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Old 05-28-2006, 09:51 PM   #1
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Dometic Refrigerator

The frig cooled down from 80+ to 40 degrees in two hours. Yes, I was surprised. This was on electric power. The problem is with the 12volt and gas options. Nothing. On gas, the light on the frig flashes and the unit makes a clicking noise. When we push the igniter, I hear nothing. there is no ignition, The gas is on and checked that it reaches the cook top.

what else should I be looking for?
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishInn
The frig cooled down from 80+ to 40 degrees in two hours. Yes, I was surprised. This was on electric power. The problem is with the 12volt and gas options. Nothing. On gas, the light on the frig flashes and the unit makes a clicking noise. When we push the igniter, I hear nothing. there is no ignition, The gas is on and checked that it reaches the cook top.

what else should I be looking for?
Sounds like yours is working the glow in the window is the pilot light it should get brighter after you hear the click.The clicking is the thermostat turning on/off the burner.There want be any other sound.
On the electric or pp ours takes a long time to get cold as well.Its normal.

You might want to take your cover off the back and have a look.Ours was full of acorns and other unknown stuff mice had carried inside it.Flammable stuff! There a two piece shield that covers the burner.We have to light ours from the outside like that because our igniter is broken.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:01 PM   #3
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How old is the fridge? Take off the baffle that surrounds the burner and blow out all the cobwebs. See if you are getting a spark when you hear the clicking sound. Look for a shutoff valve in the propane line to the fridge (all my Airstreams have cutoff valves to the water heater/fridge/heater).

I concur on the slow cooling. I always start my fridges 6 hours before I need them. The freezer plate is cold in less than 30 minutes, but the fridge part takes several hours.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:55 PM   #4
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Not sure if anyone has given you this advice or not... once you clean everything... if it still doesn't cool with the gas option... I suggest you consider "burping" it. It can work wonders. It does require removing the refrigerator and unhooking it, take it out and turn it upside down for 24 hours. Sounds quirky, I know... but we have done that to several old gas fridges and it solved our problem! A old guy who once owned a appliance repair shop told us to do this... saved us a lot of money. Anyway, if all else fails, give it a try.
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:29 AM   #5
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Burping?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll provide a little more info to help narrow the field of potential issues.

This is a 2801 Dometic that is in a 1988 Excella. I believe it is original. I thought that the frig cooling to 40 degrees and the freezer to 20 degrees in two hours was wonderful. In fact, within six hours, the frig was down to freezing and the freezer was in the teens; all of this in the Texas sun this weekend.

I have cleaned all the components by following the published steps in the owners manual. I did spot short of pulling the unit.

The burping suggestion is very interesting. The fact that the unit works great on AC but not on gas or 12 volt has me wondering if it is something other than a blockage in the internal tubing.
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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Humm

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishInn
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll provide a little more info to help narrow the field of potential issues.

This is a 2801 Dometic that is in a 1988 Excella. I believe it is original. I thought that the frig cooling to 40 degrees and the freezer to 20 degrees in two hours was wonderful. In fact, within six hours, the frig was down to freezing and the freezer was in the teens; all of this in the Texas sun this weekend.

I have cleaned all the components by following the published steps in the owners manual. I did spot short of pulling the unit.

The burping suggestion is very interesting. The fact that the unit works great on AC but not on gas or 12 volt has me wondering if it is something other than a blockage in the internal tubing.
Our has a switch that i have to turn for it to run on either pp or electric.Not sure if yours does be its worth a look see....Burping thats a new one we'll have to remember that one...lol
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishInn
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll provide a little more info to help narrow the field of potential issues.

This is a 2801 Dometic that is in a 1988 Excella. I believe it is original. I thought that the frig cooling to 40 degrees and the freezer to 20 degrees in two hours was wonderful. In fact, within six hours, the frig was down to freezing and the freezer was in the teens; all of this in the Texas sun this weekend.

I have cleaned all the components by following the published steps in the owners manual. I did spot short of pulling the unit.

The burping suggestion is very interesting. The fact that the unit works great on AC but not on gas or 12 volt has me wondering if it is something other than a blockage in the internal tubing.
FFI,

A quick course in absorptive refrigeration might help you see the bigger picture. You have one cooling unit (all of the tubes) that are filled with ammonia, hydrogen gas and sodium chromate which is an anti-corrosive. This type of refrigeration cools by heating the solution and then uses a 'magical' heat transfer process in the upper and lower coils to remove the heat from inside the unit, this producing the cooling effect inside. I can explain this in detail if you like. PM me.

If your unit is working on any of the 3 heat sources (120VAC, LP, 12VDC) then your cooling unit is functioning properly. If any of these sources are not heating, then you should look at those individual sources. If the LP is not working, you should verify that LP is present at the burner, your gas valve is operating properly, you are getting spark at the burner and you visually verify that that spark is hitting the burner, not grounding somewhere else and the thermocouple is working and is properly positioned in the burner flame. The burner nozzle should also be cleaned by blowing it out. Never stick anything in the opening.

