Thetford fridge on gas

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Gordon-G, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Gordon-G

    Gordon-G Funster

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    So, in preparation for our first weekend away I picked up our MH from its hiding place to ensure that everything is working and have all the things I bought so far stored away on it. I turned on the gas and checked the hob, and the oven, which are working fine. I then tried to start up the fridge which ticks away like it's trying to light up but then gives me an error code meaning that there is no gas. On further investigation the gas burner is actually lighting up, but then shuts off and the fridge gives me the error code for no gas. Is there some sort of fault in these or can I give the burner a wee clean to see if that works?
     
  2. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Check your gas supply, i.e. bottle open, regulator reset. When I switch to gas after traveling I frequently have to reset the regulator. If this doesn't work then it may be the thermo-couple at fault.
     
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  3. Gordon-G

    Gordon-G Funster

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    Gas definitely on as the burner does light for a short while during the spark stage of the lighting process, just goes out after the 30 second period. I read online that the thermo couple might be the problem, is there a work around?
     
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  4. Barcud

    Barcud Funster

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    Ahhh the famous 'the fridge won't light' We had this and we have found we need to be level or the flame from burner isn't straight up and cuts out, we also found we needed a winter cover for the vent particularly if it was windy. We have also had to clean thermocouple, taking it out and using very fine emery paper. Pretty fiddly getting it out, I didn't get involved! Good luck.
     
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  5. Gordon-G

    Gordon-G Funster

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    Tried it just now on the level and seemed to work, for about 40 seconds! I'm assuming I will have to try cleaning the thermo couple tomorrow morning, I don't mind fiddly, I used to be an electronic engineer before my fire service days.
     
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  6. Gordon1808

    Gordon1808 Funster

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    I also have this problem with my fridge. Every time I get someone to look at it it works every time.
    What I have found is, if it hasn't got going after 3 attempts, I rock the motorhome. Then it lights. I think it is a loose connection in the control box
     
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  7. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Usually on our Thetford, cleaning the burner slots out sorts it.
    The 'thermocouple' isn't a thermocouple. It is an igniter. It senses the flame by being supplied with an AC current. When the flame lights, the current is blocked in one direction by the action the flame.
    It's called flame rectification apparently.
    The ECU senses the voltage variation and keeps the gas switched on. If the flame dies, the voltage in both directions is equal and the ECU switches off the gas valve.
     
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  8. Gordon-G

    Gordon-G Funster

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    Thanks, I will try that first in the morning.
     
  9. Barcud

    Barcud Funster

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    I will take great delight in casually dropping that little titbit into conversation with my maintenance operative.
     
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  10. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    When this happened to me, the exact same symptoms, ie it would light and then go out. I asked the dealer to replace the burner. He was adamant that it wouldn't solve the problem, but he did it anyway and lo and behold, it started working again. I seem to recall he charged about £85 to change it.
    Apparently the old burner was heavily sooted, which was causing the problem.
     
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  11. Gordon-G

    Gordon-G Funster

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    Have tried to clean the igniter and burner to no avail. Spoke with a gas safe engineer that I know and he told me it sounds like a common fault in "normal" gas appliances as well. He advised to look on eBay for the part, which I have done and will replace it myself. The nearest caravan and motorhome place to me is a mile up the road, they said it would be about £150 to do the work if it was the igniter/thermocouple, the part is £20 and takes 5 minutes to strip out! Talk about license to print money?
     
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  12. Gordon1808

    Gordon1808 Funster

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    I had my burner replaced by a MCEA engineer. A lot cheaper than the price you have been quoted. And they come to you.
     
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  13. Bart

    Bart Funster

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    so true , all they see if a Motorhome ,, yar they have loads of money , lets rip them off :D
     
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  14. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    To be honest, the job is not tricky to do yourself. I just lacked the time to devote to the job since we needed the van at the weekend. Do a search on youtube for servicing a caravan fridge, and you should find a video showing the removal of the burner etc.

    When my 240v element blew, I did the job myself. The trickiest part was sourcing the correct element, lots of different ones apparently.
     
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