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Old 05-10-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
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Gas absorption RV Refrigerator fires

I received this email from RV Reviews last week and thought I would post the link for everyone to read. http://rvreviews.net/rv-refrigerators-bad-news/
Basically the article claims that both Dometic and Norcold RV refrigerators that use gas absorption technology to cool their refrigerators have a potentially dangerous design flaw. The system lines are filled with hydrogen gas (kind of flammable - think Hindenburg) and there are records of the unit's boiler tube bursting and causing a fire in your RV. I did a forum search but did not find this discussed anywhere previously, so I thought I would post for everyone. As stated in the article, if you have a residential refrigerator, you are not affected as it does not run on propane at any time.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #2
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If this has been posted/discussed/beaten to death in another post, my apologies.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:21 PM   #3
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Hydrogen gas?
Pretty sure it's ammonia


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Old 05-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #4
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It is a combination of water, liquefied ammonia, hydrogen gas and sodium chromate.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:32 PM   #5
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TURBS - that's what I would have bet money on also until I read the article. Apparently there is a mix of ammonia and hydrogen gas in the system. I looked on Wiki and found a description of the cooling process and the said there was a mix of these two also. Check out the Wiki explaination. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_refrigerator
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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You have a huge corporation like Dometic with money on one side, and money hungry ambulance chasers on the other. There you have it. Absorption fridges are nothing new. Maybe they should of filed this lawsuit back in the 1920's

There is some hydrogen in the system which works with the ammonia........very little hydrogen. You have about 10,000 times more propane by volume in an RV that is just as explosive. Maybe they could sue Suburban and Amerigas too.

Atwood makes an absorption fridge that does not have hydrogen, it has helium.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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Like said ... gas absorbtion fridges have been around for well over a decade. Somebody had a new drum to beat and tambourines to bang.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:51 PM   #8
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Most RV fridge related fires were addressed in recalls. Dometic issued a recall I think in 2006 and Norcold issued one a few years back. I haven't read anything lately about fires. We had 2 Dometics updated and now we have a 2016 Norcold.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:51 PM   #9
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yeah, I got the 3x5 card lawsuit notification. I'll scan and post.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mr Havercamp View Post
You have a huge corporation like Dometic with money on one side, and money hungry ambulance chasers on the other. There you have it. Absorption fridges are nothing new. Maybe they should of filed this lawsuit back in the 1920's

There is some hydrogen in the system which works with the ammonia........very little hydrogen. You have about 10,000 times more propane by volume in an RV that is just as explosive. Maybe they could sue Suburban and Amerigas too.

Atwood makes an absorption fridge that does not have hydrogen, it has helium.
Lets see; shysters have covered, asbestos, nursing homes, medical implants, auto accidents (big one there), denied social security, denied workmans comp., I could think of more, but im getting indigestion. Looks like they are looking to open up new territory.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:55 PM   #11
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Gas absorption RV Refrigerator fires

I just posted this as an informational note. I didn't go pull my Dometic refrigerator out of my TT. And agreed, we have a LOT more propane carried on our rigs than the little hydrogen in the refrigerator tubing. However it appears that there have been some issues recently with the refrigerators and I thought it might be good to let others know. Just read the article for what it is worth to you. Or don't. That is all that this post was for.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:51 PM   #12
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The sulfuric acid in the batteries is another hazard. And battery acid spills are a lot more common than refrigerant leakage.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Still Kickin View Post
Lets see; shysters have covered, asbestos, nursing homes, medical implants, auto accidents (big one there), denied social security, denied workmans comp., I could think of more, but im getting indigestion. Looks like they are looking to open up new territory.
And don't forget, remember the poor woman who ordered HOT coffee at McDonald's and successfully sued them because she spilled it on her lap and burnt herself. Poor, poor woman. Life is really dangerous, so stay inside, lock your doors, and hope your stove doesn't catch fire!
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:16 PM   #14
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D_B, regardless of comments by others, thanks for posting this, as I was not aware of it. Better to at least know about/recognize the issue COULD exist
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:47 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing


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Old 05-11-2016, 03:03 PM   #16
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D_B, regardless of comments by others, thanks for posting this, as I was not aware of it. Better to at least know about/recognize the issue COULD exist
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:25 PM   #17
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And don't forget, remember the poor woman who ordered HOT coffee at McDonald's and successfully sued them because she spilled it on her lap and burnt herself. Poor, poor woman. Life is really dangerous, so stay inside, lock your doors, and hope your stove doesn't catch fire!
I know that's THE story everyone always brings up to make a point about frivolous lawsuits and people being overly cautious but I've actually researched the story a little bit there's a whole lot more to it than just a woman spilling some coffee on herself.

There were 3rd degree burns, skin graft surgeries, permanent disfigurement and the fact that McDonald's had previously settled several 100's of other similair claims.

I thought I had read at one time that they lowered the temp of the coffee because of the lawsuit but looking now I'm see conflicting reports of that.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:39 PM   #18
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My RV fridge no longer cools to 40 & after a thorough diagnosis & know I need to replace the cooling unit (same results on gas/electric, etc.).

However, I am strongly considering swapping-in a household fridge w/inverter & (2) 6V golf cart batteries. But there again, you have folks reporting how their inverters caught fire, yada, yada.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:50 PM   #19
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yeah, I got the 3x5 card lawsuit notification. I'll scan and post.
A little late but I don't think the horse is dead yet

I guess the suit was settled a couple years ago for 36mil. There was a thread started but no one followed.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ing-68684.html
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:20 PM   #20
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I had a frig go south in my winnie and replaced the cooling unit myself with an amish cooling unit (heaver tubing) I believe the main chemical in use was ammonia. there may be others. To address the Wikipedia comment don't place your trust in that site as anyone can add to that data base with no real knowledge. Research different sites to get the actual facts JMHO
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