Waeco Malfuction

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 17:31
ThreadID: 100945 Views:5128 Replies:4 FollowUps:15
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Recently my Waeco CF 40 started malfunctioning.
In the past it stopped working if in a confined space and overheated or if the supply voltage dropped too far. Each of these faults was easily diagnosed by the sequence of flashes from its red error lights.
The fridge has been running successfully on the same 12 volt cabling for the last 3 years but it now stops working on 12 Volt DC – it works fine on 240 V AC
I have a 12 volt cord with voltage measuring points 50mm from the base of the fridge.
With the alternator running I get about 13.5 volts, with pulses down to 11.6 volts when the fridge is connected, measured with a digital voltmeter. This is well within the range of the Waeco’s Low Battery Monitor setting. The green power light and the temperature readout flash but the fridge won’t run. No error lights come on.
Has anyone had the green light flashing and know the solution to the problem?

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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 18:51

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 18:51
The first thing I'd do is try a new 12 volt cord.

The pulsing down to 11.6 may be the fridge trying to start and the voltage dropping too low. Not too sure what the low voltage cut out is set at, but the meter may not be responding fast enough to measure the actual lowest voltage.
AnswerID: 506270

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 19:45

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 19:45
I suspect you are correct and that it is a voltage problem but the green pulsing light is not listed as an error by Waeco - so just wonder what it was trying to indicate.
My meter picks up the low volt pulses accurately when the battery is low and it goes into the standard low volt error message.
The low volt cut-out is set at 10.1 volts.
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FollowupID: 783198

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27
Problem now fixed.
It turned out to be a faulty high resistance joint at the fuse holder.
Thanks to all that responded to my query.
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FollowupID: 783348

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:45

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:45
A 1.9 volt drop from the battery to the fridge is completely unnaceptable. I expect you may have it plugged into the cars standard auxillary cigarette plug going by that reading? A possible reason for it no longer working may be deteriorated connections or overheated wiring but to overcome the problem I'd look to rewire the whole system.
Mine for example has 16mm twin cable to the rear of the car, replaced cig plugs with 50 amp Anderson & 6mm cable direct to the fridge. Result is .2 of a volt line loss when fridge is running.
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 506284

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 23:03

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 23:03
I am sure you are correct and the wiring needs an upgrade- which I will undertake within the next week. I know Waeco’s are sensitive to low volts - the pluses which occur when the compressor kicks causes a volt drop down to 11.6volts which in my case is within Waeco’s limits. Some undervoltage protection relays hold in for a few seconds to overcome voltage drops caused by these starting currents. I don’t think Waeco’s do but whether they will divulge this or not is another thing.
Thanks to all for your suggestions – Waeco’s error signals for low volts aren’t showing in this case.
Regards Dennis
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FollowupID: 783225

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27
Problem now fixed.
It turned out to be a faulty high resistance joint at the fuse holder.
Thanks to all that responded to my query.
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FollowupID: 783347

Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 22:47

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 22:47
What is the point of a fridge that overheats in hot weather?
Unfortunately my Vista Crossover came with a Waeco & it struggles in the hot weather, whereas my Engel sits in the back of the car in direct sun & never misses a beat!
AnswerID: 506289

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 23:09

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 23:09
I also have both a Waeco CF40 and a 40 litre Engel.
They run side by side in the back of my 4WD – low volts or high tempurature the Engel doesn’t miss a beat.
Next time I’d have 2 Engels
Sht happens
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FollowupID: 783226

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 05:52

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 05:52
Not disputing your experiences but in the last two fridge comparoes I read
The Engels compressor did not fair as well in extreme heat conditions compared to the Danfross compressor that Waeco and others use.
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FollowupID: 783235

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 07:36

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 07:36
I have long since lost faith in magazine "comparison", obviously Waeco had a bigger advertising budget!

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FollowupID: 783237

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:44

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:44
Hi AlbyNSW
If you are talking about the Australian 4WD Action Magazine 40 litre fridge comparison.
It’s one of the reasons I brought the Waeco - but the report was flawed when comparing the CF 40 with Engel 40 litre. The tests were a bit amateurish and it missed the fact that evaporator in the Waeco is 2/3 the size of the Engel and it is also prone to overload in high temperature or low ventilation areas such as in the back of a 4WD. I have run the 2 fridges side by side now for 4 years in all conditions and the Engel is the best performer.
The Engel will hold a total of 60 cans of beer all contained within its evaporator zone.
The CF-40 will only hold 38 cans within its evaporator zone those - those outside the zone get warm.
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FollowupID: 783254

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:25

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:25
Hi Dennis
Yes I believe that was one of the comparos I read. It appeared that in extreme heat conditions the Engel Swing compressor stuggled more that a couple of other brands (including Waeco) that run the Danfoss compressor but at teh end of the day it is the real world comparisons like yours that matter.
Personally I have a Waeco 40 and a Bushman. I run the Waeco as a freezer and Bushman as a fridge and I have had no issues with either of their operations in extreme conditions including the Simpson desert in plus 50 deg conditions last season.
On both fridges I have cut the plugs off and fitted Anderson plugs. Much better!

Good luck with yours
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FollowupID: 783260

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 12:16

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 12:16
Thanks for the info Alby.
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FollowupID: 783264

Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 13:00

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 13:00
Shaker,

With your vista was the Waeco an upright version ? If so upright let too much cold air out when opening and will always struggle. I swapped by Waeco upright to an engel upright....well it was a waste of money. There was no difference. Spoke to the engel rep and he said that the uprights will hammer the battery's hard and not keep it anywhere near as cool as a normal top opening engel.

Sold both, and remodelled the fridge area and put a 60 litre top opening engel in....problem solved.

Brett....
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FollowupID: 783266

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 20:42

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 20:42
Yes it is an upright model, I just found out today that Engel have a bench top 'drop in' model, so I too will most likely be doing a little remodelling!
BTW the Waeco struggles even when not being opened, I am running some tests at the moment & even with 2 fans moving air behind the fridge, it still struggles.

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FollowupID: 783298

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:27
Problem now fixed.
It turned out to be a faulty high resistance joint at the fuse holder.
Thanks to all that responded to my query.
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FollowupID: 783345

Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 01:51

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 01:51
Hi Dennis, we have had our CF40 for quite a few years now, and we had the same issues that you seem to be having with yours. I took our to the Waeco people for repair and it turned out to be the light indicator panel was faulty, and made the fridge do some strange things like freeze on the bottom one day and the next day it would defrost or not function at all and when you are miles from the nearest shopping centre it is not a good idea to run out of food or cold beer, and wine(god help us) so I had that fixed as soon as we got home. The power problem started when we changed from the Hilux to the Pathfinder the wiring for the plug in the back for the fridge is to light to be able to keep the power up to the fridge, and that shall be getting rectified By Nissan when it goes in for its next warranty service. Also we have replace the 12 volt cable for the fridge as they tend to break internally where it plugs into the fridge, and you don't know about it until your told the wine is hot and what are you going to do about it LOL I hope this is of some help to you I am no electrical expert.
Broodie H3
Have car will travel

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AnswerID: 506299

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:18

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:18
Thanks for the info Broodie,
I will do a few more tests on the wiring and if this fails it’s off to the repairers or maybe to the rubbish dump.
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FollowupID: 783259

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:26

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:26
Problem now fixed.
It turned out to be a faulty high resistance joint at the fuse holder.
Thanks to all that responded to my query.
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FollowupID: 783344

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