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Dometic 182 won't light
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vw4life
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Dometic 182 won't light Reply with quote

got a parts van and been playing w the fridge

cant get the burner to light when sealed. I can light it with the combustion box taken off and the piezo and thermocouple work

blew out the intake/exhaust and pipe that is accesable below fridge

I need more oxygen and tried a bicycle pump to get more air into the combustion box

any ideas?
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RBEmerson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... is it possible the gas supply is pinched somehow? Is the tank valve fully opened? What shape is the regulator in? If the supply is restricted, that might explain the problem. Or not.

You tried cleaning the air passages, but I'd give snaking out the flue another try. It sounded as though you didn't cover the full path. You could have a problem with a wasp nest somewhere near the outside end of the flue, for example. Using compressed air alone probably won't help dislodge a nest, unless you can really seal up the end that you're using to apply air to. Even then... maybe not. I'd try physically snaking out the pipe if at all possible.

Beyond that, all I can suggest is following the instructions on the door. We've been on an extended trip around the US southeast, with 3700 miles covered so far (taking a break to check the house about every 4-6 weeks). During that time the fridge has worked like a charm.

Starting the fridge was initially a serious PITA. I'd pre-heat the thing on 110VAC (BTW, does your fridge work with 110? Forget 12V - works only while rolling and isn't that effective), then try to light the propane after a few hours. The thing would light but it wasn't much fun.

And then I read the instructions again. One big point is to not pump the air pump as if trying to set a record for strokes/minute. A somewhat slower pace seems to do a better job. Also, I do the initial 10-15 strokes with the gas off. The gas is turned on, the gas button is pushed in (look for the blinking light over the button), and the round button is held down while pumping. Typically the burner lights off somewhere between 5-10 strokes.

Again following the instructions, I hold the round button down for about 10 seconds. If the burner stays lit, I'll set the thermostat to about 50% with one quick turn (gradually feeding more gas seems to actually kill the flame - weird...). If that takes, then the thermostat goes to 100% and life is good.

In a flash of brilliance, it dawned on us that, when hooked up for the night, we should run on 110 until we're ready to roll again. In switching from 110 to gas, I can follow the usual starting drill, except leave the thermostat at 100%. The burner catches and stays burning without a problem. I dunno why that works when it won't from a "cold" start, other than maybe running with 110 heats things up enough to let the burner accept the full on setting. [/shrug]
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vw4life
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me clarify now that I have my laptop and can type. These tablets suck!

I have an 84 Westy and picked up a spare fridge for $75. My fridge works on 110v and so does the new unit. The fridge in my van will not light on propane either and for $75 I got a few knobs that were missing and a front panel.

I blew out the intake/exhaust with a shop vac and did not seem to be obstructed. I will run a coat hanger thru later to make sure it is 100% clear.

I have a 25 lb propane from a bbq and a new regulator/line attached to the fridge. I blew out the burner jet, the drain line and nothing is obstructed. I can remove the combustion box, flip it upside down so the top is open, get it to light and attached the thermocouple and after about 20 seconds can let go and gas continues to flow and the flame is lit.

It seems obvious it isn't getting oxygen.

Somewhat confused here "And then I read the instructions again. One big point is to not pump the air pump as if trying to set a record for strokes/minute. A somewhat slower pace seems to do a better job. Also, I do the initial 10-15 strokes with the gas off. The gas is turned on, the gas button is pushed in (look for the blinking light over the button), and the round button is held down while pumping. Typically the burner lights off somewhere between 5-10 strokes. "

Do you have the gas off, pump 10 strokes, open the gas valve, hold the gas bypass button in, continue to pump and light the piezo or open gas, pump the air pump, hold in bypass, continue to pump while hitting piezo?

Thanks for the help. I have done a lot of reading, watched some youtube vids and have the service manual.

