another frig question

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by curtisimo81, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    Ok I've searched and searched on here about my problem, but haven't found any answers. I bought my PUP about two weeks ago and have been "fixing" it up. Today I was working on the roof and had the frig going all day and it never got cold. When I first bought it I left if plugged in for about 3 hours and you could tell a noticible difference. I am trying to run off AC because I'm not quite sure about the propane. I have a friend that is going to bring over a sniffer next week to make sure I have no leaks on the propane. Until then I'm kind of leary about using the propane. The camper is a 98 coleman. Why would it work one day and not work anymore.. Should I hear any noise while its on? Bc I dont hear anything. I really dont need the propane feature b/c my wife won't "boondock camp" but is there anything I'm missing. My camper is level also. I'm thinking of just disconecting the gas lines and putting a walmart frig in thats 110. Whats your thoughts on this? Thank you for your any info you may have.
     
  2. battr23

    battr23 New Member

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    There should not be any noise when running. Are you running it from AC? If so, test to be sure the outlet the fridge is plugged into has power. It could be a tripped GFCI located on another outlet or similar. Check the breakers in the converter as well.

    I would stay away from a standard minifridge for multiple reasons. It will make noise and possibly vibration from the compressor. It really isn't designed for the abuse it will see in a trailer & the venting may not be adequate. The door won't latch for travel. You won't be able to run off DC during travel. You may not be boondocking, but propane comes in very handy even at established campgrounds when you get a site without AC. I have used mine many times at state parks in that situation. Unhooking the gas line will then require capping it properly to still allow safe gas use to the other appliances. I think pulling it out is more work than its worth and you may miss the features once you switch. I'd troubleshoot and try to fix the existing one.
     
  3. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I have a 98 Coleman Cheyenne. I haven't been able to locate any breakers. I will check to see if the plug has power tomorrow. I didnt think of it tripping.. The issue I have is when I tested it, it was really cold outside so Im assuming the frig was getting colder, but I'm wondering if it was just cold because of the weather outside. I'm just worried about using the gas because the camper set up for about 3 years with no use, however, it is in good shape. What should I look for if I decide to test the propane out? I am new to the whole camper aspect. I have camped with a camper with my parents a long time ago. I would ask them but they have passed and I don't know anyone to ask..lol I went to a camper place and they were like just bring it in and we will tell you what you need. (yeah I bet..) lol
     
  4. battr23

    battr23 New Member

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    I am not familiar with that coleman, but the breakers should be in the power converter inside, most likely under a bench or something. The GFCI may be on one of the interior outlets & might be linked to the fridge outlet. As far as propane, you would want to pressurize the lines, and check all of the connections with a soapy water or leak detection solution to be sure there are no leaks causing bubbles to form. There will be connections near the tank and regulator, under the camper and entering each appliance.
     
  5. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Use soapy water at all the connection points (water heater,furnace,fridge) if it bubbles with the gas on its leaking if it doesn't it isn't. Using lp on the fridge is the most efficient method if cooling it, it is a gas absorption refrigerator. When the gas (ammonia)
    is heated is when it cools. You can heat the gas electrically (ac or dc) or using fire. Things that can cause a gas absorption refrigerator to stop functioning are quite limited either no heat or no gas or a blockage in the coils. A blockage in the coils will keep the ammonia from flowing through halting cooling. Do the coils get hot at all ? From bottom to top or hot on one end and not on the other ? That would indicate a blockage (it's very likely that is why it worked and then didn't something broke free in the coils and blocked them) If that's the problem many remove the fridge and turn it upside down for 24-48 hrs sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Many years ago the fridge in my class c quit working on a trip I was worried I would either have to replace it ($1000 I didn't have) but stopped into an rv place. The old boy working there said "wang on the coils a lil bit" so I did ...got a chunk of wood and banged on the coils (all at once and not real hard) and i'll be damned if it didn't work.
    Think Outside !- No Box Required.
     
  6. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I will try the soap test, can I do that by just turning on the propane and leaving the power off (to make sure theres no sparks). Will it work like that? Also I will give the whole turning the frig upside a try. I haven't checked to see if the coils are warm or not. I just figured it was working because over a 4 hour period it did feel like it was coolng, but like I said it was pretty cool outside (50-55) and I felt heat from the back of frig at the top access panel. But today it was on for 6 hours and nothing wasnt cool and no heat. I will check at the inverter and check to see if the coils are getting warm tomorrow. I just need to get this thing ready for next weekend.. Thanks again for all your help.
     
