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Old 10-04-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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Fridge efficiency?

hello all,
i just started using this smaller dometic fridge (at about 3 cu ft.) and am somewhat dismayed by how quickly its burning through propane, it went through a 5 gallon tank in a week. I was just wondering if this is expected, as I am only running on propane/no electricity or if I can expect to get better efficiency once I fix a few problems (flame burning dirty, a rusty area where the seal is). It does got cold, it just uses a ton of propane to do it.

Thanks much.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #2
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hello all,
i just started using this smaller dometic fridge (at about 3 cu ft.) and am somewhat dismayed by how quickly its burning through propane, it went through a 5 gallon tank in a week. I was just wondering if this is expected, as I am only running on propane/no electricity or if I can expect to get better efficiency once I fix a few problems (flame burning dirty, a rusty area where the seal is). It does got cold, it just uses a ton of propane to do it.

Thanks much.

Cleaning the reefer burner and oriface, does wonders for efficiency. Add to that a thorough cleaning of the reefer flue, including the spiral heat retainer that's in the flue.

Additionally, make sure the reefer, when running, is not more than 1/2 of a bubble, off balance. When traveling, that doesn't matter.

Make sure the LPG pressure is within correct settings, namely 11 to 13 inches of water column pressure. Ideally, it should be at 12 inches of water column pressure.

When the burner operates correctly, a 5 gallon LPG tank should last perhaps 3 weeks or so.

Andy
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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You have a problem. Start looking for leaks. Propane consumption should be on the order of 1 gallon per week. In addition, older fridges don't regulate the "cold" very well when on propane, so if yours has an adjustment, I'd look closely at its ability to regulate the flame height.

Zep
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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...
Make sure the LPG pressure is within correct settings, namely 11 to 13 inches of water column pressure. Ideally, it should be at 12 inches of water column pressure.

When the burner operates correctly, a 5 gallon LPG tank should last perhaps 3 weeks or so.

Andy
Andy, I've been thinking of putting a propane pressure guage inside where I can reference it routinely. Is there a small [reasonably priced] guage available for permanent installation? 12" of water is just a hair under 0.5 psig, which is pretty small.

Zep
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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Andy, I've been thinking of putting a propane pressure guage inside where I can reference it routinely. Is there a small [reasonably priced] guage available for permanent installation? 12" of water is just a hair under 0.5 psig, which is pretty small.

Zep
Zep.

Good question.

I am not aware of a gauge like that, but I will check my catalogs when I am at the office, and let you know.

Andy
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
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Low pressure gauges.

Zep.

I have looked in the McMaster-Carr # 114 catalog, and found that most low pressure gauges go from 0 to 15 psi.

However, they also listed a couple of water column gauges that went from 0 to 15 inches of water column.

I saw 2 different ones listed, one at $258.00 and another at $102.00.

I think that's a bit much to have as a constant monitor of the LPG pressure.

But, others may feel differently.

Perhaps if there was a gauge available for $15.00 to $20.00, more people might be interested, but then there is the safety hazard of hooking it up, so that the copper line and the gauge cannot shake in travel and cause a leak.

Andy

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Old 10-04-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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Is this what you have in mind? I discovered this when poking around my '91 after the purchase.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Is this what you have in mind? I discovered this when poking around my '91 after the purchase.
Yes, that appears to be it. I cannot read the scale, but I assume it's low pressure.

That's what Zep is looking for.

Can you tell who made that gauge?

If you can, let Zep know who it is, as he seems to want to add it to his Airstream's already gret setup.

Andy
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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Do the easy stuff first, I'd check for leaks. Fill a spray bottle with water with a little liquid soap and spray the copper tube fittings around the tanks and under the trailer. If you see bubbles after a little while try tightening the offending fitting.

If you have a leak inside the trailer you would probably smell the gas.

On the subject of pressure gages, a quick google search found a 0-15" Water Column for about $50: http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=5457362

WWGrainger has one for about $22, (made you-know-where, of course) but they don't sell to the general public.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:01 PM   #10
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Gauge

Zep,
Try these guys. They have a world class catalog, sell to the public and ship the same day as you order if ya call them before lunch.

Industrial Supply Equipment from MSC Industrial Supply

And check out P/N 56459084.
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A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy http://www.airforums.com/forums/f205...num-54749.html
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...ome-71609.html
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