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Old 08-07-2008, 08:53 AM   #1
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Fridge heating up on propane

New problem with almost 3yr old dometic fridge. While traveling, freezer stays cold, but fridge heats up to 80! When plugged to power the fridge stays cold. Mobile RV man found the outside drip line (or whatever it is) did not have a plug - just open at the bottom. He thinks air is going up that line into the fridge, heating it up, and he rigged up a plug for it.

What kind of plug would that be, and is it something that would fall out while traveling the miserable I-95 from NC to FL? Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #2
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I thought the drip line was so water or condensation could escape. you plug it up and where is it gonna go.. Although I could be very wrong on this... I don't see a plug on mine and mine stays cold, thats if it's the same thing we are looking at...
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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Drip line - that is what I am talking about. My mobile repair man said it is like a plug with a tiny hole so it can drip, and without the plug too much hot air can get up into fridge. It sounded logical to me!

What else would cause the fridge to heat up like that? Any ideas? Traveling this weekend and really want cold half-n-half!
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenturner View Post

What kind of plug would that be, and is it something that would fall out while traveling the miserable I-95 from NC to FL? Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks.
I think he is sending you down the wrong road for sure. The plug he is refering to is a simple little piece of perforated plastic disk like piece which would prevent bugs from getting into the line. The airflow difference with the plug in verses the plug missing would not cuase the problems you are having. If the unit works fine when on 120V and not so when on LP, there is a heater exchange issue. Did you check the model number of your unit against the newest recall list? Let us know how you make out, but I assure you it has nothing to do with the drip hose end cap.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenturner View Post
New problem with almost 3yr old dometic fridge. While traveling, freezer stays cold, but fridge heats up to 80! When plugged to power the fridge stays cold. Mobile RV man found the outside drip line (or whatever it is) did not have a plug - just open at the bottom. He thinks air is going up that line into the fridge, heating it up, and he rigged up a plug for it.

What kind of plug would that be, and is it something that would fall out while traveling the miserable I-95 from NC to FL? Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks.
YOUR RV MAN IS CORRECT !!!!!!

That little plug that's placed in the bottom of your fridge drain line will cause the fridge to lose temperature rapidly!! You see, a gas absorption fridge like the unit you have is a very poor at cooling (leaving the fridge door open for only a minute will require one hour to recover the lost temperature in the box) unlike a domestic compressor unit.

That little plug's job is to prevent the loss of cold air from the fridge box, while still allowing the water to drain into the pan below. When traveling, you are probably getting a venturi effect at the end of the tube and the cold air is also getting sucked right out of the box. I mention this because you say that it works well on 120VAC, which means that it works well while you are stationary. Do you pre-cool your fridge for at least 8 hours on electric before going on your trip, and do you fill it with pre-chilled food? This will also have a negative effect on the fridge if you don't start out that way.

This reminds me of a service call that I got in January from a despondent couple who had their motor home to 3 different dealers and none of them could find out why their Dometic fridge was not going below 60*, yet the freezer was fine! Turns out that the interior light was on the entire time, and that the 'low ambient temp' switch located on the door frame (which controls the light) was on and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the unit! (PM me if you would like to know about the proper operation of this switch)

Yes, the little low-wattage interior light in the fridge compartment will create enough heat to raise the fridge temps by 25-30*, just like a missing drain plug will.

Let me know if you can't find that plug. I always have them in stock!
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:08 PM   #6
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Lew- Thanks for the post.... WOW! I would never have guessed in a million years that that much heat could ever be lost out the drain. Karma coming your way. That's one of the many great things of this forum, just when you think you know you don't!

Rick
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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Wow me either, I will keep this in mind when my kids keep open and closing that fridge door..... I pre cool all my food...

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:40 PM   #8
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Come on people, it's obvious the the Mobile RV Man and Lewster have a corner on the world's little plastic plug market and are preying on the Airstream community. Is it coincidence that Lew says "I always have them in stock"?

These refrigerators really are pretty slow to cool down and pre-cooling the unit and the food really does make a big difference. Another big help is the fan Airstream installs. I put that on whenever the weather is warm or when I have the Safari's door open as it covers the refrigerator vents on the outside.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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Come on people, it's obvious the the Mobile RV Man and Lewster have a corner on the world's little plastic plug market and are preying on the Airstream community. Is it coincidence that Lew says "I always have them in stock"? ....................'snip'.................
Yah, those little plastic jobbies are what's fueling my retirement account....and the way things are going, I might be able to retire in '09 (that's 3009, BTW!
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:03 PM   #10
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Yah, those little plastic jobbies are what's fueling my retirement account....and the way things are going, I might be able to retire in '09 (that's 3009, BTW!
Lew, you really do need to find a higher $$$ item to fund your retirement.

I just went to see what mine looked like and found a white tube with nothing attached to the end drain tube. Any picture of what this thingy looks like installed?

This was in a "shielded" area where it would not get direct road wind. Wouldn't that and a good door gasket at least cut down on the problem?
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:30 PM   #11
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Lew, you really do need to find a higher $$$ item to fund your retirement.

I just went to see what mine looked like and found a white tube with nothing attached to the end drain tube. Any picture of what this thingy looks like installed?

This was in a "shielded" area where it would not get direct road wind. Wouldn't that and a good door gasket at least cut down on the problem?
I'll try to dig one out of the van tomorrow.....if I can make a little room to open a drawer with all of the recreational gear in there and take a shot!
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:56 PM   #12
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I'm having the same problem, however i just cranked up my Dometic for the first time it's run in 7 years. It works on gas and electric, but the freezer seems to be cooling off and the fridge is warm. Can someone take a picture of this little plug that is mentioned above? Or can someone explain where it is exactly? I'd like to try it. I remember someone telling me also that you could flip these old fridges upside down for a couple of days and solve problems too. Anyone care to comment on that? Thanks much, i just drug a 73 Sovereign out of a field and i'm getting started.

Thanks
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:29 PM   #13
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Plastic Plug Photo

Here's a shot of the plug from my fridge. Note the wires coming out of the plug. This feeds a 12volt computer fan circulating the air in the fridge. I added it because the beer on the top shelf was freezing while items on the bottom shelf were warmer than out on the countertop. For those safety people, there is a fuse on the fan power line. I will be feeding the wire alongside the thermister wire when the next repair shows it's ugly head.
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