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Old 04-01-2004, 09:39 PM   #1
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1959 24' Tradewind
Astoria , Oregon
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Dometic Refer question

My '92 Excella has a Dometic 3804 110 volt/propane refrigerator, and it seems to be cooling properly. I'm concerned about a continuous on/off switching that only happens when operating from propane.
If on 110 volts, all is quiet and cooling is as expected. On propane, a relay clicks on/off once a minute or less. Looking in the access door behind the refer, a circular meter registers psi and seems to cycle on/off along with an audible click. The manual specifies 11 psi, but I see 13 on the meter, which drops a slight bit lower each time the relay clicks on/off.
Is this normal operation for a 110 volt/propane refrig? Is this a nothing? Is this a problem with the propane tank regulator? Is any corrective action needed?
All works properly and I'm not inclined to tweak unless necessary.

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Old 04-01-2004, 11:03 PM   #2
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I'm far from expert on this but it sounds like your refer gas line might be sucking some air. Have you checked to see if all connections are airtight? Do you smell any propane in that area?


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Old 04-02-2004, 05:27 AM   #3
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The Gauge you refer to is a LP pressure gauge. It will move a little when the refer goes on gas. AS long as it does not drop below 11 WC the refer should work.

Has the refer lit on gas? like rog said it could be air in the lines if the tanks have been recently filled. If the gas pressure drops below 11 WC the gas valve may not stay open. That would require some work on the LP regulator to fix
Brett G
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:53 PM   #4
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No, the gauge never seems to drop below ablout 12.5 PSI, and the fridge and freezer are plenty cold. I do not smell any propane, but am surprised/concerned at the frequent clicking heard outside the trailer which corresponds to a silght momentary drop in psi according to the meter. Do you get the same sounds when your refrig is running on propane?


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Old 04-02-2004, 11:25 PM   #5
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What you are hearing is the High Side (pressure) switch....if it did not cycle, the freon (or whatever the cooling element is) in the system would build to such pressure that it would blow..........
works much like the a/c system on an automobile. Its a totally seperate system when running off of 110 volts which is why no clicking is heard then.

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Old 04-03-2004, 09:17 AM   #6
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Jason -
Many thanks!! I feel much better understanding what the refrig is doing, and feel considerably more comfortable about running it on propane for a long continuous stretch. Hope I can return the favor some day!

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