I told my dad the other day the favorite phrase of every westy owner should be "It's only money"....
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RBEmerson wrote:
I dunno why that works when it won't from a "cold" start, other than maybe running with 110 heats things up enough to let the burner accept the full on setting. [/shrug]


(This doesn't help the OP but the reason preheating on 110V is a good idea as it gets the flue drawing air so that when you light the propane you don't have to wait for hot air to be formed and draw in air from the bottom....)
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most common lighting problem is flooding. Once the combustion chamber is flooded with too much propane it simply won't light until the ratio of air to propane improves enough. Don't worry about the gas valve on the fridge, leave it on. The propane only flows while you hold in the safety button. So the key is to not push in the safety button until you have pumped a bunch of air in. Then while pushing the pump all the way to make repeated sparks use the other hand to then push in and hold the safety button. Keep sparking and holding the safety button in. Don't stop sparking unless you hear a loud pop. That means it has flooded and time to stop and clear out the gas in the combustion chamber again.

Mark
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vw4life
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

found this trick. Makes sense

http://www.westfalia.org/community/showthread.php?...d0b8695961

Howdy All,

I don't mean to duplicate what everyone else has said, but, I thought I would tell my story in case there is something in it that helps someone else with what seems to be a common problem.

We bought our 84 Westfalia 3 years ago from the second owners of the van. They told us that they had never used the fridge and that the original owners, their neighbours had rarely used the fridge as well. This didn't mean much to me at the time, but, now that I see the problems other people have had I see now that it should have been a heads up to problems to come.

It took me the better part of the first summer to even get the pilot lit. It would not stay lit. I lost a lot of hair over it.

The second summer I cleaned out the flue and intake, pulled the fridge out, cleaned the pilot assembly and put the fridge back in. When the fridge was out and I had pilot assembly open it would light like a dream and stay lit. When I put it back together it still wouldn't stay lit. I lost more hair.

Since then I have figured out some tricks about how to light it and keep it lit.

The pilot assembly has trouble getting enough air initially, so you don't want to fill it up with too much gas. It doesn't take much to do that. Two seconds on the gas before hitting the piezo has been too much. If you get too much gas you will hear a pop and see a flash in the window and then nothing. What has been working for me is pumping the air pump a good 20 times to fill the pilot chamber with air. Then press the gas for a second and then hit the piezo up to three times. If it doesn't light (it usually does) I pump more air in and try again. Once it is lit, it often goes out after about 15 seconds even if I am still holding the gas button. What I have found works is if I pump more air in while keeping the gas pressed if the pilot flame looks like it is dying. I have had to pump it two or three in this manner to keep it lit. After keeping it lit for a minute then I'm guessing the pilot assembly gets warm enough to create a vacuum and will draw air in on its own. My fridge will then stay lit consistently after that.

But, in my case precooling the fridge while driving is invaluable. As well, the fridge works better and better all the time now that it is being used. It didn't help that it was never lit for 5 years before that.

Hope this saves someone else a little trouble. My hair loss will not be in vain then.

Happy Camping
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RBEmerson wrote:
Hmmm... is it possible the gas supply is pinched somehow? Is the tank valve fully opened? What shape is the regulator in? If the supply is restricted, that might explain the problem. Or not.

You tried cleaning the air passages, but I'd give snaking out the flue another try. It sounded as though you didn't cover the full path. You could have a problem with a wasp nest somewhere near the outside end of the flue, for example. Using compressed air alone probably won't help dislodge a nest, unless you can really seal up the end that you're using to apply air to. Even then... maybe not. I'd try physically snaking out the pipe if at all possible.

Beyond that, all I can suggest is following the instructions on the door. We've been on an extended trip around the US southeast, with 3700 miles covered so far (taking a break to check the house about every 4-6 weeks). During that time the fridge has worked like a charm.

Starting the fridge was initially a serious PITA. I'd pre-heat the thing on 110VAC (BTW, does your fridge work with 110? Forget 12V - works only while rolling and isn't that effective), then try to light the propane after a few hours. The thing would light but it wasn't much fun.

And then I read the instructions again. One big point is to not pump the air pump as if trying to set a record for strokes/minute. A somewhat slower pace seems to do a better job. Also, I do the initial 10-15 strokes with the gas off. The gas is turned on, the gas button is pushed in (look for the blinking light over the button), and the round button is held down while pumping. Typically the burner lights off somewhere between 5-10 strokes.

Again following the instructions, I hold the round button down for about 10 seconds. If the burner stays lit, I'll set the thermostat to about 50% with one quick turn (gradually feeding more gas seems to actually kill the flame - weird...). If that takes, then the thermostat goes to 100% and life is good.

