Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-11-2014, 08:46 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Littleton , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Problem with refrigerator

We have a Dometic 2351 refrigerator in our 2013 Bambi. It seems to work okay on the propane but we have had problems with it staying cold when we plug into 120v. What are we doing wrong? We have checked the fuses and connections. Sometimes it will work and then shut off and not cool. It is very frustrating for us as Newbies.
__________________

__________________
kpatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 08:47 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
mprokop87's Avatar
 
1976 24' Argosy 24
Victor , New York
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 239
Are you operating it on a level surface? Make sure that your ventilation is clear so the excess heat can escape. Also have the electric heating element checked to make sure its ok, or just replace it yourself (easy!). The other problem could be that your cooling unit is starting to get clogged, which is a bad sign. This happened on my fridge but it's much older than yours. This issue is not repairable, unfortunately.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Airstream Forums mobile app
__________________

__________________
mprokop87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4,506
Check your circuit breakers - and of course open the back panel and make sure it's plugged in. (I know - d'oh! But the plug could have loosened and popped out.) Of course also check the plug to make sure there IS electric power to the fridge. Just use your polarity test plug or a night light, etc.

Newer fridges are less sensitive to being off level than vintage ones.

Oh, and if the panel is full of wasps, bees, etc.... Yep, that will cause problems.

Paula
__________________
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
Today is a gift,
that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 04:00 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
We just got back from a 5 day trip. Our Dometic doesn't like 120v AC either. In the same location, running on AC, the fridge got down to only 47 degrees overnight. During the day, with door openings, it stayed at 50-53, although the freezer kept everything frozen. I switched it over to propane, the next morning it was 29 and all day, with door openings, it stayed in the upper 30s. All week the temps were in the 90s but we were under the trees.

On 120v AC, the cooling fan ran continuously, although the fins and pipes in that compartment were just warm to the touch. When I switched over to propane the fan still ran (day and night) but you couldn't touch the pipes they were so hot and the cooling fins were pretty warm.

So can that electric heating element be partially bad? The trailer was pretty level, according to the small float level we had and the doors all stayed put, not swinging open or closed when you let go of them.
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,951
If your refrigerator model doesn't already have a built-in fan to circulate the air in the lower (non-freezer) compartment, buy an RV refrigerator fan like the one below:

Refrigerator Fan: Camco 44123 RV Fridge Airator - Walmart.com

The thermostat is located in the back, near (or on) the cooling fins, where the temperature is colder than the rest of the refrigerator. This fan will even out the temperatures in the food compartment, and keep the thermostat working properly.

Then, buy a wireless thermometer (similar to the one below) and put the sensor in the bottom-back of the refrigerator (near the fan); and place the monitor outside of the refrigerator, on the shelf over it, or on the wall. (This will allow you to check the refrigerator temperature without constantly opening the door.)

Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer: AcuRite Digital Indoor Outdoor Thermometer with Clock - Walmart.com

If the outside ambient air temperature is over 65 degrees, turn on the switch for the computer fan that cools the refrigerator's outside coils.

If your existing fan is too noisy, buy one of the Enermax "batwing", T.B. (twister bearing) PC fans, similar to the one below. These come in numerous colors, some with LEDs and some without them. Just make sure the one you buy is a "batwing, T.B." fan; the different variations are just marketing hype to jack up the price. You should be able to find them at a local computer store for under $10. In the southwest desert areas, the bearings go out after a few seasons, so I always carry a spare. However, this may be unnecessary in cooler climes.

Enermax, Batwing, T.B. (twister bearing) PC Fan: FRYS.com¬*|¬*ENERMAX

Note: This quiet fan is a direct replacement for the noisy OEM fan, and is easily replaced.
__________________
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
mprokop87's Avatar
 
1976 24' Argosy 24
Victor , New York
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 239
Use an ohm meter to measure the resistance. Report back with the resistance and the rated amps and I can tell you if it's going. If the fridge is older this is a sign it's on its way out and the cooling unit needs replacement. During my issues I learned all about how these fridges work and unfortunately that's a sign it's on its way out. Definitely get a second opinion because my information came from one source.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Airstream Forums mobile app
__________________
mprokop87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 05:42 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
If your refrigerator model doesn't already have a built-in fan to circulate the air in the lower (non-freezer) compartment, buy an RV refrigerator fan like the one below:

Refrigerator Fan: Camco 44123 RV Fridge Airator - Walmart.com

The thermostat is located in the back, near (or on) the cooling fins, where the temperature is colder than the rest of the refrigerator. This fan will even out the temperatures in the food compartment, and keep the thermostat working properly.

Then, buy a wireless thermometer (similar to the one below) and put the sensor in the bottom-back of the refrigerator (near the fan); and place the monitor outside of the refrigerator, on the shelf over it, or on the wall. (This will allow you to check the refrigerator temperature without constantly opening the door.)

Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer: AcuRite Digital Indoor Outdoor Thermometer with Clock - Walmart.com

If the outside ambient air temperature is over 65 degrees, turn on the switch for the computer fan that cools the refrigerator's outside coils.
[Internal fan]
Good idea, I'll look into that once I figure out the issue with electric vs. propane issue.

