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beating a dead horse, er, fridge
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grunwin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: beating a dead horse, er, fridge Reply with quote

My refrigerator troubles came up as a digression in a recent post and I thought I would put them out there to the group at large. I know there is a glut of fridge posts but I don't recall any that address this specific problem:

When left plugged in to 120v over night my fridge doesn't cool at all. It cools on 12v when I drive. I have been able to light it on gas when hooked up to an LP tank with the fridge removed from the vehicle but have not been able to light it off gas when installed. I know the gas flows, the ignitor sparks, the air pump pumps, the outlet in the garage has juice, and there is power coming through the wires in the van. My next move is to remove it and see if the RV shop can figure out why the 120v won't work. Any ideas?
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check here for a bunch of fridge troubleshooting tips:

http://www.vanagonauts.com/[76.X]-Dometic-Fridge139.htm

Cheers,
james
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Beaker
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had this specific problem, although mine takes a few tries to get it to light when on gas. I would guess that the problem lies in your switch (12V, Gas, 120V). You may want to pop that out and inspect/replace before tearing the whole fridge out. Also, if you have recently filled your tank, you may have some air in the line. To bleed the line, light the stove for a minute or two. Don't know if this helps.........
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grunwin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link, Dogpilot. I particularly like the section on the unhelpful/unknowledgable VW dealerships/Dometic service centers.

I'll look into popping that switch off; I haven't tried that. I have run the stove before attempting to light the fridge to no avail.

I bought this Westy last year with 27,000 original miles on it and, as far as I know, the fridge has never been lit. I don't think the LP tank had ever been filled, either (there was still blue plastic wrap from the factory on the heat shield for the range!). The tank is full now and the stove burners work fine. Nothing is apparently plugged. I blew air through everything I could and checked conductivity of all exposed wires. The weird part is that I'm pretty certain I did get it to cool on 110v before removing the unit from the van. Think [/quote][/code]
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other item you may want to check is the breaker switch next to the plug . I never could find out if it isolated the entire system or just the plug. I definatly had to run the stove for a while before I got my fridge to light the first time. Also, there is a small brass plug at the bottom of the fridge which is the water drain. I opened mine and forgot about it, and after driving around a bit a signifigant amount of fine rust powder had come out. So I held the vacuum nozzle there let the vacuum suck on it for a while. Then left it off for a while and drove for a week or two. a bit more came out and it lighted eaiser.

Good luck,
James
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it plugged in under the sink?
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grunwin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm offended! Obviously the first thing I checked, right? Okay, so I ran out in the cold to check that plug knowing full well I wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise. Unfortunately, it was plugged in. Dag.

I removed the front plate of the fridge but did not see a way to access the toggle switch without removing the entire fridge. Barring any further ideas (no matter how obvious), that's the next step.
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Michael J
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grunwin wrote:
I'm offended! Obviously the first thing I checked, right? Okay, so I ran out in the cold to check that plug knowing full well I wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise. Unfortunately, it was plugged in. Dag.

I removed the front plate of the fridge but did not see a way to access the toggle switch without removing the entire fridge. Barring any further ideas (no matter how obvious), that's the next step.


Well, here are 2 obvious things to look at: Have you checked the 110v thermo-fuse? Did you verify that you have 110v power at the refrigerator's power outlet?

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DrDarby
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked for VW in the 80's & 90s I developed a knack for lighting stubborn refrigerators. Pump the air valve like crazy, then hold the pilot button while pumping, then start pumping but push all the way to knick the igniter, do this like 10 times. Occasianally you'll get a backfire but keep doing it. After about 10 ignites, keep the pilot buttom pressed and watch through the little site hole. Normally it will light every time this way.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is another stupididly obvious one but when you are turning it to 120 volt on the 3 way are you also turning the temp know to full? I did this the other day after I had taken mine out for a cleaning and going through, I was about to rip it out again and start probing the 120 wires for faults and I thought I would read the instructions on the door and try one more time Very Happy

BTW I'm at pretty much at the same point with my Propane as you are-everything seems to function as should but I can't get it to fire either! I do think I may have damged the thermocoupler though and I bought a universal unit the other day. I hope I can make it fit Shocked

good luck.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it is worth, once you finally get it to fire up on gas, try to start it once a month or so. It seems to help. If I let mine sit to long, it gives me fits.

Also, I recomend DrDarby's methot. Usually works.

Good luck. A properly runnung Dometic is a wonderfull thing. When not running, the devil in a small box.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Factory service manual for the frig:
http://www.loam.org/vw/Vanagon/DometicRM182B/DometicRM182B.pdf
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogpilot wrote:
Check here for a bunch of fridge troubleshooting tips:

http://www.vanagonauts.com/[76.X]-Dometic-Fridge139.htm

Cheers,
james


That was the best, most informed article On the Vanagon Dometic fridge. It answered several questions on starting with propane and I think it solved my "flame going out while driving" problem.
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: beating a dead horse, er, fridge Reply with quote

Nominated for bump-of-the-month in May! Very Happy
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spitsnrovers
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: beating a dead horse, er, fridge Reply with quote

Well nominated Applause .
To add to the confusion - page 9 of the Dometic manual, as well as the diagram on the fridge itself has a circuit diagram error Shocked

The double-pole double-throw switch for the 120V-12V (labeled simply SWITCH) shows the internal toggles incorrectly.

It shows one toggle going left, and one going right. The two toggles should both be going the same way. If you try circuit tracing using this incorrect diagram, it could drive you crazy Brick wall
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