Fridge won't light first time.

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by nfisherman, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

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    I have a Dometic fridge with electronic controls in my PUP. I'm supposed to be able to turn on the fridge and choose the fuel (AC, 12v, or propane) from inside the PUP. When I set the controls to propane and turn it on, nothing happens and after a few minutes, the "check" light comes on. I can't hear the ignitor clicking.

    If I go outside and light the burner with a match, the fridge works perfectly. If I blow out the burner after I light it, the ignitor instantly sparks and lights it again.

    So, the fridge won't light by itself, but it will relight itself if I get it going the first time. Does anyone have any suggestions for places I should check?

    Thanks.
     
  2. W7AX

    W7AX ......but it's a dry heat !

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    It might be that the spacing is wrong on the ignitor. You should position yourself at the burner and have someone else turn it on so you can actually see if the ignitor is working that first time or not.
     
  3. mercman

    mercman Go Ahead, Be That Happy Camper!

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    Chances are you have air in the lines that need to purge, Are you attempting this right after you turn on the propane tank? The reason why it ignites the second time is because the air has worked it's way out of the system by then and only propane is in the lines now. Try turning on the stove first to get the air out. You'll notice for the first 30 seconds or so the flame on the lighter being pushed away before the propane makes it through the line.
     
  4. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

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    I appreciate the help, but we're not there yet. It's not the ignitor spacing because the ignitor lights the burner perfectly if I blow the flame out.

    It's not air in the lines because it lights fine with a lighter. If I turn off the flame after it's lit and let everything cool down, it won't light with the ignitor again.

    I've checked all of the fuses that I can find. I'm not sure where else to look. Does anyone have any other ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  5. heckufaguy

    heckufaguy New Member

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    Is there a flame sensor there? (Thermocouple?) Seems to me it may be flakey. Once heated up it works, yet cold it won't.
     
  6. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

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    Yes. There is a thermocouple there. I thought it was just to keep the gas flowing to the main burner, not the pilot. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. I think it's an inexpensive part. I think I'll switch it out the next time I go camping and see what happens. Thanks.
     
  7. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    Not an expert by no means, but I believe there is NO burner...what your seeing as the Pilot IS the burner.
    I would watch as someone starts it the 1st time, if it sparks, lights and goes out then I would bet its the thermocouple going bad. If it sparks and doesn't light, then I would try it again( turn off and on again)
    My Dometic sometimes wont catch the 1st time.
    Another possible thing is your regulator freezing when you 1st open the gas bottle, no gas flow, thaws and you then have gas. by burning your stove a minute before starting the fridge will rule that out.
     
  8. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

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    Duh! You're right, Yetavon. I wasn't thinking. What I meant was I thought that the thermocouple is only needed to keep the gas flowing after the flame is lit. It's always going to be cold at startup so I figured it wouldn't make a difference for my problem. My fridge works fine after I light it manually. Perhaps a new thermocouple would make a difference. I'll try a new one the next time I can get my camper out.

    It's not a frozen regulator. All of my other gas appliances are fine.

    Thanks.
     
  9. COdreaming

    COdreaming New Member

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    Yeah, but if the thermocouple is erratic of failing, it would present problems similiar to what you're experiencing.
     
  10. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    With the electric start, I would guess its on a time cycle, and after a short period if the thermocouple does not register the heat then it will shut it down.
     
  11. nfisherman

    nfisherman Member

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    The mystery has been solved. I went camping this weekend and the fridge wouldn't light on its own. I put a flame between the orifice and the burner tube and the gas blew it out. I figured that something must be obstructing the gas in the burner tube. I wiped it out with a Q-tip and the fridge works perfectly. The Q-tip looked clean so I as some there were just some spider webs in there. I can't explain why I could light it manually but not with the igniter, but that's the way it was.
     
  12. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    good to hear
     
  13. pckeen

    pckeen New Member

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    Sorry for reignighting this thread, but how do you purge the air in the lines to the fridge?
     
  14. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Run the stove for a few minutes. That gets most of the air out. The fridge may not light on the first try but it'll come along.
     

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