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Old 10-05-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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'fridge problem revisited

Okey-dokey, here we go again. Reefer doesn't work on gas.l

Getting 12V to control unit but gas valve doesn't open and igniter is likewise inop. Ran a jumper wire to gas valve and it opened. Opened cover on control module and fuses are good.

Here's my take:
1) Reefer works fine on AC
2) Module is getting power
3) Nothing the module controls is working (gas valve, ignitor)
4) The gas valve is working when 12V is jumped to supply wire

What is left to test?

Teach
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Can't think of much except a bad wire connection or a portion of the control board. Working on AC and knowing 12 volts is getting to the module eliminates most of the usual culprits.

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Old 10-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Teach

Seems you are into electrical troubleshooting. So does this much work?

See these 2 pics




Iím ďassumingĒ your vintage is similar. Do not know your fridge model number.

The gas valve and the igniter are wired in parallel. See the yellow wire coming off the valve, going to the igniter and then to the control board. Says valve/relay on the PC board. If you pull off the white and yellow connector from the control board, Upper right corner, make sure the white is ground. It may pick up ground right out of that connector . Make sure the white is grounded and then jump the yellow (hot) 12 VDC and the igniter and gas valve should take off. Click, click click and poof itís up and going. You said the gas valve was OK so it may in the control board OR the board is not being told to go to gas mode by the on/off display inside. Aka upper control board

See this link http://www.nwrvsupply.com/manuals/do...00_service.pdf that is for my fridge model See page 12 under C Gas Mode. They say if the gas valve or igniter is not getting power, replace the PC board but they also say that the board is being told to send the ignition signal. Trial for ignition. I have not yet found which wire color comes from the inside upper control board to send the gas mode signal down to the control board. The wire could be off, the upper control board not working to send the OK to run gas or the main lower board is partly dead on gas mode.

See this site. It may have your model fridge service manual Zoom down to Dometic fridge. Northwest RV Supply

Tell me you model number and I can dig some more for you if you canít find it.

Hope this helps

John

PS are you sure you have the silly push button switches inside set to gas? The auto light is off but yet the light inside the fridge is on showing you have power and it should be in gas mode. OR pull the 120 VAC shore line cord and just turn the fridge on auto. The auto light is on, light in fridge is on and the system should sense no 120 VAC and send it in gas mode.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Teach

PS are you sure you have the silly push button switches inside set to gas? The auto light is off but yet the light inside the fridge is on showing you have power and it should be in gas mode. OR pull the 120 VAC shore line cord and just turn the fridge on auto. The auto light is on, light in fridge is on and the system should sense no 120 VAC and send it in gas mode.
A bit o' history using ref for 1st time:
September - camping on shore power. Attempts to pre-chill ref using gas mode night before trip fail as ref won't auto-ignite. "Check" light keeps coming on, so I go outside and light the gas burner using a match. Overnight, ref reaches set temp and gas shuts off. As ref warms, the gas fails to auto-ignite so in a.m. ref is too warm to load.
Camp for 3 days on shore power. Morning of departure, I unplug trailer while ref is on "auto" and the igniter fires off and the ref ignites and is in gas mode. I am puzzled.
Folks here suggest checking the ignitor for grounding, test voltage, etc. I do all that. (No light in my ref)
Yesterday - I repeat what I did in Sept. only now nothing works in gas mode. Not on auto or manual.

Dometic RM2612
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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Teach, H'mm. It sounds like the system is working "some" of the time.

The description about having to light with a match and then it worked. I have had that mystery too when the igniter would not constantly fire. BUT once I lit it with a match then every thing worked and still has. Now 2 years ago. Point is, even in this instance while the igniter did not work right the control board was sending power into the yellow wires feeding the gas valve and the igniter system. So in your case if the fridge ran all night long being match lit then the control board had to be giving power or else the gas valve would not work.

Then you said the next AM it would not light off. Strike 2 for the igniter.

Then when you where camping and pulled the shore line cord in Auto, the system automatically senses no 120 VAC and lights off the gas mode. Well this time the igniter worked.

What you have described sounds like the igniter is not working correct. Some times it will fire and sometimes it will not.

Check the grounds for sure. Make sure all are rust and corrosion free. Sounds like you may have done this.

I will look it up later tonight but there is a test procedure for the igniter in the service manual. My foggy memory I think it stated pull the electrode out of it and turn it on. You should hear clicking and if not them the igniter is bad. Confirm that is exactly what it says in the manual before trying this.

The electrode and wire of the igniter is part of the system too. The igniter when fired off sends high volts to make spark. It should keep snapping. If not that is problem 1. Once the gas ignites and make heat the electrode gets warm and sends back to the igniter a very low voltage signal that heat is on, stop sparking. When the fridge insode is sastified the control board pulls the power going into the yellow wires, shut off the gas, the electrode cools and resets the igniter for the next time the PC board sends the Trial for ignigition.

There is a separate thermocouple for flame sense that if no flame after gas has been on so long, it shuts down the gas valve and goes into fault.

So when you lit with the match, the gas was flowing, the igniter never fired the high volts to make the spark, the gas lit due to the match and then everything was satisfied. The igniter was getting heat to stop the spark and the thermocouple had flame so all worked and the PC board was happy.

I am thinking your issues are with the igniter system. The igniter itself is intermittent working OR the special wire lead to the electrode is not right. Iím assuming you checked the spark gap? The book tells how far it is to be. I think 1/8 to 3/16 but check that in the book. Make sure the insulation on the electrode is not cracked.

I have heard that cleaning the back of the electrode where the igniter wires slips on and the electrode itself with steel wool some times helps too.

After my issue I bought a spare igniter and have it in the camper. When your fridge dies when boon docking your stuck with a pile of food to do what with???

I got to go now. Check back in later and I will look up your fridge number.

Hope this helps

John

PS try this. Put your meter on 12VDC place it on the yellow wire to the gas valve. Have someone inside turn on teh fridge on gas, watch the meter. If you get 12 VDC on the gas valve and no spark, the PC baord is working but the igniter is not. They have to figure out why the ignitor is not.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:48 PM   #6
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Hi Teach

I checked tonight. Yes the spark gap is 3/16" see here


And here is how to check the high voltage cable and the igniter itself


Good luck

John
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:58 AM   #7
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John, the links you provided were most beneficial. I printed out the trbl. shooting sequence. It said in gas mode, if no voltage was leaving the board to open the gas valve, replace the control board. Well, the board is $162 and of 5 RV places in Richmond, only one had a board. Since once I walked out of the store the board is mine, this repair had a high "pucker factor."
I replaced the board and it's fixed.

Thanks for your (and everyone else's) help,
Teach
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:07 AM   #8
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Gene is an unknown quantity at this point
Glad to hear it is fixed, even if it was the expensive part of it. Quite probably the relay on the board or the transistor that controls the relay to send 12 volts to the gas solenoid.

Now you have a "spare" board the half works.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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Teach, Good for you. It's now working. Great!

Last year when mine started acting up the realization came that a fridge going out really creates a problem on an extended campout. Especially when boon docking. With that I have ended up stocking several of the main electrical components that have the highest probability of failure. I did buy a Dinosaur control board. Searched the web long and hard for the Dometic and the Dinosaur. I’ll have to look up the price tonight. I do not recall it being that much but it was also on line verses at a dealer.

Look at it this way, you save the labor of the service call and hauling the camper down there. It makes the $162 easier to absorb as it could have been 2 or 3 times that.
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