Fridge not cooling on gas

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 10.01.2013  ·  #1
Hi all.

Just Joined up.

Just thought I'd share my experience with my fridge. We have a 1998 Hymer Swing 644. Original Electrolux/Dometic RM 4281, 3 way fridge. Pretty standard fridge really.

We were away during Christmas in Kerry and the fridge didn't really cool properly on gas. I noticed this last summer in France but wasn't a big deal as we were hooked up most of the time.

Anyway it was working fine on mains and 12v.

The gas was lighting, although taking maybe 20 seconds to ignite. The fridge stayed lit but didn't really cool.

I trawled the internet for a solution. This is what I did.

1. Removed Louvre panels (top & bottom)

2. Removed small metal box covering the burner

3. Lit the fridge and checked the flame. It was burning blue but a bit miserable. When I adjusted the temperature control in the van, the flame didn't change. Hmmmmmm.

4. Turned off and disconnected the gas & battery

5. Bought a flue brush in B&Q. It was the smallest one they had for some household flue or something. €9.00.

6. Took off the top T-Bar and bits from the top of the flue

7. Removed the baffle from inside the flue. Its a wire about 1 foot long with a bit of twisty metal in the end.

8. Disconnected the burner from the bottom of the flue.

9. Shoved the flue brush from B&Q down inside the flue from the top and gave it a good clean. Soot, dust and rust came out the bottom accompanied by the emaciated remains of a fly.

10. Took the burner assembly apart taking care to note the position of the sparking electrode and the thermocouple. I took a photo with my phone to remind me.

11. I blew around the burner with compressed air. For this I used a 12v pump that I carry in the van and I sellotaped a straw to the end of end for some precision work!

12. Again bits of rust etc came out.

13. At this stage I wasn't convinced that the cleaning I had done was enough to improve the efficiency of the fridge as I didn't think enough soot, rust etc came out.

14 Then I decided to disconnect the burner unit from the copper gas line. BINGO!

15. The gas line was almost completely blocked with a kind of black powder, almost encrusted. Remember, this is in the copper gas line itself, not in the jet and burner unit. I did not touch the jet as the hole for this is precisely set so do not be tempted to stick a needle in it. Use compressed air for that.

16. Anyway, back to the copper gas line. I got a tiny panel nail and gently poked the crusty stuff and began to dislodge it, tapping the pipe to get it to fall out. The black crusty stuff went back the pipe for about half a cm. I used my handheld 12v hoover from the van, again equipped with a straw to hoover all the stuff out from the back of the fridge and pipes.

17. I began to reassemble everything. The long wire holding the baffle inside the flue was almost perished so I made a new one from a clothes hanger. However I am going to order a new one from leisureshopdirect.

18. Everything back together except the box covering the burner.

19. Connect and switched on gas and Hey Presto, Lit up wit first spark.

20. I examined the flame. Strong, powerful blue flame belting up the flue. Even heard a bit of gurgling of the chemicals getting agitated.

21. I turned down the dial on the fridge and the flame duly responded.

22. Left it for 2 hours and checked the fridge - lovely and cold, freezer nicely incing up.

23. Turned everything off.

24. Got up this morning and fired it up before going to work and put a bottle of water in.

25. Checked it this evening, 8 hours later and I could hardly drink the water it was so cold. In fairness though, I did have it whacked up full.

There you have it. Working better than ever. I have no idea what the black stuff clogging the gas pipe was so I rang a physicist friend of mine. He said it could be bacteria in the gas or a fungus or something reacting with the copper where the copper pipe and different metal of the burner and jet meet.

I don't really know except that it had no business there! Maybe someone out there could enlighten me.

Cleaning the burner and baffle will probably suffice for most fridge that are not cooling quite as they should but its worth checking the gas pipe. It certainly explained why the gas was lit but not hot enough for the cooling system as not enough gas was flowing trough the jet onto the burner.

Hope this helps.

By the way. I installed dunlop air suspension on the back axle last year and could not believe the difference.

If your van is sagging and getting blown about by trucks and is a struggle with roundabouts, don't even think twice. Fit air suspension, they're the king!! I got them from marcleleisure.co.uk


Happy Tramping

Denis Mc Donnell

:) :)[U][B][I]


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 11.01.2013  ·  #2
Thanks Dintymc for a really interesting post, good info, for the record anyone wanting Air assist suspension should talk to Simon at LTS he fitted some to my old van great service and price. :D


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 11.01.2013  ·  #3
You're welcome Exbiker.

