Urgent Advice Required -Fridge not working in Morocco (1 Viewer)

makems

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yes it's yet another fridge problem for Makems!
It's a Dometic RMDT 8505.
At 1:00am it was beeping (may have been beeping a while but that was when it woke me!
There are two lights on our model, a blue one which is normally lit all the time, and a red one that flashes when there is a problem. There is also a sort of warning triangle light that usually flashes and when pressed resets the fridge (I just found this out recently, see previous thread)
here we have a problem but only the BLUE light is flashing. No red light, no warning triangle, and the fridge and freezer are definitely getting warm.
We are on gas at the moment as we are wilding so no 240V. We have been on gas for a few days and everything seemed OK.
Gas ran out yesterday morning and I swapped the bottle and again everything SEEMED to be OK. (The beer seemed cool at beer o'clock)
I have tried resetting the fridge several times.
I can hear the gas burner going at the back of the fridge but it just ain't getting cold.
We are almost perfectly level.
I have read the manual (which is for the same model but pictures show a different control panel!) and it doesn't describe this particular set of symptoms.
As I type this the fridge goes into its beeping mode for 30 Seconds every few minutes and the only thing that shuts it up is to turn it off - which I did from about 2:00am to 7:00am so it had plenty of time to cool down or reset itself if it was something very simple.
Anybody got any great ideas?
 

scotjimland

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I can hear the gas burner going at the back of the fridge but it just ain't getting cold.
We are almost perfectly level.

Hi.. sorry to hear about the problem... can you detect heat at the flue ?

If so, it would suggest that the fridge has lost it's refrigerant.. I'm afraid that's bad news, there is no fix I know of.
 
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2657

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If the fridge has lost its refrigerant you would normally be able to smell ammonia, if you remove the vent cover and have a look you may also see a yellow staining.

We had a similar problem a couple of years ago with a fairly new(4yrs) absorption fridge/freezer, switched off overnight and it sorted itself out.

We also have an older caravan and the fridge lost it's refrigerant last October, slight smell to begin with then strong and yellow staining. Terminal I'm afraid, no way to recharge as on compressor fridges, £13/1400 to replace, we found an alternative.
 
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makems

makems

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I can't smell ammonia, and while I haven't removed the grille yet to detect heat I can definitely hear the gas flame burning and the extractor fan to remove excess heat is running, so I'm fairly sure the gas is burning.
The beeping sound is every two minutes approximately. It sounds like the alarm to warn that the door is not shut properly. This has gone off a few times in the past and just needed the door shutting firmly to shut the alarm off.
If it is the door alarm that might explain why none of the other warning lights are showing ie the fridge doesn't think there is a "fault" it just thinks the door isn't shut properly.
I wonder if it's a fault with the door sensor?
Anybody know how I couldget in contact with somebody at Dometic to talk to?
ideally by email so I don't have to spend a fortune on roaming charges!
 

Nigel&Debbie

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On our RMD 8555 model, the blue light flashing indicates the door has been left open. We did have a similar problem to you in that the blue light was flashing when the door was actually closed. This was caused be a temporary fault, probably caused by condensation in the door lock sensing switch. It was cured more by chance by using a hair dryer to blow warm air into door locking mechanism.

I know this does not account for beeping, but it may help in eliminating problems

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Feb 24, 2013
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Heres a random thought, but that's all I really good at

How about leave it in or set to auto, start engine, that should swap from gas to 12V, then when you turn the engine back off it will restart the gas, I don't think it will need to run the engine for long, as soon as the 12V option has started you could turn it off again

Not really sure why that might work, but when we run out of gas I have to turn ours off and back and on again before it seems happy

on the basis that you have tried that, this might at least give the processor something to think about

things really are too complicated for their own good these days

good luck
 

scotjimland

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things really are too complicated for their own good these days

couldn't agree more.
If it is the door alarm that might explain why none of the other warning lights are showing ie the fridge doesn't think there is a "fault" it just thinks the door isn't shut properly.
I wonder if it's a fault with the door sensor?

that may well be the problem.. if it thinks the door is open it may stop cooling to prevent ice forming..
but that's just a guess, I'm out of my depth with these modern Dometic fridges.. they try to make them idiot proof but in the process make them too complex.. :(

or in the modern parlance.. I'm outside my comfort zone :rolleyes:
 
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Have you tried "going back to basics" ?
Switch everything off (inc gas)
Wait a few minutes
Turn electrics back on
Turn gas back on
- see what happens :)

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Sounds like the door alarm switch, just tested ours it took about 90 seconds before the blue light started flashing and the bleeper sounded. It stopped as soon as I shut the door.
As above I suspect that if the control board thinks the door is open it will not allow the fridge to keep 'cooling'.
If you can't fix the switch, you may need a temp repair to remove it from the circuit, till you can get a replacement.
Cheers
 
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makems

makems

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Thanks to help from Colin (Armytwowheels) and Simon (Dabhand), we have swept the flue and burner assembly. Gas seems to be burning fine and Theonlysue has lent me a remote display electronic thermometer with separate probes for the freezer and the fridge.
Since sweeping the flue, the temperature in both fridge and freezer appears to be dropping so it APPEARS at this point that the fridge is working.
HOWEVER the bloody beeper is still going off every two minutes!
Colin has had a quick look at the door catch and when he jiggles the micro switch the light inside the fridge DIMS but does not go out (and the beeping doesn't stop)
We will give it another hour or so to confirm the temperature is dropping before having another more detailed look at the door switch.
Thanks for all the ideas and help, keep it coming!
 