  7. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    The Coleman fridge is pretty easy. I have had 2 Colemans so far (1997 and 2000) and have never had any problem with the propane system.

    The fridge is just plugged into a standard outlet for 120v AC. If you open the access door on the outside you will see the plug in the outlet. Just plug a light or radio into the plug and see if it is working.

    Once it is on for awhile you will feel a little heat from the top vent, but it is sometimes hard. I like to put a thermometer in the fridge to actually know it is working. I usually expect about 12 hours though before I notice it cooling by just feeling it.

    I also 'think' the fridge works better on propane. It could just be me, but my fridges seem to cool faster and get colder on the propane system rather than 120v ac. just my [2C]
     
  8. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    Thank you all for the tips. I just checked it this morning. No power at the plug!! Find the GFCI plug and wouldn't you know its was tripped. Pushed it in and wola power and I know have heat coming from the back of the frig!! Still Leary about the propane. I have to finish the top (re coating it) and then I think I might take the plunge and test the propane. Thank you again for all your help!!
     
  9. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    Ok so I just went out and it has tripped the GFCI again. I plugged it straight into an industial cord plugged to my house and its tripping that GFCI. AHH... Any thoughts? I will be uploading some pictures to see what your thoughts are about using the gas in the condition it is in.
     
  10. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    [​IMG]

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  11. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    I dont think it should be that rusty...
     
  12. badgamuss

    badgamuss Member

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    With all of that rust, could there be a bad ground?
     
  13. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    I don't even know where to begin looking
     
  14. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    If it were me, I would be more than tempted to pull that out and work on carefully cleaning off the rust and repainting the painted parts. That is way more rust than I would trust to operate. If fact, I'm not sure I would operate it as that is a lit of corrosion

    Pulling it out might be your best bet on getting to the issue.
     
  15. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    I would guess the heater may be shot. You should be able to verify this by disconnecting the heater wires from the connections and checking the OHMs resistance. From what I saw on a google search it isn't very common but can happen. Others have found the switch to be bad. I'm just guessing but is it a Norcold 323 fridge?

    And I would have no fear running it off of propane, but you may have to get the burner out and clean the orifices to make it work. My buddies fridge looked like yours with all the rust and he had never used it on propane. We cleaned the burner with a small screwdriver and it ran like a top.

    Look at the install manual http://www.thetford.com/HOME/PARTS/NorcoldIncRefrigerators/GasElectricRefrigerators/322323Series/tabid/472/Default.aspx and on the last page it has the wiring diagram. Part 92 is the 120 V heater.
     
  16. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    I decided to clean burner and test propane. After about 5 mins I figured it out. Lol. Been going for a about an hour and is already getting cold!!! Glad to have that taken care of. Tested stove and works just fine. Now I need it to get warm to test ac. Thanks for all your help. Btw what would cause that rust like that?
     
  17. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I see you're from Florida. Do you know if the PUP was used at the beach much? It would be from exposure to the elements and over time and/or corrosive spray to bring on corrosion like that. I would keep an eye out for pinhole leaks, which is why I say I would pull it out and clean it up and repaint - and extend the life of the fridge.
     
  18. curtisimo81

    curtisimo81 New Member

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    I agree with you. That's why I've been Leary about using the gas. I think I'm going to pull it out and attempt to clean it up. Now can I re paint it? If so what would be best? Rustoleum high temp?
     
  19. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    After cleaning up the rust, mask off the parts that don't need painting, especially the controls and burner. Not for this exact purpose, but I use Rust Oleum's Engine Enamel with great success. I'm not sure there's much difference in formulation from other high heat paints of theirs, but I'm a sucker for marketing - thinking the environment of an engine compartment has to be worse than what a refrigerator compartment deals with.
     
  20. Mickeyrv

    Mickeyrv Week day camping is great

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    [TV] [HYC] The Coleman campers (2) that I used to have did not have circuit breakers, they had fuses which are very easy to test. Maybe one of them just stopped working. Also. On one Coleman 3 way the manual said that propane and D.C. electric operation bypassed the fridge thermostat. Only A.C. operation used the thermostat, which by the way is the same as the Dometic fridge in my new HTT starcraft camper. Propane will get it to cool the quickest and if left on propane only, freezing inside the fridge may occur. It does in my starcraft. I use propane to pre-cool the fridge (couple hours only) then turn to A.C. when connected to electric at home. I always use D.C. when traveling and then back to A.C. once at the CG if available, propane if not. I also found out the hard way that if you smell ammonia in the fridge (front or back) the unit is toast and needs to be replaced.
     

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