Blasted $@%£$!!!* Dicky Dometic fridge won't work on gas and me on the road to Sicily....

Discussion in 'Fridges & Ovens' started by YukonJac, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Happy New Year to all my fellow funsters, BTW!!!
    I am soooooooo sick of this fridge. It is an RM 8401 three-way in my 2011 Murvi Morello. Last year (6 months after I bought it used from the manufacturer - supposedly serviced before sale), the whole thing stopped working. I had to replace the motherboard and pay for an engineer to come out as I was stuck on a site nowhere near service centre. Had him service it while he was there, all at large expense. Fridge still never worked well at all on gas in any ambient temperature. Had the fridge serviced once again a few weeks ago (by a service that advertises here) before I headed off for Sicily knowing that I would be using aires and wilding, and would have limited access to shore supply. I have been crossing my fingers ever since.
    I'm now in Castellane on my way to the Italian border and the damn fridge is almost warmer on the inside than it is in the rest of the van - seems to actually be WORSE than before it was serviced. It works fine on 12v and 240v. Anyway good people, I am a have-a-go gal - would you suggest I try to disassemble the jet system myself, try to give it a clean? Or is it too risky to fiddle with it?
    All the best!!
    Jacquie
     
  2. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Hi Jacquie, if it has been serviced recently I can't see it being sooted up so soon but whatever you do don't clean the jet out with a thin piece of wire, it buggers them up apparently.
    Ours lights better if I turn the temp dial down so it's nearly off, then fire it up, wait a minute or two then turn it up to make it cooler. Plus it likes to be level before it works at all on gas.
    Good luck (y)
     
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  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If it's like ours it isn't difficult to access the jet. Open the back door of course and on the right of the 'fridge you will see a black column. I can't remember exactly but there is a screw or two and a bracket at the bottom which you can undo and the jet, still attached to the pipe coming in from the left can be dropped down a bit until it can be gently pulled away from the bottom of the column. The ignitor wire is also attached to this bit.

    With perhaps a brush and a good blow you should be able to clean around the jet and the ignitor contacts but if it has been serviced recently it shouldn't be coked up yet unless there is something seriously wrong.

    Of course the jet itself could be blocked but I haven't taken mine out yet so I am not sure of the procedure but I guess with a pair of pointed pliers it could be unscrewed.

    With the jet assembly lowered like this you can try lighting it. I did on mine after cleaning it but I did have a second person watching it just in case something went wrong.

    A statement of the obvious of course but if it works on electric then the problem must be the gas not lighting or staying alight once lit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    assuming it is actually lit ... if not sure, can you feel heat at the fridge exhaust vent .... ?

    you are parked reasonably level, nothing blocking the fridge vents.. ?

    that only leaves the gas supply pressure .. does the cooker flame look normal , a strong bright blue flame.. ?

    if not .. faulty gas regulator...
     
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  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi Jacquie

    Does it light on gas, you can feel heat at the top vent and hear the gas burning if it is working (I guess NOT)

    Does the igniter click when it should be lighting on gas.

    Have you checked the fridge gas is not isolated after he did the service, or has it worked since.

    Martin
     
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  6. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Wow - you bunch are up early - thanks for all the replies!
    Van has been completely level
    Tried varying coolness settings
    It is lit, but feeble heat coming from vent - nothing blocking it
    Cooker hob flame seems fine

    I do wonder if when they service the fridge, they actually take apart the burner and clean the jet. Think I will contact them and ask for specifics...

    Jim - you could be right - gas regulator.
    Deebs - thanks for those instructions - think I will have a go once I get myself to a proper campsite.

    Just thinking I might want to try and sort it all here in France before I hit Italy - I speak French but not Italian. Harumph. I do wonder what the point was in getting an off-the-grid van. Underslung LPG, solar panel, diesel heating - constantly marred by fridge problems - is the answer a compressor fridge? Then of course we have battery capacity issues. Well, if it ever gets sorted, I will be in ecstasy!
     
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  7. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    This is the burner without the igniter or thermocouple, the gas goes in on the right and the flame is on the left and should be visible through the hole in the vertical tube (the chimney/heat exchanger sits on this tube).

