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Old 09-14-2017, 07:43 AM   #1
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Refrigerator works on gas but not electric?

Just purchased a new to me 2010 Rockwood Roo. It has a Dometic refrigerator that I've been trying to cool off for the first time. When switched to auto the gas fires up even though I'm hooked up to electric. Any ideas?
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:51 AM   #2
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First things to check are the basics... is the refrigerator plugged in?
Is the breaker for that circuit on?
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:02 AM   #3
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Refrigerator works on gas but not electric?

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First things to check are the basics... is the refrigerator plugged in?
Is the breaker for that circuit on?


I checked on the outside and it's plugged in at the access door. The breakers are all on too. There are small fuses to the right of the breakers and one 15 amp fuse is marked refer/furn that I'm assuming is for the interior light and it's good. I even flipped the breaker to make sure.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:23 AM   #4
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Next is to actually check for power at the refrigerator outlet.
This can be done with a multimeter or with something as simple as plugging a nightlight into the outlet to check for power.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:30 AM   #5
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Refrigerator works on gas but not electric?

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Next is to actually check for power at the refrigerator outlet.
This can be done with a multimeter or with something as simple as plugging a nightlight into the outlet to check for power.


Checked power and it's good. I also checked the fuses in the access hatch. Both look good. It fired up on propane when I unplugged it but haven't heard it fire up in the few minutes since I took out the fuses and replaced them. Not sure how often it cycles. The freezer is already cold but that was all on propane. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-14-2017, 08:41 AM   #6
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just looking at your pictures I see a black and white wire going to the control board labelled what appears to be 'ac hot line' and 'ac neutral line'. can you measure them to see if you have 110 volt power there. also, there is a small electrical heater element that produces heat when on 110 volt power. is it possible to measure voltage at its terminals to see if it has power. could it be burnt out?
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:05 AM   #7
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Can you force it to electric by shutting the gas off?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #8
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just looking at your pictures I see a black and white wire going to the control board labelled what appears to be 'ac hot line' and 'ac neutral line'. can you measure them to see if you have 110 volt power there. also, there is a small electrical heater element that produces heat when on 110 volt power. is it possible to measure voltage at its terminals to see if it has power. could it be burnt out?


Good idea but I'll have to wait until I get my meter back (husband has it). I see the hot and neutral but Where is the small electrical heater you mentioned above?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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Can you force it to electric by shutting the gas off?


I'll try that now. Now that I know the propane portion works well.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #10
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You said you checked the fuses and both 'looked' good.
Check them with a meter.

I had one on my latest refrigerator that 'looked' good but in fact, wasn't.
It had got hot in the fuse holder (because of a poor fit... see how the upper prongs are spread much wider in one of your photos where the fuse goes and appear to be somewhat discolored?... Poor fit) and when it got warm enough from the resistance, it melted the solder inside that connected the wire to the cap creating an open.
It looked perfectly fine.

If you are able to read a schematic, there are many wiring diagrams/troubleshooting guides available for all the different model numbers on the 'net. It will show you exactly where to test and what to check for.

You didn't post the model number of your unit or I would have provided a link.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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So I shut the gas off to see if it will still work on electric only. So far it's still cold but not sure if that's residual from the initial propane chill. When I open the door and close it now I get a little sounds like air rushing through a valve. Is that normal? And the auto light is still lit, not the check light. Does that sound like it's running on electric?
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:06 PM   #12
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i'm not real familiar with these refrigerators. but do as the you have the option to take it out of auto mode and force it to electric only? i'm not sure which mode (gas or electric) it will default to if it is in auto mode and both electricity and propane are available to it. maybe it is simply trying to use propane the default while it is is auto mode. again, this is just a guess. I do not know. post the make and model of the refrigerator and you'll get better help.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:07 PM   #13
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Refrigerator electric

On my dometic there's an indicator light outside between the 2 doors. It's green when running by electric, orange when on propane and red when the propane is empty.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:33 PM   #14
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Went through the exact problem with my Dometic in my XLR. Tried everything, replaced the thermistor, installed inside fan. Replaced fuses, nothing worked until I rep l aced the heating element. $40 on Amazon and a fifteen minute install (many videos on YouTube) now fridge cools down to the high 30s, and holds it well.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #15
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All the refrigerators we have had for RV's took a long time to cool on electricity. I used Gas on mine most of the time. Starting up on electricity would take several hours before it would even start to be cool. On Gas it was a much shorter time. The sound you are hearing could be the colder air inside of the refrigerator. Since the air inside cooled down it slightly compressed it. Opening the door let more air into the refrigerator. If it is running on electricity it might take a while before you notice it being cold.
On the refrigerator I have now the button was out gas and in for automatic. I would leave my refrigerator on for weeks at a time while traveling and seldom used electric. It seems that the freezer worked better on gas.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tccampergirl View Post
Just purchased a new to me 2010 Rockwood Roo. It has a Dometic refrigerator that I've been trying to cool off for the first time. When switched to auto the gas fires up even though I'm hooked up to electric. Any ideas?
Owners and service manuals can be found here...
http://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/manual-downloads/
I had the same issue.
Should be resistance in heater coil... ended up being the board!
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:43 PM   #17
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It's easier to tell if it's working by feeling if the back is hot by the chimney rather than if the inside is staying cold. The cold can hang out for hours while the heat goes away pretty quickly outside if it isn't working.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:57 PM   #18
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Dometic gas only problem

I am still working with this problem. Started not working with electric. Worked well with gas. Did all the checks everything electric was good, including the element. Didn't want to use gas all the time, so kept (manually) switching and it would cool. Went through this routine for a month or so, then, switching back to electric would not cool. After exhaustive research, changed out the main control board, nothing changed. I gave up and wired the element directly to 120 volt, put a timer on and viola. Still looking for clues. I was told the "eyebrow" board (the one on the front and above the unit with the switch and indicator lights) was the culprit, it tells the main board which source to use. So, I will try changing it, next.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:47 AM   #19
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When a Dometic fridge is set to "auto", it should automatically switch to using AC for cooling whenever AC is available at the control board. When "auto" is off, the fridge will only use propane for cooling. In either mode, the fridge requires 12V to run the control board.

On propane, a tiny burner, similar to the pilot light on an older furnace for your house, provides a heat source while on AC, an electric heating element drawing a bit less than 300W provides the heat. There should be a manually resettable circuit breaker protecting the heating element on the stack, readily visible when the outside cover panel is off.

The heating element is located in the stack and you should be able to check the AC voltage on the wire leads going to it. If you have a clamp-on AC ammeter, you can also measure the current flowing in the wire to the heating coil. If you have voltage but no current, the breaker is open or the heating coil is burned out. (VOM meters with AC clamp-on capabilities are available from Harbor Freight for less then $20, with the least expensive under $15.) Don't forget that there will be power to the heating coil only when the control board is calling for additional cooling.

Phil
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:37 PM   #20
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Thank you all for the fantastic responses. I'm still not sure what caused the problem but after playing with the the fuses and unplugging it a few times in the process I believe it's working on power. I put it in auto and shut off the propane and it's still holding its cool. But all this wonderful information will come in handy if the problem arises again. Thanks! I will keep you posted.
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