possible gas line leak to refridgerator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-14-2017, 01:21 PM   #1
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Name: carolyn
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possible gas line leak to refridgerator

The gas line to the stove works fine, but not to the fridge. The pilot light will not stay lit and flares gas light at the back of the gas unit so the fridge does not cool. What is wrong? Help!
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:48 PM   #2
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A gas leak is most dangerious. Should it be leaking for a long time the odor that is put in it so you can detect it goes away and the gas is still there turning the Camper into a bomb just waiting to be ignited.

I recommend you immediately turn your gas bottles off, open the door and air out the camper then seek a gas professional.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:15 PM   #3
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Sounds like a lack of preventive maintenance. When was the last time that you took the one screw out of the flue vent in the back of the fridge, (accessed through the bottom outside removable vent cover,) and cleaned out the burner tube with a small brush and some compressed air? Those burner tubes get crapped up over time with soot, flaking metal, bees and spiders trying to homestead in there. If it isn't kept clean, you will start experiencing problems like this. This should be done each spring before camping season, or more often if it is used on propane more regularly.

Turn off the gas, turn off the fridge.

To remove the burner orifice you will need:

Both a 10mm and a 15mm open end wrench,
#2 Phillips head screwdriver,
Can of spray brake cleaner.
Can of compressed air, or access to a compressor with a blower nozzle.

Take the screwdriver and remove the sheet metal burner shroud screw and remove the shroud, in the lower right on the back of the fridge. (Bottom Picture)

With the wrenches, remove the gas burner tube and blow out the burner tube venturi with compressed air. A brass shotgun bore brush on a short handle works pretty good for brushing stubborn debris out of the venturi.

Remove the small burner orifice and soak in solvent, or use spray brake cleaner. Allow it to air dry. Visually check it to be sure that the orifice is not still obstructed, usually shining a small flashlight through it will help to check. Do not use anything, (pin, paper clip, drill bit, etc. to clean out the orifice. If you screw up the diameter of the orifice, you will be replacing it. Just soak it some more if it isn't clean yet.

Reassemble parts in reverse order.
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Dometic Burner Orifice.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #4
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Nicely explained, Greg! And great pictures to boot.
You know that of which you speak! If I ever get the cash to restore a 3-way fridge in my camper, I will keep this in the back of my mind.

They just don't tell you these things when you buy second hand.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:38 AM   #5
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Yes, thanks Greg. Very good advice and tutorial.


Fran
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:13 PM   #6
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Name: carolyn
Trailer: 2005 casita sd
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fridge fix

Thank you for your good info. But after agonizing all night before, then spending the day taking the burner stuff apart, and the fridge still doesn't work, there must be something else keeping the gas from reaching the cooling unit for the fridge. Any other suggestions as to what to look at? The RV repair shops can't look at it for a month! Could it be the control box where you turn it on? Could it be the automatic shut off valve? The pilot light just won't light. THank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Sounds like a lack of preventive maintenance. When was the last time that you took the one screw out of the flue vent in the back of the fridge, (accessed through the bottom outside removable vent cover,) and cleaned out the burner tube with a small brush and some compressed air? Those burner tubes get crapped up over time with soot, flaking metal, bees and spiders trying to homestead in there. If it isn't kept clean, you will start experiencing problems like this. This should be done each spring before camping season, or more often if it is used on propane more regularly.

Turn off the gas, turn off the fridge.

To remove the burner orifice you will need:

Both a 10mm and a 15mm open end wrench,
#2 Phillips head screwdriver,
Can of spray brake cleaner.
Can of compressed air, or access to a compressor with a blower nozzle.

Take the screwdriver and remove the sheet metal burner shroud screw and remove the shroud, in the lower right on the back of the fridge. (Bottom Picture)

With the wrenches, remove the gas burner tube and blow out the burner tube venturi with compressed air. A brass shotgun bore brush on a short handle works pretty good for brushing stubborn debris out of the venturi.

Remove the small burner orifice and soak in solvent, or use spray brake cleaner. Allow it to air dry. Visually check it to be sure that the orifice is not still obstructed, usually shining a small flashlight through it will help to check. Do not use anything, (pin, paper clip, drill bit, etc. to clean out the orifice. If you screw up the diameter of the orifice, you will be replacing it. Just soak it some more if it isn't clean yet.

Reassemble parts in reverse order.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garycarolyn View Post
The gas line to the stove works fine, but not to the fridge. The pilot light will not stay lit and flares gas light at the back of the gas unit so the fridge does not cool. What is wrong? Help!

What's wrong. My guess is spiders. This is what happens when spider builds a nest in the top of the burner. DO NOT LIGHT the fridge without removing the nest. You might have to take it to a certified tech. to get it fixed.

If you have flames where they don't belong you're likely to get a big fire.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:25 AM   #8
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Name: Greg
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Sometimes the thermocouple can go bad. It's usually a long thin copper tube-like thing with a wire coming out of one end that is mounted just above the burner. If it is bad, it won't let your pilot light stay on. It is a safety feature which regulates gas flow to the burner orifice. If it doesn't get, and stay, hot enough, (from direct flame impingement by the pilot light,) then it basically tells the fridge to shut off the gas flow to prevent unburned propane from accumulating which could be an explosion hazard if allowed to continue flowing, but not burning.

It's hard to troubleshoot all the potential problems and conditions which could be causing your grief via "long distance diagnosis," but I'd check out the thermocouple. If it's kaput, it would definitely be a cause for your pilot light to not get any gas flow, because if it doesn't warm up enough, it won't allow the gas valve to open.

Also, since it hasn't been mentioned yet, but is your trailer sitting absolutely level? Because if it isn't leveled out, that too could wreak havoc with any ammonia absorption type fridge as well. Just something else to rule out.
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