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Old 04-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
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Refrigerator gurgling, not cooling

My 1981 Dometic RM660 refrigerator is not cooling down this year. The element is heating up properly but I get no cooling at all and I've had it turned on for almost 3 days. I do hear a gurgling sound coming from the unit which I've read may mean that I have a leak. I have a camping trip planned for the end of this month so I may have to plan this one without a fridge unless I can act fast.
I haven't had a chance to check everywhere but the unit that I'd need to replace this with is the RM2510 which is $1050.00 plus installation at Camping World. I'm going to research my options online to see if it makes more sense to order this way and have someone else install it, or try it myself. So far the best price I've found is at American RV for $750.00. Dometic Compact Fridge Refrigerator Refer RM2193R RM4223R RM2510.2R RM2410.2 American RV Company

Does anyone have any further suggestions for an online purchase or more economical way to go?
Thanks: Charlie
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
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Ammonia cooling happens in surges - some gurgling is good. Have you tried it on propane? There may not be enough heat from resistance element...
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:17 AM   #3
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I have never done this but know people that have. Remove the refg. and roll it side over side 3 or 4 times. This sound crazy but what can happens to Servel type refg. is the gas cools to a liquid and puddles in the tubes thus blocking the return gas flow. This can happen if the refg. was operated while on an angle greater than the angle of the tubes.

Sounds crazy but worth $1,000.00
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:01 AM   #4
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I have never done this but know people that have. Remove the refg. and roll it side over side 3 or 4 times. This sound crazy but what can happens to Servel type refg. is the gas cools to a liquid and puddles in the tubes thus blocking the return gas flow. This can happen if the refg. was operated while on an angle greater than the angle of the tubes.

Sounds crazy but worth $1,000.00
I have done this also. Actually left the fridge upside down and tapped on the coils using a rubber hammer in crimped places where I thought there might be an orfice or restriction. reinstalled the next day
Worked for another 15 years and was still working when I sold the trailer
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:58 AM   #5
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I guess the question is whether you smell ammonia while the gurgling is going on. If so, you have a leak. The question if there is no smell is whether the leak has already occurred and the ammonia has already evaporated or whether you have a clog or other blockage. Obviously if you are adapt at pulling out the fridge then you can try the techniques that the other posters suggested. It is important to try the fridge on gas and electric to verify that you aren't suffering from low output from the coil or gas burner.

Jack
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:58 PM   #6
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I switched it over to propane last night and checked it when came home from work tonight. I have no change, just heated coils but no cooling. I also thought of the burping idea but I didn't want to go to the trouble of trying it unless it was a last resort. I did take a rubber mallet and try tapping on the coils and absorption tank on Sunday but that gave me nothing either. I didn't initially smell any ammonia but when I checked it last night I could detect a faint order of ammonia when I put my head inside it. I'm wondering if I had a leak during the winter and the oder of ammonia has passed, but with my hearing the liquid gurgling in the coils I must still have ammonia in the unit.
Camping world was $1600 installed, and I have a tech checking his cost at the Denver Dometic plant to see if he can match the online price. If it comes down to buying a new unit, does anyone have a better option then what I've found at American RV?????

Thanks for the advice.
Charlie
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:46 PM   #7
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The smelling of a little ammonia is just the same a a little bit pregnant.

if you smelled it you got a leak.

You can get a replacement element for a lot less than a new unit and they are straight forward to install.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:54 PM   #8
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Do you mean a replacement cooling unit? I would consider this but the best price I've found online is $400 plus shipping at ATCO. So far the best price I've found on a new Dometic RM2510 is $728 with shipping. For less then $300 difference I think I'd go with the new unit although I much prefer the mechanical controls to the computerized boards on the new units. If I found a replacement cooling unit for half that I think I'd tend to go that way.

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The smelling of a little ammonia is just the same a a little bit pregnant.

if you smelled it you got a leak.

You can get a replacement element for a lot less than a new unit and they are straight forward to install.
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