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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > New cooling unit or refurbish?

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Tom_M

New Hope, MN

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Joined: 04/24/2011

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Posted: 12/11/21 05:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Using an absorption type fridge for home use makes no sense. You can buy a new residential model for less than the repair cost of your old one.


Tom
2005 Born Free 24RB
170ah Renogy LiFePo4 drop-in battery 400 watts solar
Towing 1978 VW Bug convertible
Minneapolis, MN


Gdetrailer

PA

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Joined: 01/05/2007

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Posted: 12/11/21 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GuyCanRV wrote:


OK I will fill you folks in a bit more now.

My unit is installed in my residential home. I don't have an RV.
I use 120 V exclusively.

My unit has been super!


Junk it.

Don't put one penny into repairing.

If you had no electricity and was using propane exclusively I could understand why you would be putting this much effort into your fridge. But you are not using propane.

You are just throwing money away not just in the repair but in electricity.

Residential fridge is what you should be using not an ammonia filled absorbsion fridge.

Ammonia absorbsion cycle is very slow to recover from opening the door or putting warm food in it. Uses THREE times the energy than a compressor driven fridge.

You can easily find residential fridges at reasonable prices well below what a new cooling unit will cost.

Just because you have gotten 20 yrs of use out of it doesn't mean you will get 20 more with a new or rebuilt cooling unit. There have been plenty of folks who have tried replacing the cooling unit only to have them fail quickly and with multiple replacement cooling units eventually tossed in the towel and replaced with new RV fridge or a residential fridge.

Give your old absorbsion friend a hug and put it out to pasture, it is time to move on.

GuyCanRV

Canada

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Posted: 12/11/21 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom_M wrote:

Using an absorption type fridge for home use makes no sense. You can buy a new residential model for less than the repair cost of your old one.


I am NOT a normal person!!!!

I have HIGH sensitivity to noise!!!

I have slept in the room with my RGE400 fridge many times.
I could NEVER do that with a compressor fridge!

Do you understand my situation now? [emoticon]

GuyCanRV

Canada

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Posted: 12/11/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:



Junk it.


... You are just throwing money away not just in the repair but in electricity.



Electricity costs are NOT an issue for me at all.
NOISE is.

I knew when I bought my unit 20 years ago (8 cu. ft.) I was paying
more than twice the price for a fridge that gave me less than half the space of a compressor fridge.
I was more than willing to pay for it.

The extra electricity bills are a non-issue for me.

Quote:


Residential fridge is what you should be using not an ammonia filled absorbsion fridge.


Find me a totally silent compressor fridge and I'll buy it. [emoticon]

Do you want to know how sensitive I am to noise?
Do you know those Coke fridges at the cash counters in many stores?
They drive me crazy!

Quote:


Just because you have gotten 20 yrs of use out of it doesn't mean you will get 20 more with a new or rebuilt cooling unit. There have been plenty of folks who have tried replacing the cooling unit only to have them fail quickly and with multiple replacement cooling units eventually tossed in the towel and replaced with new RV fridge or a residential fridge.


The big reason I am considering having mine rebuilt is because this company (that's been in business for decades and does this all the time) is willing to give me a 5-year warranty on the rebuild.
For me even 5 years would be worth it.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/11/21 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GuyCanRV wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:



Junk it.


... You are just throwing money away not just in the repair but in electricity.



Electricity costs are NOT an issue for me at all.
NOISE is.

I knew when I bought my unit 20 years ago (8 cu. ft.) I was paying
more than twice the price for a fridge that gave me less than half the space of a compressor fridge.
I was more than willing to pay for it.

The extra electricity bills are a non-issue for me.

Quote:


Residential fridge is what you should be using not an ammonia filled absorbsion fridge.


Find me a totally silent compressor fridge and I'll buy it. [emoticon]

Do you want to know how sensitive I am to noise?
Do you know those Coke fridges at the cash counters in many stores?
They drive me crazy!

Quote:


Just because you have gotten 20 yrs of use out of it doesn't mean you will get 20 more with a new or rebuilt cooling unit. There have been plenty of folks who have tried replacing the cooling unit only to have them fail quickly and with multiple replacement cooling units eventually tossed in the towel and replaced with new RV fridge or a residential fridge.


The big reason I am considering having mine rebuilt is because this company (that's been in business for decades and does this all the time) is willing to give me a 5-year warranty on the rebuild.
For me even 5 years would be worth it.


Yeah, I forgot that electricity is 100% free for all Canadians and doesn't kill anything or pollute anything [emoticon]

You need to get out a bit.

Not ALL residential fridges sound like a jet taking off.

I have a Haier 10 cu ft apartment size residential fridge that I used to replace a 20 yr old RV fridge.

That fridge does not have any outside fan, uses coils on the back of the fridge with natural convection air flow so no need for a noisy outside fan. The compressor is stone quiet, in fact I have to strain to hear it running, it is that quiet (and no I am not hard of hearing either). The interior fan in the freezer cannot be heard outside of the fridge.

That Haier fridge cost $300, newer models are available which use the cabinet to dissipate the heat instead of rear coils so they too will be stone quiet. Haier brand version is also sold under other name brands like Magic Chef, GE and a few others and can be found at Home Depot, Lowes and other stores.

