like yours with the controls at the bottom. Does the gas burner have to be lit for the refrig to work?? My refrig compartment on the outside is locked and I've sent to out-of-doors mart for a replacement key (I didn't get one with the trailer) So I can't access the rear of the fridge. So my question is....can it just run on electricity without the gas being lit at all??? When I had some work done on the trailer they did replace my thermal-coupler in the refrigerator.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:21 AM   #9
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So do I have to light the gas pilot first, before I run electricity??? I've had it plugged in for 2 days now and its not getting cold. It ran on electricity last time I used it ((april) but we didn't have to turn it on the repair place had it on and cold when I picked it up and then we headed out to camp. I'm sorry I sound so dumb about this, but it sounds like I have to light a pilot first, that I just can't set it to electric #4 and plug it in (or otherwise it would be working) Also, do I have to have it level for electricity?? I know it needs to be level for propane. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:42 AM   #10
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Maggie,

The gas and electric are totally separate, you do not have to have the gas on to use the electric, in fact you can't. The fuel switch on the bottom of the unit is either gas, electric or off. Make sure that the fuel switch is on electric and the electric thermostat is on high. It must be level regardless of fuel as the fuel runs the cooling system.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Maggiefoss View Post
So do I have to light the gas pilot first, before I run electricity??? I've had it plugged in for 2 days now and its not getting cold. It ran on electricity last time I used it ((april) but we didn't have to turn it on the repair place had it on and cold when I picked it up and then we headed out to camp. I'm sorry I sound so dumb about this, but it sounds like I have to light a pilot first, that I just can't set it to electric #4 and plug it in (or otherwise it would be working) Also, do I have to have it level for electricity?? I know it needs to be level for propane. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for everyones help

OK... My key came in the mail from Out-of-Doors mart- and I was able to open the fridge compartment. The outlet in there (that the fridge was plugged into was inoperable) I plugged into an extension cord and lo and behold the fridge started getting cold! I finally had an electrician friend come over, and he found I didn't have any power from my breaker box to any outlets. He, through the power of electricianhood, fixed it. don't ask me what he did. I just know I now owe him dinner!! thanks to everyone who tried to help me!! Your comments really did help me!
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