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Old 10-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Dometic 3804 No Gas Operation

Hi all, I have a 1990 airstream with a dometic 3804 fridge. It works fine on ac power but it will not fire on gas. The igniter does not click, and when I turn it on and hit the propane switch, within a matter of 5 seconds, the red fault lite is on. Are there any tests I can perform on this, the 3 amp fuse is good.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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OK so heres an update. Just happened to try thr fridge on gas yesterday and it lit!!! I let it run to see how long it would stay lit, put ice trays in freezer, it got good and cold, but then it went out. Hit the button again and it started right back up. this morning I went out and it was out again. I took the burner out which was full of rust, cleaned it, and cleaned the jet in alcohol, made sure the igniter clearance was good, and put it all back together, and no ignition again.

When u put it on there is a distinct click in the circuit board, but I dont see the ignitor clicking, there is no spark. Ive tried to lite it manually but that doesnt work. Shouldnt the ignitor click, even if there is no propane flowing? I dont get it.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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My refer failed much like yours, wouldn't stay running on gas. I hired a rv tech, he found a small electronic module had failed that controlled the gas side, about $80.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Don't you wish they would give you an option between all of this fancy electronic stuff and a basic. You light it by hand model. Atwood does that with their water heaters.
It plain that these circuit boards are not built robust enough to handle RV duty.
I would think there would be a good business in designing retro fit parts for refers and furnaces. Not just for A$'s but all brands of RV's.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Don't you wish they would give you an option between all of this fancy electronic stuff and a basic. You light it by hand model. Atwood does that with their water heaters.
It plain that these circuit boards are not built robust enough to handle RV duty.
I would think there would be a good business in designing retro fit parts for refers and furnaces. Not just for A$'s but all brands of RV's.
TGT: Dometic makes a 2410 (4 cu ft) and a 2510 (5 cu ft) refrigerator with the old mechanical controls, not electronic. And they are cheaper too.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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A good cleaning and clean up of the burner area is in order.

Sounds like either the igniter or burner is full of rust or dirt.

If you are comfortable with it, use an air hose and maybe a small wire brush to clean up the area and see if the burner lights more reliably.


Regards,

JD
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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JD, if you read my 2nd post I did exactly what you suggested yesterday, then tried all day to light it, no go. But here's the good news, went out today and flipped the switch, just for s@#ts and giggles, and it fired right up!!!

I just don't know why it doesn't continually spark and try to light thatlike the water heater. That tells me I have an intermittent problem.

Oh, btw, did I mention I love my AS right now!!! LOL
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #8
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Sorry, I missed that.

As mention above, the ignitor brain can fail, which will cause the intermittent issues you are experiencing.


Good Luck.

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Old 10-16-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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My circuit board went out on my Dometic and would not ignite.All I did was light it manually and left it on the entire trip.Your problem sounds like a good cleaning is in order.Also check to see how much propane remains or if it is switched to a low tank.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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I did try lighting it manually but no go. There might have been air in the lines, I did shut it down, and refilled both tanks, about 2 weeks ago, but Ive been running the water heater and stove without problems. My other rvs, the fridge would always make multiple attempts to light, this one goes right into fault within 10 seconds, that's why Im thinking intermittent problem in the ignitor circuit
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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OK, so here's an update. I can usually get the fridge to light on gas, but not always when I want to. That is to say, when I leave a site, and I try to switch the fridge to gas it doesn't always go., but I can drive for an hour or 2 and then it will light right up, but it never seems to run for 24 hours. I just lit it 3 hrs ago, strong flame but it's not running now.

Which leads me to believe, I don't really know. It is igniting, maybe intermittently, but after it ignites, I don't know why it doesn't stay lit.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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I went thru all that intermittent stuff, fought it for weeks.
New module, no problem now three years, , ,
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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Yeah I hear ya. If it was summer there would be more urgency, but seeing that its fallhere in the northeast, the camping season is just about over. We will go out a few more times, and the nights are cold enough to keep everything good, like I said, it's an intermittent problem.

I found a reigniter module on line for 25 bucks, I think I'm gonna go for it, it's not just about getting it fixed for me, I hope to learn a lot more about how it works. Which brings up another question, whan the fridge cools down to the set temperature, does the flame go out, and then it has to reignite? And why is the chimney warm, even when its been running on electric for days?
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeepjunk4 View Post
Which brings up another question, whan the fridge cools down to the set temperature, does the flame go out, and then it has to reignite? And why is the chimney warm, even when its been running on electric for days?
Yes, the flame goes out and is re lit with the ignitor on most (but not all) of the refrigerators with a circuit board made today. The thermostat calls for cooling, and the ignitor sparks, gas valve opens, and the flame is lit. The ignitor is shut off or stops sparking due to the presence of a flame. The automatic re ignitor you mentioned will simply try to spark ignite the entire time the flame is off, and I don't think you will be happy with that.

The chimney is warm when on electric as all that is done is to heat it with electricity rather than gas when running on line power. So, some heat goes up the chimney.
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