Amonia smell from refrigerator

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tcs7775

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Posts
8
I have a 93 class c fourwinds.After returning from a trip the whole camper began to smell of amonia. So bad it would burn your eyes immedately upon entering. Through the process of elimination I figured out it was coming from the frig. I unplugged it and the smell eventually went away. Today upon plugging the thing in the amonia smell immedately came back and the unit was making girgling sounds. Anyone have a clue as to what is going on?? Thanks Todd
P.S> The frig is cleaned out with nothing in it.
 

Ken Tarkin

New member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Posts
3
Unfortunately you have a leak in your cooling system. The situation can only be rectified in one of two ways: 1) replace the cooling system and 2) replace the refrigerator.

It is quite expensive to replace the cooling system and ususally only worth while if the refrigerator is fairly new. Last time I checked the difference in price was about $400.

Sorry for the bad news.

Ken Tarkin (currently in Lebanon, Ohio)
 

donnabeck

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
1
Must be the age.  We have a 1992 Kountry Star and last August (2005) had exactly the same thing happen.  Unfortunately we opened the fridge door to "make sure" that is where the smell was coming from.  Man, that stuff could kill ya. 

We decided that due to the age, we may as well replace the entire unit.  Very glad we did as the new one is much nicer in several ways.  One thing I did do was call my local motor home fix-it place first to get a quote from them.  After listening to their spiel, I went on-line and found several MUCH lower prices.  Took what I found to them & they used one of the places for their source to get the new unit.  Saved us about $300.  Good luck.

Donna
'92 KSDP
 

Ernie Ekberg

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,549
Mine did the same thing- lots of ammonia smell and cleaning out your sinus and all your relatives at the same time. Took old unit out, and since we didn't have over a thousand bucks laying around, bought a house type refer. with a little modification, fits perfectly and looks good and runs quiet. This is the 3rd coach to do this to. Ernie driving a wanderlodge
 

Gottasmilealot

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Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Posts
324
Location
PA
That's a very serous situation health-wise, caused by refrigerant (ammonia) leak.? That's not your basic household ammonia.? Shut off the unit and have it serviced.? It might be a connection or component leak that can be repaired, as it sounds like it's only leaking when it's running, based on the way I understand the question.? A leak elsewhere would probably have had all the refrigerant all leak out, making the refrigerator cease to cool.? The repair might be simple, but the potential health issues severe.
 

Chet18013

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,859
Location
Full time in RV. Home is where we are parked
The first coooling unit in our 91 Beaver refrigerator failed in four years because the original owner had only used it when in the MH, and otherwise shut it off. The coils are steel and are subgect to corrosion from condensation when not in use. I replaced the cooling unit  in '95 and the refrigerator has never been turned off since, except to defrost it. It is still going strong. If you have power available when you RV is not in use, why not leave the fridge running on electricity. It will use very little, especially since it is not opened and closed very often. This will help minimize the effects of corrosion on the coils. You hardly ever hear of a full timer who has a cooling coil failure, because their fridges are never turned off.

Chet18013
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,100
Location
Davison Michigan
On paper the fix is simple.  New fridge.

Your cooling uint has sprung a leak, IN a very very few cases they can be fixed, however I would not count on it.

It is possible to replace just the cooling unit (The part of the fridge that makes things cold) without replacing the entire fridge however it often costs more for the labor to do that than to simply pull and replace the fridge.

So you need a new fridge.

Now things get interesting.  If you don't mind the cost Norcold has some new compressor units,  These things run on about 30-40 watts of electricity,  Very efficent.  Very pricey.  But very good

Compressor units (Such as you have at home) do not use ammonia.  They also do not run on propane

Absorption cooling uints do use Ammonia, and do run on propane.  Both have their advantages
 
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