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Old 09-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
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Ye Olde Busted Fridge, part two

So I finally found a solution....buy a new cooling unit. You can read about the earlier gymnastics over here if'n you can't get to sleep tonight: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f425...one-83301.html Simply got tired of wrastling with the dern thing. Sometimes it would cool, sometimes it wouldn't. Freezer always worked, fridge sometimes worked. Replaced the unit last Monday (last week, 11 days ago). Been running continuously since with no issues including an 800 mile trip camping last weekend. However, I'm still not convinced that the old cooling unit is actually bad. There are three basic reasons that I'll spell out with pictures shortly. Hang in there gang, be right back.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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Reason One:
The cooling unit was not sealed on the back of the fridge.

Reason Two:
There was no insulation between the cooling unit and the body of the fridge (same as above, sorta).

Reason Three:
The interior wall may not have been seated properly against the cooling unit on the back of the fridge.

One at a time......

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Jim, I hope your cooling unit does better than ours. Replacements would work for a couple of weeks, then the fridge would not cool, but the freezer would freeze. After a parade of 6-8 cooling units, I finally gave up and put in a new fridge.
May The Force be with you.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Jim, I hope your cooling unit does better than ours. Replacements would work for a couple of weeks, then the fridge would not cool, but the freezer would freeze. After a parade of 6-8 cooling units, I finally gave up and put in a new fridge.
May The Force be with you.
Dang! Let's hope so! Read on.......

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
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First a couple of pictures, then the explanation for Reason One above. Back view and front view of the actual cooling unit. Please excuse the unkempt nature of our back porch. Grandkids, plagues of locusts and roving band of relatives and friends have conspired against me.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Reason One (above)

This particular Dometic (model NDR 1063) was built in such a way that the cooling unit is simply bolted to the back of the fridge. The fridge itself has a "well", if you will, molded into the back of the fridge that the cooling units simply rests in. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the back of the fridge with the cooling unit removed--wasn't thinking that far ahead at the time.

The point of this is that the cooling unit is just bolted to the back of the fridge, IT WAS NOT SEALED IN ANY WAY. My reading of that is that the cool air created by the coils may have well been simply leaking out. It's not any harder than that. And how would you be able to tell? Any cool air seeping out around the back of the fridge would be undetectable because of all the heat generated back there.

When we installed the new unit, we sealed everything up with aluminum tape. More on sealing in a few minutes.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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Very Interesting.....

I too hope to restore an original fridge for my Tradewind. I am hoping you are fixing something like a Dometic M75? Where did you buy the new unit? Thanks John
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Reason Two

More on sealing things up.....

That "well' that is mentioned above is a sort of beveled arrangement. The bevel is made in such a way that the two mate together. Bevel in one direction on the fridge, the other direction on the cooling unit. The two fit together, but not very tightly. It's almost impossible to see the bevel because of the black plastic around the edge of the cooling unit, but it's there. The folks that we bought this refurbed unit from included a can of spray foam insulation--the same stuff you can buy at HomeyD's or Lowes for use around the house to seal up, say, the gaps around the outside of your house at the hose bib connection against the siding. The idea here is that you run a bead of this spray foam at the bottom of that well and it expands to fill the gaps once the cooling unit is seated fully.

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Old 09-20-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Reason Three

So, if my poor interpretive skills are making any sense at this point, we now have the cooling unit mated to the back of the fridge and PROPERLY SEALED. Something the factory neglected to do. Now about screws and this thing:
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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If you look inside the fridge (not the freezer) you'll see some fins similar to these. The purpose of these fins is to transfer the cold of the cooling unit coils to the inside of the fridge compartment via simple contact (which is one reason why these accursed things take so long to cool down). If they are not making good contact with the coils, the transfer won't be very efficient, right?

There are several screws inside the fridge that screw thru the fins and into a steel plate that the cooling coils are attached to. The idea here is that the screws pull the coils up tight against the fins (and logically, against the back of the cooling compartment of the fridge) to transfer cooling to the interior of the fridge area. Cold on coils = cold in the fridge. Same thing in the freezer, but more on that in a minute.

But wait, there's more!
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:02 PM   #11
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the clocks ticking. I'm half way thru a pint of Ben & Jerry's
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #12
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Dang, it's late and I have to go to work in the morning. I'll finish this up tomorrow. Including the joys of thermal mastic and the reason for screws in the freezer.

John, I bought the unit from these guys: RV Cooling Unit Warehouse

Nice folks.

Jim
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
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you're Kidding me----- Ice cream finished
just when I get into something WORTH reading here ...the carpet gets jerked. oooohhhhhhno
will I sleep tonight,
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:07 PM   #14
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the clocks ticking. I'm half way thru a pint of Ben & Jerry's
Sorry Gunner, I'm all tapped out for the evening. Remember how to cool beer in 'Nam using gasoline and compressed air? Same idea, in a twisted sorta way.

Jim
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