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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Poked a hole in the wall of my refrigerator. Is it toast?

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opnspaces

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Posted: 08/31/22 12:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave the door closed all night and check it in the morning.

You said you defrosted it because it was having trouble cooling. So while you didn't kill it by poking the hole, it might have already been dying from other causes.

If you flip it to propane and go stand outside by the refrigerator panel you should hear the flame making a dull roar. If no noise or just clicking you propane is not lighting. I would check to see if there is a fuse on the board in the back of the refrigerator. Again you're looking at the back of the refrigerator by opening the cover outside the RV.

Do you have a small desk fan or light or radio or something that you can plug into the outlet for the refrigerator and make sure it has 120 volts? Maybe the fuse in your power center is blown.


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wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 08/31/22 04:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skibane wrote:

wa8yxm wrote:

The side walls are just plastic sheeting over Styrofoam.. Just like the disposable coffee cup. Depending on the hole.. If it's just the plastic slap a square of Eternabond over it (They sell 11" by 11" patches) if it goes all the way through the foam insulation.. Well you might wish to fix that (no suggestions as to how)


A squirt of expanding urethane foam sealer ("Great Stuff" or similar) would probably come pretty close to matching the performance of the original insulation.

It expands a LOT as it cures, so use it sparingly.


I was thinking about that but that stuff is messy... I'd want to pull the fridge and apply it so I could trim and that's a bit of work (not as much as most folks think however... Really easy if you have two people one of whom knows how to do it.. (Been there. my RV-GIRL knows how to do it)


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valhalla360

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Posted: 08/31/22 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Skibane wrote:

wa8yxm wrote:

The side walls are just plastic sheeting over Styrofoam.. Just like the disposable coffee cup. Depending on the hole.. If it's just the plastic slap a square of Eternabond over it (They sell 11" by 11" patches) if it goes all the way through the foam insulation.. Well you might wish to fix that (no suggestions as to how)


A squirt of expanding urethane foam sealer ("Great Stuff" or similar) would probably come pretty close to matching the performance of the original insulation.

It expands a LOT as it cures, so use it sparingly.


I was thinking about that but that stuff is messy... I'd want to pull the fridge and apply it so I could trim and that's a bit of work (not as much as most folks think however... Really easy if you have two people one of whom knows how to do it.. (Been there. my RV-GIRL knows how to do it)


A lot less work to tape a plastic grocery bag around the hole to catch any mess.

I'm with the others:
- Check that the electric heater/propane flame is working. Carefully place your hand against the chimney (be ready to pull back if it's working and hot or you can burn yourself). If it's hot, you know the heating is working. If it's not, you know the electric heater/propane flame is not working.
- Assuming it's heating and you don't see or smell anything that results from a leak, close the door and give it 24hr. The inside of the freezer should be cold by then or you have other issues.

After that, it's probably time to call out an RV tech for the average person.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/31/22 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:

Skibane wrote:

wa8yxm wrote:

The side walls are just plastic sheeting over Styrofoam.. Just like the disposable coffee cup. Depending on the hole.. If it's just the plastic slap a square of Eternabond over it (They sell 11" by 11" patches) if it goes all the way through the foam insulation.. Well you might wish to fix that (no suggestions as to how)


A squirt of expanding urethane foam sealer ("Great Stuff" or similar) would probably come pretty close to matching the performance of the original insulation.

It expands a LOT as it cures, so use it sparingly.


I was thinking about that but that stuff is messy... I'd want to pull the fridge and apply it so I could trim and that's a bit of work (not as much as most folks think however... Really easy if you have two people one of whom knows how to do it.. (Been there. my RV-GIRL knows how to do it)


"Pull the fridge"? IE remove it to patch a hole in the inside plastic?
Considering the fridge is probably SUPER OLD, or even if not, I can't see how this would do any more than make a small problem bigger.


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bucky

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Posted: 09/01/22 03:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So how were the temps after 24 hours?


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Cheryl_B

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Posted: 09/01/22 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's not working. All power is going to it, all lights are lit, nothing's cooling. I haven't gone out and removed the cover to inspect the back yet but I will. I have lived in an RV for over 6 years now so I'm sure that the reason it was having trouble cooling was directly related to the excessive amount of ice that had built up on the fins. I'm a procrastinator and I should have done it sooner.

Once I had this experience in a Class C that I lived in (the one in my signature line. I had just defrosted it.) I discovered that it was due to me moving the thermister to another fin than the one it was supposed to be on, not knowing that it mattered. But I found out it was supposed to be on the "7th fin from the right" by the manufacturer that I contacted. After that, it worked perfectly.

I'm thinking it's something like that but I'm failing in my troubleshooting. Thank you all for your suggestions. I will update when I have something to add. For now, I am in an RV park and was able to find room in the freezer and fridge up at the clubhouse, and I have several coolers to keep things that I need often close at hand.

I'm hoping I find the answer and that it's something simple, like the last time with the other RV. Fingers and toes crossed. Like I said, I'll update when I find out what came of this situation. Thanks again.

PS: I've checked the fuses and they're fine. And the power is present, like I said.


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/01/22 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cheryl_B,

Have you tried it on propane?


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Cheryl_B

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Posted: 09/04/22 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow. Yesterday I decided to shut the power off to the refrigerator since it wasn't working anyway. I thought maybe it would start again after a break. (???) Today I decided to open the door up a bit so it won't get icky inside and I smelled something horrible. I'm guessing that is the gas you guys said I would smell if it was truly beyond hope. I don't know why it took so long for the smell to appear, but WOW. It's there now. Smells like ammonia or something awful. I had to close the door again to keep the gas from leaking out. Well, I now have my answer.

dougrainer

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Posted: 09/04/22 03:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cheryl_B wrote:

Wow. Yesterday I decided to shut the power off to the refrigerator since it wasn't working anyway. I thought maybe it would start again after a break. (???) Today I decided to open the door up a bit so it won't get icky inside and I smelled something horrible. I'm guessing that is the gas you guys said I would smell if it was truly beyond hope. I don't know why it took so long for the smell to appear, but WOW. It's there now. Smells like ammonia or something awful. I had to close the door again to keep the gas from leaking out. Well, I now have my answer.


You did NOT cause the leak. Unless you drill a screw or use a drill bit, there is no way you will poke a hole in the Steel tubing of the cooling unit. It is just a coincidence you have this leak after punching the hole. Doug

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 09/04/22 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cheryl_B wrote:

Smells like ammonia or something awful.


Yup. that is a failed cooling unit.. and it smells like ammonia because it is ammonia (And some other stuff that's more or less odorless).

Normally I'd suggest a new cooling unit but since you holed it I'm guessing it's old and brittle.. Drop in a new one.. Way way easier than you think to do or hire a pro like I did for the cooling unit.

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