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Old 03-17-2006, 08:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65glbtrotter
My flame looked good too, even had a mobile rv tech tell me my flame looked fine and that since it worked on AC power that I needed to replace the fridge. But after checking prices I just had to find another solution before I was going to part with $800.
It's amazing,

After looking at so many absorptive cooling units, aside from the 'magic' that goes on inside the tubes (I can explain it in detail if anyone is interested ), the heating system is really a lot simpler than a water heater or furnace. Either you are using a 120VAC heating element to warm the coolant, or you put a flame to it to do the same. If the unit works on one, there isn't a whole lot of stuff in between to get it to work on the other mode. The most complex part (coolant and tubing) is the part you never touch!

If the electric is working AND cooling, there are only a few pieces to the propane puzzle (now I'm a poet!). Pilot or igniter board, gas valve, maybe a thermocouple (depends on the age of the unit) burner tube, burner orifice, burner, flue tube and baffle. Oh, spark electrode if it's a DSI model. That's about it. (Did I forget anything???)

Check all of these things starting at one end of the supply chain and ending at the other. If everything is within spec......it should work! If you find something is not clean (burner, burner tube, flue, orifice), operating reliably (gas valve, thermocouple, igniter board), then you have probably found the source of the problem.

Hope this helps. It's the method I use to trouble shoot problems like these.
OH, and don't forget a reliable 12VDC source and the proper working pressure for the propane measured AT the gas valve (11" water guage).

I'lll get off the soap box now .
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:47 PM   #22
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Trying the propane fridge again

Andy from Midland RV said something on another thread that got me thinking--the flame should be making a roaring noise. Mine wasn't, so I took the whole burner apart, cleaned it, ran an orifice-cleaning wire through the orifice, blew it out, and reassembled it. The propane flame now roars and has a better color--bright blue! The box above the flame is also getting much hotter. I couldn't stick around to see whether this does the trick, but I'll check tomorrow.

I think the gassy smell inside my trailer may have been the range pilot. I turned off the gas at the little cutoff valve under the range top--let's see if this helps with the exhaust/gassy smell.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:43 PM   #23
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Success! It works again!

Cleaning the burner and especially its orifice did the trick! My Dometic is now nicely cooled down. I sure hope all my "fixes" are this cheap.

Next stop: trying to get the cussed step light switch to work.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:48 PM   #24
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Vince, does the refer cool when you turn off the gas flame and revert to the electric heater? If so, that would indicate the refrigeration cycle is OK, and the problem is in the burner/heater area.
If it doesn't work, you may have suffered an ammonia leak, and this is serious stuff, as we all know.
(This may not set well with the webmaster)
I once owned a VW westfalia camper with a combination 12V/220V/gas refrig. It quit working on all three sources of heat. I remember that the manufacturer's advice was to remove the fridge from the camper, and carefully rotate it upside down, because it had formed a bubble of gas somewhere in the piping. I tried this and by golly, it worked. That fridge was still cooling five years later when I sold the camper. I don't think this would be practical with a large fridge.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Oh, and the bubble level on the freezer shelf is a cool idea. It works.
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:06 AM   #25
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Well all -

Seems to me that on my admitedly limited trips that if the fridge is within, say 5% or max 8.5 or 9% level - the fridge functions. My experience. Your mileage may vary!!!!

Just keep that baby as level as you can (realisticially) and then go get those 'tiny' levels that Sears makes ( line levels (2)) and use them as your final say so or say NO.

Getting that 'just so' setting can become quite a challenge. All hats off to you forgetting a spot to produce a level trailer - quite a chore at some praticular parks. Patience is required - there is NO doubt about that.

With these Sears levels you can determain the level within a degree or two - BOTH ways so there can be NO quibble about if it is or it isn't. How's that for definative! They can and are a HUGE help when setting up the trailer for habitiation. They , in fact, can make all the difference of the world...

There are so many elements that go into a positive camping experience. WE just hope that they all come together for you and yours!

Ciao

Axel
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:03 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herrgirdner
Vince, does the refer cool when you turn off the gas flame and revert to the electric heater? If so, that would indicate the refrigeration cycle is OK, and the problem is in the burner/heater area.
If it doesn't work, you may have suffered an ammonia leak, and this is serious stuff, as we all know.
(This may not set well with the webmaster)
I once owned a VW westfalia camper with a combination 12V/220V/gas refrig. It quit working on all three sources of heat. I remember that the manufacturer's advice was to remove the fridge from the camper, and carefully rotate it upside down, because it had formed a bubble of gas somewhere in the piping. I tried this and by golly, it worked. That fridge was still cooling five years later when I sold the camper. I don't think this would be practical with a large fridge.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Oh, and the bubble level on the freezer shelf is a cool idea. It works.
I would be surprised if there were an ammonia leak in my Dometic--ammonia has a pretty distinctive smell. Besides, the unit is 15 years old--don't you think it would have leaked out by now?

Unfortunately, I can't test the electric option on my fridge at the moment, because where I have it parked has no electricity available (but it's only $25/mo.!). I plan to rent a construction-site "bad boy" 4k generator as soon as it warms up a little so that I can test the electric stuff, including the Armstrong A/C.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:42 AM   #27
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Success

WAY TO GO VINCE!!!!!
We'rs proud of ya! We'll make an RV tech out of you yet !

PS: An ammonia leak is very noticeable. The smell for one, but it is usually associated with a distinctive yellow powder that can be found at the leak source. That is the zinc chromate used as an anti corrosive mixed in with the coolant.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:52 PM   #28
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More Dometic problems

Well, I thought I had everything under control, but . . . poor cooling below the freezer! I can't get the refrigerator portion below 60F on propane, no matter how low I set the thermostat. The right-hand evaporator pipe leading in to the cooling fins inside the refrigerator has ice on it, but the other side is no cooler than 60F. The freezer works fine. What could the problem be NOW?
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