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Old 07-07-2003, 07:23 PM   #1
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dometic fridge problem

Domestic fridge problem.
Does anyone know what could be wrong with a fridge when the upper freezer compartment works but the lower fridge compartment does not cool? I had it on electric not LPgas at the time.
I am open to any suggestions.
Thank you.
Linda
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:32 PM   #2
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Dometic Fridge Problem

Greetings Linda!

Welcome to the Forums!

You may not have a problem. How long was the refrigerator in operation when you noted the temperature? Especially if you have a Vintage coach with a vintage Dometic refrigerator it will take several hous for the refrigerator to cool noticeably - - the freezer will be the first to actually feel cold. For instance, in my '78 Argosy Minuet it takes about two to four hours for the freezer to begin to feel cold while it might take 12 to 36 hours for the refrigerator to reach its normal operating temperature. In my Overlander which has a two year old Dometic 3-Way refrigerator, these times are much faster - - almost 50% faster.

Another issue that can cause erratic cooling is whether the refrigerator is level - - in other words has the coach been leveled. Again, the older the coach/refrigerator the more critical the leveling becomes. My Argosy is far more sensitive to the degree to which the coach has been leveled than is the Overlander with its newer refrigerator.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 07-08-2003, 07:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
The upper freezer compartment works but the lower fridge compartment does not cool
Make sure that the fridge is level.I have also found that if you "stuff " the fidge part with a lots of you favorite food it tends to make the fidge not to work to well . Also If the freezer part get loaded with ice that seems like it makes the fidge part not to cold. Have you cleaned exhaust stack?. What I do some times is to pack a bunch of "blue ices" on door.One last thing how old is it I have seen the older the fidge the more they don't like to be off level.Good luck
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:43 PM   #4
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Make sure the door to the fridge is closed tightly all around...we discovered that a pitcher on the door shelf held the bottom portion of the door open even though the top was latched tightly.
Also, make sure the dial is set toward maximum enough to allow the fridge to make the lower part cool enough. We use a fridge thermometer to check how cool it is in there.
Also, if you have teens (we have two) who use the fridge lots to get food/drinks all day, opening and closing the door a bunch can really raise the temp especially on hot days.
Hope this helps
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:45 PM   #5
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I had the same problem this weekend. After being leveled and lit for 24 hrs our fridge was barely down to 50, which was quite a bit colder than the 90 it was outside, but not as cold as I would like for the food I had in it. When I lit it at home the day before we left and let it run all night empty it got colder than it needed to.

Do these little LP fridges tend to struggle in the heat or should it have cooled off better than that? I guess we'll take an ice cooler to our next camp out just to be safe. I'm starting to see why some people travel with their fridge lit if it takes more than a day for it to cool down to temp with food in it.
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:58 PM   #6
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Dometic Fridge Problems

Add me to the list of those having problems with their Dometic (RM100) fridge. I just had the fridge serviced this week (cleaned, checked to make certain that it is operational). The service guy said that it was pretty dirty but that things looked good. Fired it up using LP yesterday - freezer got to 20' very quickly but the lower ffridge portion did not reach the non-spoilage range (30ish') until the sun went down. Out of fairness, it was close to 100' yesterday so I can't complain about the time it took to cool down. Now here is the kicker - today I am attempting to cool the fridge down using elec. which I understood to be quicker. The freezer compartment is down to around 30' (this after about 5-6 hours) but the lower fridge portion has not cooled at all (at 70'). Why would this happen and what might be causing it? The fridge is basically level. Would this point to a thermocoupler problem? Any assistance apppreciated on . Montanaandy
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Old 07-13-2003, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stefrobrts
Do these little LP fridges tend to struggle in the heat or should it have cooled off better than that?
My experince with our new RM2510, that it does in fact depend on the outside temp.

When it was hot on our last trip 100+ outside, we had to have the fridge on the max setting. We were using gas because I thought it was not working on AC. But it was just because the outside temp was so high. Also, I think the inside of the trailer temp affects the fridge temp too.

When we camped in the mountains last year I found a mid setting ok since the daily high was in the 80's. However, that same setting turned the orange juice into slushies and froze the lettuce at night when the outside temp dropped to the 40's.

