How to troubleshoot a dometic fridge

Written by chyrene pendleton
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How to troubleshoot a dometic fridge
Keep your Dometic fridge operating safely in your RV by troubleshooting it when issues arise. (Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Sold in almost 100 countries around the world, Dometic refrigerators come in a wide range of sizes and styles for recreational vehicles and hotel/motels, from the upscale "Elite" models with four doors to portable refrigerators for smaller items you want to keep cool or freeze. As an absorption unit, a Dometic refrigerator runs quietly on electricity with three-way power of 12V and 24V DC, 110V AC and gasoline A Dometic refregerator has no moving motor parts. Knowing how to troubleshoot your Dometic fridge can help you maintain safe, enjoyable experiences while you're on the road.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Test bench

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Ensure you have the thermostat knob in the "On" position and the circuit breaker for your Dometic refrigerator in the "On" position if your appliance will not operate.

  2. 2

    Locate the Load Dump module on the left side of the refrigerator compressor (when facing it) for proper installation on the Danfoss Module, just beneath the Load Dump module, if your refrigerator does not operate. The Load Dump module contains the power input, and the Danfoss Module is the electrical control unit. When installed properly, the three pins on the Load Dump module will align with the Danfoss Module's top three pins.

  3. 3

    Check to see if you have your refrigerator near a source of heat. Remove it from the heat area if so. Determine whether your refrigerator door does not seal properly if items in your refrigerator do not remain cold.

  4. 4

    Turn the power to your refrigerator to the "Off" position to defrost the freezer and allow the ice to melt. Ice build-up around and inside the freezer can cause your refrigerator to fail to keep items chilled.

  5. 5

    Ensure that your Dometic refrigerator temperature remains around 1.11 to 4.44 degrees Celsius. Place your refrigerator on a test bench, turn it on, then allow your unit to run for an hour if your refrigerator's temperature increases. Check behind your refrigerator to see if a build-up of ice around the cap tube exists, which indicates a blockage; or to see if water condensation exists around the strainer, which means the system contains moisture. The cap tube looks like a vertical copper coil; immediately next to it stands the strainer. Replace your Dometic refrigerator if you see ice or water condensation in these areas.

Tips and warnings

  • Call Dometic at 800-544-4881 if you need spare parts or service for your refrigerator. Have your model number handy, which you can find on the dataplate in the back of the unit, or inside of the refrigerator on the right panel, depending on the model.
  • Evacuate everyone from the RV and ventilate the area if your Dometic refrigerator experiences a leak of refrigerant gas. Keep open flames away from the leak, since the refrigerant gas turns into deadly gases when burnt. Wear eye protection and long sleeves when servicing your refrigerator -- the refrigerant can cause major frost burn to your eyes and skin.
  • Never sleep in a closed area with your Dometic refrigerator running, since deadly gases can release from your refrigerator if the exhaust system fails.
  • Arrange to have your fridge inspected each year to ensure that it operates safely, since your unit can become dangerous from a build-up of carbon monoxide from improper maintenance.

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