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Old 12-22-2015, 01:25 PM   #1
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Dometic fridge not cooling down on LP

I started a thread in General Repair but I don't think it's getting enough eyes on it so was hoping to get some responses thru this forum.

Not sure what I am doing wrong but my fridge doesn't cool when using LP. I've left the setting on LP for at least a couple of hours but the temp stayed at 60 degrees F. I have to switch it to Auto in order to cool my fridge. I just don't think LP is getting to the fridge. The water heater and furnace works just fine.

I've owned my 2011 28' FC for a little over a year now and this fridge issue has been with me ever since. One time, I let it "run" on LP overnight and it never cooled down so I switched to Auto. Luckily, in the two times I boondocked, I've had plenty of ice in the Igloo cooler to keep food fresh.

Is there a way to check if my fridge is getting LP? Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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I assume your pilot light us lighting, correct?. ..... Mine would not cool well on gas. It was caused by low LP pressure. Fortunately, my camper has an inline LP pressure gauge at the LP line hookup at the back of the fridge. I adjusted my regulator and it worked fine....Another thing to check is to see if the flue is dirty or clogged.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:26 PM   #3
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When you turn the fridge onto LP do you hear the system clicking at the outside fridge vent near the burner? That is the sound it make when its trying to ignite the burner. It will try for about a minute then wait to try again later. You can turn the fridge off/on to LP to restart the sequence. Can you run the stove top LP burners OK?
Hot water heater run on LP OK?

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Old 12-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #4
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The stove and oven works fine as does the hot water heater and furnace. I do hear a click when I switch from Auto to LP. There is a burner for the fridge? is it outside the camper you say?
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:34 PM   #5
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It has a pilot light. Open fridge access panel outside trailer and you can see where the gas line goes to the burner. Feel and see if that area and the flue pipe are warm.....Does your fridge panel nit have a "check" light?
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:50 PM   #6
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The modern gas/absorption fridges like that of the OP DO NOT have a pilot light. They are DSI controlled (direct spark ignition). If you can hear the igniter clicking, it may not be getting LP.

Two possibilities. The gas valve is not opening ( brass solenoid in the LP line with 2 wires coming from it) or the igniter is out of position at the burner.

I would look at the latter first. You also might have insect infestation in the LP feed line between the solenoid and the burner, or rust might be blocking the burner vents.


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Old 12-22-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
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The burner at the bottom of the fridge flue isn't like the one for the water heater that makes a tremendous roar when lit. The fridge burner looks like a pilot light but its enough to heat up the cooling tube at the bottom of the burner. There is sheet metal enclosing the burner. You can hear a slight sound of the burner when its lit if you stick your head into the vent. You can easily see if the burner is lit when it is darker. You should see a blue flame. Verify the electronic ignition is trying to light the burner, that is the clicking sound. Works similar to the stove top ignition. It generates a spark to ignite the LP. If its clicking but no flame then the LP is not getting to the burner. Could be the circuit board then or the LP jet is plugged up. If you hear the clicking but the flame doesn't light then it may be best to take it in to an RV repair to have them check the fridge LP system. These fridges aren't Airstream specific.

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Old 12-22-2015, 03:29 PM   #8
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Is the fridge flue inside the trailer or outside? Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:57 PM   #9
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The flue is at the back. You access it outside the trailer.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:59 PM   #10
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Lewster, you of course are correct...by pilot light I was referring to the burner, which should put off heat he can feel. My bad on the incorrect terminology.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:04 PM   #11
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To familiarize yourself with the working parts of your refrigerator you could do the following:

Using the refrigerator's model number and the Internet look up either owner's manual or parts. The online parts seller have exploded view drawings that label the parts for you. The owner's manual may show the layout to where all the parts are your friendly forum members have been posting for you.

One things that has been mentioned already the refrigerator needs to be hot; as seen from the outside of the trailer when you open the access door. Either the propane burner or the electric heater will be the heat source.

Good Luck,
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:13 PM   #12
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I would not recommend trying to debug this unless you are very sure of yourself. There are too many ways this can go way wrong. The fridge should work on LP just about as well as on shore power so if you are having issues with LP but not shore power then the easy issues such as leveling and airflow do not apply. I would get a Dometic (or Norcold as the case may be) certified tech involved in debugging and fixing this issue.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:47 PM   #13
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Great advice everyone. Thank you.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:25 AM   #14
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If your fridge doesn't show the "check" light, then the flame is on. Your flue is likely plugged so heat is not getting up the stack to warm the evaporator coils. The electric heater will warm the gas coils even if the flue is plugged.

You may need to go to a dealer for service since the disassembly of the flue is beyond most owners.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:54 AM   #15
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There is a slider that attaches to the fin on the fridge on the right side.

Make sure that is all the way down. I usually take off on a Friday night, so Thursday night, I turn it ON. I bought this from Amazon, it is a dual temperature sensor to keep an eye on the temperature for both Freezer and Fridge. I just remove the batteries after my trip.

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:28 AM   #16
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Is there a shut off valve on the gas feed line to the fridge? Is it open? Not meaning to insult but all of the simple solutions should be checked before looking for more complex issues.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:51 AM   #17
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One more adjustment

Near the gas solenoid on mine, there is a slotted screw that adjusts the gas flow. This is in addition to the solenoid and the screw is close to the base of the solenoid. If this screw is turned too far, the burner will either not light or the flame will be very weak if it does light.

When I replaced the cooling unit in mine, the screw somehow got turned too far to cut down the gas flow. I had a flame, but it was a weak flame. A little adjustment to that screw was all that was needed.
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:56 PM   #18
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I have the same problem

I've taken it to two different dealerships and neither can figure out the problem. Mine cools fine on AC but with LP I get nothing. It's been a frustrating experience trying to solve this. The flame lights up and you can feel the heat going up the stack. And I've changed regulators to make sure that wasn't the issue.

The issue with the flu being blocked is a new one for me. I'll take a look at that next. I'm guessing that means I would have to drill out rivets on the roof though? That doesn't sound fun since we aren't talking about simple snap rivets (I've already looked).

Good luck to you, and if you find out what the problem is please let me know.
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