RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-11-2010, 10:21 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Question Turned off fridge to defrost, won't come on w/elec., will with gas

Hello,

I have a 1976 26' Argosy and haven't owned it that long (since the summer).

My refrigerator was working on electricity. I read on here that one should defrost it about once a month if continually using it. I wasn't sure what 'defrost' meant as far as whether to completely turn off the fridge, or just open the doors.

So, I turned it off completely after running it straight on electricity for about two months. I left it off for a weekend, then came back to the trailer and it wouldn't turn back on.

I haven't been using the fridge since the end of the summer when this happened. I decided to try and turn it on today using gas. It has come on and it seems like the freezer is starting to get cold.

So, I'm finally here posting this problem to see what you all think.

Two questions:

Why won't it come on after it worked before with electricity?

Will it use up a lot of propane if I continue running on gas? I don't know if it's just a pilot light burning to heat up the ammonia or more than that.

I would appreciate your advice or point me to an older post that I didn't see after looking for this issue.

Thanks,

Brian
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
RickDavis's Avatar

 
1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,782
I will generally get about 3 weeks cooking and running the fridge on gas with a 30 lb bottle.

If it works ok on gas you likely have either a burnt out electric heating element or a problem with the electric thermostat.

I am assuming that it is the original fridge and that you have confirmed there is power to it.
__________________
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

RickDavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
vswingfield's Avatar
 
1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,821
Images: 32
Try cleaning your electrical connections. Power off, of course. I had the same problem with the one in my Trade Wind a few years ago and it turned out that one of the connections was corroded at the thermostat.
__________________
Vaughan
vswingfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
I will generally get about 3 weeks cooking and running the fridge on gas with a 30 lb bottle.

If it works ok on gas you likely have either a burnt out electric heating element or a problem with the electric thermostat.

I am assuming that it is the original fridge and that you have confirmed there is power to it.
Thanks for the response. Yes, it is the original fridge. I'm not sure how to confirm it has power other than the three breakers in the rear are all on. Perhaps get a handheld power meter and touch it at the various wired connections on the back of the unit?

I have the trailer hooked up to a 100lb tank, so i guess it would last longer than that.

I don't know how to identify the electrical parts really.

There is a local mobile RV repair guy around. He won't work on the ammonia part. I wonder if I should ask him to do some electrical testing on the back of the unit?
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 12:20 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
Try cleaning your electrical connections. Power off, of course. I had the same problem with the one in my Trade Wind a few years ago and it turned out that one of the connections was corroded at the thermostat.
Thanks for the reply Vaughan. So I can take a look where I see there are wires connected that can be pulled off and cleaned.

Should I clean them with a wire brush perhaps? That's what I have on hand.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,064
Images: 12
If you are comfortable with the use of a volt meter disconnect the power and remove the wires from the heating element in the chimney at the back of the frig. Set the meter to ohms and read across the element. You should see continuity. If you do not the element is open and needs to be replaced.

If the element is good set the meter to AC voltage and a range that will read 120 volts. Connect the meter across the wires that went to the element and have the power turned back on. You should see 110 volts. If not check the fuse or circuit breaker feeding the frig. If the fuse is good and you don't have power on the wires check the receptacle the frig is plugged into for power, it should show power if the fuse was good.

If all these tests prove good and the frig still is not working on electric I would look to the control board and see if there is a separate fuse mounted on the board. If everything checks out OK you may have a bad board.

