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Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 11039
Experience:  RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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The Americana Dometic fridge will not start on AC power. It

Customer Question

The Americana Dometic fridge will not start on AC power. It makes 3 attempts and pops the GFI breaker. It did start on LP, I saw the flame and let it run a while. The floor of the freezer did feel as if it was getting colder but I put a thermometer inside and it didnt seem to get below 60 degres. Not sure what to expect as far as how fast the fridge-freezer should start cooling down. Does it take 24 hours to bring down to working temp? Also is there a fan that should come on to circulate air? I didnt hear anything except the burner going during this time. I am handy with a multimeter and I am starting to get info on what to check. I do have a diognostic service manual for this Americana Dometic fridge -model 2652.
The trailer is a used 97 Prowler 19'travel trailer that I just purchased. All the other systems work great so far. I have new batterys and full LP tanks. The trailer had been winterized and this was part of my work on getting the water sytem buttoned up from the previous owner, staring the furnace, stove & oven. Air conditioner worked fine as well.
That leave the fridge to sort out.
Im convinced it will work...(thats the optimist in me) with just some cleaning, hope Im right.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
Hi: Thank you for coming to Just Answer with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX perhaps I can assist you with this issue.

I would check the AC element may be shorted out. It can take about 12 to 14 hours to equalize the temps if this has been sitting for some time. Go HERE for a copy of the Service Manual for this model. I would print out a copy as there is a bunch of great information in there. Also check the LP pressure as it is probably low and that will affect the cooling. This should be checked at least once a year. This is at the regulator. You can take it off and into a shop to be checked and adjusted. Clean the flue once a year as well.

If it won't cool down..........turn it off and let it sit overnight and then restart it. Be sure it is within 3 degrees of level. Very important!

Please get back to me if you need more help in this. Follow up questions are included in our fee. R.J.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Randall,


I dont understand everything Im looking at. It fires immeadiatley on gas, no problem, appears to function correctly.

However on AC it dosent make a sound and pops the GFI.


What I see clearly and understand is the gas valve, the electrodes, the flu ect.

What I dont see is the device that I think should be there such as an electric coil or something that is powered by AC that would make heat to replicate the gas portion of the system.

Should I see something in clear view that is powered by AC very near or just above the gas valve and burner attached to the flu?

Also there is a blue wire not pluged in but I believe this is a test lead according to the wiring diagram.

Also my circuit board only has 2 fuses not 3 as I see in the diognostic service manual.


I took 2 pictures to show you what Im looking at.




Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
Did you click on that manual link I gave you? That has a description and drawings of all this. You have what is called a "pudding" board........nicknamed from the appearance of vanilla pudding around all the components. They weren't good when they were brand new!
An upgrade to a Dinosaur Electronics control board would be a big help. In the meantime, take a look at the upper photo and see those two heavy black wires that go to the pencil like object sticking out of the stack above the burner. This is the heating element. On of the fuses on the control board usually blows first before the breaker is thrown. Usually the heating element is shorted out. You can test this with a multimeter. Take the leads off the control board and take a reading between them. The ohms reading should be about 44 oms as I recall. The manual gives you the ones for each model. Then take a reading between each one and a ground on the fridge.........the stack will work fine. Any reading there shows a short. That tin "door" has to be removed and the heating element is wiggled back and forth while pulling upward to get it out of the holder. Install it the same way. Most all RV shops will carry these if that one is bad. It can also be a short in the control board. If the element is fine then this is the next most likely cause. A new Dinosaur board is about $150 or so. Superior product to the OEM board in every way and has an outstanding warranty.

Please get back to me with you findings. R.J.
Randall and 4 other RV Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will do.
I will let you know what I find out.

Thank you!
Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
I am here every day except Saturdays. I will watch for your post. R.J.
Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the nice bonus...........much appreciated! Please tell your friends about our service here at Just Answer. Most of the time we can get you an immediate answer to your problem and save you a bunch of $$$ besides. Be safe...........R.J.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So I take you agree with the findings?

Your very welcome!
Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
I didn't get the post on the findings...............what were they?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
lol... well that explains it. I sent it, I guess it didnt go through.
This what i found out.

My readingsfor the element were 40.5 ohms, book calls for 44 ohms at room temp. Its 55 degress here in Oregon and that puts my reading at +/- 10%. So i take it as being accurate,
The ground test of the leads were zero. So that means the element is good and should work.
So it looks like I need a Dinossaur circuit board to replace the pudding board.


Any place I should for the new circuit board?

Thanks again for your help, invaluable.

Expert:  Randall replied 6 years ago.
To test that theory take the leads off on the board for the heating element and check to see if it throws the breaker. If so, then you would be correct. And you need to change that out in any event. Let me know what you find. R.J.

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