Parkliner Propane Refrigerator Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-04-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
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Parkliner Propane Refrigerator Question

I am just getting around to trying my propane appliances and I have a question. The Parkliner has a Dometic 3 way refrigerator. I can't tell if the gas is lit or not.

Instructions:
  • Make sure gas is on
  • Make sure electrical switches are off
  • Turn thermostat control knob to high
  • Depress thermostat control knob and hold down while pressing igniter several times.
  • Keep knob depressed for another 10-15 seconds
  • Release knob and check for flame through the opening in the metal burner cover
What is the metal burner cover? Is it the pear shaped metal piece that swings over the hole in the burner box? The manual refers to that as the opening in the burner box, not the opening in the metal burner cover. Are they the same thing?

It sounds like the gas is on and lit, but I can't see a flame.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
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Yes, that pear-shaped flap is PIA device that allows you to peek in there to see if the pilot is lit. The sparker lights the pilot in that cube shaped box. The vertical tubular aluminum column over it is a chimney type thingy (tech talk) and it gets warm to the touch pretty quick if the pilot is lit.

Ummm. I wouldn't put my eye too close to the opening
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:39 PM   #3
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The flame is smaller than you'd expect and can be difficult to see especially in bright light. I find myself blocking the light around the hole and moving back and forth to find the correct angle. Sometimes, if it's quiet, I can hear the gas burning. Raz
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
Yes, that pear-shaped flap is PIA device that allows you to peek in there to see if the pilot is lit. The sparker lights the pilot in that cube shaped box. The vertical tubular aluminum column over it is a chimney type thingy (tech talk) and it gets warm to the touch pretty quick if the pilot is lit.

Ummm. I wouldn't put my eye too close to the opening
I lit it and waited about 5 minutes to see if the burner box got warm - and it did. Then I put a thermometer in the refrigerator and it did show it was getting cooler.

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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
The flame is smaller than you'd expect and can be difficult to see especially in bright light. I find myself blocking the light around the hole and moving back and forth to find the correct angle. Sometimes, if it's quiet, I can hear the gas. Raz
I tried blocking the light and still couldn't see a flame. I even used a mirror to get a better angle and still couldn't see it. I'm not comfortable not being able to see the flame.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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I can’t say I’ve ever seen the pilot light when it’s daylight out. And I agree it’s vaguely uncomfortable not seeing it whenever you decide to look. I had to put it in the “home refrigerator light” category. I take it on faith that the light goes out when I close the door…
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #6
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I got frustrated with not being able to see the pilot light and now just use either 110, if it is available or 12v. Thought about carrying a used paper towel or toilet paper tube and use it to block out the light looking thru it. But decided not using the propane was an easier solution.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I lit it and waited about 5 minutes to see if the burner box got warm - and it did. Then I put a thermometer in the refrigerator and it did show it was getting cooler.


I tried blocking the light and still couldn't see a flame. I even used a mirror to get a better angle and still couldn't see it. I'm not comfortable not being able to see the flame.
The good news is if you can't see it its probable burning pretty clean Agree with the others though that if the stack is getting warm its burning and the only way to see it on a sunny day is to totally block out the light - often have to have someone stand right behind me at the right angle in order to block it out enough. If I couldn't see it at all that would worry me as well as mine is older it can be a pain to light up if not been used for a long time - often have to keep the button pushed down longer than I should in order to keep it light - other wise it will go out on its own.

Have you tried turning the temp of the fridge down as low as it will go - that should increase the flame level a little bit at first so you can better see it - on mine there are two separate temp controls one for gas and one for electrical.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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On my Dometic gas fridge, there's a little gauge at the top front of the fridge, with a needle that swings to the right as it gets heated up by the flame. As long as the line is in the green area I know the flame is on. I'm assuming the gauge is powered by the thermocouple. I though all gas fridges had this.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ThomasE View Post
On my Dometic gas fridge, there's a little gauge at the top front of the fridge, with a needle that swings to the right as it gets heated up by the flame. As long as the line is in the green area I know the flame is on. I'm assuming the gauge is powered by the thermocouple. I though all gas fridges had this.
That is seriously cool! I'll have to spend a little time with the Lehman's catalog looking for a small stove thermometer.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #10
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On my Dometic gas fridge, there's a little gauge at the top front of the fridge, with a needle that swings to the right as it gets heated up by the flame. .
Gezzz wish that was on all the Dometic fridges... I have actually never seen that or at least not noticed it on other fridges Or perhaps its on newer fridges? Which model do you have?
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #11
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I'm assuming the gauge is powered by the thermocouple. I though all gas fridges had this.
Quite correct. The voltage level is quite small, less than 50 mV. If your fridge requires DC then there is an amplifier between the thermocouple and the meter. In most cases that same thermocouple keeps the safety valve open. The amp makes sure the meter doesn't effect the safety valve operation. I've never done it but with a high impedance voltmeter, which most digital meters are, you could probably measure the thermal couple voltage at the safety valve.

Norcold had a fridge with a meter and no amplifier. No DC connection. It didn't work well. The fridge would stop working at any time. Not good. Raz
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:23 PM   #12
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Gezzz wish that was on all the Dometic fridges... I have actually never seen that or at least not noticed it on other fridges Or perhaps its on newer fridges? Which model do you have?
I forget the model number. It's original with the trailer which is a 2000 model year, so it's at least that old. I'll post a pic this weekend if I can remember. I actually have the reverse problem of the original poster, I can tell from that gauge it is lit, but looking at the back of the fridge, I see absolutely no access port, such that if I had to light it manually, vs. using the sparker at the fridge controls, I wouldn't be able to.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:40 PM   #13
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Huck, I've always told people to lite the fridge at night, then you can see the little flame good. Must be the new Parkliner's switched to Dometic as the older ones are Norcold. And I can't remember if the Dometic's have a shut-off near the gas valve like Norcold does, so you might want to look for that too.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Wallo;450356]

What I usually do is take a BBQ lighter
light the lighter then blow it out while holding the gas button in quickly stick it into the viewing hole and pull it out to see if the lighter has a flame. Let's me know right away if its working.
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