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Old 10-11-2017, 11:07 PM   #1
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Dometic Americana LP/electric fridge not working properly

I have a 2004 sunline Solaris T2199. In gas and battery operation the check light on the fridge keeps coming on after it initial starts and runs for a bit. There is no air in the line, propane is full and batteries are charged and running, camper is level. Fuses and breakers are fine as well. Piolit light was running at one point but then it seemed to stop igniting after turning it off and then back on after the check light came on. Any thoughts? Could it be the batteries? One battery is new and the other is old could that be affecting it working properly? Any help is grately appreciated thanks so much!
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:13 AM   #2
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Hi Anne Marie,

The check light on your fridge is to declare a flame fault. And this fault only works on the LP gas setting (running on gas) and not the electric setting. The fault means, either the flame never started when gas was flowing or the flame was working and then went out when gas was flowing. The system knows when it opens the gas valve and the flame needs to show up soon after or a safety fault is detected and shuts the gas valve back down and turns on the fault light.

While the fridge does need the proper voltage to operate, and one new battery with one old battery may create an issue pending the condition of the older battery, we need some other info first to help hone in on the problem.

A few questions.

1. Have you tested the fridge on the electric mode and does it work OK? Means you are plugged into shore power, the fridge is turned on, the "automatic" light is on and the, LP gas button is not pressed on.

If number 1 works correctly, that a good part of the fridge control board is working OK.

2. Since turning the gas on at the tanks, how many times has the "check light" come on? Did you turn the fridge off and then try again and if so how many other check light faults came up? The check light will go out when you turn the fridge off (it resets) and then it will try again 3 times to light before it goes into fault again and turns on the light. It takes time to bleed out the air in the line feeding the fridge as the fridge uses so little gas. The stove burner can be working but it still takes more time to purge out the gas line to the fridge. Sometimes 2 and up to 3 check light cycles may be needed until the fridge lights.

3. Is this camper new to you?

4. When was the last time the fridge worked correctly on LP gas?

5. Is this the first time you have tried the fridge on LP gas since you owned it?

Once we know some more on questions 1 to 5 above, we can help better. The next steps pending those answers get into more troubleshooting the fridge itself mechanically. There are a few things mechanically and electrically that can cause the check light fault. We can talk to them however you will need someone with a basic background in electricity, ideally a volt meter and some gas experience to take those next steps.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:12 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for your reply John. To answer your ?'s 1. Yes fridge works fine on electric. 2. Yes there was more then 3 times the check light came on lost count after awhile it just continued to happen over and over after resetting it. 3. Camper is new to us this year 4. I am not sure it ever worked properly on gas for more then a days time. We only camp on the weekends and usually it starts acting up after a day or so. Last owners only used electric with it to my knowledge 5. No this isn't the first time on gas maybe the 4th?
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:52 PM   #4
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Sounds like a low voltage issue, possibly caused by the battery situation. I bought an Exide battery from BJs that would discharge overnight after shutting down generator. In the morning, the check light would be on. Defective battery. Replaced with better brand from Batteries Plus. No problems since.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:03 PM   #5
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Ok thank you. I will get a new battery and see what happens after that. Appreciate your time
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:06 AM   #6
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Hi Anne Marie,

OK, thanks for the answers that helps. This now points to a possible power issue OR the gas burner system is having issues.

On the power, since the fridge runs just fine when you are plugged into shore power, then helps tell is the majority of the fridge itself is working.

If you want to confirm that your battery may be part of the problem, plug the camper into shore power this way the power converter is running and creating a lot of 12 volt power. Then turn on the fridge, the Auto light should be on. Then press the "gas" button and the Auto light will go out but the fridge is still on, just running on gas only. If you open the door, the inside fridge light should be on. Now you have all the power you need from the power converter and running on gas.

The gas burner should now start and light. And stay lit. No check light should come on. If the check light still comes on, then this may help rule out the battery and the issue is in the gas burner. If there is no check light, and the gas burner is still going well, then this points to your battery as the problem. The system can run fine on the power converter but not on battery.

If the fridge still will not work right on gas when the plugged into shore power, then odds are high the gas burner area can be dirty, has a mechanical problem with the placement of the ignition electrode or the flame sense thermocouple. Ideally the fridge gas burner area is cleaned once a year to get rid of carbon build up, insect nesting, and dust. Over time this build up can stop the burner from working right. This is a common problem with a fridge that has not been run on gas in a long time.

Other issues can be with the igniter itself is becoming weak or other gas system issues. This kind of trouble shooting is more involved and will require someone with some level of know how of gas appliances and electrical background. If you have someone like this, we can help them on what to look for but this is not a normal go poke it and it will work kind of thing.

Let us know how you make out.

Thanks

John

PS. on your batteries, hooking a very old battery up with a new one, if the old one is going bad, it will drain the new one trying to equalize the batteries. This creates a problem. Also if your camper has a battery disconnect switch, then when the camper is not being used or plugged into shore power, the switch needs to be off. The LP detector and some other things are on inside the camper and will drain the batteries down over a week or more. If you do not have a battery disconnect, then you will need to unhook the white, negative battery cable from the battery to stop the constant power drain.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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JohnB,
I never thought about plugging in and switching to gas mode. That's a great way to rule in/out the battery as a cause. Also, in your 4th paragraph, I think you meant to use "now" light instead of "not" light in first sentence. I'm always getting new ideas and new ways to do things from this forum. Just wish I had a garage to do some of the bigger projects.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j52wf View Post
JohnB,
Also, in your 4th paragraph, I think you meant to use "now" light instead of "not" light in first sentence.
Hi, Thank you so much for pointing that out. Amazing how one letter can change the whole meaning....

Spell check can be one of your worst enemies sometimes... spelled right, but really the wrong word....

Thanks, I went back and fixed it.

John
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