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Old 06-17-2004, 06:57 PM   #1
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Question The ol' Dometic quit working...

Looks like I get to get the fridge's cooling unit rebuilt instead of getting a awning...bummer!!!

History: It worked fine our 1st trip out this year the end of May. Then weekend before last it seemed to just go kaput. We tried 'burping' it as vaguely described in our '64 Dometic owner's manual....to no avail.

Confession: I wonder if we may have inadvertantly caused the problem....we were in a hurry packing things up and didn't pre-cool the fridge before loading it on the road. Instead we put a couple of lbs of dry ice inside to keep things cold until the unit caught up and cooled things down. We've done this a couple of times without any repercussions over the last two years...but...maybe...????

Question: Do you suppose this may have messed with the system someway to cause it to stop working? We thought it may have, but also thought being a closed system burping it should have 'fixed' it...right? There was never any ammonia smell or obvious leakage areas...whatcha think? Or do you think it just gave out after 40 years?

Warning: Don't try this at home ~ at least until I find out if the dry ice caused the problem...

Solution: We have found a guy locally (within 75 miles) that rebuilds cooling units and he's going to take a look at it as soon as we can get it over to him. Preliminary (over the phone) estimate to fix it (before seeing it in person) is $450. 'Why not buy a new one' you ask? Besides the $$$ we want to rebuild our oldie instead for 'vintage' sake and the new fridges are a different size & the cabinets would have to be modified which we don't want to do...and last but not least, I found my door shelves! It's a slippery slope...

I'll keep you posted...

Shari
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:11 PM   #2
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Shari

Let us know what the guy fixing says is wrong. Sounds to me likes it clogged - if you did not smell anything. When you burbed - you turned it upside down/rightside up and upside down?

Ken
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:12 PM   #3
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Another thing - you have tried both elec and gas? Can you feel it heat up in the back?
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:20 PM   #4
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Arrow It's 'propane only'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Can you feel it heat up in the back?
The pilot stays lit and the pipes on the back seem to warm up...we left it on for 8 hours on 'max' last night to test it....70-degrees this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Shari

Let us know what the guy fixing says is wrong. Sounds to me likes it clogged - if you did not smell anything. When you burbed - you turned it upside down/rightside up and upside down?

Ken
Yep...upside-down then right-side-up for 8-12 hours each direction. Repeated 4 times over the past 5 days....we were really surprised the burping didn't work, we thought 'clog' too.

There is a teeny tiny, (less than 3/32") yellow spot (ammonia) by one of the joints to the pilot burner. But it looks old & dirty and there isn't any yellow anywhere else inside the compartment where the unit sits. If it would have just leaked out last weekend, I would expect more yellow staining & I'm sure I would have noticed the odor....I have a super-sniffer.

Shari
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:06 AM   #5
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I wonder if you burner is not adjusted correctly/dirty - should have a nice blue flame, often time the chimmney gets clogged and/or drops junk on the burner. On my 63 Globetrotter (think it was same refrig) it worked great on elec, did not work on propane even though I could see a nice flame - I never fixed it, but the folks who bought the trailer from me had it cleaned and fixed and it worked great - as I understand it, it was a minor repair - not a $450 repair.

On the other hand, if you spend the money, you will have a brand new reliable refrigerator that will last another 35 years so.

Ken
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:07 PM   #6
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Well...been back a couple of days since our rebuilt fridge's maiden voyage. It worked GREAT! The fridge compartment stays at 35-degrees and the freezer made/held ice. The outside high-temps were in the 80's-90's. I was quite pleased.

The company we had fix it is:
Cool-Fun
15825 E. Edna Place
Irwindale, CA
626-960-5456
They did a terrific job, in my opinion and I would recommend them, if this is the route you wish to take.
Cost of a new fridge: +/-$1000 (undercounter propane/elec model)
Cost of Repair: $350
Cost of Shipping to CA (round-trip): $200
Cost of keeping things vintage-original: priceless!
IF we could have found a 'new' cooling unit that would have worked, the cost of the repair would have been about the same, but we wouldn't have had to pay for shipping. Unfortuantely, nobody makes them for a fridge this old...and the used ones we looked at were in just as bad a shape or worse.

Shari
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