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Old 07-18-2011, 02:35 PM   #15
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I ordered a new thermocoupler online as I couldn't find one at the local RV parts store.

I have had the fridge plugged into AC power for the past 3 hours and the thermostat turned down to the lowest setting. The freezer is freezing, but the fridge is still showing a temp of 90 degrees and hasn't moved at all over the past 3 hours. Shouldn't it have begun to drop a few degrees? Is it a good sign that the freezer works, but the fridge doesn't (i.e. not a total breakdown)?

Would removing the thermistor connector from the dinosaur electronics board remove the thermistor from the equation and force the fridge to try to cool as much as possible?
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #16
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As a side note I tested the thermistor by placing the end into a glass with 3-4 cubes of ice and some water (per instructions on this thread). After about 5 minutes it read 7 Ohms (not 7k). I currently have the thermistor disconnected from the control board (Dinosaur Electronics P-711), but I'm not even entirely sure that will allow it to run wild? I will leave the unit running overnight tonight, but after 4.3 hours the fridge has not changed temp from 90 degrees running on AC power. Will see if there are any changes with the thermistor disconnected and left running overnight.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:07 PM   #17
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The rule of thumb is electric takes twice as long as gas, but I don't know if this is accurate. Gas is faster because the flame has more BTU's than the electric element. Same is true of gas vs. electric water heaters.

I cool the fridge by putting 5 frozen gel packs (blue ice) in—3 in freezer and 2 in fridge—when I turn it on, so it cools somewhat faster. Freezer is first, then fridge. So I don't really know how long it takes—the morning before we leave I turn it on and sometime in the afternoon, fairly early, it is ready to start putting things into it. Different models of different ages will respond differently.

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Old 07-18-2011, 11:35 PM   #18
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I am leaving it running overnight, but no temperature decrease in the fridge in over 5 hours after unplugging the thermistor from the control board. I believe the cooling system is working as I touched the boiler area and the absorber area and both were roughly the same temp (would burn my hand if left to touched for more than 2-3 seconds). Trailer is fairly level.

The new thermocouple arrives on Wednesday so that will be another test path, if that part in fact fixes the burner staying lit problem.

The control board is a Dino board from 1998. I imagine the TX heat is not nice to these boards. Any chance this could be related to the fridge cooling issue?

Tomorrow morning will be the real test. Does the thermistor control both the freezer and fridge temp? What else could be the problem if the freezer is freezing, but the fridge shows maybe 10 degrees lower than the internal trailer temp (105 internal temp and 95 fridge temp)? Could the cooling system still be bad if the boiler and absorbers feel roughly the same temp?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:26 PM   #19
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Stabs in the dark of ignorance: Is the sun on the fridge side? The fridge may have enough to cool the freezer, but not the fridge. Ours shows the temp in the fridge, so I guess the thermostat is there and tells the system to keep going until the preset temp in the fridge is reached. Our experience is that temps you are experiencing test the fridge and the A/C.

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Old 07-19-2011, 01:12 PM   #20
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I think the fridge is working as it should and I just started my test at a very bad time (afternoon in this hot Texas summer). I checked the temps of the boiler and the absorbers at about 10:30PM and both were hot to the touch. The fridge had been running for probably 8-9 hours at that time, the last 5 of those hours running with the thermistor unplugged. I also tapped on the absorbers at 10:30PM as I had read in the forums that can sometimes help. I checked on the fridge at 3:30AM and it was down to 65 degrees! This morning around 7:30AM it was at 45 degrees. I plugged the thermistor back in at 7:30AM, but did not reset the fridge.

We are now back to the peak of our daily heat and the fridge just climbed back up to 60, but the internal temperature of the trailer is 122 degrees and is sitting in the afternoon sun. I am not sure if it would get much better than that. I have not yet cleaned out the flue, and might give that a try. I am pretty happy and now will just wait for the thermocouple to arrive tomorrow. I think a Snyder cooling kit might be the only way to keep the fridge cooler during the TX summer days.

I appreciate all of the tips and info. I will post tomorrow after I have a chance to try out the new thermocouple.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:28 PM   #21
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The temp in the fridge compartment could be even higher (or lower). People install fans in the compartment. I have been told the best place is at the top of the flue.

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Old 07-19-2011, 03:36 PM   #22
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So your refrigerator is holding a 62-degree delta below ambient in the living space of the trailer (and as Gene said, perhaps even more of a delta from the heat-exchanger compartment.) I wouldn't want to be in the trailer if it's over 100F inside, and at 100F it could probably maintain 38F or better in the 'fridge, if it maintains the same delta. That's not too bad, really.

The 122F you measured inside your trailer makes me feel much better about what I spend every month to keep a roof over mine!
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:26 PM   #23
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Yes, I think the fridge is working great considering the conditions. I also know the thermistor is working as it should after more testing. I have found that the inside trailer temp doesn't make as much of a difference as the outside temp. This AM it was 35 degrees in the fridge. I think it would need airflow like the Snyder system to get any cooler in the hot Texas summer afternoons, but again I am satisfied with how it is performing. Also, the fridge/freezer are both completely empty at the moment so that doesn't help.

Now back to my original problem, running on gas! I received my new thermocouple today and installed it. The problem of the gas not staying lit after 30-45 seconds of turning on the fridge still remains. I also removed the burner to clean it, but it was perfectly clean. There is no air in the system as the stove and hot water heater are working great.

The electric ignition is working great and lights on the first click. I have all of the guards off so I can look directly at the burner. There is a deep blue flame from 0-1/4". Then there is a much lighter blue up to about the 1" mark. The tip of the thermocouple is about 1/3-1/2 way into the lighter blue flame.

You really can't even hear the burner, not like I can hear the jet engine of a hot water heater roaring. This is my first time to use one of these fridges on gas so I really don't know what the flame or sound should be like.

The gas shutoff valve is wide open. Could this be the valve with the two wires or the control board?
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:58 AM   #24
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For anyone curious the problem with my fridge's gas not staying lit was the control board. I bought and installed a new Dinosaur P-711 board today (same as what was there already). Now the gas stays lit and works great! Thanks to everyone for helping me out.
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