Glad to share my experience and maybe save someone a few quid! :up:


Denis


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 13.01.2013  ·  #4
good info i could have done with it last year the fridge gas did my head in working and then not working for no reason had to bring it to hagans in templepatrick the guy there did all you said in about 5 mins and fixed it and the best part is no charge and its still working perfectly :lol:


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 03.09.2013  ·  #5
Thanks for info dennis. I have the same fridge on a barge with the same problem and am going to follow your instructions at the weekend. Looks quite complicated to me. You dont happen to live near Banagher by any chance??????
Patsy


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 06.09.2013  ·  #6
Most brilliant posting I've ever read as it was so down to earth and detailed every step of the way. I had the very same problems trying to get the fridge working on gas in France for the last two years and was just about to 'drop it over a cliff' and buy a new one. Now I think you have provided the solution and I'll certainly examine and clean out the copper pipe. I already worked on the baffle and inserted a new jet and cleaned the burner parts as you describe but to no avail. Well done Denis on such a helpful account of how you solved your fridge problems, which I know will be of practical help to lots of campers in the same predicament. Levitstownns


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 10.09.2013  ·  #7
You're very welcome, hope you get your fridges sorted out. Sorry mccarthp but I'm living down in Cork so I can't help you out.

I was back in France for 6 weeks during the summer and the fridge worked a treat - lovely and cold. The Kronenbourg was sweet.

Denis


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 24.09.2013  ·  #8
Hi dintymc,
great post form you - very generous of your time. Just purchased our first MH - '95 CI Wilk Aventura 565. Same problem with my Electrolux and I'm not sure how to access the burner. On the outside of the MH I have removed the cover where the flue vents and I can see into the back of the fridge where the flue is located but the space is too tight to get hands in to dismantle the flue and get at the burner. Our fridge is installed directly under the cooker/sink one piece unit and is nicely sealed all around. If I'm to separate the cooker/sink in order to pull out the fridge I'll be breaking these beautiful factory-finish seals and I'd hate doing that if its avoidable. Any suggestions? Any member happen on a You-tube clip of this remedy being executed? It would be so handy.
Best wishes to all,


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 29.09.2013  ·  #9
Hi jfly.

Sounds like you'll have to take the fridge out if you can't access it from the back. I took a fridge out in my previous van and it took a bit of time alright. Take your time and you'll get it out. Watch for the screws inside the sides of the fridge and the electrical connections on the top.

Make sure you get everything sealed up properly when you put it back in so that no fumes get into the van from behind the fridge.

A fridge not performing on gas isn't much good so set aside a saturday for yourself and get it done!

Best of luck.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 01.09.2015  ·  #10
Quote by dintymc

Hi all.

Just Joined up.

Just thought I'd share my experience with my fridge. We have a 1998 Hymer Swing 644. Original Electrolux/Dometic RM 4281, 3 way fridge. Pretty standard fridge really.

We were away during Christmas in Kerry and the fridge didn't really cool properly on gas. I noticed this last summer in France but wasn't a big deal as we were hooked up most of the time.

Anyway it was working fine on mains and 12v.

The gas was lighting, although taking maybe 20 seconds to ignite. The fridge stayed lit but didn't really cool.

I trawled the internet for a solution. This is what I did.

1. Removed Louvre panels (top & bottom)

2. Removed small metal box covering the burner

3. Lit the fridge and checked the flame. It was burning blue but a bit miserable. When I adjusted the temperature control in the van, the flame didn't change. Hmmmmmm.

4. Turned off and disconnected the gas & battery

5. Bought a flue brush in B&Q. It was the smallest one they had for some household flue or something. €9.00.

6. Took off the top T-Bar and bits from the top of the flue

7. Removed the baffle from inside the flue. Its a wire about 1 foot long with a bit of twisty metal in the end.

8. Disconnected the burner from the bottom of the flue.

9. Shoved the flue brush from B&Q down inside the flue from the top and gave it a good clean. Soot, dust and rust came out the bottom accompanied by the emaciated remains of a fly.

10. Took the burner assembly apart taking care to note the position of the sparking electrode and the thermocouple. I took a photo with my phone to remind me.

11. I blew around the burner with compressed air. For this I used a 12v pump that I carry in the van and I sellotaped a straw to the end of end for some precision work!

12. Again bits of rust etc came out.

13. At this stage I wasn't convinced that the cleaning I had done was enough to improve the efficiency of the fridge as I didn't think enough soot, rust etc came out.

14 Then I decided to disconnect the burner unit from the copper gas line. BINGO!

15. The gas line was almost completely blocked with a kind of black powder, almost encrusted. Remember, this is in the copper gas line itself, not in the jet and burner unit. I did not touch the jet as the hole for this is precisely set so do not be tempted to stick a needle in it. Use compressed air for that.

16. Anyway, back to the copper gas line. I got a tiny panel nail and gently poked the crusty stuff and began to dislodge it, tapping the pipe to get it to fall out. The black crusty stuff went back the pipe for about half a cm. I used my handheld 12v hoover from the van, again equipped with a straw to hoover all the stuff out from the back of the fridge and pipes.

17. I began to reassemble everything. The long wire holding the baffle inside the flue was almost perished so I made a new one from a clothes hanger. However I am going to order a new one from leisureshopdirect.

18. Everything back together except the box covering the burner.

19. Connect and switched on gas and Hey Presto, Lit up wit first spark.

20. I examined the flame. Strong, powerful blue flame belting up the flue. Even heard a bit of gurgling of the chemicals getting agitated.

