Fridge "sort of working" on EHU: any ideas please? (1 Viewer)

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Feb 5, 2014
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Having now had time to investigate further (https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/should-i-pay-this-charge.259633/) I have discovered that my fridge IS working on EHU BUT not getting particularly cold even on MAX setting.

Given that it does freeze stuff on gas and gets pretty cold on a two hour drive, could the mains element be duff?
Clearly, it isn't broken otherwise there would be no cooling.

By duff, I am implying that the resistance has suddenly increased, thus reducing the current (because I'm getting 240V to a socket very close to the fridge and 240V to sockets on the other side of the van; I can't get to an electrical point on the fridge).
Has anyone known a heater to "fail" in this way before please?

My alternative thoughts revert to poor workmanship (again).
IF the electrical connection wasn't made effectively, then that could introduce a high resistance point and give me the problems which I'm experiencing.

As ever, I'm grateful for any ideas or knowledge about how this fridge might function (or fail to function :rolleyes: ).

Gordon
 
Jul 27, 2013
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My Waeco fridge recently stopped working properly after at least 9 years in the van. It would sometimes cool a little, but not get very cold, and the compressor - when it kicked in at all - sounded very much quieter than usual.
I feared the not insubstantial cost of replacing it, but in fact after some investigations it was re-wired with a heavier duty cable and has been working fine again ever since.
 
Sep 3, 2012
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If your on a site ,best to check the voltage of the site electrics that your getting into your van ,some can get quite low ,and enough to switch your fridge off but that should trigger the alarm.
Somewhere in between though will result in your fridge not cooling down properly.
 
Jul 31, 2014
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The van fridges that I've had have all worked colder when on gas than electric.
It maybe that it takes a lot longer to cool when on ehu. - how long have you had it plugged in on the site's electric?
 
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Rapido925M
Feb 5, 2014
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Thanks for the comments folks.
To clarify (after 3 weeks of experimenting): the van is currently on my drive which is virtually horizontal: the 3-way absorption fridge has worked fine here for the last 16y!
Some internet sites suggest low supply voltage as the problem: my trusty DVM reads 239V on every socket in the MH and also in the house so I believe it is supplying the fridge with "240V".
The ice box is capable of storing frozen food over a weekend in a field on gas; it also holds the temperature on 12V while driving for 2 hours.
On EHU the ice box only gets down to approx 5degC from a room-temperature start, even after 48h on Max (and does no better on any other setting).

So which is most likely? Is it a totally duff element, requiring replacement? Or is it a bad electrical connection following a "thorough" service at my local dealers? IF the latter, they will be asked to rectify it foc.
However, if it is probably the former then I am likely to take it elsewhere, following a series of "coincidental" misfortunes each time that I have collected it.

Gordon
 

TCG

Jul 6, 2017
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Thanks for the comments folks.
To clarify (after 3 weeks of experimenting): the van is currently on my drive which is virtually horizontal: the 3-way absorption fridge has worked fine here for the last 16y!
Some internet sites suggest low supply voltage as the problem: my trusty DVM reads 239V on every socket in the MH and also in the house so I believe it is supplying the fridge with "240V".
The ice box is capable of storing frozen food over a weekend in a field on gas; it also holds the temperature on 12V while driving for 2 hours.
On EHU the ice box only gets down to approx 5degC from a room-temperature start, even after 48h on Max (and does no better on any other setting).

So which is most likely? Is it a totally duff element, requiring replacement? Or is it a bad electrical connection following a "thorough" service at my local dealers? IF the latter, they will be asked to rectify it foc.
However, if it is probably the former then I am likely to take it elsewhere, following a series of "coincidental" misfortunes each time that I have collected it.

Gordon
I'm watching this with interest as I have exactly the same problem...fridge works great on gas and rubbish on ehu. I replaced the thermal paste last year. I have installed fridge vent fans..just spent 3 weeks in France and had the fridge on gas for the whole time
9 or 10 degrees on ehu is food poisoning temperatures

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Gellyneck

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Jun 5, 2014
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More than toes wet now!
.......... it also holds the temperature on 12V while driving for 2 hours.
No real input to your issue but would the freezer temperature change much within 2 hours if the door is kept closed?
A number of domestic freezers will keep food frozen for up to 24 hours without the door being opened during a power failure.
 
