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GAS REFRIGERATOR TROUBLE

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bos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: GAS REFRIGERATOR TROUBLE
    Posted: 07 Jul 2019 at 3:44pm
Having trouble w/ frig not cooling on gas. It works fine on elec or batt, but does not seem to cool at all on gas. There is a flame, I ran a camera up the flu and it seems to be clean, the baffle is shiny and clean, the flame is blue and stays lit, I checked for leaks w/ soapy water and found none, the stove burners seems to work as well as they ever did so I'm assuming I do not have a leak, I checked the water column and have about 12", I called dometic tech support and they suggested lowering the baffle 1/4" which I have done. I would like to see a picture of what a flame should look like on an rpod, all I can come up w/ is that I do not have enough flame to create enough heat. I can find a picture of a flame on a large dometic rv frig, but not on a 4.3 cu ft frig like in my 2011 171 rpod. Am looking for a flame pic and any advice on where to go next. I called my dealer and he said they don't repair, they only replace the whole unit for over 1K$. Besides a new dealer any thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2019 at 4:26pm
In what way is it not cooling? you fired it up, and after several hours it wasn't "cool"? are you using a thermometer? I don't have a flame picture, but if you have a good blue flame, that's it. 

To put it in perspective of how small the needed flame is, the fridge will cool for 4 to 8 weeks, on a single tank, depending on outside temps.

Is the camper level?
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bos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2019 at 4:49pm
Camper is level, yes I use a thermometer, when I say it's not cooling I mean it does not cool, at all, it's the same temp as in the frig before I turned it on, after several hours w/o opening the door there is still no change, in other words, it's not cooling. Anyone got a picture of the flame? And yes I've cleaned the orafice and the burner as well, I have a flame, but I do not have cooling, and yes it works fine on battery or elec.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2019 at 7:54pm
What is the outside ambient temperature as you are going thru this procedure?  We had problems the first couple years with ours not cooling on gas and found out it was because the bi-metal switch on the back of the refer was set too low, the result was that the 2 muffin (cooling) fans at the back of the refer never came on.  By moving the bi-metal switch up to just below the top of the vent stack (propane chimney stack) the muffin fans came on almost immediately and from that point the refer cooled down remarkably well.  To locate the bi-metal switch look for 2 red wires running to it (remove the upper vent on the back of the refer first).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2019 at 8:30pm
Where are you? Are the outside temperatures in the upper 90's to low 100's? If so, don't expect the refrigerator to work very well. I know mine doesn't when it gets that hot, especially if the sun is shining on that side of the RPod.

You should be able to hear the burner. If you can't hear the flame, it is likely too low. You say you cleaned the orifice. How? Did you clean the burner tube to make sure the slots in it were not obstructed as well? With all that, there is one other thing that could be affecting it. You might have an accumulation of oils in the line. I took the line leading to the refrigerator and removed the line up front from the low side of the regulator. Then I blew compressed air through the hose from the refrigerator compartment and a lot of oily liquid came out of the other end (I recommend putting that end in a bucket if you are going to try this). After reconnecting the lines and leak testing and purging the air, I fired up the refrigerator and it was performing much better once the flame finally caught after several cycles to get the residual air out.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 8:24am
I will try clearing the line as you suggest, the only line leaving the frig is the drain, but I'm assuming you are talking about the gas line having liquid in it between the tee under the camper and the gas valve on the back of the frig, not the drain line, the frig worked fine on gas for 7+ year up until our last trip to the west coast and temp was in the 60's and 70's most of the trip, never over 80. I know sun and high outside temp will have an effect, but I keep coming back to the fact that it works fine on elec and battery, and it used to work fine on gas. I cleaned the burner tube by removing it and blowing it out w/ compressed air and a brush but it looked good, I took the orafice to a home based rv service tech I know and he cleaned it out w/ a probe and air, I've read that you can do more harm than good w/ probes and air but he claims he's been working on rv's for 20 years and that's how he does it. Have spoke to the dometic factory tech support people a couple times and they seem focused on the flame/baffle, but baffle looks new, I did lower it a 1/4" at their suggestion, no change. I can hear the flame but I don't think it's as loud as it used to be, am still hoping someone can show me an rpod frig flame pic, dealer is no help. I checked the water column at the stove top so really only checked the main tank regulator I think, but no change in stove top performance oveer the years, the rv tech wants me to change the frig gas valve next. I appreciate and welcome all the advice I can get.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote podwerkz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 12:54pm
After the flame has been burning for awhile, is the top of the chimney quite warm to quite hot? Too hot to hold onto?

That would be in the normal range, but it if is only slightly warm, or cool, then either the chimney tube is blocked or the flame is too weak.

I fired mine up and took a few photos....hope this helps.


The base of the flame looks 'white hot' in the photos...but its more of a bright bluish-white in real life.

The elevation where I am is about 3400 feet.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 5:42pm
The pictures Podwerkkz posted look similar to the flame in mine. I am indeed talking about the gas line, not the condensate drain line, although it can also plug, keeping water from draining from the evaporator plates inside. A pipe cleaner helps there.

I removed the larger hose that leads from the regulator to the underside of the RPod. I removed the gas line at the refrigerator end. I used an air chuck to blow air from the refrigerator end. A large amount of oily liquid came out of the hose at the front end. I did not disconnect any other line. When I reconnected them, I did test for leaks with soapy water.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 2:41pm
Thanks for the pix and the info, my flame did not look that big, much smaller, and I kept coming back to that it had worked up until recently, I took everything apart again and re cleaned/blew out lines, flu, burner, and ran a small strand of elec wire thru the orifice, when i put it all back together and now I have a much larger flame, not quite as big as the flame in your pix but close, it fills the little combustion area, cooling is much better, today it's mid 80's sunny at 1000 ft elev and it was 42 degrees on high, and I do know I need a new gasket, any suggestions on a good supplier? I hear they are pretty pricey. My lesson: just cause a guy did something for 20 years doesn't necessarily mean he was doing it right. Thanks again.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hogone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 5:31pm
podwerkz; I recently had some great advice from many of you regarding my fridge not staying lit (I think you were one of them!!!!!)  and many thanks to all.  It works great!   Fired it up on a morning where the day got up to 92(inside camper was smoking hot), 12 hours later it was at 40 and nothing in fridge.  24 hours i'm sure it would of been a lot colder.  Normally I fire on electric and in 24 hours its 35 or colder.  This was just my gas test.  So here's my question.  Was that pic taken at night, as my flame is not nearly as glowing as yours.  It glows nicely, but that looked amazingly bright.  Sorry for the rambling.  hogone
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