Just my experience. I'd say if you can shade the outside of your trailer where the fridge is the better you be.
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Old 07-13-2003, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: Dometic Fridge Problems

Quote:
[i] Now here is the kicker - today I am attempting to cool the fridge down using elec. which I understood to be quicker. The freezer compartment is down to around 30' (this after about 5-6 hours) but the lower fridge portion has not cooled at all (at 70'). Why would this happen and what might be causing it? The fridge is basically level. Would this point to a thermocoupler problem? Any assistance apppreciated on . Montanaandy [/B]
Electric is not quicker. The BTU input of the electric element is a little less than the BTU of the LPG burner. Gas, given a clean burner, should cool it down more quickly.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:08 AM   #9
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Smile

We had a similar problem with our fridge. It was always level but as we are camping in the summer it was frequently above 90 degrees. We were told to leave the outside door off of the refrigerator compartment and to adjust the main trailer door so that it was not in its fully opened position. These both improved performance but it was not adequate on those really hot days.

Next approach.....and these worked like magic!!!! We installed a dc powered fan to cool the coils. There was an AC powered fan set up to blow on the coils (is this standard equipment???? I don't know. It did not look like it.) that we detached and replaced with the most powerful CPU cooling fan that Radio Shack sells. (When buying look at how much air it moves and make sure that it runs off of 12V if you wiring to battery) We wired it directly to the battery with wire also purchased from Radio Shack. Total solution cost - less that $30.....and we thought we were going to have to buy a new fridge!
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:03 AM   #10
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Dometic Fridge Problems

Update - the Dometic finally cooled down after being left on overnight (it was -`10' in the freezer and 10' in the fridge). So I now know that the fridge is operational (at least when the weather is cooperating

beachmpk - I will look into the CPU fan; sounds like a great idea since the fridge will continue to struggle in higher temperatures.

Misc - I notice that when I close the freezer portion I hear a "woosh" sound (similar to what I hear when I close our deep freezer in the home) which to me indicates that the cooling process is in motion. I do not hear this sound when I close the lower fridge portion. Is this normal or does this point to a weak seal on the fridge?

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Old 07-14-2003, 10:47 AM   #11
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Patience, patience..

It took me a while to get used to the performance ( or lack thereof) of the older Dometic refrigerator in our Tradewind.
Please remember that this does not work as efficiently as your home refrigerator.
Here is what we have done to optimize the refrigerator function:
Do not leave the door open for a long time.
Make sure the vents are completely clean of leaves etc. Especially the roof vent, if so equipped.
Make sure the burner tube is clean, and that the electric heating element is in good working order.
Give the refrigerator time to cool down. Ours takes 6-8 hours to be inthe safety range and stay there.
Use a circulation fan inside the fridge.
Add circulation fan(s) to the venting system to increase air circulation around the cooling fins and tubes. Any increase of airflow helps to remove heat from the fridge. That's what it's doing, not creating cold, but removing heat until it's cold.
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Old 07-14-2003, 03:23 PM   #12
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Montanaandy,

The woosh noise you hear is the rapid cooling of the warm air that was trapped in the freezer shrinking and sucking the door closed. This is a good thing because it means your door seals are good.

Unless you get the refer portion down to 30 degrees or so you will not hear the woosh because the temp differental is not wide enough.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:05 PM   #13
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Dad took his SOB to a repair shop to get the cooling unit serviced. There have been no promises that they can fix it, but they did say they have saved many by refurbing the cooling units.

I'll keep you posted on the repair as it unfolds. It is rumored to cost about $250-$300 to fix if they can fix it.

Eric
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Old 07-18-2003, 07:48 AM   #14
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Refr. Cooling

I did as one other reader did. Install an aux. cooling fan behind the box to move air over the coils. The only thing different I did was use a 110V fan I bought at an appliance parts store for $15. I fabricated a bracket and secured it to the inner wall behind the box. I plugged it into the elec. box that was already located behind the refrig. I also use a battery operated fan inside the door and it improved refrig ops alot. Every little bit helps. I used a 4" fan as the area behind the box is very tight. I used self tapping screws with a 1/4" air ratchet to secure bracket to wall.
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