Dometic manufactures refrigerators designed for use in travel trailers, RVs, fifth wheel campers and boats. These refrigerators can typically run off of electricity or propane gas so that they can be used during travel. If the refrigerator installed in your trailer or boat does not maintain a constant temperature it can lead to spoilage. Meats and dairy products that have not been stored at a safe temperature can cause food poisoning. Diagnose the problem so that you can repair the refrigerator and get back to relaxing in your camper or boat.
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Things you need
Give the refrigerator ample time to cool. If the refrigerator is empty it can take several hours to cool. If you have recently placed aluminium cans in the refrigerator that were not cold, the temperature inside the refrigerator will temporarily rise.
Check the rubber gaskets on the refrigerator doors for damage. Replace worn, cracked or torn seals. Wait several hours and check the temperature inside the refrigerator.
Test the power sources. Switch the refrigerator to run on electricity and then switch it to run on propane gas. If the refrigerator runs on electricity but not gas, check the gas bottles. If the refrigerator does not work on electricity but it runs on gas, it could be a problem with the controls. Replace the controls.
Check the refrigerator to determine if it is level. Place a level on the refrigerator door to see how level the refrigerator is sitting. Level the trailer, if needed. Test the temperature inside the refrigerator in a couple of hours.
Examine the refrigerator vents and remove all debris. Remove any objects near the vents that may impede air flow. Allow the refrigerator to cool for several hours before testing the temperature.
Check the area for unusual odours. An ammonia smell is caused by a leaking cooling unit. Replace the defective cooling unit.
Check the area for yellow powder. The presence of yellow powder indicates a leak in the cooling unit. Replace the cooling unit.
Check the temperature of the cooling unit. A unit that is warm or hot on a refrigerator that will not cool must be replaced.
Refrigerator is Not Cold
Examine the cooling unit. If the refrigerator makes a bubbling sound, the cooling unit is leaking or the hydrogen has escaped. Replace the cooling unit.
Inspect the cooling unit. An unusual smell indicates a leak. The cooling unit must be replaced.
Examine the area around the refrigerator. The presence of a yellow powder is indicative of a cooling unit leak. Replace the cooling unit.
Switch the refrigerator from gas to electric and back. If the light goes off, it was most likely caused by changing the power source. There is no need for concern.
Inspect the power source. If the light is triggered when the power is changed from electricity to propane gas, ensure that the propane tank is not empty. Switch a stove burner on for several minutes to remove air from the gas lines. Change the power source back to electricity and then to gas and test the light.
Replace the power board on the refrigerator. Certain models have controls that are located at the top of the refrigerator that may overheat.
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