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Old 05-29-2008, 06:01 AM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
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Dometic Refrigerator Hot Box

I recently purchased a 1972 Ambassador and when I turned on the refridgerator for the first time the freezer became hot to the touch by the next day instead of getting cold. Any idea what would cause that? There is a label on the door that says it has auto defrost. Could it be stuck in the defrost mode? There is some rust on the tubing in the system but no smell.

Any advise would be great.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:28 AM   #2
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Do you smell any ammonia type smells anywhere? Was the unit working recently? First time I heard of an auto defrost feature.

Does the fridge still cool normally?
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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There was no smell anywhere. The electric heat was on when I turned on the switch. All of the coils and pipes were warm/hot including the bottom of the freezer. I bought the trailer from a guy who had it for two years intending to fix it up and never got around to it. I doubt that he tried it at all so this is the first time it has ben fired up for a long time.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:50 AM   #4
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Ok, so no smell. Is this a 2 door fridge or does the freezer cool the fridge as in a one door fridge.

Sounds to me (and I'm no expert) that if the unit is hot, the defrost is off, the chemical reaction seems not to be working. Might need new guts behind the fridge, or find some place than can refurb it?
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbroughman
I recently purchased a 1972 Ambassador and when I turned on the refridgerator for the first time the freezer became hot to the touch by the next day instead of getting cold. Any idea what would cause that? There is a label on the door that says it has auto defrost. Could it be stuck in the defrost mode? There is some rust on the tubing in the system but no smell.

Any advise would be great.
VERY STRANGE!!!

In the freezer section, you'll find a few bolts with washers behind them. These are the heat transfer locations that allow the unit to get cold. Are they cold at all?

If your unit has auto defrost and these 'buttons' are not cold, I would suspect that your auto-defrost mechanism, usually located in your control board, is malfunctioning and causing the defrost heater to remain on. This will negate all of the cooling effects of your unit! If the coils and tubing at the rear of the unit are uniformly warm to hot, then it would re-inforce this diagnosis.

I would find a competent Factory authorized Dometic repair center and have them test your board to see if that is the problem. It may be as simple as replacing that board.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the response. I was already expecting to replace it. If it is just a board then it is worth keeping it. I called the Dometic number and found a service company near me. I will give that a try first.
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