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Old 06-17-2020, 01:45 PM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
Los Angeles , California
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Cool Fridge Pilot light won't stay lit

On my 1966 Safari with an original Dometic Fridge, when I go to light the pilot light for propane operation on the fridge, it will light and stay lit, as long as I keep pushing on the red pilot light button. As soon as I remove it, it goes out. I've had this trailer for 20 years, and it's always worked, but it's been sitting idle for 6 months, and now this issue.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a weekend getaway, and really would like to get my fridge working, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-17-2020, 03:24 PM   #2
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This probably isn't the problem, but I'm going to ask anyway - are you using the same procedure as before? I'm not familiar with your fridge, but some pilot systems I have dealt with in the past you have to hold the button down and then turn a knob to turn on the gas. A thermocouple senses the heat from the pilot and then lets the pilot stay on. If the knob is not in the right place, the pilot goes out when the button is released. Also, if you can spot the thermocouple, make sure the flame from the pilot is hitting it, no spider webs or other debris in the way.
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Old 06-17-2020, 04:56 PM   #3
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It is really not a pilot. It is just a burner.
There is a thermocouple. It has to be in the flame to work. It should not have any build up on it.
Follow the thermocouple tube to where it attaches to the gas valve.
Disconnect it from the gas valve by losening the jam nut at the valve.
Pull the tube out, clean the end of the tube and the contact point inside the valve.
When reinstalling the tube. Insert it fully into the valve. Hold it firmly in place and tighten the jam nut. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!
The thermocouple generates a 20 milivolt signal to operate the gas valve.
If the thermocouple is bad. You can buy one at a hardware store. Just get one with a long enough tube to reach from the burner to the gas valve.
The thermocouple is not specific to A$ or the refer. They are generic and are used today on most residential gas water heaters and some furnaces.
I have a '75 Argosy. Replaced the thermocouple about 10 years ago. It's been fine ever since.
If the thermocouple doesn't fix it. You may need a new valve. The thing with the red button.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2020, 05:42 PM   #4
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If your refrigerator is original, you have a "M52". Often times dirt will fall down the vent and land on the orifice restricting the propane flow or the orifice will become clogged over time from the crap that is in propane not allowing the burner to burn at the correct level flame. I'd suggest either taking a vacuum or canned air to clean the burner. As a side note, if the orifice is clogged, you can take "root canal" tools to clean the hole allowing propane in.

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Old 06-18-2020, 03:28 PM   #5
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I would give it a good cleaning with compressed air, clean the gas orifice, adjust the flame thermocouple and the burner. If that does not work go find a good Dometic repairman.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:08 PM   #6
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1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliSurfBum View Post
On my 1966 Safari with an original Dometic Fridge, when I go to light the pilot light for propane operation on the fridge, it will light and stay lit, as long as I keep pushing on the red pilot light button. As soon as I remove it, it goes out. I've had this trailer for 20 years, and it's always worked, but it's been sitting idle for 6 months, and now this issue.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a weekend getaway, and really would like to get my fridge working, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
My 67 Overlander also still has the original Dometic refer. It gives the same problem if it has been too long between cleaning. Here's what I do: annually, cover the burner with aluminum foil to prevent dirt from falling in it then remove the baffle from inside the vent pipe. Take a stiff piece of wire long enough to reach from the top of the vent pipe to its bottom, attach a small wad of steel wool to the end and run it up and down the inside of the vent pipe to clean the walls of the pipe. Every five years, remove the gas orifice from the burner and soak it overnight in denatured alcohol which is available from Lowe's or Home Depot. Do not stick anything into the orifice as it can damage it and cause an irregular flame. After soaking overnight, blow the orifice out with clean compressed air. To be safe I purchase canned air for cleaning electronics from Wal Mart which won't have any water or oil in it. Reassemble the burner taking care to adjust the air mixture opening as it was and restart it the way you usuaully do it. YOu may have to readjust the fuel/air mix to get a nice blue cone shaped flame with no yellow in it and no smoke. Good luck!
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