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Old 08-06-2016, 09:47 AM   #1
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Dometic Fridge Issue. HELP!!

Hello All,

Purchased a 1993 21' Sovereign which has been fantastic. Put 10,000 miles on it since February traveling for work and the fridge and freezer had been working like a champ. About 2 weeks ago started noticing the ammonia order. Drove to my next campsite destination and the trailer was uninhabitable with ammonia reek. I knew from research that it was related to fridge failure so I cleaned out fridge and freezer, mopped up and scrubbed down all interior and shut fridge off. After airing out for couple days, smell was almost zero. Moved trailer to get new hubs, tires and wheel bearings and when parked again, reeked of ammonia. Couple of questions.

1. What do I have to do to 100% eradicate smell?

2. Is there a chance to fix fridge or is it a 100% replacement?

3. Has the ammonia leaked somehow behind and under fridge?

4. Best place to purchase same model/size replacement.

Any help/ideas would be appreciated and or links to my issue.
Thanks,
Darryl
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:56 AM   #2
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Refrigerators SubForum of Interior Restoration Forum:

Ammonia smell from refrig
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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Dometic Fridge Issue. HELP!!

The cooling unit has gone bad and sprung a leak. You can have it repaired. They replace the entire cooling unit.
PPL motor homes typically has good prices on new replacement.
Also check Adventure RV.
You need to remove the refer to get rid of the smell.
Are you sure it is ammonia you are smelling and not cooked batteries.
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:19 PM   #4
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Don't light that frig on gas till you find out what is wrong. A fire might be the result.

Stick your head in the back door of the frig. If you smell it there it is the frig and it is toast.

Yes the unit can be replaced but now days they have priced that just shot of a new frig. I replaced my 20 years ago for $130.00 for the unit. Once it it is a fairly easy replacement and you will do a better job of mating the unit to the box than most dealers will. Heat transfer is the objective.

If you are staying at campsites most of the time yo may want to look at the 12/120 volt marine frig. A bit more expensive but keeps things colder.
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Old 08-06-2016, 01:55 PM   #5
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Repairing it with rebuilt mechanicals is almost as expensive as a new one plus much more work, plus no warranty.
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:34 PM   #6
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Dump that ammonia antique and get into the 21st century with a 12VDC marine fridge that uses a Danfoss compressor-based refrigeration system.

Way more efficient and no incendiary possibilities!!!!!!!


Lew Farber
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Dump that ammonia antique and get into the 21st century with a 12VDC marine fridge that uses a Danfoss compressor-based refrigeration system.

Way more efficient and no incendiary possibilities!!!!!!!


Lew Farber

I feel really stupid asking this question - but does said 12VDC beast run on shore power, battery, or either/both?

I'm asking for a friend.... 😳
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:21 PM   #8
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Dometic Fridge Issue. HELP!!

Short answer. YES. Assuming your convertor is working on shore power.


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Old 08-06-2016, 05:30 PM   #9
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Well, tell your 'friend' that the marine fridge is powered directly from your batteries unless the unit also has a 120VAC circuit, which allows the 120 VAC input to be converted to 12VDC to operate the compressor.

When on shore power, the converter is supplying the 12VDC power for operation unless the unit has the 120VAC option.

When off grid, the batteries perform the task. Solar is a great option here to keep those batteries charged, but I have working marine units in the field that operate for several days with no shore or solar, depending on the battery bank.


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Old 08-06-2016, 06:01 PM   #10
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My friend will be grateful 😀
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:41 AM   #11
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Steve, I have an '86 Excella 500 which my Frig has seen better days.
Thinking of a replacement. But I don't find a good replacement to fix.

Don't you know of some place other than the common sources???
Thanks, Jerry
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:25 PM   #12
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I think Lew's answer has good possibilities and his customer's result are good indicator. If you want a reliable shop to rebuild your present cooling unit for around $650 with all new special designed swirling tubing contact "Wick." He did mine three years ago and it really cools great even before Lew added the two computer fans in the vent. Wick had been in business for 19 years when he did mine he stated he has never had a comeback. He will also UPS receive, rebuild your cooling unit, and return UPS it to you. My price above included R&Ring at his shop. The UPS method would be cheaper because you save four hours labor. Wick's info:

RV Cool-Refrigerator Repair
60 Hwy 287
Greenbriar, AR
800 515 6823
wick /stacey@rvcool.com
Wick/Stacey

You will be impressed.
guskmg
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:48 AM   #13
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I had a great experience with National RV Refrigerator in Shipsheewana, Indiana. He fixed mine and I have to run it on 2 to 3 to keep from freezing the frig side. Leon has a website and keeps around 100 units ready to ship. The best thing before replacing is to add baffels to direct the air flow over the cooling coils.
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