21. I turned down the dial on the fridge and the flame duly responded.

22. Left it for 2 hours and checked the fridge - lovely and cold, freezer nicely incing up.

23. Turned everything off.

24. Got up this morning and fired it up before going to work and put a bottle of water in.

25. Checked it this evening, 8 hours later and I could hardly drink the water it was so cold. In fairness though, I did have it whacked up full.

There you have it. Working better than ever. I have no idea what the black stuff clogging the gas pipe was so I rang a physicist friend of mine. He said it could be bacteria in the gas or a fungus or something reacting with the copper where the copper pipe and different metal of the burner and jet meet.

I don't really know except that it had no business there! Maybe someone out there could enlighten me.

Cleaning the burner and baffle will probably suffice for most fridge that are not cooling quite as they should but its worth checking the gas pipe. It certainly explained why the gas was lit but not hot enough for the cooling system as not enough gas was flowing trough the jet onto the burner.

Hope this helps.

By the way. I installed dunlop air suspension on the back axle last year and could not believe the difference.

If your van is sagging and getting blown about by trucks and is a struggle with roundabouts, don't even think twice. Fit air suspension, they're the king!! I got them from marcleleisure.co.uk


Happy Tramping

Denis Mc Donnell

:) :)[U][B][I]


We were away in van for couple of days and noticed fridge not cooling on gas and searched Craic Forum and found this excellent post. I followed instructions laid out and fridge working perfect now. This just shows how useful this Forum is. Excellent


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THANK YOU DENIS!

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Posted: 30.12.2018  ·  #11
Denis- I see that it was over 5 years ago that you posted about how you fixed your warm fridge on gas.. Well, we have a 1994 Mercedes 814D that we live in full time- and the fridge (same dometic model as yours) has been getting gradually worse over the last year or so.

Didn't want to remove the fridge so cut an access hatch through the van side to get to the back of it, followed your detailed instructions and.. now we have an insanely cold fridge! Couldn't actually believe it. And still can't.

Was imagining having to chuck it and buy new as it's 20 years old or so.. but it's now working absolutely perfectly and it's literally all thanks to you. It works so well that with the dial only on 2 is a good cold temperature for us. Carrots freeze on number 4! THANK YOU again and HAPPY NEW YEAR..
Woody

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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 30.12.2018  ·  #12
The gunge in the pipe near where the combustion takes place may be carbon as a result of incomplete combustion.

Every so often our domestic oil-fired wick burner cooker gets bungled up near where the wick are.

I know one is a gas and the other a liquid but they are both hydrocarbons.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 31.12.2018  ·  #13
It can be the result of using butane gas, which is oily by its nature.
Propane is a better gas to use even though it is slightly more expensive to buy.
Malcolm


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 31.12.2018  ·  #14
The power of real forums and not shitty garbage Facebook media.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 31.12.2018  ·  #15
Quote by Thorn123

It can be the result of using butane gas, which is oily by its nature.
Propane is a better gas to use even though it is slightly more expensive to buy.
Malcolm


I like this comment. Propane has a formula of C3H8 whereas Butane has a formula of C4H10. More carbon equals more oily.

Anyway I have the original Electrolux booklet for installation and operation of models RM4206, 4207, 4209, 4217, 4236, 4237, 4266, 4267, 4268, 4296, 4297, 4366, 4367, 4368.

Ten pages of English. Other languages available. Good diagrams.

Can email or snail mail to anybody that wants it.

PM me. Don't stick any addresses on here.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 31.12.2018  ·  #16
And just to add, most clip on cylinders are butane now and alot of older campers/ caravans are setted up for clip on systems.
Malcolm


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 05.07.2019  ·  #17
I just thought the fridges weren't great.....! Going to give this a try over the next couple of weeks!


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 29.08.2019  ·  #18
HI GUYS
I have a 1999 hyper swing and the fridge has stopped working on all 3 ways . I dont mind havin a go at fixing it but hate working with gas
specially on these old ladies any help would be great
Cheers Lillywhite


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 29.08.2019  ·  #19
Hi,
are there any coupling connectors (hand removable, not tool removable) visible when you remove the vent covers outside? Isolate all your power, 12V and 230V, decouple the connectors and reconnected them. They can sometimes get slightly corroded.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 29.08.2019  ·  #20
Quote by Lillywhite

HI GUYS
I have a 1999 hyper swing and the fridge has stopped working on all 3 ways . I dont mind havin a go at fixing it but hate working with gas
specially on these old ladies any help would be great
Cheers Lillywhite


That happened to me twice, both times it was the main board.


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 19.09.2019  ·  #21
Ignitor switch on fridge has stopped working when turning on gas what could be the problem


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 19.09.2019  ·  #22
Try lighting it manually and see if there's gas there, what type of fridge is it


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 19.09.2019  ·  #23
Quote by unhappy camper

Ignitor switch on fridge has stopped working when turning on gas what could be the problem


Is it battery powered? Manual push switch? Electronic switch?


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Re: Fridge not cooling on gas

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Posted: 19.09.2019  ·  #24
Just a red switch that starts flashing when pushed but now nothing


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