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Old 09-20-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
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Dometic fridge not working at all

Just getting our trailer loaded up tonight to head out first thing in the morning for an extended weekend camping trip. Dang if the fridge won't work at all. It's just a few weeks past warranty too.

Won't work on propane or 120 volts. The check light doesn't come on. There is 120 and 12 volts at the back of the fridge.

I switched it to propane and after about an hour, still nothing. But the burner at the back feels hot. Does this mean that maybe the ammonia has leaked out?

I was hoping to just reset a breaker or replace a fuse....

Or are we possibly looking at having to replace the control board? Seems to me that this is a pricey item.

In the meantime, I have shut the fridge off so it doesn't burn up or something. Think I might try calling the nearest RV repair shop and seeing if the is an easy fix. We have a small 12 volt mobile cooler and may have to survive with that for 3 days.

Anyone have any great ideas how to fix this thing quickly?
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:33 AM   #2
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I had my new 318BHS trailer out camping a couple of weeks ago and after 2 days of camping the fridge stopped working. It didn't work on propane or elec. We used the outside fridge for the next 2 days and then when we got home I tried it again and it still didn't work. I took it in to Travel land in Langley, BC where I got it and they turned it on and it worked for them. They said that the freezer lines are so small that they often get plugged but when the trailer is moved it often frees itself. They said that sometimes they need to remove the fridge and put it upside down to get the fluid to flow again. In my case, since it worked for them I had to pay the 1/2 hr service charge for them to turn it on. It was in for several other warranty issues at the same time. I'm not suggesting that you put your trailer on its head.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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myredracer: did you check/replace the fuses that are actually on the circut board itself?
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:05 AM   #4
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Odd that it worked previously and now both systems are out.

Will the "ON" LED come on and the light inside the fridge when you open the door?

The fridge requires 12VDC to control the 120 VAC heating element. If your battery is dead or disconnected, 12 VDC may not be available even if the converter is powered.

A severely depleted battery will trip the converter's safety circuit and prevent it from connecting to a bad battery.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:48 AM   #5
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Keep it level!!!!!!!!!

We had exactly the same problem on our very first time out in our motorhome with our fridge. Even in conversation with tech support at our dealership, they couldn't come up with a fix.

After some further camping, we still had the same problem, and finally returned our rig to the dealer for some other warranty work, which they kept on their property for several months in the off season.

When they got around to servicing our rig, no problem with the fridge working at all. Can't fix what ain't broke.

Since then, the fridge works fine all the time, but we park the rig on level ground all the time, even when we aren't camping in it. I'm convinced the fluids in the evaporative system got plugged because the fridge was NOT level when parked. No one ever asked if our driveway was considered level enough to park on.

Where are you parked?
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Ken, you are a poster child for why keeping the fridge level is important.
Thank you for sharing this.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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I can report that the fridge is working fine on propane this morning. So it's not the refrigerant system.

The TT is level as it is parked in the usual spot in our carport where it runs fine on 120V. There is the correct level of 12 volts at the 12V terminals behind the fridge. All okay here.

I guess it must be an electrical issue then. I will check the fuse in the control panel. Just where is it? At the top of the fridge where the indicator lights are?

There should not have been any surges on the incoming 120V line. But, in the past few weeks, I have had a chop saw set up off the end of a 50' extension cord that also is feeding (temporarily) the TT. Makes me wonder if all the constant cutting of wood did something that the fridge did not like.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
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OK, so it works fine on DC/Propane so forget the fuse panel your DC circuits are fine.

As to AC, there is a GFCI, a Circuit Breaker, and a 2 amp AC FUSE to check.

Reset ALL GFCIs you can find, one might be controlling the outlet the fridge is plugged into (may be the outside outlet as well).

The circuit breaker in the power center. Reset them all (OFF; then back on) as a tripped breaker may still look "good."

Check the 2 amp fuse outside on the exterior control board behind the plastic cover. See photos for what you are looking for.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769
OK, so it works fine on DC/Propane so forget the fuse panel your DC circuits are fine.

As to AC, there is a GFCI, a Circuit Breaker, and a 2 amp AC FUSE to check.

Reset ALL GFCIs you can find, one might be controlling the outlet the fridge is plugged into (may be the outside outlet as well).

The circuit breaker in the power center. Reset them all (OFF; then back on) as a tripped breaker may still look "good."

Check the 2 amp fuse outside on the exterior control board behind the plastic cover. See photos for what you are looking for.
Just to add the plastic "box" and the 115vac plug are located behind the ouside panel w/ louvers.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
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To follow up on this, when we got to the campground last weekend, the fridge worked just fine on 120V. And when we got back home, it has been working just fine in the same spot we always park it in.