[Thermostat]
The sensor is on the right-most fin, near the bottom. I have it in the same place whether it's on electric or propane. When it's on propane, temp in the fridge is in the upper 20's to upper 30's. When it's on electric the temp is mid 40's to mid 50's.

[Thermometer]
I was thinking about a wireless thermometer. The one I have keeps getting moved and by the time I find it, the temp has gone up. Thanks for the link.

[Fan Switch]
There is no switch for the outside/rear vent cooling fan. It's always on, even when the temperature is in the 50s and 60s. I used to think it was going on and off but on this trip it never went off.
Thanks
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by mprokop87 View Post
Use an ohm meter to measure the resistance. Report back with the resistance and the rated amps and I can tell you if it's going. If the fridge is older this is a sign it's on its way out and the cooling unit needs replacement. During my issues I learned all about how these fridges work and unfortunately that's a sign it's on its way out. Definitely get a second opinion because my information came from one source.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Airstream Forums mobile app
[Resistance]
OK, pouring down rain at the moment, I may have to wait til tomorrow. The AS is 2006 and the fridge runs fine on propane, so I don't think it's on its way out. I think the issue is with the electric heater, which I think is where you want me to check the resistance.

After I returned from my trip I put the AS on 20 amp house current again and now the coils are hot, unlike when I was camping. I'm going to let it run tonight and see what the temp is in the morning. I will check the resistance at that time too.

Thanks so very much for your help.
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 10:50 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by mprokop87 View Post
Use an ohm meter to measure the resistance. Report back with the resistance and the rated amps and I can tell you if it's going. If the fridge is older this is a sign it's on its way out and the cooling unit needs replacement. During my issues I learned all about how these fridges work and unfortunately that's a sign it's on its way out. Definitely get a second opinion because my information came from one source.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Airstream Forums mobile app
Pardon my ignorance, there are 2 wires coming from the 120v heating element. These go into or under a small black box. I think I should unplug the unit and let it cool, remove the black box and disconnect the wires from the circuit board to measure the resistance.

How do I find the rated amps? If it is marked on the element, how does that remove from the heating tube? It seems to be in some sort of foam but I cannot tell if it's secured with anything or just stuck into the foam.

I have seen several videos and they all seem to point to the heating element and not the cooling unit. The heated tube rising from the burner assembly doesn't appear to be overheating. It looks pretty good with its shiny black painted appearance. Since the fridge is working fine on propane I would think the cooling unit is OK. Maybe I just need to know how to remove the heating element.

Thanks
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2014, 06:58 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,686
I think most of them draw about 300W. The manual for the fridge should have the heating element wattage. You would need a way to measure the amperage with something like an amp probe. So 300/120=2.5A. If the voltage at the camp ground is low, then that might also cause the problem. Most of these fridges work a little better on gas than AC but it should not be that big of a difference.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
ricks-vt's Avatar
 
2014 25' Flying Cloud
West Dummerston , Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 57
We are experiencing the same problem right now, only ours doesn't make any difference whether on gas or electric. First trip out with a brand new unit. It is at dealers now, and hopefully we pick up early next week. Not a good start to Airstream experience.
__________________
Rick, Mary, Molly(Boston Terrier)
Trailer - 2014 25' Flying Cloud
2011 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
2008 Triton TR186
ricks-vt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2014, 08:57 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I think most of them draw about 300W. The manual for the fridge should have the heating element wattage. You would need a way to measure the amperage with something like an amp probe. So 300/120=2.5A. If the voltage at the camp ground is low, then that might also cause the problem. Most of these fridges work a little better on gas than AC but it should not be that big of a difference.

Perry
The owner's manual says it's 175 watt and it says I can change it myself. I tried to move it this morning and it's pretty easy to move back and forth. I have to remove the housing, the manual says to use pliers but not much more than that. I found it online at AdventureRV.net for $59. I think I'll see about getting the existing one out and if successful, order the replacement. Then I'll have a spare even if it doesn't make it run any better.

After letting it sit on the house current all night, the temp is back down to 39. You may be right about the CG current being low, I never thought to check that. I don't have an amp probe, just the multimeter. I'll mosey over to Harbor Freight today
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2014, 08:20 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 457
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by mprokop87 View Post
Use an ohm meter to measure the resistance. Report back with the resistance and the rated amps and I can tell you if it's going. If the fridge is older this is a sign it's on its way out and the cooling unit needs replacement. During my issues I learned all about how these fridges work and unfortunately that's a sign it's on its way out. Definitely get a second opinion because my information came from one source.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Airstream Forums mobile app
I read 2.2 on the 10x setting, so that's 22 ohms resistance I believe. It says 175 watts at 120 volts. I don't have an ammeter.
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,686
Measure the voltage. If it less that 110v you have a problem. I=V/R P=IV.

Perry
__________________

__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Compact Home Refrigerator or RV Refrigerator? Truebrit Refrigerators 26 04-05-2011 02:30 PM
Argosy refrigerator problem ? Davis Refrigerators 3 02-27-2007 06:27 PM
Silly Dometic refrigerator "problem" Toasty's Dad Refrigerators 0 12-20-2005 08:19 PM
Refrigerator Replacement Size Problem Herritt Refrigerators 4 05-04-2005 12:47 PM
Refrigerator Problem bken Refrigerators 2 04-26-2004 10:46 AM





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.
Modal Click