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makems

makems

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Sounds like the door alarm switch, just tested ours it took about 90 seconds before the blue light started flashing and the bleeper sounded. It stopped as soon as I shut the door.
As above I suspect that if the control board thinks the door is open it will not allow the fridge to keep 'cooling'.
If you can't fix the switch, you may need a temp repair to remove it from the circuit, till you can get a replacement.
Cheers
I am hoping that as above, the fridge is in fact now cooling,
we then need to find out how to stop the door alarm from beeping every two minutes
Hopefully the beeper is on its own circuit and not part of the main circuit board!

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Lenny HB

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Answered you about the beeping & how to sort the door switch on the other thread.

At the moment I am playing with my fridge to see if the door switch has any effect on the burner operation, so far inconclusive.
After leaving the door open for about ½ hour the the burner cut out and restarted when I operated the door switch, it is still running about an hour later with the door open.

I'll keep you posted, first time it cut out with the door open could have been just because the fridge was down to temp as the inside of the van was only a few degrees, suns out now & I'll put the heating on in the van & see what happens.
 
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makems

makems

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It looks like the crisis is resolved thanks to Colin @Armytwowheels
He removed the door catch which had some water in it which has probably been causing some sort of short and making the door beeper continually sound.
The catch has been removed and put in the sun to dry out.
the door still stays shut in the same way that a domestic fridge would. Just need the catch to keep it closed when travelling and for the fridge light.
Worst case we leave it off and use duct tape to keep the door shut when travelling.
It would appear we have had two separate problems and both at least partly resolved.
There is ice in the freezer now so it's definitely working. We will be able to get our food back from the other Funsters freezers now (if they haven't alrady consumed it!)
Thanks to all who have responded with suggestions and help. And big thanks to Colin.
 

Lenny HB

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I can confirm now having run my fridge for a few hours that the door switch does not have any effect on the operation of the fridge.

You say it's now working after cleaning the flue & burner. Did you fill up with Spanish LPG? I have seen several reports of people having problems with fridges sooting up after filling with Spanish gas.

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is it possible the warning beeper is set of by high temperature which would explain why it was going of untill the fridge started cooling
 
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makems

makems

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Since we left home it's had UK LPG, Spanish LPG and Moroccan propane. So no surprise there was a lot of shit up the chimney!
 
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makems

makems

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is it possible the warning beeper is set of by high temperature which would explain why it was going of untill the fridge started cooling
I am fairly positive the beeping was a short caused by moisture in the door catch/micro switch.
Once dried out in the sun and reinstalled normal service resumed.
Right now however it's blowing an absolute gale and seems to keep blowing the flame out every five minutes. Pressing the reset button fixes it straight away.
I've taped a piece of cardboard over half of the outside vent and it's only getting blown out every twenty minutes now!
 

Lenny HB

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Right now however it's blowing an absolute gale and seems to keep blowing the flame out every five minutes. Pressing the reset button fixes it straight away.
I've taped a piece of cardboard over half of the outside vent and it's only getting blown out every twenty minutes now!
Why don't you turn the van round so the vent are on the leeward side.
 

Judge Mental

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I'm a bit surprised as well. At least run it with everything on for a few day....

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Lenny HB

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It does happen, happened to us when overnighting near the top of Mont Ventoux (the windy mountain) 6000ft up with 70mph winds, had to turn the van around to point into the wind at 2 am as it was rocking so much.:)
 
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makems

makems

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A follow up:
It turned out it wasn't the wind blowing out the flame. I cottoned on when I realised the alarm was going off every five minutes regular as clockwork rather than randomly if it had been the wind.
After discussing with Colin again, we decided the problem was likely to be a piece of debris loosened by cleaning the bottom two thirds of the flue which had fallen on the burner and stopping the ignition.
As it is impossible to reach the T piece at the top of the flue to clean it and remove the spiral fro cleaning we decided the only solution was to take out the whole fridge/freezer/oven tower so we could clean thos remaining bits.
It's easier than it sounds (well it is when you've got a handy fellow like Colin around)
It's a matter of disconnecting the gas pipe to the fridge and then two screws on the inside of the fridge and two on the inside of the freezer door. The unit is a very tight fit and it took Colin pushing from outside through the vent and me pulling from inside to wrangle it out.
That made access to the top of the flue easy and after removing the T piece and the spiral it was incredible how much soot and crap there was. A Good scrubbing ensued with the bottle brush to make sure everything was as clean as possible and hoovering up all the soot etc. some of the pieces of debris were surprisingly large lumps of carbon.
Reassembly was somewhat easier than removal and after everything was back together all seems to be working fine.
All done of course while wild camping at Tafraoute in Morocco. We have had a bit of an audience as there are a couple of other Funsters here having similar difficulties with their fridges. and wanting to borrow the bottle brush to clean their flues!
 

Lenny HB

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Pleased to hear you have sorted it.
Must have had some real dirty gas, last van cleaned the flue after 3 years and we only run on gas, there was no soot in it to clean out, nice clean UK gas I think as I always fill up in the UK before crossing the ditch.

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