Fridge works on gas but not very well

Mar 10, 2012
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Been a bit of a head scratcher this one over the last few weeks.....

About 6wks back the fridge seemed to fail on gas when we were away, no big deal as we were almost on our way back. Following week i brought the van to the house and switched the fridge on and left it overnight. Next morning the fridge was cold, hey presto it was fixed(n) or was it...

Next trip, fridge seemed to work but not well. Tried again at home got even more confused, since decided to add a permanent fridge thermometer (not arrived yet) and this in the midst of the heatwave i started to think it was simply the fridges inability to cool given the +35º outside.

Ok have been in wonderfully warm Blighty for the last 12 days and it can't cope with that either... tested it on leccy and it's fine and gets super cold as usual but on gas it fires up like normal and burns gas as usual but it just doesn't seem to get that cold, the butter test says that at least...

Having ready many threads on here i wonder where i should start in my fault finding ?

It's a dometic fridge/freezer with auto switching, the classic type in many campers today. It's 5yrs old although has never been serviced ???

Any ideas ?
 

TerryL

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Mar 5, 2010
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No expert but the fact that it works fine on electric but not on gas suggests that it could probably do with servicing. As a minimum the flue would probably benefit from brushing through and maybe the jet. BUT DON'T STICK ANYTHING INTO THE JET as you will damage it, just a brush and/or blow through with an airline.

Other thoughts; you have plenty of gas and all other gas appliances working correctly (so regulator is okay)? Are the external vents clear - no covers fitted for example - so that there is a good airflow?

Ours always cools better on gas than electric.
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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Thanks Terry, yes plenty of gas (new bottles) and hob is running perfectly as normal, also no covers etc on the vents. Yes our fridge always seemed to run colder on gas vs electricity and it ran well on both.
 
Aug 4, 2013
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On a recent site in Italy we found we needed the shade of the awning to keep the fridge cool. It worked much better on gas with the awning out shading the vents.
 

TerryL

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On a recent site in Italy we found we needed the shade of the awning to keep the fridge cool. It worked much better on gas with the awning out shading the vents.
Good idea - I often wind the awning out a little to shade the fridge/vents.
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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OK cleaned the flue as best i could yesterday (still on the road) but managed to get a radiator brush from a hardware store that did a pretty good job although i could only access the flue from the bottom as the top has a 90º T on it which can only be removed if you take the fridge out ! Anyway tons of soot came out and the fridge is running a lot better, after 24hrs the temp is now a measured 3.1º vs the 12-13º it was before the flue cleaning.....

also glad i have the thermometer in there, just quick glance tells you if things are OK or not, no more butter test !
 
Feb 9, 2008
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The T on the top is usually held in place by a small screw and at some stage you will need to take it off to access the baffle inside which will be hanging on a wire bridge at the top of the tube. Both this and the tube will need a good clean.
 

TerryL

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There you go then, sorted but keep an eye on it for a few days in case it's the change of weather that makes it better. When you get the chance do as Phil says.

Thanks for keeping us updated.
 

funflair

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The T on the top is usually held in place by a small screw and at some stage you will need to take it off to access the baffle inside which will be hanging on a wire bridge at the top of the tube. Both this and the tube will need a good clean.
The newer ones don't all have that T piece and baffle, which would make it much easier to clean.

Martin
 
Feb 25, 2013
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Hi if you trace the pipe from the flame back to where it goes into a valve (not sure what they call it ) Give the valve a tap with a spanner as the valve inside can stick if not used for a while ,that may give your he presto moment .keeping your flue clean is also important lol.
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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The T on the top is usually held in place by a small screw and at some stage you will need to take it off to access the baffle inside which will be hanging on a wire bridge at the top of the tube. Both this and the tube will need a good clean.
Yes will do that, just got back last night so it's a job for this WE. I reckon if i take the fridge out and then remove the screw i could leave it without the screw when i replace it as i'm pretty sure the T piece is going to be a tight friction fit. That would allow me to clean the flue fully in the future without having to remove the fridge.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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Ors (Thetfoed) was the same I swapped the burner for a new one seems to have sorted it. Didn't clean the flue as it looks like it will need to be a fridge out job anyone know any different. Its a lot better now but still not like it was before.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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Yes will do that, just got back last night so it's a job for this WE. I reckon if i take the fridge out and then remove the screw i could leave it without the screw when i replace it as i'm pretty sure the T piece is going to be a tight friction fit. That would allow me to clean the flue fully in the future without having to remove the fridge.
Correct! That's what I have done.
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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Anyone know if the burner jet is easy to source, what price and easy enough to change ?

Think I might just get a spare to keep in, just in case...
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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This is a US RV video but the burner looks to be identical to the one on my Euro Ice cream van fridge/freezer

 
Feb 9, 2008
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Leisure direct will be able to supply a complete burner assy and a new jet. Burner assy around 90-100 quid and jet about 18 quid depending on model of fridge.
 
OP
Ridgeway
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Cheers, will take a look.

PhilandMena: do you know what the baffle is for ? and is it easy to remove, you mentioned it's on a wire ?
 

funflair

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Cheers, will take a look.

PhilandMena: do you know what the baffle is for ? and is it easy to remove, you mentioned it's on a wire ?
The baffling is just hooked over the pipe once you get the T piece off the top.

Martin
 

funflair

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Dec 11, 2013
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Anyone know if the burner jet is easy to source, what price and easy enough to change ?

Think I might just get a spare to keep in, just in case...
My experience is that the jet itself is not the problem unless it is blocked with rust in the pipe behind the jet and then that cleans out OK, the airways on the burner assembly itself have caused me more problems when they become constricted and then the flame burns rich/smokey, I carry a can of compressed air to clean the burner head.

Martin
 
OP
Ridgeway
Mar 10, 2012
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I carry a can of compressed air to clean the burner head.
Martin
That's seems like a very good idea, used my tyre compressor last week but it was far to week in terms of power, so a can of compressed air would be good for that.
 
Feb 9, 2008
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Cheers, will take a look.

PhilandMena: do you know what the baffle is for ? and is it easy to remove, you mentioned it's on a wire ?
The baffle is a flat piece of metal twisted into a spiral and about 3-5 inches long. It's purpose is to disrupt/impact on the hot air going up the flue. If it has a secondary function I'm not aware of it. They become heavily covered in soot over time.
 
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