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Old 11-02-2007, 01:50 PM   #1
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Low temperature ambient switch

With late fall trip looming I became interested in the low temp switch on my refrigerator. Dometic's description in the manual just notes that the switch should be used when outside temps drop below 50 degrees.

Trying to understand what the switch does, I've read that it causes some type of additional heat load within the refrigerator area which triggers the unit to run. Apparently it seems like the refrigerator section is where the temperature sensor is and if it is extremely cool outside, there will be little heat load in that area. This could cause freezer temperatures to rise above where they should be.

I've also read that the switch actually causes the inside light of the refrigerator to remain on (even when the door is closed), which for all intents is the heat load causing the refrigerator to cycle. While that may be true, the skeptic in me thinks that it may be a little more complex than that.

Has anyone done any study to corroborate the purpose of the switch and if it is to create an additional heat load, what generates the heat?


Jack Canavera
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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:41 PM   #2
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Hey Jack,

What you have described above is exactly what Dometic described to me when explaining the operation of this unit...the light will stay on when your LAC button is in the on position...


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Old 11-02-2007, 02:42 PM   #3
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In our climate we've always heard something wouldn't operate correctly in the cold. This link seems to provide one answer: Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC: locating freezer in garage

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Old 11-02-2007, 05:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
I've also read that the switch actually causes the inside light of the refrigerator to remain on (even when the door is closed),
I don't care if that's true or not. The thought of all these Airstreamers opening the refrigerator door REALLY fast to see if the light was still on is priceless.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:47 PM   #5
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Dometic's rationale for some of their designs always mystifies me. Things like the LAC switch leaving an interion light on.....really now. One would think that a company with the engineering expertise and size of Dometic could think of a better system.......

And speaking of the interior light......I had 2 service calls last year that related to high interior temps in the fridge. The freezer section was fine....but the fridge would not go below 45-50* on either LP or 120VAC.

After doing all of the usual checks, I put a photocell in the interior and closed the door. GUESS WHAT.......that little light would stay on with the door closed and the small amount of heat would not allow the fridge to cool properly.

Fixed the door switch contact and more cooling problems!
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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