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Old 08-08-2017, 03:01 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1990 29' Excella
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 24
Cleaning the Flue

Ok, has anyone actually made a habit of cleaning the flue on their as, routine maintenance??, and if so how do you do it, without removing the fridge from the cabinet?? Since the problems with keeping the fridge cold, I have removed the top cap, only to find a rectangular screened in vent that gives me no access at all, to the top of the chimney. I also checked the external chimney temp today with an infrared temp gun, and is nearly identical on gas and electric. I have blown air in there and tapped on the chimney, and no rust fell, and the burner was spotless, still not cold on gas.
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:26 PM   #2
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
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It's pretty rare for chimney to get plugged. Maybe if squirrels make a nest or something. My old SOB went about 13 years before I had to pull for a new cooling unit. The chimney was clear. I would never pull one out just for chimney maintenance. I would do chimney maintenance any time it is out for any other reason.

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Old 08-08-2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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1991 25' Excella
2011 19' Flying Cloud
Santa Ynez , California
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When I removed the frig on our 91 to replace I found the chimney walls a bit dusty and a little grimy but nothing worth the effort on it's own.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:04 PM   #4
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1990 29' Excella
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 24
Thanks guys, that's the way I feel, but I've had people ask me if the flu is clean. From what I can see...yeah. I've had some old trailers too, and never cleaned the flue, and never had a problem like this. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:13 AM   #5
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1990 29' Excella
Long Island , New York
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Posts: 24
Well, I finally pulled the fridge out, reluctantly, and cleaned the flue and baffle, and now it works great again. I, honestly don't know why, but I'm not complaining. With the original problem being Not Cold On Gas, the first thing I did was replace the 27 yo regulator, no difference. The flame always stayed lit and strong, I cleaned the orifice, and burner area multiple times, with no luck. The pressure at the burner was 12, still no, and the stove and water heater always worked fine. When I pulled the fridge, I only found some light scale in the chimney, no obstructions, and the baffle was complete, with only some light scale rust. I cleaned it all up, and put it back in, and it's fine now. Even tho I agree, that chimneys don't need cleaning, this one did, and the only way I see to do that is take the baffle out, which usually means take the fridge out, unfortunately. Although the service manual says to do it yearly, I'm thinking more like every 20 yrs. LOL. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
boyne city , Michigan
Join Date: May 2015
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Greetings -

Recently, on returning from a shake down cruise to test out new axles, I emptied the fridge and I found some of the frozen items not so frozen. I have a Dometic RML 8555 that entered use early this decade. I have had the trailer going on two years, now. I tend to let the fridge run on gas when not in winter storage mode, camping, or not. A bit more troubleshooting led me to the "cools on AC - doesn't cool on gas, despite heat in the right places" observation.

I then hit the google search of Airforums, and eventually coming up with this thread, after reading some others. Based on this thread, I pulled the fridge; not easy, because the PO obviously wanted it installed forever. Once exposed, at the back of the Dometic where the sun don't shine, I found the chimney, but not gobs and flakes of oxidized steel; instead, a patina of oxidation colored my white chimney brush rose. As I brushed, the vacuum positioned at the burner sucked up what dislodged - not much, just some oxide dust. I rubbed down the baffle and hanger with steel wool - not much in the way of corrosion here, either.

However, after hooking up the 12V and gas, the fridge on gas cooled like a champ. Go figure.

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Old 07-27-2018, 03:24 PM   #7
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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I suspect even a thin layer of oxidation or dirt will hinder that heat transfer from the flame to the boiler tube--so cleaning it is a darn fine idea, as you have just reported and demonstrated...
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:23 PM   #8
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Garner, , North Carolina
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more to the point of surface rust that forms when the unit is not in use and in a humid area like south US in summer.. over time the rust can build up (we are talking 100 of inch's here) over time and not allow the complete transfer of heat from the flue to the surrounding sealed tube with water/ammonia solution which will not get to proper operating temp in some cooler temps and not cool well.. it can happen in warm temps as well.

They have a special brush for this but it quite pricey for sure.

not sure how you clean it maybe some sand paper on a broom handle you push down the flue..?? if you have done this let us know and what you used.. picture are good.

Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
I suspect even a thin layer of oxidation or dirt will hinder that heat transfer from the flame to the boiler tube--so cleaning it is a darn fine idea, as you have just reported and demonstrated...
Carl, Raleigh NC
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