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Old 08-03-2016, 12:25 PM   #1
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Quick, Easy & Safe refrigerator defrosting!

Using a hair dryer may be a quick way to defrost a RV refrigerator, but it may also cause damage. "Permanent damage could result from warping the metal or plastic parts,” says the Dometic User Manual.

We use our RV refrigerator full time (it acts as a supplemental refrigerator when at home) and it always has food in it, so it is important to be able to do the defrosting quickly, to prevent food spoilage and to shorten the recovery time for the refrigerator to get adequately cold again (40 or less)!

Reducing the buildup of frost and ice on the cooling fins helps to increase the refrigerator's cooling efficiency.

When our refrigerator needs defrosting (about every 2 months), I choose a warm day and gather 5 tools: a cooler, portable fan, Tupperware lid, chopstick, and a washcloth.

The fan rests on a nearby counter and blows warm air into the refrigerator and freezer compartments. The ice chunks begin to melt and can be gently nudged by the chopstick and slid off of the fins into the inverted Tupperware lid and deposited by nearby plants. The washcloth then cleans and wipes dry the refrigerator. The whole process is completed in less than 30 minutes!

See the full story, along with how the position of the thermistor probe regulates the refrigerator's coldness:

Quick, easy and safe RV refrigerator defrosting
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Great advice, thanks!

FWIW -- when it is time to get the fridge and freezer cold again, having large blocks of pre-frozen blue ice from the house can really reduce the wait time. If you have room in the house's freezer for multiple large blue ice blocks, the AS fridge and freezer can be back online in 15-30 minutes, meaning the entire operation can take as little as one hour.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Great advice, thanks!

FWIW -- when it is time to get the fridge and freezer cold again, having large blocks of pre-frozen blue ice from the house can really reduce the wait time. If you have room in the house's freezer for multiple large blue ice blocks, the AS fridge and freezer can be back online in 15-30 minutes, meaning the entire operation can take as little as one hour.
Great tip, OTRA15, thanks!

Additional tips on defrosting and keeping your refrigerator happy and working well are welcome here!
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #4
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That much frost on the fins I would check the door gasket. Take a dollar bill and close it in the door at various places and pull it out. The pull force should be the same all the wat around the door.

Now if the kids are in that frig every 10 mins all bets are off.
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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That much frost on the fins I would check the door gasket. Take a dollar bill and close it in the door at various places and pull it out. The pull force should be the same all the way around the door.
Yes, HowieE, those fins are overdue for defrosting, as mentioned in my History Safari Express post, "Quick, easy and safe RV refrigerator defrosting." I last defrosted the fridg last spring prior to our May trip. I just let the refrigerator go a little longer this humid summer without defrosting.

Thanks for the good tip about checking the integrity of the door gasket.

Upon completing the defrosting, I wipe down the refrigerator, including the gasket seals and spray the seals with a food-safe silicone spray: Molykote 316 (which I also use to lubricate the fresh water tank's sticky petcock drain valve).
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:57 PM   #6
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Airstream video, Hosted by: TrailerChix's Toril Milbrath:

How to Operate Your Refrigerator
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:02 PM   #7
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This little gadget helps also but just the fins directly in front of it .
http://www.ebay.com/itm/370591777926...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:53 PM   #8
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I just install one of those fans from RV cooling warehouse. Keeps my fridge cooler on hot days. Tested outside my house in full sun at 96F and high humidity and the fridge ran under 40f. With fridge packe with food it performs better. Good upgrade for $20. I ran the wire through the the same hole as the thermistor wir and picked up 12v from the fridge 12v feed on the outside vent area. Fan has n on/off switch when not needed.

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Old 08-07-2016, 11:49 AM   #9
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The location and position of the thermistor can affect the refrigerator's coldness:

Adjusting the Thermistor to Improve Cooling
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
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I've got an Igloo apartment-style fridge that needs defrosting on a fairly regular basis. It has a drain hole in the fridge area, which I plumbed to go outside, so that's fine. I bought a New Star 36893 Commercial Grade 18-Gauge Aluminum 2/3 Size Sheet Pan, 15 by 21-Inch from Amazon that just fits in the freezer. If I monitor the pan, I can keep dumping it before it overflows.

As for the actual defrosting, living in S. Florida and turning off the A/C works just fine for a fast defrost!
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