    The jet is on the end of the gas pipe that goes into the right side of the burner, I did have a problem some years ago on a caravan and it turned out that the pipe feeding from the fridge controls to the burner was steel and very fine particles of rust were blocking the jet , this would usually show itself as poor performance rather than completely not working so the first thing is to establish if it works or even attempts to work at all.

    mn-yFCSz3Od56LBEmQ6xGPw.jpg

    EDIT

    OK it works but not well, if you want to check the jet follow DBK's instructions for dropping the burner assembly and then undo the nut on the end of the gas pipe to the burner assembly, take care as the jet is just a thin washer with a tiny hole in, it sits on the conical end of the gas pipe, DONT poke the jet, while the burner is out you could check all the airways and even blow them out with a can of compressed air if you can find one, if the airways were restricted it would normally show as a sooty and smelly flame, if yours is burning clean but poor performance it sound like it just not getting enough gas.

    Martin
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  8. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Thanks Martin! Yes, the pilot seems to be going, however feebly. Need to get to a campsite so I can take off my bikes and rack and really get a better look at the gubbins. One of the great things about a Murvi, you can access all the serviceable parts of the fridge through the back door - it could also mean that dirt and debris can gunk things up more easily...
     
  9. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Getting to them is usually the worst part so you are streets ahead already.

    Good luck.

    Martin
     
  10. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Thanks Martin! Great reassurance from members here as usual. I will have a go and report back. Only just above freezing here in Castellane, but gorgeous blue skies and golden sunrise. Food will be fine outside on the bike rack today - small mercies!!
    J
     
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  11. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    When any fridge of mine fails to work on gas my first port of call is the thermocouple. This when replaced nearly always does the trick.
    Phil
     
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  12. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Thanks Phil - is this DIY-able? If so, I could order the part online now and have it delivered to Sicilian campsite. I too was wondering about the thermocouple...
     
  13. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Dont think it would run at all with a faulty thermocouple, the flame is alight so the gas valve is open.

    Martin
     
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  14. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    In France last year and one morning the inside of fridge was as warm as outside. There had been a tell-tale smell a day or so before.
    Burner removed from vent and given good clean, then an old bottle brush was used to clean the chimney. This was very sooted. All back together and 2 hours later fridge was already icing the vanes inside. I covered the burner with a bag (photo) when cleaning the chimney. The friend that is holding the bottle cleaner had previously cleaned them with a twisted piece of thick wire. Bottle brush lent by friendly German who cleans his every year. P1050500.JPG
     
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  15. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    We've had a Dometic go wobbly on us because a piece of rust fell off the inside of the flue and partly blocked the main gas jet. Mind you our camper is ten years old.

    If all else fails you could consider getting a picnic type chiller box from a supermarket and running it off the 12v to keep the essentials fresh.
     
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  16. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    It is fiddly but "do able".
    However martin (funflair) could be correct in saying the gas wouldnt flow at all.
    When I replaced mine all worked well again. The part was around a tenner so worth a go.
    Phil
     
  17. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    If the flame is lit no matter how feeble it's not the thermocouple as this operates a valve that shuts off the gas completely if the flame goes out. (y)
     
  18. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Check the burner is lined up correctly, loud rorring sound when burning usually means it's not, mine wasn't cooling very well and that was the problem. If not cooling at all as others have said clean the chimney. 8000 series fridges appear to be Domectics worst effort to date.
     
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  19. Nigel&Debbie

    Nigel&Debbie Read Only Funster

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    Not mentioned yet, but do you run on LPG? We had problem on gas a couple of years ago and it was put down to a dirty batch of French Lpg had partially clogged the jet. Solution was to clean the jet ( beware it is soft aluminium) in meths. This solved our problem and a gas filter has stopped it happening again. Check the flu to see if it is sooted at all, if so your problem is with the jet and nothing to do with thermo couple etc
     
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  20. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Just contacted the people who serviced the fridge a few weeks ago - seems they were very thorough in cleaning flue and disassembling and cleaning burner and jet. Gas pressure doesn't seem to be a problem as hob burners all on and burning strong and consistent flame. They don't have any other solutions for me other than saying I probably have a dud Dometic.
    YES, the whole system is run on LPG but still on a batch of the British stuff - I think LPG is dirtier in general so this could be at the bottom of all the problems. As the fridge was fully serviced only a few weeks ago and barely used on gas, I just don't know if LPG can be blamed either.
    Bummer, dude. Hey ho - nothing for it but to carry on to Sicily - it could be worse! I'll still take apart the lot when I am in the right place to do it - make sure that it was actually done and not forgotten. They forgot to sort out my radiator leak so anything is possible!
    Thanks for all your help and advice!
     
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