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Old 06-15-2015, 08:40 PM   #1
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Dometic Frig works on gas but won't switch to electric

Have a Dometic Refrigerator Model 3150SSX (the SSX is not in the operator manual but appears to be like the 3150M). It is set on auto but will not switch to electric when I plug the trailer into the receptacle. The frig continues to operate on propane. Itís cooling fine, just won't switch to electric.



I suspect it's not getting juice? Iíve checked the breaker and itís okay. Also checked the fuse underneath the frig that I accessed from the exterior, and it appears okay. The troubleshooting guide doesnít offer any other suggestions other than call a repairman. Anyone had any experience with this or other suggestions? I need to find the power coming in to the unit and check it but haven't had a chance. Qualifier: I'm not exactly a pro at doing this stuff!!
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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Are other 110v appliances working? There are other fuses behind a black box on the back of the refrigerator also.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:37 PM   #3
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Yes, all other appliances are working fine. The problem is isolated to only the frig. We're currently on the Alaska Highway almost to Whitehorse. I hope to take some more time and look into it more at that point. I was hoping for some ideas before I get there. That might even be a good place to try and find a repair person if I can't figure something out.

The problem started 2 days ago (we've been on the road for over 2 weeks). Since it's cooling fine on propane, it hasn't been a priority up to this point, fortunately.

By the way Oldcoot, I've been reading this forum for 2 years now, ever since we bought our 5th wheel, and I've really enjoyed your knowledge/experience/advice. You're probably my favorite poster! I'm honored to have you respond to my problem!!
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:52 PM   #4
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Thank you for the kind words. It is easy to check the fuses behind the black cover. When I was hooking up my outside fans for the frig, I blew 2 by accident before I finally got the + & - figured out and the switch wired.

BTW, hope you enjoy Alaska, it is indeed a breathtaking state. Was very fortunate to have been able to visit 3 times while our oldest was stationed there in the Air Force. He is now back there working for Shell Oil.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:26 PM   #5
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Isn't there a "reset button" on the fridge chimney that sometimes gets tripped? Just follow the two wires (black & red?) going up to the chimney. The switch is well hid and the button is located between where the wires hook up to the switch. Can't remember the purpose of this switch - senior moment.

Bob
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:42 AM   #6
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Isn't there a "reset button" on the fridge chimney that sometimes gets tripped? Just follow the two wires (black & red?) going up to the chimney. The switch is well hid and the button is located between where the wires hook up to the switch. Can't remember the purpose of this switch - senior moment.

Bob
There is a reset button on the stack, but if it is tripped, it will shut off the propane side also. It is a high limit heat switch.
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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You might try turning the frig completely off and then back on. Mine will sometimes do the same thing yours is doing and this works for it.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:09 PM   #8
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Had a similar issue with mine, contact Dometic they get back to you in timely manner. They think my issue was the campground electric system was overtaxed and not enough voltage to the electric element. You may want to plug the heating element into a heavy extension cord and then the 20 amp campground circuit that way you not just on the 30 amp outlet. I was running air conditioner, and electric water heater element etc so it was a large draw considering there was a rally at the campground.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:49 PM   #9
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I had similar when my rig bounced/vibrated loose the polarity protection fuses. My lights wouldn't work and my bathroom fan ran really slow. For some reason I eventually turned off the inverter and replaced the two 40 amp fuses inside the main power panel. That did the trick. I think that though the fridge is set up for AC it needs the DC side to be active as well.

Something new to look at, anyway.

In a pinch, 30 amp fuses will do until you hit civilization.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:33 PM   #10
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My Dometic Fridge has a selection panel on the front and you have to pick which power source you want. It doesn't do it automatically. Could this be your issue?
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:16 PM   #11
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I just had the same issue with my fridge the first time I tried ac mod. I went outside to the cover of the fridge and found the ad plug. I then unplugged the fridge from the camper and plug it to extension cord from house, then tried drive and it worked in ac mode, I then used a circuit tester and checked outlet. No power at first then got power I think the problem may have been dirty ac contact on outlet.
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Old 06-17-2015, 01:53 PM   #12
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Your fridge may have a switch on the control panel labelled Gas/Auto. If set to gas, will not run on 110AC. Auto uses 110AC when available and gas when no AC power.