It is unlikely that just turning the frig. off would cause the board to fail. I think you are looking for a electrical problem.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,004
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Refer

Does your refer look like this inside? If so I have pictures of the back as well and might be able to help you out. I can help you out if you want to try it yourself.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0398-R.jpg
Views:	110
Size:	405.2 KB
ID:	116847  
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,004
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Refer

Here is a shot of the back. There are no electronic circuit boards in these old models. Are you sure that you selected the electric mode? It's a 3 position switch; maybe you had it in the off position. Just checking. It does take a lot longer to cool down in the electric mode; the heating element is only 150 watts. If it is bad, new elements are available. They are relatively easy to replace.
Do you know how to use a Volt/Ohm meter? Do you have a meter?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0405R.jpg
Views:	106
Size:	1.01 MB
ID:	116848  
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
vswingfield's Avatar
 
1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,821
Images: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianD. View Post
Thanks for the reply Vaughan. So I can take a look where I see there are wires connected that can be pulled off and cleaned.

Should I clean them with a wire brush perhaps? That's what I have on hand.
The one on mine was a connector held on by a screw. I removed the screw and used a piece of sandpaper if memory serves me. A wire brush would work fine.
__________________
Vaughan
vswingfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Does your refer look like this inside? If so I have pictures of the back as well and might be able to help you out. I can help you out if you want to try it yourself.
It's similar to that but not exactly. On the outside of the fridge door it says:

The knobs are different colors. I think it's probably the same controls.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:35 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Here is a shot of the back. There are no electronic circuit boards in these old models. Are you sure that you selected the electric mode? It's a 3 position switch; maybe you had it in the off position. Just checking. It does take a lot longer to cool down in the electric mode; the heating element is only 150 watts. If it is bad, new elements are available. They are relatively easy to replace.
Do you know how to use a Volt/Ohm meter? Do you have a meter?
That's what the back of mine looks like. I think I have a black box plate over those wires. I don't know how to use the meter, but with the instructions posted above and looking online I think I can figure it out.

I tried several times to turn and reset the elec. settings to make sure if I had it on, and I waited a day and then checked. I did this a couple of times and nothing happened.

Thanks
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:42 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Thanks everyone for these comments. It's getting colder here and might snow in the metro Atlanta area. So, I will have to try your ideas when it gets a little warmer. I'm worn out from spending 7-8 hours yesterday afternoon and into the night trying to suspend a 12x30 tarp in the air over the trailer to help with the 10 or so little leaks I have around the trailer that I can't figure out where they are coming from. I'll have to do some research on all the posts in here related to that in the future.

One thing I've noticed now that maybe you can point to a problem. I did as the instructions say printed on the inside bottom of the fridge when starting the fridge in gas mode-to make sure the setting is set at 4.

That was yesterday-Sat. I put in a little leftover coffee creamer carton in the fridge last night to test out the temp and this morning I noticed it was frozen. I put a fridge thermometer and will check it later.

So, is this a problem with temp control or is 4 just too high for the fridge. It doesn't look like I have separate controls for the fridge and the freezer. Just one global setting.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
If you are comfortable with the use of a volt meter disconnect the power and remove the wires from the heating element in the chimney at the back of the frig. Set the meter to ohms and read across the element. You should see continuity. If you do not the element is open and needs to be replaced.

If the element is good set the meter to AC voltage and a range that will read 120 volts. Connect the meter across the wires that went to the element and have the power turned back on. You should see 110 volts. If not check the fuse or circuit breaker feeding the frig. If the fuse is good and you don't have power on the wires check the receptacle the frig is plugged into for power, it should show power if the fuse was good.

If all these tests prove good and the frig still is not working on electric I would look to the control board and see if there is a separate fuse mounted on the board. If everything checks out OK you may have a bad board.

It is unlikely that just turning the frig. off would cause the board to fail. I think you are looking for a electrical problem.
Thanks Howie. This will really prove useful. I will try this when it gets warmer since there is a cold front coming in this area.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
The fridge thermometer in the fridge is staying below 20 degrees. So, I turned down the temp to 3 and will see what will happen.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 11:57 AM   #15
Refurbished 89 Excella
 