In a flash of brilliance, it dawned on us that, when hooked up for the night, we should run on 110 until we're ready to roll again. In switching from 110 to gas, I can follow the usual starting drill, except leave the thermostat at 100%. The burner catches and stays burning without a problem. I dunno why that works when it won't from a "cold" start, other than maybe running with 110 heats things up enough to let the burner accept the full on setting. [/shrug]


The reason this is confusing is the fact that this gentleman has a 1990 van,which has a completely different fridge than your early model van.Totally different beast,and his instructions work like a charm on the LATER model.
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RBEmerson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vw4life wrote:
[/edit]
I blew out the intake/exhaust with a shop vac and did not seem to be obstructed. I will run a coat hanger thru later to make sure it is 100% clear.

If you can find a short plumber's snake (the kind to just clear a drain), I'd go with that. It'll follow the bends and won't hang up as readily.

Quote:
I have a 25 lb propane from a bbq and a new regulator/line attached to the fridge. I blew out the burner jet, the drain line and nothing is obstructed. I can remove the combustion box, flip it upside down so the top is open, get it to light and attached the thermocouple and after about 20 seconds can let go and gas continues to flow and the flame is lit.

It seems obvious it isn't getting oxygen.

I think the comments about possibly too much gas instead of too little oxygen are probably closer to the problem. With the gas tank and reg you're using, obviously getting enough gas isn't likely to be a problem. [/grin]

Quote:
Somewhat confused here "And then I read the instructions again. One big point is to not pump the air pump as if trying to set a record for strokes/minute. A somewhat slower pace seems to do a better job. Also, I do the initial 10-15 strokes with the gas off. The gas is turned on, the gas button is pushed in (look for the blinking light over the button), and the round button is held down while pumping. Typically the burner lights off somewhere between 5-10 strokes. "

Do you have the gas off, pump 10 strokes, open the gas valve, hold the gas bypass button in, continue to pump and light the piezo or open gas, pump the air pump, hold in bypass, continue to pump while hitting piezo?

Try it either way. For the life of me, despite doing the drill daily for the past month, I can't remember whether I open the gas valve on the fridge before pumping or not. The thing that made the most difference was the rate at which I pump the air pump. Somewhere else I described my initial pumping rate as being close to rabbits making more rabbits. At least with our fridge, a slower rate made all the difference.

Quote:
Thanks for the help. I have done a lot of reading, watched some youtube vids and have the service manual.

I told my dad the other day the favorite phrase of every westy owner should be "It's only money"....


The idea that pre-heating (or cooling) starts air flow in the flue seems reasonable. OTOH, once I started taking my time pumping air, I get a light-off on the first try about 80% of the time. Without running the fridge on 110 first.

One other thought... does the stove work? If I've had the gas off (during storage, for example) and turn it back on, I get the stove burners running first. If they light off, then there should be gas going to the fridge, too.
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vw4life
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FRIDGE IS LIT!

I plugged it into the 110v and let it cool for an hour.

Pumped the air pump for 30 seconds, opened gas, hit the bypass and it caught. It really needs the air pumped it and I think warming it up created the draft and helped it out.

Thanks for all the help! Onto the next project, rear control arm bushings and bilsteins
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations!

If you use the fridge a lot, you may find it gets easier to start, even after standing idle. Our Westy was in storage over the Christmas holidays for a total of about 7 weeks. NTL the fridge fired up promptly.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help RBEmerson

I lived in Elizabethtown PA for 3 years and just got back to So. Cal. I miss the backcountry roads, 3 mile island, Yuenglings and the pizza.

The taco's, waves, wine and women out here though......can't be beat.


Thanks again- Surfs up

Jason
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Da nada. The Yuengling's still good, killer pizza (pepperoni, mushrooms, extra cheese, and a defibrillator on the side) is easy to find, and the roads are still twisty (only way to dodge the potholes!). Tacos? No hay problema. Wine? Well, the local stuff is ...ah... lacking, but it is possible buy the stuff via the LCB-controlled stores. Women? Sorry - you're outta luck. I married the hottest one around. [/ LOL]

Anyway, enjoy chilling that chardonnay in your fridge!
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