Dometic Fridge iSide Wall puncture - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-12-2019, 01:11 AM   #1
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Name: Ben
Trailer: Boler
BC
Posts: 4
Dometic Fridge iSide Wall puncture

Hi there, I have a 1973(maybe74) 13íBoler that I have a fridge question for.

Two months ago while working on hanging a fire extinguisher mount inside the cabinet to the left of the fridge I drilled through the sheet metal side wall (left side) of the fridge. First hole went in no issues. Second hole went through and gas hissing occurred. I looked inside the fridge and the plastic on the left side had bulged. Thinking that I had hit a cooling line (I had previously looked up to see if there were any prior to drilling in the side of the fridge and didnít think there were any cooling lines in the sides of these old ones based on what I found) I thought the fridge was toast so this weekend I pulled it out as I had found an old similar tedco from a slightly newer boler for cheap to replace it. Before putting the new/old one back in I thought Iíd try and plug it in (my storage spot for the trailer does not have power and is out of town). To my surprise I had frost on the inside freezer rack developing within an hour or so. Left it plugged in overnight and for the next day and a half and it seems to be working well with no change to prior to the hole incident. Does anyone know what I could have hit and how itís still going if I did hit a cooling line? I was thinking maybe itís the thermostat line? Or some kind of sealed insulation? Just doesnít make sense to me that itís working this well.

My conundrum is that the new/old tedco is about 1Ē deeper than the dometic so it will stick out from my counter a bit more, so if the dometic is still ok I would prefer to just use that. But there is the risk that it maybe dies soon and I have to replace it which is a pain.

Any insight as to what I hit and whatís happening is greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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Name: Jim
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Ben,

It is highly unlikely that you drilled into anything as there is nothing on the sides other than insulation. All of the workings are on the front, top, and back of the frig. What you may have though was a hissing sound was the bit hitting the rigid, dry styrofoam insulation on the sides. You can drill into that all day with no harm done.

I drilled a hole in the side of my Dometic frig to insert a thermometer probe. It is really interesting to see the changes in temperature throughout the day as the outside temps change.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:14 AM   #3
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Name: Ben
Trailer: Boler
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Originally Posted by Scamper Jim View Post
Ben,

It is highly unlikely that you drilled into anything as there is nothing on the sides other than insulation. All of the workings are on the front, top, and back of the frig. What you may have though was a hissing sound was the bit hitting the rigid, dry styrofoam insulation on the sides. You can drill into that all day with no harm done.

I drilled a hole in the side of my Dometic frig to insert a thermometer probe. It is really interesting to see the changes in temperature throughout the day as the outside temps change.
Thanks Jim, that’s what I thought but there was a definite release or influx of air with some moisture. Lasted maybe 1 - 2 seconds. The inside of the fridge bulged out in the area around the puncture so much that the shelf was stuck. I was thinking maybe the side walls were vacuum sealed and I punctured that seal.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:42 PM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
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Originally Posted by BenDavies View Post
Thanks Jim, thatís what I thought but there was a definite release or influx of air with some moisture. Lasted maybe 1 - 2 seconds. The inside of the fridge bulged out in the area around the puncture so much that the shelf was stuck. I was thinking maybe the side walls were vacuum sealed and I punctured that seal.
Or maybe just sealed enough to build up pressure from expansion if the day was warm?

One wouldn't normally expect that much expansion but look what happens to a plastic gas can from a 20* difference in temperature. The mention of moisture also makes me wonder if condensation or seepage had accumulated and warm temperatures caused it to become vapor and create pressure. Foam then prevents easy escape from entire case so there is a longer "exhaust" time when drill pierced the side.

All just speculation on my part and being sealed for insulating value would make sense but vacuum would make more sense than pressure.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:12 PM   #5
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Name: Ben
Trailer: Boler
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Or maybe just sealed enough to build up pressure from expansion if the day was warm?

One wouldn't normally expect that much expansion but look what happens to a plastic gas can from a 20* difference in temperature. The mention of moisture also makes me wonder if condensation or seepage had accumulated and warm temperatures caused it to become vapor and create pressure. Foam then prevents easy escape from entire case so there is a longer "exhaust" time when drill pierced the side.

All just speculation on my part and being sealed for insulating value would make sense but vacuum would make more sense than pressure.
Thanks Rogerdat if there are no coolant lines running through the sidewalks then I agree vacuum pressure may make more sense.

Seems most people are under the impression there are no lines in the walls. I may try to open up a slightly bigger hole to investigate and add something to seal it up. To prevent a preferential path for moisture to get in.

Thanks
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