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Old 07-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #1
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Help with Dometic refrigerator

My apology if this post is repetitive but I've tried a number of different searches and can't seem to find any help. For some reason our Dometic two door (seperate freezer door) seems to have gone on the fritz.

Not sure where to start with this. It has always worked very well on both propane and electric. Then we drove through a very challenging storm with lots of rain. The next day I noticed the refrigerator stopped working. I spoke with support at HQD. They had me feel to see if the exhaust pipe was hot. It was. They said it was working. It isn't.

Is there anything I can do before taking it in for repair?

John
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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Was the unit on gas or electric when felt the stack? In either her case let the unit run for a couple of hours under that condition and then check the plate in the freezer. If the plate has ice on it it is working.

What may have happened is the control shut down do to water from the rain and the contents got warm. Under that condition and without feeling the plate in the freezer you could not tel if it was or was not working. There is a long time constant to a full warm refig. If things have dried you may be all right.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. We were on electric when I felt the stack. It's been on all day and the plate in the freezer is not cool whatsoever. I agree with you about the time constant. We've had the unit "on" since Monday. No cooling what-so-ever.

Thanks for your help. Thoughts?

John
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:22 PM   #4
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Do you see any yellowish deposits or smell ammonia inside the refrigerator or on the backside of the refrigerator?
This indicates a leak of the refrigerant.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:33 AM   #5
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Could be several possibilities:

1. Be sure that you have 12VDC going to the control board from the trailer.
Check the fuse at the converter panel and use a multimeter to verify that
you have 12VDC at the white terminal block at the back of the unit.

2. IF you have 12VDC present at the unit, then remove the black cover on the control board (left side) and check the fuses on the board.

3. If everything checks out so far, chances are that your control board got wet during the storm and shorted. It will need to be replaced if it no longer functions.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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tpi - No yellowish deposits nor ammonia smells.

Lewster - I turned off the unit last night since it wasn't working. Turned it back on this morning to take voltage measurements. Had 12 volt going to the board. Before removing the cover to the board I checked the inside of the freezer and, for some unknown reason, it appears to be working again. Could it be the board dried out after going through the heavy rain storm? Now that I'm this far, I'd like to remove the cover and check it out. Do you think it is ok to do this. Why is it suddenly working again after not working for 4-5 days?

John
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:01 PM   #7
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Could be it needed a hard reset.. electronic controls can be funny things.. and I don't meam haha funny.

well ok, they can be haha funny if they control, say a remote fart machine..

but glad to hear it appears to have restarted.. I would say keep an eye on it, and I would go ahead and check the board area, look for signs of moisture there, or in a connection.
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
Could it be the board dried out after going through the heavy rain storm?
John
John, I preface this statement with the qualification that I am not a RV tec nor do I play one on TV. A couple years ago while camping on the beach during a particularly humid stretch I had a similar thing happen. It fixed itself and has been humming along fine ever since. My guess is you are right about the board, but the guess is worth about what you paid for it. Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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tpi - No yellowish deposits nor ammonia smells.

Lewster - I turned off the unit last night since it wasn't working. Turned it back on this morning to take voltage measurements. Had 12 volt going to the board. Before removing the cover to the board I checked the inside of the freezer and, for some unknown reason, it appears to be working again. Could it be the board dried out after going through the heavy rain storm? Now that I'm this far, I'd like to remove the cover and check it out. Do you think it is ok to do this. Why is it suddenly working again after not working for 4-5 days?

John
Very possible that the board got either wet or just very 'damp' and decided not to work. I would test both AC and LP functions and if OK, then you know that the board was at fault. If it happens again, I would replace the board.

Glad it's working again !!
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughts as well as your support.
Lewster, I have to admit I'm nervous about changing it over to LP. How will I know if it is working once I switch it over? Do I need to light a pilot or does it have electronic ignition?

John
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughts as well as your support.
Lewster, I have to admit I'm nervous about changing it over to LP. How will I know if it is working once I switch it over? Do I need to light a pilot or does it have electronic ignition?