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Rapido925M
Feb 5, 2014
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There is a myth about the role of the 12V effort from fridges. Mine is rated 130W compared to 135W for mains supply. So a long drive might actually freeze things rather than just maintain a low temperature.

I donā€™t know how long the fridge will keep things cold if not open BUT the chief technician assured the owner of the store that it worked fine on gas and EHU. I have not been able to question how they did the work, got the temperature down on gas, allowed it to warm back up and then got it down again on electric all in the time available. šŸ˜‰

Unfortunately I am dealing with a family medical problem and we are ā€œlivingā€ in the van away from home for most of the week (on a horizontal drive with 240V supply šŸ™„). I need a discussion face-to-face with them.

Gordon
 

TerryL

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If everything okay on gas and 12v (this is usually only a temperature holding functiion, don't expect it to freeze anything from room temp) it's got to be the 240v element. In my experience it just fails so if it's working partially to me it suggests a faulty connection. When I changed the 240v element in mine I found several very dodgy connections which may or may not have contributed to the failure.

It's not a particularly difficult job but usually (not always if you've got reasonable access) means taking the fridge out. Have done that several times - in fact looking at doing it again in the next day or two to clean the flue.

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Rapido925M
Feb 5, 2014
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Unfortunately the screws holding the fridge in place donā€™t want to move. All four of them seem wedged rather than screwed. I even got my big beefy BiL, an experienced mechanic, to try and nothing in his huge toolbox would shift them. He suggested using a hacksaw but I would prefer the guy who put them in to sort getting them out. If he damages my cabinets then he can pay to replace them!

Gordon
The dealer has agreed to strip it out foc and prove that his workmanship is satisfactory. Unfortunately his chief technician has already told me a story which I donā€™t believe, so I will have problems accepting his analysis. Additionally, if the element has gone then I guess he will want to charge me for a couple of hours of labour but I would prefer to do it myself.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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I used to deal with defrost elements in supermarket cabinets, same thing but much longer. Usually they'd just fail open circuit, sometimes the end connection would burn off (bad connection) but occasionally they would get hot and cold spots along them, so yours could be doing that and not getting hot where it needs to šŸ¤”
 
Feb 18, 2017
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We recently found our fridge would not work on EHU in one site, and automatically reverted to gas, everything else was fine, including the hot plate.

Went to another site, all was as before and worked fine.

Not sure why, may have been low voltage ???
(But then you would not expect the hot plate and kettle etc to operate)
 
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Rapido925M
Feb 5, 2014
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Thread 'Our 3 way fridge saga' https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/our-3-way-fridge-saga.160227/

Have you read this thread as alot of us have replaced the thermal paste on the fins to have great effect to how the fridge now works

Please have a read
Thanks. Having read it I don't think that I have the same problem because the box ices up quite happily on gas, even at 50% setting.

I wouldn't mind replacing the heat transfer paste (the fridge is 20y old!) and on one of the three occasions that the dealer has had the fridge out there were two plastic strips left lying around inside ("not poor workmanship: just a minor mistake"). I was told to push them onto the fins (no reason nor explanation). Next time the fridge was removed those strips were placed on top of the fins, between the fins and the ice box. Could that be stopping the transfer of heat away from the ice box to the cooling tube? As I said, it works on gas BUT I shall remove them next time I'm in the MH.

Gordon
 
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Rapido925M
Feb 5, 2014
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Could it be that I'm expecting too much?

It's a long time since I used the fridge "in anger" so I just have a vague recollection that the ice box will freeze a small quantity of water when running on EHU. I'm fairly sure that I've made ice cubes previously but it would be a long time ago.
I have placed a plastic milk-bottle top full of room temperature water in the ice box as the only item and it has got cold BUT it hasn't frozen (I don't have a thermometer to check how cold). That was after 24h on MAX, followed by 24h on MID then another 24h on MAX.
I'm sure I remember freezer packs freezing on EHU BUT do they do that above 0degC?

Can anyone confirm that an Electrolux RM6 series ice box should get below 0degC please?

TIA - Gordon

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cmcardle75

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Jun 8, 2012
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Some 3 way fridges have separate thermostats for gas and EHU, and just run the 12V without a thermostat at all. You could have a electrical thermostat failure, whilst the gas one is still working.
 

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