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Old 11-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Dometic fridge issues

Have you tried to run the fridge on propane to see that it actually works on propane?

Possibly the electrical power source drops and the fridge tries to work on propane *and* your propane tank is empty. Is the power source on a circuit with a timer, so that it disconnects power to your trailer?

I realize that these are basic questions, but after having spent a few years doing telephone computer tech support, you would be amazed at what people take for granted.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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Whether on gas or electric, the fridge's control board needs 12VDC to operate. The difference between day and night may be that the lights and or other 12v loads used at night are dragging the voltage down so that the control board operation is affected. If this is the case, the converter which is responsible for charging the battery and maintaining the DC voltage levels may not be up to the job. A voltmeter would help shed some light on this. It could be as simple as a loose or dirty ground or other connection.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkmagikca View Post
Have you tried to run the fridge on propane to see that it actually works on propane?

Possibly the electrical power source drops and the fridge tries to work on propane *and* your propane tank is empty. Is the power source on a circuit with a timer, so that it disconnects power to your trailer?

I realize that these are basic questions, but after having spent a few years doing telephone computer tech support, you would be amazed at what people take for granted.

Thanks Blkmagikca!
No the propane tank is not empty as I do have hot water and no my power source is not on a timer.

How do I select to run frig on propane?
Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
Whether on gas or electric, the fridge's control board needs 12VDC to operate. The difference between day and night may be that the lights and or other 12v loads used at night are dragging the voltage down so that the control board operation is affected. If this is the case, the converter which is responsible for charging the battery and maintaining the DC voltage levels may not be up to the job. A voltmeter would help shed some light on this. It could be as simple as a loose or dirty ground or other connection.
Thanks Silver Goose!
I do have a few lights on in the evening.
Would my converter be outside in the compartment next to frig where I hear the clicking? I can then check it for loose or dirty wires. I do not have a voltmeter.

Thank you!
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Depending on the vintage of your fridge, it may have a manual pilot light, or more likely an electronic spark ignition. The "clicking" may be the ignition spark attempting to light the burner.

I would start with your battery connections. The clamps should be tight and free of corrosion. You may be able to follow the ground cable from the battery to the frame or where it ties into the DC distribution connections. Check that they are all secure. Also find where the 12V and ground connect to the back of the fridge and check those connections for tightness. While looking at the battery, add distilled water if needed to bring the electrolyte level up to within 1/4" of the bottom of the fill holes. Be careful about splashing the electrolyte as the sulphuric acid is nasty stuff. It will burn holes in your clothes and worse on your skin or eyes.

I would then use a voltmeter to measure the voltage during the day when the fridge is working correctly, and then again at night when it's not to see if you do in fact have a low voltage condition when the lights are turned on.

Someone else may know where the converter is located in your trailer. It is typically under a bed or seat. Older ones are known to hum, so maybe you can find it by listening. A converter that is operating should put out about 13.2 to 14.5 volts give or take depending on the charge level of the battery. When the converter is off, a fully charged battery should read about 12.7 volts. A battery that reads 12.0 volts is considered discharged for practical reasons. If the voltage gets lower than that, circuit boards and gas valves my not function as intended.

When tightening any electrical connections, be sure your shore power is disconnected as well as the (-) post on the battery to prevent any arc welding should your wrench or screwdriver get across unintended points.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
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Thanks Blkmagikca!
How do I select to run frig on propane?
Thank you!
There should be a button that switches between "auto" and "gas". Pressing the button cycles between the two options.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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... How do I select to run frig on propane? Thank you!
This is also model dependent. If you don't have the users guide for your fridge, see if you can find a downloadable copy on the internet. Usually a google search for your fridge's model # should find one. Older models often had a knob on the front panel that would allow you to select gas or electric operation. Many newer models have a switch that selects gas or auto. Gas means it runs on LPG exclusively. Auto means it will run on electric whenever 110v is available and then it switches to LPG when 110v is not.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:54 AM   #8
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Really appreciate both of your time in helping me!!!

I turned off my 12v lights last night when the frig light went off and the frig came back on and stayed on so that is definitely it

I will check out all the things you both mentioned and get this solved.

Thank you!!!
Dave
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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Voltmeter

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I do not have a voltmeter.
By all means, get a volt/ohmmeter. Inexpensive ones work just fine for troubleshooting a trailer. It's one of the best tools you can have.

If you need to, get someone who knows to teach you what the various settings on the meter are for. They look more complicated than they really are.
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