John
John,

You have electronic ignition. If the board does not see the flame, it will not leave the gas valve open. They usually try to ignite 3 times before locking out. You then turn the control to 'off' and try it again.

Also, if you set the control for 'LP' and get no ignition, a light stays on at the control panel that usually says 'gas' or 'LP' depending on the model. These are the several safety features that are incorporated into the board.

You can also look at the boiler tube in the back of the fridge, right side and you will see a little 'trap door' that will reveal the flame if you rotate it so the opening is visible.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:47 PM   #12
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Thank you. I'll give it a try and let you know the outcome. -John
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #13
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Well, I've switched over to gas but can't see a flame. I do see where there propane line enters the back of the refrigerator, but that's about it. Can't tell for certain that it's running.

John
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:41 AM   #14
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You have gas in the tanks? You have the valves on the tansk turned on? You have any in-line valves not turned on? (I have 2). You have power to the fridge? If it has not been run on gas for a while, and everything else is set correctly, you may need to run through several start attempts before it purges the line of air... you can light a stove top burner to make sure your gas sysytem is on and working, and to purge that part of the line, anyways...

Our new fridge gives us a warning light and code if it's in gas but not running right, does yours?
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:06 AM   #15
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Call Dinosaur Boards. They will help you trouble shoot the refrigerator and if it turns out to be the control board they make the best boards for the unit. I have found them to be very helpful at all times.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:36 AM   #16
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Hi Dakota's Dad,

Yes, there is plenty of propane and I turned on the stove first to make sure it was working up to that point. I turned the refrigerator on gas yesterday and it appears to be holding the temperature at around 42 degrees.

I was trying to confirm that the flame was lit by finding a an opening where I can actually see the flame but I haven't found it . I'm trying include a photo I took of the back of my unit but I'm if I was successful.

IMG_0089.jpg

John
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:39 AM   #17
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Harleylite,

Yes, I found them on the web. Didn't realize they might help with determining the problem. Is replacement something a persons with average skills can handle? ...assuming I need a board.

John
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:35 PM   #18
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Harleylite,

Yes, I found them on the web. Didn't realize they might help with determining the problem. Is replacement something a persons with average skills can handle? ...assuming I need a board.

John
Replacing a control board on a fridge is usually a wire-for-wire replacement. It should not be a big deal!

BTW, from your photo, if you follow down the stack where the 2 red wires are on the right side of the fridge, there should be a little viewing window that you rotate away from the viewing hole that will allow you to see the flame.

If you don't have a viewing window, there is only 1 screw holding the cover of the LP burner on to that stack. Remove the screw and you can move the cover to the side and see the flame also.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:29 PM   #19
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Hi Lew,

Thanks. No viewing window but found the screw. Appears to be working fine for the time being. I've gone from gas to electric several time to make sure. Perhaps I should get a spare board in the event of another failure? One more question if you don't mind. Is there an angle, say a hill, where the refrigerator fails to function? In other words, does the refrigerator need to be level in order to work? If so, what about going up and down steep hills, etc.? And isn't it inevitable that I'll be caught in more torrential rain storms?

John
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:51 PM   #20
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Hi Lew,

Thanks. No viewing window but found the screw. Appears to be working fine for the time being. I've gone from gas to electric several time to make sure. Perhaps I should get a spare board in the event of another failure? One more question if you don't mind. Is there an angle, say a hill, where the refrigerator fails to function? In other words, does the refrigerator need to be level in order to work? If so, what about going up and down steep hills, etc.? And isn't it inevitable that I'll be caught in more torrential rain storms?

John
Older refers had to be 'level' and by that, the manufacturers wanted them 'bubble level at the floor of the freezer.

Newer units like yours don't work on such stringent requirements. 'Level' now means that the coach is 'comfortable to walk in' , so a strict requirement for absolute level is no longer required.

A spare board might not be such a bad idea. They are not that expensive, and you can call it your insurance policy!

Check with Dinosaur Electronics for the board that will work best with your unit. You can reach them at 541-994-4344 during normal business hours (Pacific time).
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