DKDarrow's Avatar
 
Sugar Valley , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 243
Brian, I have pretty much the same fridge in my 89. Basically after trying all of the above and more I came across the "cure" by accident. For me it was a "sweet spot" in the Off, Gas, Elec knob............I have a very narrow....VERY.... window in the ELEC area that it actually works.......I found this by moving the knob perhaps .25mm at a time and waiting and feeling for the chimney to get warm......Once I found this spot I took a very sharp pencil and outlined the box in the knob.....Now I just line up the pencil marks and it works............God bless......Dennis
__________________
Dennis & Susan
D&D Farms, Sugar Valley, Ga
Registered Boer goats
DKDarrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 04:23 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
BrianD.'s Avatar
 
1976 Argosy 26
Atlanta, , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKDarrow View Post
Brian, I have pretty much the same fridge in my 89. Basically after trying all of the above and more I came across the "cure" by accident. For me it was a "sweet spot" in the Off, Gas, Elec knob............I have a very narrow....VERY.... window in the ELEC area that it actually works.......I found this by moving the knob perhaps .25mm at a time and waiting and feeling for the chimney to get warm......Once I found this spot I took a very sharp pencil and outlined the box in the knob.....Now I just line up the pencil marks and it works............God bless......Dennis
That could be it also. Thanks. I can see that kind of thing happening. Thanks for posting that.

By the way. Does one have to really turn down the temp dial because after turning on the gas yesterday I keep checking on the temp inside the fridge and it is almost down to 0 degrees. The instructions said to start it out at 4. So, since it's 28 degrees here in metro Atlanta, I'm wondering if the outside temp makes you have to turn the temp dial down to like 2 or something.
BrianD. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 04:57 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
cclarkego's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
Oak View , California
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,063
Images: 8
My frig changes with the outside temp, a week ago it was 85 degrees and I had to turn it up to 7. This week it is 60 degrees out and I have it on 3...
cclarkego is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 07:26 AM   #18
Refurbished 89 Excella
 
DKDarrow's Avatar
 
Sugar Valley , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 243
Brian, I am up in Sugar Valley, just north of Calhoun on a mountaintop. Anyway, it really is variable on the outside temp. I believe it is directly related to the coils and the temp that they get. So yes, when it is frigid like today setting it on 1 might be appropriate, while out in Chaco Canyon on a 110 degree day the highest setting will barely make ice...........Good luck and God bless........Dennis
__________________
Dennis & Susan
D&D Farms, Sugar Valley, Ga
Registered Boer goats
DKDarrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 08:10 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
DaveFL's Avatar
 
2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,489
Images: 15
[/QUOTE=
[BrianD.;925691]Hello,


My refrigerator was working on electricity.

I decided to try and turn it on today using gas. It has come on and it seems like the freezer is starting to get cold.

Will it use up a lot of propane if I continue running on gas? I don't know if it's just a pilot light burning to heat up the ammonia or more than that.
QUOTE]
Yes, gas will be used.
I have had problem with electric starting since last year when we purchased, once it gets started getting cold on gas, I switch it to electric. Please post if you solve the problem. thanks
DaveFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2010, 08:37 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,004
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Brian: If yours is like mine there are two thermostats; one for gas and one for electric. If you put it in the electric mode set it at 5; wait for and hour or so then go to the back. Just above the rectangular shield on the lower right there are pipes that come out the top. Check to see if they are getting warm. If you've had it in the gas mode the pipes will be pretty hot; you should turn it off, let it cool down before putting in electric mode so that you can be sure that it's not still warm from being in the gas mode.
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
argosy, refrigerator


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
do i have to defrost fridge every month? BrianD. Refrigerators 14 06-21-2010 07:02 PM
What fitting for GAS on Atwood gas/elec WH rlindberg Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 04-10-2010 12:29 AM
What fitting? Atwood Gas/Elec Water heater rlindberg Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 04-04-2010 08:15 PM
Finicky gas/elec switch KHarris Refrigerators 3 04-01-2007 10:41 PM
fridge not coming back on after defrost! jeff&jess Refrigerators 3 09-30-2006 09:37 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.