Check Light on Reefer

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rsalhus

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While going down the road today, our MH refrigerator (Dometic New Horizons 12 CF Side by Side) check light came on while running on LPG.  Turned it off, then on, and worked for awhile and then check light came on again.  Happened several times, each time seemingly lasting a shorter amount of time than the previous.  Got to campground, tried one more time before hooking up AC, and it worked fine.  Only ran it for about 10 minutes since AC hookup switched reefer to AC.  I was thinking the wind may have been blowing out the flame while going down the (bumpy) highway (it was pretty windy today around Dalhart, TX.)  Anyone have similar problems or know what may cause the check light to come on while moving but work OK when stopped?
 

Karl

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If it works o.k. on shore power, there are a few things that might be wrong when on LP. First, you might be out of propane. If other appliances (stove, furnace) work o.k., you can eliminate that. Secondly, there may be something clogging the exhaust for the fridge; like spider or wasp nests. Make sure that's not the problem. Thirdly, the thermocouple (which senses the burner flame) might be out of alignment with the burner flame - not too likely, but possible. You can check this visually. Lastly, the controller board, which ignites the flame and senses proper ignition, might be faulty. This is not an unusual problem. If it turns out to be the controller board, Dinosaur Electronics has replacement boards, about $100, to fix the problem. They don't sell directly to the public, but almost any rv repair/parts dealer will either have them or can order them quickly.

Wind problem is not likely. Is it running now on a.c. without problems?
 

rsalhus

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Karl,

Plenty of LPG.  Stove and water heater work on LPG too.  Refrigerator works with LPG when stopped, doesn't work on LPG when moving down the road.  Running now on a.c.  Loose thermocoupler maybe?
 

Ron

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I have found that this condition can be the result of spider webs in the burner tube.  Seems to allow it to become more susceptible to wind.  Unfortunately these webs frequently cannot be removed with air but require cleaning the burner tube with a small bottle or test tube brush.  For additional clarification these webs are deposited in the tube where the air and propane get mixed before the actual burner.
 

rsalhus

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OK, thanks guys.  I'm having the same problem today, fridge runs on LP just fine when stopped, check lite comes on when on the road.  I pulled the outside lid off and looked inside, but don't know how to get at the burner tube.  I can follow the gas line to the left but don't know exactly where the burner tube is.  Do I have to remove something first?  Don't see anything in Livingston's book either.  Running on AC now with no problems.
 

Karl

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You should see a gas line going behind a baffle plate of sorts. Should be removable with a couple of screws/hex nuts. Don't expect to find a large burner like in a furnace; it will be more like a pilot light. That's all it takes! There will also be a small, usually copper or brass tube in the same area. That will be the thermocouple. Make sure the end of the thermocouple is directly above and in the heat of the tiny flame. If everything looks o.k., and the flame burns but shuts off after a minute or two, chances are the problem is either the thermocouple itself or the controller board which senses the output of the thermocouple. If it's the board, you will need to remove it and have it tested by an rv repair facility. Thermocouples are easily replaced and available at the same rv place for a few dollars. You can do that yourself.
 

rsalhus

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Thanks Karl.  Still think it's got something to do with bouncing around while going down the road since it works fine when parked.  I'm gong to look at it a little closer now that I'm at an RV park for awhile, but it sure doesn't look like any gas burner I've looked at before.  I suppose I will have to shut the fridge down and probably disconnect the shore power and shut off the gas valve before I start digging around in there.  The wife won't be too happy to hear that.  Don't see a burner tube in the Dometic manual either.  Guess that terminology is only used for Norcold.
 

Ron

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To see the burner you will most likely have to remove a cover.  the burner tube is connected to the line from the valve that also has the line from  thermocouple connected to it.  The burner end has 5 0r 6 slots that are positioned under the boiler and exhaust. This is the burner and the flame is not much larger than a pilot light. The other end of the burner tube that is closest to the valve has holes for air to enter and mix with the propane.  Sometimes spiders like to build some webs in the tube between the air inlets and the burner when the burner is not in use while connected to shore power which can change the air flow.  If this occurs the burner will usually work just fine when setting still but is easily extinguished when in motion.  Usually a small bottle brush or similar will be required to remove any webs.

Hope this helps.
 

rsalhus

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Ron,

Yes, that helps, thanks for the description.  I'm thinking that spiders may be the cause of the problem.  Now all I have to do is to find me a small bottle brush or similar item.  No sense trying to get at the burner tube until I get my hands on that type of brush.  Where would one find such an item?
 

Ron

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rsalhus said:
Ron,

Yes, that helps, thanks for the description.? I'm thinking that spiders may be the cause of the problem.? Now all I have to do is to find me a small bottle brush or similar item.? No sense trying to get at the burner tube until I get my hands on that type of brush.? Where would one find such an item?

The last time I bought onewas at a hardware store.  you may be able to use a pice of wire with a small loop on the end.
 
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