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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Refrigerator won't light at higher elevation

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melandme

Kentucky

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Posted: 08/30/21 07:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This has happened on 4 trips, in 2016 in the North Carolina Mountains and in Wyoming and Montana and in 2019 and 2021 on trips to Colorado. The igniter sparks and there is gas, put it doesn't light. You can light it by hand. All of the other gas appliances work fine. What is odd is that when you get out of the mountains it works fine. For 3 years it lit every time we switched to gas.

I know the air has less oxygen at elevation, but wouldn't the water heater and stove have the same problem lighting. The only thing I can see is the refrigerator is more exposed to the outside. Anyone else had this happen?

stevenal

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Posted: 08/30/21 07:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Checked your LP pressure? Both my truck campers came from the factory with low pressure.


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dougrainer

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Posted: 08/30/21 09:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both LP pressure and the spark electrode GAP. Odds are the Gap for the electrode is not set correctly to get a GOOD spark. Doug

BB_TX

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Posted: 08/31/21 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

melandme wrote:

.........

I know the air has less oxygen at elevation, but wouldn't the water heater and stove have the same problem lighting. The only thing I can see is the refrigerator is more exposed to the outside. Anyone else had this happen?

A not uncommon problem. It is all about the fuel/air ratio. Likely the water heater and stove are providing a leaner fuel mixture (i.e. not too fuel rich) than the fridge is. Some devices have an adjustable air intake, but not all. Some require an orifice change for high altitudes.

* This post was edited 09/01/21 02:25pm by BB_TX *

C Schomer

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Posted: 08/31/21 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clean the rod with a scotchbrite pad and wipe the porcelain with alcohol. Check it closely for carbon tracking. It could be an ignitor alignment problem if you can light it other ways but the ignitor rod won't. DON'T try to bend the rod w/o heating it with a torch first! I also blow the dust out of all my burners every few years.
Check the system pressure with everything lit. Craig

ktmrfs

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Posted: 08/31/21 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

C Schomer wrote:

Clean the rod with a scotchbrite pad and wipe the porcelain with alcohol. Check it closely for carbon tracking. It could be an ignitor alignment problem if you can light it other ways but the ignitor rod won't. DON'T try to bend the rod w/o heating it with a torch first! I also blow the dust out of all my burners every few years.
Check the system pressure with everything lit. Craig


also take out and clean the gas orifice. It has a very very small opening, and even a bit of dust, spider web etc. will reduce gas flow. And once you get it lit, look carefully at the flame. A good sized blue flame, if it isn't likely a partially plugged orifice.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 08/31/21 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Two things to check The air fuel mix may be too rich.
and the spark gap a bit wide.

Not on a RV fridge (Or water heater) but on two furnaces, one fuel oil in a house and the propane in my RV. the spark gap was too wide resulting in intermittent operation.

I am not a HWEVAC tecnician. I've only worked on 4 furnaces.


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