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Old 01-23-2016, 08:32 PM   #1
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Refrigerator drain hose failure

Recently, I discovered that our OEM Dometic refrigerator white plastic drain hose was quietly disintegrating "behind closed doors" and I was surprised to learn that these hoses often begin to do so after only 3 years of age!

I was also surprised to see little mention of this in this Refrigerator sub-forum. If your Airstream is over 3 years of age, you might want to inspect this item at the beginning of your camping season each year.

Our old plastic drain hose fell apart in my hands as I was removing it. It was replaced with superior quality reinforced vinyl tubing that should last many years.

I saved the old hose's perforated drain plug (which prevents critters from entering the hose and refrigerator). You'll be surprised to learn how much it costs to replace this little piece of plastic!

See the whole story and photos in my post, "RV refrigerator drain tube failure."
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:00 AM   #2
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I wonder if that drain tube was supplied by Dometic or Airstream? Mine has a black corrugated/flex tube that looks like it might be ABS. And it is 17 years old and still in fine shape!

However, one observation of a clear example of Airstream cost cutting. My tube hooks onto a pex tube that goes through the floor of the compartment and drains under the Airstream. It looks like yours dribbles out under the compartment door and down the side of the rig. Is that right?
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siegmann View Post
I wonder if that drain tube was supplied by Dometic or Airstream? Mine has a black corrugated/flex tube that looks like it might be ABS. And it is 17 years old and still in fine shape!

However, one observation of a clear example of Airstream cost cutting. My tube hooks onto a pex tube that goes through the floor of the compartment and drains under the Airstream. It looks like yours dribbles out under the compartment door and down the side of the rig. Is that right?
Yes, Siegmann, our refrigerator drain tube leads to the exterior lower access door/hatch and water passes under the door and goes down the side of the trailer, much as rain does. (We do not have a shore power connection just below this, which was a concern to some in another thread.)

As mentioned in my original article, water only exits this drain tube when we defrost the refrigerator or when condensation accumulates, which is infrequent in the relatively dry climate that we live and camp in.

By the way, this recent History Safari Express blog article also describes how I defrost the refrigerator in a way that minimizes the flow of water down this tube!

See details and more photos in my article, "RV refrigerator drain tube failure."
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:50 PM   #4
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Drain tube replacement
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:00 PM   #5
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Excellent video. And good question at the end of it. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:58 PM   #6
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I watched about half of that video and have one comment. I don't think it's the heat from the fridge that is degrading the plastic, as the narrator suggests. I suspect that the problem is that they are using plastic that hasn't been UV-stabilized. Many styles of tubing would be expected to fail quickly if similarly constructed.

We saw this complete tube disintegration in our 8-year-old Dometic fridge and when we replaced that fridge (due to a malfunction unrelated to the drain line) with a brand new unit of the same model, the same plastic tube appeared to be used in the new one. So apparently this type of inappropriate material is still being installed today.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:28 PM   #7
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No matter the specific cause, clearly the materials are not up to the expected conditions of normal use. Inexcusable.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:11 AM   #8
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Yep, while checking the refrigerator compartment the drain tube came apart in my hand. This was just a few days ago. I replaced it with the heavier reinforced hose that should never in my life time deteriorate.
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