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Old 02-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
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1979 25' Tradewind
lebanon , Tennessee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5
Electric side of refrigerator not working

My royal dometic works on gas but doesn't work on electric,checked power at plug and on the back of unit power at both. I was told to check the heater, don't know where the heater is or what it looks like, any ideals on what could be wrong.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
The electric part of an RV refrigerator is a small heater of about 300 watts which is inserted into a socket in the refrigerator chimney. If you look at where the propane flame is there will be a (usually circular) metal pipe like enclosure, rising straight up from the flame. On the side of that, you will find two wires going into the "chimney". If you have a 12/120 volt unit, there may be four wires.

The wires go to the heater(s), always 120 volts and maybe 12 volts if you have that option. The smaller wires go to the 120 volt heater. Disconnect them and measure to see that, when on 120 volts, you have power to them. Then measure the resistance of the heater wires themselves. You should measure a fairly low resistance across the 300 watt heating element.

If you have 120 volts to the element, but high resistance across the element, you have a burned out heater. It can be removed from it's socket in the chimney and replaced. The element itself is usually under $50. Be aware that sometimes the element is rusted in place (it simply slides into the pocket) and may not come out easily. Also, if it has burned out, sometimes it is welded in place, again making it very hard to remove. However, I have had little trouble replacing the 4 or 5 I have done over the years. Try removing it prior to buying a new one at an RV dealer. If it simply will not come out, just use propane all the time for your refrigerator.

That should get you started.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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1979 25' Tradewind
lebanon , Tennessee
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idroba i'll give that a try, how often do you have to replace the unit. Thanks again
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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There is no specific life of the heaters, depends on how much they are used, and so on. Often they will last the life of the refrigerator. But the heaters are available, sometimes even in stock at large RV stores. More than likely though, you will have to order it.
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