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Old 06-17-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
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Well If I read you post correctly then there is nothing wrong. The fridge does not run on 12 volt as you are suggesting in your post. It will stay on gas till you plug in to your 30/50camp ground power. The frig will not run off your truck electrical plug in. Folks go back and re read his post. Later RJD
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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Well If I read you post correctly then there is nothing wrong. The fridge does not run on 12 volt as you are suggesting in your post. It will stay on gas till you plug in to your 30/50camp ground power. The frig will not run off your truck electrical plug in. Folks go back and re read his post. Later RJD
Unless it's a "3 way" fridge then it does run on 12 v

I believe a 3150 is a 2 way "110v" / propane.
The ss I believe stands for stainless steel panels.

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Old 06-17-2015, 02:29 PM   #15
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Well If I read you post correctly then there is nothing wrong. The fridge does not run on 12 volt as you are suggesting in your post. It will stay on gas till you plug in to your 30/50camp ground power. The frig will not run off your truck electrical plug in. Folks go back and re read his post. Later RJD

What part of the OP's post makes you think he's trying to run his fridge on 12v? I don't see where he mentioned his truck electrical plug. He DID mention breakers which is a 110v term.


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Old 06-17-2015, 02:46 PM   #16
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Maybe I need new glasses but I took it as plugging to truck my bad Later RJD
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:02 PM   #17
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Had similar issues. First it started out as blowing the 5A glass fuse that protects the voltage detection circuit every 2 or 3 months. After about a year it would randomly blow that same fuse anywhere from 1 minute to 24 hours after replacing. Tried to get tech help from Dometic but to no avail. Finally sprung for a new power control board/module and the problem was solved.
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:06 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I knew I could on some good ones!

By the way, just to clear things up, I am trying to run it on electrical. We've been bouncing between 30 and 50 amp hookups the whole time but haven't had any problems with any other appliance and my Progressive Ind surge protector hasn't given any indications of problems.

I finally found a few extra minutes to take another look. From the lower exterior access point, I found where the unit plugs into the wall. As usual, I can barely touch it with my fingers, let alone pull it out and then get it back in place. And as usual, the wires from that plug run to a control box full of wires but the box is so crammed in there that when I was finally able to get the far side of the cover unsnapped, there wasn't enough room to open the cover to test for power.

As a just in case, I did turn the breaker off and then back on but that was a no go. I have tried turning the whole unit off but when I turn it back on using the auto button, it still immediately goes to gas.

I got frustrated and since it's working great on propane, I've about decided to just wait until we get home in a couple of months and have our local repair guy look at it. I'll probably take one more stab at it tomorrow though and try to pull the plug from the wall and use my tester to see if it's getting juice. Just afraid I'll get it out and then not be able to plug it back in!

I really appreciate everyone's help. I feel I've at least given it the good old Boy Scout try!!
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:22 PM   #19
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Did you solve your problem yet? I am having the same problem with my Dometic RM1350SSX. I pulled the outside access cover and tested the outlet, it is working fine. I also checked the fuzes that I could see on the control box and they were fine. I am no master electrician so I stopped myself from trying to trace power around and see what did and didn't have it on the machine.

I called a few places to see if I could get someone to the campground only for both of them to say it was probably the control box itself but it would be at least $300 for someone to come look at it. I figure that I can run on propane for a while before I pay that just for a guy to look at it.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:06 PM   #20
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No, have not fixed it yet. It's still running on propane.

I've rechecked breakers, fuses, turned it on and off but it just won't switch to electric. It's cooling great on propane and seems to be using very little despite running on it 24 hours a day. We're in Anchorage now and debated whether to call a repairman but, because it seems to be running fine, have decided to just wait until we get home and use our local guy.

Best wishes on your frig. Hope you get it figured out!
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