Dometic fridge not working on AC power

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by Dammitjim, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    I have a 2001 Bantam B19 with a refrigerator that isn't operating on AC power. It does work on AUTO by igniting the propane and functioning properly.
    What's interesting is that when I bought it, it seemed to be working.
    Also, the breaker box seems to be making a buzzing noise that I don't know if it's normal. Another thing is that the battery was registering 9V last night when I read it. So, I don't know if the converter might be giving me problems?
    All I know is that I'm going camping tomorrow and I need to fridge to work
    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    Does it cool on gas? Seems likely if it cools and gas,the convertor is buzzing,and the battery is no longer charging you may have a problem with that...
     
  3. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Not sure I understand your statement? What is the source of the problem?
     
  4. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Is your battery fully charged? [8D]
     
  5. salsa

    salsa New Member

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    Aug 9, 2011
    If it works on gas, then I would check it with the proper battery voltage. If that is fine, that would narrow things a bit. If it works otherwise but not on AC only, I would try connecting the fridge directly to a heavy extension cord to an outlet, not through the camper and see if that works. I had to rewire mine because the AC power in the camper was to small and would not allow proper voltage. By connecting it to larger gauge wire, it worked fine.
     
  6. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    It was not! I am charging it now, but I'm confused as to why this isn't working even though I'm plugged into 110V. I would have thought the converter will supply the 12V to the fridge's controller and so on...
     
  7. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    I agree with Salsa about trying it with the fridge plugged directly into an AC house outlet via an extension cord. If it works that way you will know that the problem lies in the trailer, probably in the converter but maybe in the wiring from the converter to (and including) the AC outlet in the control center. That converter should not be buzzing loudly.
     
  8. robctry69

    robctry69 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2011
    i dont think the converter will have anything to do with it not working on 110
     
  9. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    I'll give that a try tomorrow morning (using AC from the house directly on the fridge). I just tried hooking it back up with a fully charged battery and it was a no go.
     
  10. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    robctry69, the converter is the "source" of the 110 AC for the fridge in the trailer. External AC power comes into the PUP via the converter, which then sends it out into the various circuits. The fridge's trailer outlet is on one of those circuits. If the converter is fritzing up somehow it might be the cause of the problem. Determining if the fridge will run when on a direct external AC line will provide valuable information.
     
  11. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
    You might want to check the outlet the fridge is plugged into - should be a GFI...which could have tripped. You can also bypass the outlet via an extension cord to see if it's the fridge or circuit breakers of the camper.
     
  12. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    I measured 110V at the outlet where the fridge connects to, so I don't think there is a problem there unless the surge is too high and for some reason it can't handle it? I'm getting the feeling that the controller isn't "sensing" the AC power and that's why it's switching to gas automatically?
     
  13. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Surge? These fridges do not have compressors (they work via gas absorption) so what surge do you mean?
     
  14. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    The power surge... like how much current it needs to run.
     
  15. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    When the fridge runs on AC or DC power the electricity is just used to heat up an element inside, to cause the ammonia to go to the gaseous state. There is no big starting "load" to cover like there is with the compressor in an air conditioner or regular fridge.
     
  16. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks unstable tripod... then I don't know what else could be the problem besides the motherboard. There is 110V at the outlet where the fridge connects and I can see the control panel on the front of the fridge working (I'm assuming that's 12V DC). Any other suggestions? It's like the motherboard doesn't detect that there is 110V available and that's why it switches to gas automatically.
     
  17. 14erfam

    14erfam Member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    From the description, it sounds like the converter is the culprit. It should not be buzzing, and it should also keep a fully charged battery fully charged. Do the other 110 outlets in the camper work? Do the lights work? Furance?(make sure the camper is plugged into shore power before you test these, also disconnect the battery so you can observe what the converter is/isn't doing).

    Sometimes, the ground for the converter can also get muddy and cause a connection problem. Its usually a fat copper wire protruding from the floor beneath the camper, and screwed into the frame somewhere. Makes sure its clean.

    Also check the converter's fuses.
     
  18. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    I should have mentioned all these things.
    Yes, the lights work when connected to 110V AC and on just 12V DC (but they are dimmer).
    I am not sure if the battery is getting charged properly. I'm actually going to take this used battery to Advanced Auto Parts and have it checked to make sure is good to go, but I don't know how this would not make the fridge work on 110V AC.
    I haven't gotten to play with the furnace, yet.
    I disconnected the battery and tried to run the fridge off 110V AC and it switched to gas as well so no difference.
    I will have to look for this ground...
     
  19. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    So you are saying it does not cool on gas then?

    The comment on the convertor was a generic one. It should not buzz loudly indicating a problem.
    If the fridge does cool on gas but not on ac power then you can narrow down the problem.If it does not cool on gas well that is a totally set of steps to troubleshoot.


    If the fridge will not cool on gas (and the burner is working) it will not cool on AC.

    1.Try bypassing the convertor with a direct line (extension cord) as suggested earlier if it cools you know the problem is in the PUP if it does not cool you know the problem is in the fridge.

    2.From there you can try on gas. If it cools then you have an electrical problem with the fridge if it does not you may have a problem with the gas system in the PUP

    3.Try to light stove.Did it light? if yes you most likely do not have a problem with the LP system in the PUP if no check tank.

    4. Tank Full if yes disconnect and reconnect return to step 3 if no fill tank return to step 3 if no replace regulator return to step 3 when stove lights try the fridge again

    5.Check fridge for cooling on gas if not cooling check to make sure pilot is lit if pilot is lit and still not cooling remove fridge (after disconnecting all electric and gas lines) turn upside down for 24 hrs and try again.

    Just so you are aware these "fridges" are not the best at cooling and can take a long time to cool down so you could be looking at a 3-4 day process to troubleshoot this properly and also be aware that they cool best and most efficiently using gas.
     
  20. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks Hacksaw. The fridge does work on gas and that's what I ended up using this past weekend.
    What does the converter do for the fridge? My fridge is a 2-way only.
    I am reading 110V AC at the outlet where the fridge connects so what does that tell me?
     

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