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Author Topic: refrigerator issues  (Read 1538 times)


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refrigerator issues
« on: December 05, 2014, 10:36:18 PM »
We are new full timers living in ND (very cold here).
Recently we were gone for the day and came home to a froze up unit. Not sure if it was because my husband put a big box in the fridge or due to cold weather.
We allowed it over a week to defrost, put heat tape inside tje outter panel and it started working again.  It has only been turned on for one day and i already see moisture dripping off the fins in the fridge and a thin layer of frost on the back of the freezer.
I dont know what to do, i need my fridge.
Please help

Jim Godward

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Re: refrigerator issues
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 10:52:45 PM »
One of the things we hear about is to put a heat source in the back of the refer like a light bulb or small heater, 100 to 200 watts in my mind.  Maybe some who have actually lived in cold weather will comment.
Jim & Pat Godward
Hillsboro, Oregon

Lou Schneider

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Re: refrigerator issues
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2014, 11:45:48 PM »
Back of the fridge means adding some heat to the compartment behind the refrigerator, where the external cooling tubes are located.   An absorption refrigerator works by boiling the refrigerant, the cooling comes when it condenses back to liquid form inside the refrigerator.

In really cold weather the boiler can't generate enough heat and the refrigerant condenses before it gets inside the fridge.  So you want to raise the temperature behind the refrigerator a bit so things can flow the way they're supposed to.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 11:47:38 PM by Lou Schneider »

John From Detroit

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Re: refrigerator issues
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 05:56:48 AM »
Many RV fridges have a L.A.T. Switch (low ambient temp) This overrides the door switch so the light stays on.

Mine does not, but when I needed it I simply shorted the switch with a jumper lead and ... It worked.

NOTE: I blew a fuse before I figured out the proper way to short the switch.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: refrigerator issues
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 07:24:31 AM »
It is not clear to me that you are lacking cooling - frost build-up indicates the cooling unit is working fine. If that is so, you don't need to add heat behind the fridge as some have suggested. That solution is for lack of cooling inside the fridge and freezer during very cold weather.

Frost and condensation inside the fridge indicates that moist air is getting inside. It freezes makes frost) in the freezer but simply condenses to water in the fridge section. The cause is usually a damaged door seal, but it seems off that both fridge and freezer doors developed a leak at the same time. Another possibility is that some very moist things were placed in the fridge - the give up the moisture in the chilled air.

Another possibility is that the fridge temperature control has gone into back-up mode. This happens in some models when the thermister (interior temperature sensor) stops reporting. The controller switches to max cooling to make sure the food doesn't spoil. What make & model fridge is it?  This feature - and how to deal with it - varies by model.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL