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Old 08-26-2017, 10:19 AM   #1
Santa Fe, New Mexico
 
2004 22' International CCD
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Fan stopped, now Dometic fridge stopped-what now?

Hi,
First time posting and wanted to say how grateful I am to all of you out there. I have been reading the forums since I bought my airstream a little over a year ago. Your presence is a force and I am so grateful to know it.

Sooo, enough flattery, I need some help! My fridge stopped working and this is my full-time home.

The fridge (Dometic propane/electric, runs on propane) fan was loud so a friend replaced the old one with one that only kicked on when it needed to, supposedly. I noticed after around 24 hours or so, the fridge wasn't working anymore. When I checked it out, the fan did kick on when I wiggled it around but only for a few seconds. Nothing else was happening in there...maybe crickets chirping...

Is it as I fear that the fan didn't work and I burnt out the compressor or something else important?

I'm really not that handy, yet, but I'd like to see what, if anything, I could try to bring her back to life. I live full time in my airstream, semi-boondocking. I have a hose drug 350 feet up to a very nice spot. So it's like camping with the coolers and ice but I'd sure love to have a fridge back with a little help if possible! Thanking you in advance for any guidance, condolences, etc. you can share
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:24 AM   #2
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The fridge should still cool, though not as well, without the fan.
There is no compressor, you can try touching the coils on the back to see if they are warm or hot. It could be as simple as you blew a fuse to the control board when you installed the new fan.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:29 AM   #3
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As you probably know, the fridge works off of shore power when available or propane when it is not, but requires 12 volts for the control board.

So, have you tried it on both propane and shore power? If neither work and you are sure you have 12V to it (are lights lit?) there are only a few options I can think of: the trailer isn't level enough, or you have had a refrigerant leak.

Assuming it has been working, it probably isn't a problem with levelling. Open the outside door for the fridge and look for any indications of a leak. I haven't seen one myself, but I understand there would be a yellow stain and an ammonia smell.

If you have it on automatic and are on shore power, switch to gas and see if it starts working. If it does then it is probable that either the control board has failed or the heater element has.

As Terry points out, you need a good working fan. It is less important on trailers that have a roof vent for the fridge. My trailer doesn't have a fan although I think I may add one.

That's about all I got.....

Al
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:48 AM   #4
Santa Fe, New Mexico
 
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Thank you! The coils were room temp by the time I checked them out. I think it may have shut off earlier and I just didn't notice as it wasn't on my radar.

The fuse is still good as the fan sparked when I was messing with it. Figured I'd blew the fuse and she was still good upon inspection. Is there an additional fuse somewhere else besides just the main board? Thank you soooo much for your help!
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:52 AM   #5
Santa Fe, New Mexico
 
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Thank you for your reply! I don't have shore power. I have a Honda 2000 generator. I've never tried running the fridge off 'Rosie', the generator...

The fridge doesn't actually have any lights on her. Just a little gauge, 1/2 white, 1/2 green to indicate yay or nay on we've got cooling. But I think the fan sparking indicates there's power running around in there, maybe?

I'll go fire up Rosie and see if I can't get the fridge back to life. Thank you soooo much for your help! I am so grateful for this forum and know I would've probably burnt 'Betty', my airstream, down long ago from sheer stupidity without the support of this forum!
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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After noticing that the cooling fan was still working after the refrigerator was turned off and the trailer disconnected I removed the in line fuse to the fan.
However when the refrig is turned on you must remember to complete the in line fuse circuit by reinstalling the fuse or experience similar problems that you are describing,
The wiring at the fuse connector can be sensitive so make sure you have a complete circuit in the fuse housing.

John
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:50 PM   #7
Santa Fe, New Mexico
 
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Thank you so much for all your help! I ran her off the generator for a little but still no bueno. I switched her back to propane, tried lighting her again and she's running! Freezer's getting chilly.

The indicator is right on the black line between the white and green zones. Maybe she goes more green when she's kosher for food? Not sure if she's that high tech...

I can't explain why she's working or why it didn't work the other times I tried firing her up. Or why she stopped working in the 1st place and I had to ditch a bunch of food...and wish I knew. But we don't always get what we want, do we?

I give all credit for Betty's fridge getting chilly again to the forum! Thank you so much for your help! I'm optimistic we're on our way to full recovery!
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:54 PM   #8
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Sounds like the heating unit(electric) has failed or possibly the fridge was not totally on the electric side, mine has a three way "switch" for Propane,110 and 12v, sometimes it doesn't quite set in the coorect position.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWright2016 View Post
Thank you so much for all your help! I ran her off the generator for a little but still no bueno. I switched her back to propane, tried lighting her again and she's running! Freezer's getting chilly.

The indicator is right on the black line between the white and green zones. Maybe she goes more green when she's kosher for food? Not sure if she's that high tech...

Is it possible your batteries were too low? If you have propane and it wasn't working until you started the generator then, most likely, turning on your generator charged up the batteries enough to allow the 12v spark to ignite the propane.

Do you have the buttons set to "auto" or on "propane"? Set to Auto and if there's 110V then it will run off the generator, if not, it will switch to propane. If it fails both, your failure light will be on.

Check your battery voltage, don't let it drop below 12.1v.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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The low battery might also explain why the fan was "intermittent." If I am thinking about the fan you are, it is an after market fan that AS add and is connected to a temperature sensor which is attached to the cooling fins of the fridge. When the temperature exceeds roughly 80F, the fan comes on to help the fridge move the heat it generates from cooling your food. I recently had a temperature sensor go and replaced it with a new part from AS. The fan should not be on all the time... I agree, it is loud.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:14 PM   #11
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I recently found my cooling fan running a day after turning the fridge off. I am replacing the thermo switch and cooling since it's getting noisy. If your cooling system in the back panel of the fridge isn't running then the fridge may not cool very well. Find the thermo switch located in or next to the cooling fins, usually mounted on a pipe as it goes into the cooling fins. Disconnect both wires and jumper them together to see if your fan comes on. Careful as the pipes maybe hot.
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