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Old 10-18-2016, 12:28 AM   #1
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My refigerator isn't working

My refrigerator stopped working on propane in August.
Furnace, cook top (except front burner igniter) and water heater work on propane.
Now it seems to not work on electric, either.


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Old 10-18-2016, 01:40 PM   #2
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So far as I can tell, a rebuild isn't much worthwhile (if it's a major problem). Tempting, given the price of new.

OTOH, if an electronics board goes out, they aren't cheap (I spent $300 on one a year or so back), but the money paid to a tech of twenty years experience was worth it to me as:

He had the test equipment

And knew how to use it.

This is past no physical problems in delivering gas or electric to the unit. Or that a fuse or breaker hasn't "failed".


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Old 10-18-2016, 04:03 PM   #3
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Spider nests in the flue maybe per that other thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Have you checked the fridge flue for spider nests? Does the propane try to ignite, gets an incomplete flame etc., then shuts itself off?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...as-151077.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...ne-153298.html
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...est&gsc.page=1

Or control board as you say . . .

Good luck!

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Old 10-18-2016, 06:18 PM   #4
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How fast can spiders build nests?
It worked on propane on a Thursday afternoon and then wouldn't work on propane Friday.
It was a sudden death.
An RV shop suspects the control board is going bad. The first tell tale sign was the light quit working.
As of this morning it was working on electric.
My trouble is I'm geographically challenged. 2 hours/100 miles from an RV repair shop.


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Old 10-18-2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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Then diagnostic equipment may pay for itself.

Ck "exerciser" under that category.


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Old 10-19-2016, 01:38 PM   #6
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Look up Dinosaur Electronics Inc they have the best boards at good prices for refrigerators and everything in the RV.

Do not get a rebuilt unit they do not last. Voice of experience.
Jim
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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I have also heard not to get a "universal" board but to get a board for my specific brand and model.
If it will continue to work on electric I will wait till next year just before we pull to Texas in October.
Supposedly the boards are $300 from Dometic but $110 from an internet source.


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Old 10-19-2016, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
How fast can spiders build nests?
It worked on propane on a Thursday afternoon and then wouldn't work on propane Friday.
It was a sudden death.
An RV shop suspects the control board is going bad. The first tell tale sign was the light quit working.
As of this morning it was working on electric.
My trouble is I'm geographically challenged. 2 hours/100 miles from an RV repair shop.


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Spiders can build webs in only an hour or two. Dirt dobbers take a little longer. If the burner has a flame but not cooling, try cleaning the flue pipe with a few feet of piano wire with a one inch ball of steel wool on the end. Remove or cover the burner with aluminum foil when doing this. If there is flame and the flue pipe is clean the orifice in the burner may be partially clogged. Do not try to clean it mechanically, instead remove the burner orifice and immerse it in denatured alcohol over night then blow it out with compressed air. If you don't have an air compressor use canned air from a computer store or Wal Mart.

The flue pipe cleaning also helps when using electric power. My electric heating element is a standard Calrod element which can be removed and checked with a volt/ohm meter and replaced if needed. Available at most electrical supply distributors. Mine was $70 as I recall.

Keep in mind that my reefer is a 50 year old Dometic with no electronics at all.
My igniter is a 12 volt hot water heater re-igniter powering a sparker from a gas grill mounted right at the edge of the gas flame. I installed the re-igniter when the old flint lighter wore out and I got tired of using matches. We have managed to keep it going all these years mainly by ensuring that it is never allowed to be turned on when out of level for more than 15 minutes and following the above preventive maintenance practices twice each year. Needless to say the trailer is a family heirloom.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:41 PM   #9
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cleaning flue and burner tube with shop vac.

See if you can clean out the burner and the burner tube. Mine quit working on a 7 week trip this summer. I tried the following with mixed results.

1. first I blew out the burner tube with a computer aerosol air spray cleaner and got a lot of dirt out of the tube. My burner is sealed in the flue tube and I can not physically clean it out. The vent is a screen in the floor so I assume it sucks dirt in when I drive down dirt roads with the propane burner on. It worked for a couple of weeks and then repeat spraying did nothing.

2. Second try - My son is a trumpet major and a flexible trumpet cleaning tool with a little brush on the end is the just the right size to run up and down the burner tube. I didn't even have to take anything off except the outer metal wind shield. I blew it out again and it worked about a week.

3. The last attempt which did work was this. My refrigerator is on the end of the cabinet so I took the side off of the cabinet so I could get to the flue and pulled the rod with the spiral deflector out the top, cleaned it then took a shop vac with a cone shaped fitting on the end (available at big box hardware stores) which just fit over the flue. I blew out the flue for a couple of minutes then reversed it and sucked any residue out for a couple of minutes and put it all back together. Do this with it turned off. Also if you have been running it on electric be very careful of the adjacent tubing. I got a nice 3rd degree burn on one finger from touching the coolant tube above the flue.

It now works perfectly and the fridge runs between 32 and 38 on propane depending on how hot it is in the trailer.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:49 AM   #10
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Could that much dirt accumulate in the burner in a trailer that is used every week/weekend?
Maybe when it stayed 28 days at an RV shop that did nothing, but charged me $390?
For less reason Han $390 I could self diagnose and repair if I had a little more know how.


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Old 10-20-2016, 07:12 AM   #11
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So that's where the spiders hopped aboard!

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Old 10-20-2016, 08:15 AM   #12
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Maybe.
I'll check it out this weekend.


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Old 10-20-2016, 08:29 AM   #13
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So the flue and the cooling tubes are not getting hot?.


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Old 10-20-2016, 01:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
My refrigerator stopped working on propane in August.
Furnace, cook top (except front burner igniter) and water heater work on propane.
Now it seems to not work on electric, either.


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My fridge acted up last year. Functioned on electric but not on propane. The cause was scaly clay debris which built up in the burner chimney. We do a lot of non-paved travel in CO and UT.
A local mobile RV tech blew it out and all was well. Fairly common, according to him.
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