Fridge Woes

Discussion in 'Fridges & Ovens' started by Fatboyo, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Fatboyo

    Fatboyo

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    Hi guys, I'm new to the forum so go easy on me!

    I built a motorhome about 10 years ago on a 7.5 ton chassis and fitted a then new large Dometic 3 way Fridge with separate freezer box. Over the last year or so it has been getting less efficient but was always useable on mains. Last year I put a new jet in it which helped the operation on gas but now this summer it won't cool on mains or gas. It lights up on gas and the pilot light stays lit but it just doesn't cool down inside.

    Has anyone any ideas of what else I could try, I don't really fancy spending £1000+ on a new fridge in what is now an old motorhome.

    Alternatively can anyone suggest breakers who carry good stocks of 2nd hand fridges and sell them with some sort of warranty.

    Many thanks
     
  2. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    Welcome aboard;)
     
  3. Fatboyo

    Fatboyo

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    Thanks
     
  4. Mr Chrysalis

    Mr Chrysalis Funster Life Member

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    I’ve copied this from another forum:

    “There seems to be some confusion as to whether it is possible to replace lost refrigerant in an absoption type unit. Refrigeration was my field years ago and I hope to clarify the situation.
    It is not possible to regas an absorption type refrigerator they do not contain gas as do compressor type refrigerators,which contain a single gas, and regassing is straight forward. Absorption units contain a mixture of 3 components to make them work, water, ammonia and hydrogen in very precise quantities, and an anti corrosion additive usually zinc chromate. The problem is that it is virtually impossible to replace the components in the exact quantities, and the manufacturers of these units do not give the required information to make this possible coupled with the very expensive equipment neede to carry out this work, the cost would be prohibitive. The construction of the unit is of a completely sealed steel unit, there are no seals or valves to leak. the pressure on the condenser side of the evaporator "U" tube is in the region on 200psi so if a small leak does occur then the mixture of gasses will be lost very quickly.
    When working with refrigeration plants I sometimes used to work with large commercial absoption refrigerators and we sometimes had to turn them upside down after a period of non use this would help remove any vapor lock in the system and after a day or so they would usually start working again,but this was quite a few years ago. The main reason for a modern absorpsion type refridgerator to stop working if the heating source is ok is that there is corrosion in the absorber, or generator or there has been a loss of pressure, if the unit has stopped working whilst in service with the heat source working then it is usually due to an irrepairable fault in the absorber unit. If the unit has been lying unused for a period and does not work then turning it upside down for at least 12hrs and then trying again it may start working and continue so for a while but the performance may not be as good as it should be so a replacement will be on the cards. These types of refrigerators give many years of excellent service, and the newer models are a great improvement on the old ones. Some large fridge freezers in America use lithium bromide instead of ammonia and any tampering of these is definately a no no.”

    It seems that it might be worth trying to turn it upside down for a while then putting it back.
     
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  5. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    have you cleaned the flue ever?
     
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  6. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    Clean the flue. Common problem and simple solution
     
  7. Fatboyo

    Fatboyo

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    Thanks for the replies, I’ll try turning it upside down and see what happens. I cleaned the flue last year when I changed the jet, but in any case surely this would only make a difference when on gas and the fridge would still work on 240v?
     
  8. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    Ours has an intermittent fault which I'm almost certain is down to the thermostat. The first symptoms were it would light on gas but the cooling effect was very poor. I worked out the flame was staying on the "pilot light" setting and not increasing to the larger flame which was required. We also experienced this on mains.
    The clincher is when it is playing up there is no click if you twiddle the thermostat/temperature control. When it is working correctly there is a distinct click as you increase from low to high and a corresponding click when you turn it back. When we have clicks the fridge works correctly, when there are no click it doesn't.
    I suggest have a twiddle and see what you can hear.

    I must confess I thought the turning upsidedown trick was only for compressor fridges - you learn something every day. :)
     
  9. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Whether on gas, mains, or 12v, the cooling mechanism is the same. All three fuel sources heat a section of tube that is part of the cooling circuit so if up-ending it works it works for them all.
     
  10. Fatboyo

    Fatboyo

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    Hi guys, I have tried leaving the fridge upside down for 3 or 4 hours then putting it back in and running it, but it is no better. It has been running a day on electric and the back is roasting but clearly the gas is not circulating. I have taken it out of its housing and have it running on electric while lying on the door to se what happens, ill let you know how I get on, cheers
     
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  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  12. Treeeev

    Treeeev Funster

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    After you have had the fridge upside down ( I used to leave it at least overnight), and when you turn it up the correct way, you need to leave it a good few hours to settle. I did this a couple of times during the 17 years I owned my VW T3 Autohomes Kamper.
    Cheers
    Trevor
     

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