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 > Refrigerator fan mods that worked for me with pics

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nycsteve

NY

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Posted: 07/31/11 04:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last year in May I went down to the Florida Keys. The temperatures were in the low to mid 90’s. Where I was parked the fridge was in the shade at least half the day. Even so within the week the fridge started not being able to hold temperature. It was a slippry slope. The temps in the fridge rose to the point it was 50 degrees in the lower and just barly freezing in the freezer with very soft ice cream. There was no bounce back at night during colder temps. It was past the point of no return. I have a NORCOLD absorbtion refrigerator built in 2007. It is contained in the slideout room and has side wall vents .
[image]

To try and avoid a repeat of this I read up on causes and possible solutions. There are a few different design fans available. Before a trip out west last August I installed this fan
[image]
Which is seen in the lower right . The theory is that it will blow cold air up onto the hot frige coils and in coolng them enabling the fridge to operate even as it heats up. The limiting factor with an absorbtion fridge is the hotter the coils in the back get the less its able to cool the inside of the fridge. Which can knock out the unit when you need it most, in hot weather. This fan was made by Valterra and was purchased for less than 20 dollars. It has a thermostat and an on /off switch, and wired into the 12v wires behind the fridge accessable behind the loer wall vent. It helped but I thought more was needed.
This spring , before a July trip to the Keys I installed the following
First is this fan which clips (the clip acts as the ground) to the fins in the interior of the fridge

[image]

It was purchased on EBAY for 18 dollars delivered. The claims are , no frost on the fins resulting in better effeciancy. This is true, there was little to no frost buildup after 30 days in the hot Florida sun this past late June to July. In hot weather the fridge maintained temp 2 settings below its traditional setting. Wiring was not hard. On NORCOLD fridges older than 2007 the one positive wire goes directly into the hot in the interior fridge light. In my 2007 model there is no continuous hot in the light. Following the sellers directions, with pictures, I ran a 20g wire through the excess water hose in the water tray inside the frige which leads to a water tray in the back. I relocated the tray and wired to the same hot the back fan used. I also added an on/off switch visable in the first pic attatched to the fridge shelf.
Heres a pic of the wire coming out of the water tube in the back

[image]
To find the EBAY seller for this do a search on EBAY for RV refridgerator fans. You’ll see it.
Further I added a fan at the top of the fridge rear behind the top vent on the theory it would draw and expel hot air building behind the unit. It was screwed into the sheetmetal at the top

[image]

With its own on/off switch

[image]

This was purchased from AMAZON for 35 dollars delivered. It was also a VALTERRA product. It pushes a lot of air. It came with an inline thermostat which was non functional. The on/off switch works well (purchased seperatly from a hardware store)
Results and conclusions.
The fridge held temps throughout the Keys trip this year. While I feel all the modifications worked together to make this possible, the strongest performer was the fan at the top of the frige on the outside. It really helped to exhaust the hotair buildup.
Second most effective was the interior blue fan on the fins. It circulated the interior air and helped the fridge cool.
Also I added a digital thermometer on the fridge which gave accurate freezer and lower box temp readings and kept a record of the high and low readings. I was able to monitor the temps without opening the doors .
Also a stragedy of adding beverage bottles to cool in the evening after the frige got a handle on things rather than stressing the fridge by adding warm bottles at the peak heat times during the day helped.
Temps never rose above 40 in the upper box and 5 in the freezer. Most times temps were lower than this even on lower settings. I found myself backing off to a level 6 at night and 7 in the day, a vast improvement over last year when a top setting of 9 still failed.
These mods worked out very well for me in a high temp / hot sun Florida environment this past month. Just my experience.
All mods together came to less than 100.00 and were easy to install.





FF1063

NY

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Posted: 07/31/11 05:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

######

* This post was edited 09/25/11 07:59pm by FF1063 *

Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 07/31/11 11:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ng2951 wrote:

I am not sure if the interior fan is a great idea. The motors add heat in the box too. So the question is do they improve the heat removal process more than they contribute.

Certainly the exterior fan should help a lot...


While we have not added the inside fan mod I have pulled several fin temperature readings over a period of time. The coolest spot on the fins will consistently measure 10-12F degrees cooler than air temps within 6-8" of the fins.

Based on this info it should make the fins more effective at removing heat from the lower box.

ng2951

Louisiana, USA

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Posted: 07/31/11 10:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not sure if the interior fan is a great idea. The motors add heat in the box too. So the question is do they improve the heat removal process more than they contribute.

Certainly the exterior fan should help a lot...


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Bigfootchevy

Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 07/31/11 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great information and pics. There is never any shortage of ideas on this site. Thanks for sharing.

Paul

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 07/31/11 06:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good post, thanks for sharing.

I hadn't seen these products,,, most of us have tried jury rigs with varying degrees of success.

I always wanted one of those solar fan fridge vent covers for the roof of my camper until I realized that it would do nothing but impede the air flow on hot nights,,, no sun.

Time to google...


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Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 07/31/11 11:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nycsteve that was a good job and a good post. I can see how the top fan saved the day. If you ever have your frig out consider moving the bottom fan up under the condenser coils or at least mid way up the back of the frig.

To work well that frig is 10-12" too tall for the opening it seems. The condenser should not be viewable but be behind the alumium baffle.

jl733

New Mexico

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Posted: 07/31/11 11:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those brushless DC fans draw very little power and don't produce any noticeable heat, they are very efficient. However that is actually a hard drive cooling fan and you can get the exact same one here for 7 bucks.

You will have to engineer your own clips or find some other way to mount it. You might just be better off buying from the Ebay seller though since they seem to have it figured out already.

* This post was edited 07/31/11 11:44pm by jl733 *

tilemantim

Santa Rosa,Ca

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Posted: 08/01/11 01:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had one of those interior fans years ago in my Class A and it worked great. It went with it when I sold it and I wish I had it for my Camper...

JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 08/01/11 04:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well done [emoticon]. I've seen those aftermarket clip on fans a number of times now, I still like my home brewed version which has been around since before they became popular [emoticon].

[image]


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