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Old 03-17-2012, 12:04 AM   #1
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How long should it take to start cooling?

I have just tried to get my 1963 Dometic 35B to cool. I wanted to leave it overnight, but I don't want to leave it unattended it's first time out. I got it to light and the flame looks good but the inside isn't even trying to get cold. I'm not even sure if it has an ammonia charge. How can I tell?

How long should I let it run before I give up?
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:27 AM   #2
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The freezer will begin to cool in an hour our two. The fridge closer to 4 hours to get cold. I always light mine the night before the trip and it is good and cold the next morning for loading.Also, if you hear liquid trickling in the back of the fridge that is a good sign that you have ammonia charge.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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Is the refer level? Have you tried it on electric? Turn the thermostat all the way up and down a few times and set it at 5 or higher. Does it have two thermostats? One for electric and one fir gas? Do you have the right one turned up?
I always fire it up the night before. But you should begin the feel the bottom plate in the freezer getting cold after a few hours. If you see yellow dust on the cooling unit in the back or smell ammonia it's shot.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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It can take several hours at best before we get a hint of cooling. I usually fire ours up the day before we depart.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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You can jump start a properly working fridge with a bag of ice in each compartment. Helps speed up the process.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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I installed an indoor outdoor thermometer to keep tabs on mine.
Startup on gas late afternoon when I see temp coming down about 10 degrees I switch over to electric, by evening cold enough to put in food.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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I am fairly sure that is a gas only fridge and a very small one at that. Light it and keep it on. If you plan to use it, you are going to need to keep it lit right? If it is not cold by over night it is not going to work. These old gas Dometic are obsolete and finding parts is very difficult to impossible. I have heard of the ice bag trick bringing them back from the dead, not sure how it does, but I have been told twice it works. I cannot confirm this as fact.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #8
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It's been about 3 hours and the freezer is the only thing getting cold. I think it may be dead. It is gas only and very small.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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On small units freezer is the source of cold for the refrig.
When you take it out, you can try one other thing, roll it around a couple of times, that is bottom up and back, have heard blockage can be moved so that the ammonia can move.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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It's been about 3 hours and the freezer is the only thing getting cold. I think it may be dead. It is gas only and very small.

Don't condem 'til tomorrow morning, our 63 Safari always took 20+hrs to get cold.
Fridge fan will help circulate the air.



BTW...know what you want when you open the door, slow cold-warm fast.

Bob


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Old 03-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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I left it on for 8 hours today and it stayed at a steady 50 degrees. The book says 35-50. We are on the tattered edge. It was 80ish here today. Not as cold as I would like, but........I was pondering throwing a small chunk of dry ice in, just to help get it rolling. My main concern is what will happen if it is 100+ like it normally is here in the summer.

bTW, Thanks Bob, we are proud of it. Should be done in the next 60 days, I hope.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:08 PM   #12
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I have just tried to get my 1963 Dometic 35B to cool. I wanted to leave it overnight, but I don't want to leave it unattended it's first time out. I got it to light and the flame looks good but the inside isn't even trying to get cold. I'm not even sure if it has an ammonia charge. How can I tell?

How long should I let it run before I give up?
It should start getting cold in a couple of hours.

If not, then the burner heat is inadequate.

The burner orifice must be cleaned every 2 years or so.

Other possible issues could be the reefer is not level and the LPG pressure is too low. That pressure should be between 11-13 inches of water column pressure, better yet, at least 12 inches.

Andy
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #13
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Another couple of things to check:

1. Is the burner clean? It is not uncommon for enough rust to fall on the top screen to block the flame from going to full heat. Very difficult to tell visually if it is the proper flame for good cooling. I would take compressed air and blow the burner out well.

2. In a similar vein, the propane regulator may not be delivering the full 11" of pressure needed for a proper flame. Again, very hard to tell if the flame size is correct by looking at it. So, either check the gas pressure, or, if the regulator is old, replace it with a new one. You probably need a new one as a matter of age anyway, unless it has been recently done. I am sure you can find, with a search, threads on regulator pressure checking.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:03 PM   #14
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I have a brand new regulator, but I am unsure if it is working correctly. It has issues of it's own. There is a whole other thread on that.

My reefer has the bunsun burner/Klixon type valve. I have the manual and have been trying to experiment with different things to improve the flame. It actually looks pretty decent, although don't have a manometer to check the water column pressure. Where would I even find one?

The reefer is level.


I really would like this to work if possible. I don't think a modern fridge would ever look right.
How do you clean the burner on this setup?

Thanks for all the help on this. I am out of my comfort zone. If anyone wants to talk about 35-37 Fords, I'm comfortable there.......
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