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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Dometic Fridge not cooling (the problem found)

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Jim4929

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Posted: 04/25/12 07:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We got our new fiver first part of March and I went through as many system tests as I could. I did the Dometic fridge test both with gas and with shore power and everything worked fine. Tomorrow we are going for a two day shake down trip and I turned the fridge on at 10 am today and nothing is happening either with gas or AC. Any suggestions on what could have happened between the test time and today? The only change was two practice backing trips, else it has been sitting getting ready for this trip. All the right lights are lit and the check light is not flashing.

* This post was last edited 05/01/12 02:17pm by Jim4929 *   View edit history


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Luke Porter

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Posted: 04/25/12 07:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Does it say it's on gas or AC?


Yep, actually drove to all of these places---in the last eight years. Missed Rhode Island and New Jersey.


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skipnchar

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Posted: 04/25/12 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the outlet where the fridge is plugged into (inside the service panel) to be sure it has power. Also make sure your LP is working (valve turned on and OTHER LP appliances working correctly. Make sure also your battery is charged or you're plugged into 120 volt AC power. Is the light inside the fridge working? that would indicate if you have 12 volt power or not. Does the stove light (would tell if your LP system is working). Some units will cool down pretty well in five or six hours and other need almost 24 hours to get cold. I have no idea about yours. If it worked before it SHOULD work now (of course) so double check the things mentioned.

Good luck / Skip


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Jim4929

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Posted: 04/25/12 07:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Does it say it's on gas or AC?


When I turned it on this morning the "auto" light came on meaning it found shore power and was in that mode. When I saw it wasn't cooling at all 6 hours later, I changed it over to "gas" mode. The pilot light was on and it's getting plenty of gas and the exhaust pipe was hot to the touch. Three hours on gas didn't lower the thermometer I put in the freezer but one degree and that was the result of the outside air temp drop.

Jim4929

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Posted: 04/25/12 08:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Check the outlet where the fridge is plugged into (inside the service panel) to be sure it has power. Also make sure your LP is working (valve turned on and OTHER LP appliances working correctly. Make sure also your battery is charged or you're plugged into 120 volt AC power. Is the light inside the fridge working? that would indicate if you have 12 volt power or not. Does the stove light (would tell if your LP system is working). Some units will cool down pretty well in five or six hours and other need almost 24 hours to get cold. I have no idea about yours. If it worked before it SHOULD work now (of course) so double check the things mentioned.


The plug is in and I replaced the fuse on the off chance that was it. The rest of the trailer is getting power. Lit the stove and the burner fired first strike, so I've got good gas flow. There is not a sound coming from the condensor or any other part behind the outside entrance panel. Is there a reset button somewhere perhaps?

stickdog

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Posted: 04/25/12 09:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any smell of ammonia?


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Posted: 04/25/12 09:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it not level enough, after your last backing up practice, for the fridge to work?


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laknox

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Posted: 04/25/12 11:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My fridge wasn't cooling real well on a couple outings, then all of a sudden started working just fine. I did nothing but turn it off and on several times and drive down the road on a couple trips. I've been told that the cooling system can sometimes get an air lock and you have to "burp" the fridge. (I was to this stage when mine started working again.) This is done by taking it out and turning it upside down for 24 hours, then reinstalling it. If that doesn't work, then there's something more serious wrong, from contamination in the coil to a full-on cooling system failure. Sounds like yours is =trying= to work; beyond that, I'm out of my league. You said your FW is "new", so hopefully that means factory new and you're under warranty. If it's new-to-you "new", then you may be in trouble. No matter what it turns out to be, a trick I use is to load both my freezer and the fridge with frozen freezer packs (I have about 3 dozen) before loading food. When I load food, I make sure I chill it well and immediately load it from the house fridge. Sure hope you get this worked out.

Lyle


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JEBar

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Posted: 04/26/12 04:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

look inside the frig at the white plastic temp control mounted on the far right cooling fin .... if the sensor has slipped out of the plastic sleeve and is hanging down in the back of the frig it won't get very cool .... the higher the sensor is in the frig, the cooler it will get

Jim


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Posted: 04/26/12 07:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Dometic refridgerator in my unit and from the sounds of it they have similar issues. Mine will cool sometimes and not others. No check gas light on and even when on gas the burner will light and get hot but the unit will not cool. All the fans turn on like nornmal when it is in the state of not cooling. I have been chasing the issues for 2 years now. As of this moment I have a new fridge being delivered to the dealer to replace the entire refridgerator.

Here is a recap of my issues if it helps. Like you when I bought it I checked it to make sure it was cooling on both gas and electric and it was. Our normal practice is to turn in on gas about 24 - 36 hours before a trip to cool down. No electric at our storage lot. We leave for a trip and usually plug into electric. The first couple of trips this was fine. Then about the 3rd trip out it cooled fine on gas and when we got to the campsite and plugged in I noticed it was not cooling as the temp was slowly rising. Switched to gas and it would not cool down. Used the rig a couple weeks later and all worked fine. Then on the next trip same issue in that it would cool on gas but once pluged in stopped cooling.

Took it to the dealer and it worked fine on both gas and electric for them. Brought it home and it would not cool at all. At this point I started thinking maybe there was some sort of blockage in the coils that was being affected everything the rig was moved. I made the dealer come to the unit while it was not working to diagnose it as I thought if I moved it maybe it would clear the blockage. The tech did discover that there was a bad diode in a wire and cut it out. The fridge started working again so though good problem solved. The tech did send me a new wire with a diode in it to replace the bad one and when I put it in the fridge still worked.

We used the unit a few more times that season then stored it for the winter. The next season the issues started all over again with the intermittant cooling. After several more attemps at a different service center to fix it I was still having issues. I called the Cedar Creek warranty group myself to get resolution and they quickly brought Dometic into the conversation. Dometic agreed it was a problem and said the fix was to replace the cold pack in the fridge. They agreed it was some sort of blockage and said the cold pack was the fix. The coldpack was replaced around the first of this year.

Again for the first couple of trips it worked fine on both gas or electric. Then with my luck I turn it on gas 24 hours before a week long trip and it will not cool. Move it to a location with electric and it worked so we left on the trip. During the long days of driving when it should be cooling on gas it would not and would warm up 10 - 15 degrees. Fortunatley all the sites we stayed at had power so it would cool down once parked.

Upon returning and taking it back to the service center a new thermocoupler was installed. It tested out fine on both gas and electric at the shop so off I go again. I used the unit last weekend and again it would not cool on gas only electric.

Finally after reaching the end of the 2 year warranty on the coach and still having issues with the fridge I decided it was time to have the ENTIRE fridge replaced. I setup a conferance all with Cedar Creek and Domaetic warranty departments. With them both on the phone at the same time I recaped the 2 years of issues and the fact that in my mind it has never worked properly. I reminded them that it has been to the shop numerous times for this issue and that never have I asked for reimbursment of my time or fuel costs to transport the coach. I explained that I have been patient and given them multiple oportunities to repair the refridgerator and at this point the only resolution for me is to replace the whole thing. Both without hesitation agreed to replace it.

Since I have a trip next week planned to a locaiton where I have to dry camp Dometic agreed to drop ship the new fridge directly to the service center where it should arrive today to be installed. I just hope I get a good fridge this time around.

Sorry for the long response just thought it would be good to share my experience. I hope yours does not turn out to be as drawn out as mine has been. I will also say that both dometic and CC have been good to deal with and have made honest attempt to correct the issue. While I believe they should have the opportunity to correct the problem it has gone on long enough. They both agreed and have stood behind their products well. I would not hesitate to purchase more products from them.

Good Luck.


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