As far as warranties goes, well those RV cooling units may have a "5 yr warranty" but it doesn't cover the costs for replacement time and labor if you have someone replace it and you will have to remove and send back to where you bought it on your dime.. Time lost, money lost.

For a couple of dollars most stores will upgrade the residential standard warranties to replacement no questions asked, no hassles, no issue.

For the record, my Haier fridge is now going on 12yrs old and no issues and I run it off of a MSW inverter...

Also have a Home fridge in my sticks and bricks that is going on 26 yrs now..

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 12/11/21 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is why I like to answer the OPs question, and not try to tell him why he is wrong...

Hotels used to use in-room absorption fridges for their silent running too.

I think you are asking whether to buy a new one for $500 or have yours rebuilt for $600... That seems like an obvious answer: new one for less money. I think Im missing something.

The used one will have rust inside that will not get rebuilt. Only the boiler portion gets rebuilt I think.
I would not worry about a 5 year warranty. Especially in a house - it should last years and years. It will either not work right away or last another 10-20 years.

99% of the reason for fridges to go bad is people run them off-level, which never happens in a house.

Do still look at the DC Danfoss-style compressor fridges. They do run very quiet, and if you add a little insulation around where the compressor is it might be silent enough for you.
I have a fridge just feet from my bed and since I added exterior insulation it is almost silent.
As stated, there are Danfoss compressor cooling units you can put in gas fridges. It takes a little do-it-yourself work, but is a good option.

GuyCanRV

Canada

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Posted: 12/11/21 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a photo of the Amish cooling unit that is being sold for the RGE400.

https://rvcoolingunit.com/RGE400-Dometic-Cooling-Unit--P911121.aspx

You will notice there are 4 'rings' of piping coming up
from the 'cylinder' (forgive my poor terminology).

When you look at mine (I wish I could upload my photo here, don't know how) you can see 8 'rings' of piping coming up from the 'cylinder'
before you get to the foam that inserts into the fridge.

This is why I need confirmation that the Amish cooling unit would fit my fridge.

This was part of a confusing e-mail exchange (replies) I had with 'RV Cooling Unit Warehouse':

(first) We do not ship remanufactured cooling units to Canada, we only ship Brand-new Amish built cooling unit to CANADA an there are no new RGE400 coils.

(second) There is no Brand-new cooling unit available for the OLD model RGE400

(third) Never heard of any Brand-new cooling unit made for the RGE400 and then changed to give is a new name. Here is the closest PDF file we would have for the RGE400 change out

So that exchange left me scratching my head. [emoticon]

GuyCanRV

Canada

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Posted: 12/11/21 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

This is why I like to answer the OPs question, and not try to tell him why he is wrong...

Hotels used to use in-room absorption fridges for their silent running too.


Thanks!
Yep you got it. If compressor fridges were silent like absorption fridges
there would be no need for the hotel absorption fridges (which I greatly appreciate when they are available).

Quote:


I think you are asking whether to buy a new one for $500 or have yours rebuilt for $600... That seems like an obvious answer: new one for less money. I think Im missing something.


I'm not sure of the warranty length for the Amish new unit (1 yr or 5 yrs)?
If it's just 1 year then the 5 yr. for a rebuilt would make an important difference (plus it's in Canada for less costly shipping).

But all of this would be moot if the Amish unit won't fit my fridge.
I need to find out if there is indeed an 'old' RGE400 and a 'new' RGE400 that
are built differently.

Quote:


The used one will have rust inside that will not get rebuilt. Only the boiler portion gets rebuilt I think.
I would not worry about a 5 year warranty. Especially in a house - it should last years and years. It will either not work right away or last another 10-20 years.


When I speak to the Canadian dealer again I will ask for details on what/how exactly they repair the cooling units.
When I spoke to him previously he was assuring me of a total re-working
of the unit, from top to bottom.

Quote:


Do still look at the DC Danfoss-style compressor fridges. They do run very quiet, and if you add a little insulation around where the compressor is it might be silent enough for you.
I have a fridge just feet from my bed and since I added exterior insulation it is almost silent.
As stated, there are Danfoss compressor cooling units you can put in gas fridges. It takes a little do-it-yourself work, but is a good option.


I've seen a lot of compressor fridges in my day and have yet to see one that can match the sound levels of an absorption fridge (essentially silent).
I was spoiled with my fridge and now there is no turning back.

I'm particularly sensitive to LOW frequency hums (which just happen to be the sound that comes out of compressors).

GuyCanRV

Canada

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Posted: 12/11/21 12:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well I just got off the phone with Cooling Unit Warehouse
and finally understand what he was trying to tell me last month.

First off Amish does NOT make new cooling units for my model RGE400.
They only only rebuild old units.

Secondly, Cooling Unit Warehouse will not ship the RGE400 unit to Canada, only the U.S.

So even if I could have one shipped from Cooling Unit Warehouse I would be in the same situation I am in with the Canadian dealer.
In both cases they would simply be re-building a unit.

Tom_M

New Hope, MN

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Posted: 12/12/21 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GuyCanRV wrote:

I am NOT a normal person!!!!

I have HIGH sensitivity to noise!!!

I have slept in the room with my RGE400 fridge many times.
I could NEVER do that with a compressor fridge!

Do you understand my situation now? [emoticon]
Perfectly. You should have mentioned this earlier. A ticking clock drives me nuts but a compressor fridge does not. To each their own. Good luck with your repair.

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