As Zepp said, you should disassemble the burner mechanism and give it a good cleaning (this should be done annually). You should also remove the spiral baffle from the heating flue and give that and the flue a good cleaning with a stiff wire brush to maintain the unit's heating efficiency which will in turn maximize it's cooling capacity.

As for 'burping', what this will do is mix your solution and possible clear a small blockage in the tubing caused by a hardening of the sodium chromate. It is not a guarantee and will not do anything if the unit has a severe blockage. At that point, you must replace the cooling unit. When I change a cooling unit, I regularly rock the fridge to all 4 sides for 5 min. each and then turn it upside down and back again before re-installing the unit. This is a mixing process that assures that the refrigerant is well stirred and will perform as intended.

You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming!
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:54 PM   #8
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Lewster,
I follow your logic. If it works on any one of the power sources then the overall cooling unit is good. Now I'm down to the two remaining heating sources.

As for the 12 volt option, I probably need to change it out. Right?

As for the gas option, I cleaned everything well. I stopped at pulling the unit. Can I clean the flue without pulling the whole Frig? When I have my wife presses the remote start on the frig, what should I be looking for?

I took it to a dealer last fall. They couldn't get the frig to start up on gas so they said I need a new frig. As I said previously, it works great on AC. I just want to get it to work when not plugged inot shore power.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishInn
Lewster,
I follow your logic. If it works on any one of the power sources then the overall cooling unit is good. Now I'm down to the two remaining heating sources.

As for the 12 volt option, I probably need to change it out. Right?

As for the gas option, I cleaned everything well. I stopped at pulling the unit. Can I clean the flue without pulling the whole Frig? When I have my wife presses the remote start on the frig, what should I be looking for?

I took it to a dealer last fall. They couldn't get the frig to start up on gas so they said I need a new frig. As I said previously, it works great on AC. I just want to get it to work when not plugged inot shore power.
OK, now we're getting somewhere. You have to find the wires that supply the voltage to thre 12VDC heating element. They should be marked on the control board which ones are for the 12VDC element and which are for the 120VAC element. Disconnect the wires at the board and do an Ohms check. I'm not sure what it should read as they all are different, but if you have your manual it should tell you the reading you should get if the element is good.

The other thing you can do is check to see if you are getting any DC output from the board on the DC heating element terminals when the fridge is switched to DC operation. BE CAREFUL NOT TO SHORT THE PROBE LEADS!!!!

As for the gas, Before you even clean anything you should verify that the gas valve is operational. Be sure that the valve is turned on (if you have one) and while you are standing next to the valve, have your wife switch to LP operation. You should hear the valve click open (it's a solenoid operated valve) and you should hear the igniter clicking, trying to produce the flame.

Let me know how these work out before I really get into the more complex testing procedures.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:40 PM   #10
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Our 92 25' Excella had the same problem which I fixed by merely disconnecting, cleaning the connections, then reinstalling the small power connections to the solenoid (?) valve that controls the gas flowing out of the jet into the venturi thingy. I've done that at least three times usually after not having the unit turned on for a long time.
I've also replaced the refrigerator coils about 1.5 years ago as the fridge stopped working. And the igniter which wasn't the problem. The problem was that the connections were slightly corroded.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:37 PM   #11
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I was pleasently surprised when I took my circuit board into Camping world. The did a bench check and found that the pilot light wasn't sending a signal back to the board. $100 and a new board put me back in business, a very simple switch out. This may be your problem and they didn't charge for the bench test.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:28 PM   #12
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I fired up my Dometic today after at least 6 months of sitting. The freezer dropped to 20 degrees on #3 and 0 on #4. However, the fridge portion is only down to 60 degrees on #4 after being on for about 4 hours. Since there is no adjustment between the fridge and freezer this has me wondering what's up.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:31 AM   #13
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Steve,

The freezer has no adjustment. It just gets cold. The control on the front of your unit controls the refrigerator section by means of a thermistor located on one of the cooling fins in the refer box. This might be bad. The temp control section of the main board could also be bad, as could your 'eyebrow' or upper control.

Also check for air leaks in the lower door seal. Close a dollar bill in the door and remove. There should be a slight pull of resistance. Do this all around the door to check the door gasket.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:49 AM   #14
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Dometic Fridge

Hey Guys, I have to get in on this thread....
My 79' Sovereign has the Royal Dometic Fridge in it with all the controls at the bottom of the unit in the form of dials. No computer board or digital stuff. We plugged it to A/C power and turned it on and the fins get hot and you can hear the liquid in the unit gurgling but it never gets cold. Any ideas on what this could be? I hate to trash the unit as it's cosmetically in really good shape. The PO said that this just started happening a few months before he sold it to me. Any help would be much appreciated.
-Don Antie Jr
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