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Old 08-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #15
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I switched to electric at the campground and the fridge got down to 40 degrees in about two hours. I think the burner/chimney needs a good cleaning. I'm not looking to drop a thousand on a new fridge just yet. Suggestions?
Buy, beg, or borrow a manometer and check the propane pressure at the test port at the burner. I had the same problem of cold freezer and warm lower section on propane but great operation on AC. I found that instead of the specified 11" of pressure at the burner, I had just 8" at the test port. Adjusting the regulator fixed my problem and it is now just as cold on propane as on AC. Any RV place can check the pressure in minutes.

The springs in the regulators weaken as they age and the pressure drops gradually over time.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #16
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Manometer

Thanks for the suggestion Pahaska! I took your advice and bought a monometer from the local propane and propane accessories store, Smith and Smith Propane in Killeen. Vintage Trailer Supply has the same low pressure test kit on sale for $30. I paid a little more than twice that, but I needed it right now.
I referenced the manual for old Dometic fridges and hooked up the manometer to the test port. With the temp selector on "MAX" it read 4" not the required 11". Problem found. Now to fix it.
I tried to adjust the thermostat "Cold Adjustment" screw. It didn't change the pressure at all. I figured that I must have some gunk in the propane line somewhere. Sure enough I found a big old plug of unknown substance inside the line to the fridge. I cleaned it all out and re installed it looking for the magic 11". I was disappointed to see 4" again. This time I took the gas thermostat off completely and checked the pressure at the gas valve for the fridge. 4" there as well.
I then turned my attention to the pressure regulator at the tanks. I disconnected the outlet line from the regulator and checked it there. It was reading 10". Since I read in the service manual how to adjust the regulator I adjusted it up to 11". I know I know, all you doomsdayers are thinking I'm going to blow myself up about now, but I watch McGuyver when I was a kid so it's cool.
I narrowed it down to line blockage between the regulator and the Tee for the fridge supply line. I took the line off and flushed it with alcohol and blew it out with compressed air. Some more chunks of I don't know what came out. I reinstalled all the propane lines and did a leak check with soapy water. I hooked up the manometer to the test port and it was at 11".
The only major problem is that while I was trying to adjust the thermostat with a blocked propane line I unscrewed the adjustment screw too much and the spring came undone. This caused the outer stamped portion of the thermostat to fall off from the other portion of the thermostat body. I now need a new thermostat for real! Luckily Dometic has them on the shelf for $120.
Since the thermostat is toast, I took the little spring and valve from the inside of the thermostat and now it is on "Max" all the time. It was 100 degrees when I closed the door to the fridge. We'll see what the thermometer says in the morning.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:49 AM   #17
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Thumbs up You're as cold as ice!

So after firing the fridge up yesterday the starting temp was over 100 degrees. This morning the thermometer read 48 degrees. I think I'll get one of those 12v DC fans from Radio Shack and make some duct work to get a little more air moving on hot days. I'll do it all at once after the new thermostat arrives.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:54 AM   #18
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So after firing the fridge up yesterday the starting temp was over 100 degrees. This morning the thermometer read 48 degrees. I think I'll get one of those 12v DC fans from Radio Shack and make some duct work to get a little more air moving on hot days. I'll do it all at once after the new thermostat arrives.
Clean the reefer flue and especially the burner orifice.

All reefer burner orifices must be cleaned periodically, as they slowly partially plug up.

Taking the orifice out and placing it in "limeaway" for a couple of days, does the trick.

Andy
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:45 AM   #19
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Thanks for the suggestion Andy. I'll add those items to the list of things to do.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:14 AM   #20
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Place a fan behind the fridge, Mr. Top...it will help cool down your old fridge. The origninal fan had a thermostat on it, so it would turn-on when there is to much heat behind the fridge....but make sure you put a on/off switch inline. There will be times when you will want to turn the fan off, because of the noise level.
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