However, DW said that when she was unloading the fridge immediately after we got back home, it made a loud hissing noise. That was nearly a week ago and it's still working okay on 120.

Perhaps we would be wise to get a shop to look at it? Maybe it has leaked some ammonia somehow? Still planning on getting in a few more camping days so I hope it doesn't crap out before then.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
To follow up on this, when we got to the campground last weekend, the fridge worked just fine on 120V. And when we got back home, it has been working just fine in the same spot we always park it in.

However, DW said that when she was unloading the fridge immediately after we got back home, it made a loud hissing noise. That was nearly a week ago and it's still working okay on 120.

Perhaps we would be wise to get a shop to look at it? Maybe it has leaked some ammonia somehow? Still planning on getting in a few more camping days so I hope it doesn't crap out before then.

Thanks for all the help!
I've seen(smelled) the aftermath of a ammonia leak, there's no mistaking it, worse than propane/LP gas tracer. Good luck.....
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
To follow up on this, when we got to the campground last weekend, the fridge worked just fine on 120V. And when we got back home, it has been working just fine in the same spot we always park it in.

However, DW said that when she was unloading the fridge immediately after we got back home, it made a loud hissing noise. That was nearly a week ago and it's still working okay on 120.

Perhaps we would be wise to get a shop to look at it? Maybe it has leaked some ammonia somehow? Still planning on getting in a few more camping days so I hope it doesn't crap out before then.

Thanks for all the help!
Gil,

If it was coolant; it would not work on anything.

The hissing sound may have been unrelated to the fridge.
Perhaps a capcitor in the converter (if it is under the fridge) gave up the ghost? How are the lights? Are they getting dimmer? Check the voltage on the battery when the camper is plugged in. 13 volts or more? If not your converter let go.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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Look for a yellow stain on the back of the refrig around the flue pipe. Also a strong smell of ammonia inside the freezer. If neither then there is no leak. The hiss sound you hear may come from the door seals Some times they will hiss when closing as they are just sealing.air is just escaping from the seals Hope this helps
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #14
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Makes you want to convert to residential fridge
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
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Argh.....

This morning I went out to the trailer to get the last few cans of pop from the fridge, and lo and behold, it has quit working again.

Herk, all you suggested is fine. As you say, if it works on propane, it can't be the refrigerant system.

BillT, I will look for yellow stains. The seals have never made funny noises when I have been around the fridge. Sometimes they stick of dourse and can make a funny noise when you pull hard to break the seal. Perhaps that is what DW heard, I dunno.

Worst thing is, this all happened a couple of weeks after the warranty expired. May very well have to pay someone to fix it if I can't find anything.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #16
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Argh.....

This morning I went out to the trailer to get the last few cans of pop from the fridge, and lo and behold, it has quit working again.

Herk, all you suggested is fine. As you say, if it works on propane, it can't be the refrigerant system.

BillT, I will look for yellow stains. The seals have never made funny noises when I have been around the fridge. Sometimes they stick of dourse and can make a funny noise when you pull hard to break the seal. Perhaps that is what DW heard, I dunno.

Worst thing is, this all happened a couple of weeks after the warranty expired. May very well have to pay someone to fix it if I can't find anything.
It started not working at all, then worked then not, can't be fuse or power supply but could very well be the electronic board which contols both gas and electric on off via thermostat, just an idea.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #17
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VinceU, perhaps that is it.

Isn't that one of those things that is really expensive to replace? Intermittent faults can be so hard to diagnose, but maybe in these fridges, if everything else seems okay, the only thing left to cause the problem is the board?
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #18
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This sounds more and more like the control board.

You can get it repaired at a Dometic Repair Center or fix it yourself.

Parts and Tech Support:

eDometic Service Parts Detail

Dinosaur Electronics Home. High quality circuit boards for RV appliances.

World Class RV Refrigeration, Inc - CompleteRefrigerators
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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VinceU, perhaps that is it.

Isn't that one of those things that is really expensive to replace? Intermittent faults can be so hard to diagnose, but maybe in these fridges, if everything else seems okay, the only thing left to cause the problem is the board?
The board is only less than 6 x6 and not that much on it, however it is Dometic! But like you said, ya can't leave home without it! Meanwhile it could be a loose connection somewhere but less likely, not a short but something loose. Lou has given you some good TS help if you feel like following it first. Just acting like a electronic intermittent failure, prob on the thermostat side
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #20
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We had a similar issue and it ended up being the ventilation was getting blocked by some stuff that was left over from assembly. Worked fine, then would not cool, but would turn on using both AC and propane. Luckily, we were able to use the outside fridge when we found out it had quit cooling. You can pull the fridge out a bit and see if there's anything blocking it's ventilation up top, that's where our issue was. Dealer found it for us.
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