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dometic..on ac the refrigerator and freezer work fine. On propane…

I have a dometic NDR1062...
I have a dometic NDR1062. On AC the refrigerator and freezer work fine. On propane the freezer works and the refrigerator does not. On propane the cold plate in the freezer is 18º-32º. the cold plate in the ref is 56º upper right corner and the rest varies from 67-72.  I switched it to AC to give you the temperature on the refrigerator cold plate.  It's 11:30pm Pacific time.  I'll check it in 1 hour.
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Answered in 46 minutes by:
6/18/2012
RV Mechanic: Steve F., RVIA Certification replied 10 years ago
Steve F.
Steve F., RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Journeyman and Master RV technician, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineer. RVIA Technical Consultant
Verified

Hi,

Since the fridge works fine on AC mode but has problems on propane, this rules out the control system and cooling unit. This leaves only the propane system, which you probably already figured out, since you had the wherewithal to clean the jet and flue.

The first thing I would do, if you haven't already, is have your propane system professionally inspected. It is very important to have this done annually. The technician will check your propane system for leaks, proper pressure, and overall condition, including all your appliances. Generally, the sort of problem you are having is due to either low propane pressure or a dirty burner or orifice. You have already cleaned the burner and flue, so the problem is likely with the propane pressure or, less likely, the orifice.

The problem may also be with a faulty regulator, or oil in the system caused by propane breakdown. If there is a problem with the propane system, the fridge will often be the first appliance to exhibit a problem, due to the small size of the flame, and the importance of it's specific size.

So, the first thing I would recommend is a professional inspection of your propane system, making sure you do this annually. This inspection will rule out low propane pressure, as well as any other propane-related problem such as a faulty regulator or fridge gas problem.

I am suspecting a propane pressure or delivery problem (you do have propane in your container right? Cool). There is no viable way to check the pressure without a low pressure meter (manometer), but you can observe the flame to get some idea. It should be blue with soft yellow tips, but this is not a definitive check of the pressure.

The problem could also be related to the flue baffle. When the fridge is running on gas, a flue baffle is required to collect the heat from the flame and distribute it evenly throughout the burner tube. The baffle tube is a helix-shaped piece of sheet metal hanging by a wire inside the burner tube just above the flame. The problem is that you have to pull the fridge out to check it, since the wire is inserted from the top of the burner tube. So I would check that only after you verify that your propane pressure and fridge pilot are correct.

The other thing you can check is to unplug the thermostat. On Norcold units, unplugging the thermostat forces the fridge into maximum cool mode. You will find the thermostat connector up near the light fixture. Simply unplug the connector going to the thermostat. However, since your fridge works on AC, this probably won't make a difference, but it's a simple test.

So, first have the propane system checked, then perform the thermostat test because it's simple. Be sure to let the fridge cool down on gas for several hours, then check it to see if there is any difference in the temperature. If there is, you could replace the thermostat. If this test doesn't do anything, I would pull the fridge and check the flue baffle, it may be damaged from the flame so that it no longer functions properly. The flue baffle (or even the burner tube itself) can be damaged by excessive off-level operation of the fridge, as well as by other means.

Let me know if you require further assistance with this.

Steve F.
Steve F., RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Journeyman and Master RV technician, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineer. RVIA Technical Consultant
Verified
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