Fridge problems,9-10 hours warm beer

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 17:07
ThreadID: 105021 Views:2719 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Hi all i had a new Waeco 110ltr fridge fitted to my motorhome recently.I filled it up with drinks Saturday afternoon and headed of to Sydney.I arrived in Sydney 9-10 hours later went to get a cold beer and they were not chilled.I put them in the freezer for 30 minutes and they were icy cold.I drove back Sunday and then checked them again and they still were not drinkable.Plugged the camper into 240 volts and 2 hours later they were fine.The freezer is great on 12 volts but the fridge is useless on 12 volts.I am now waiting for the people who make these to ring me back.Has anyone got any ideas on what the problem could be?
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Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 18:24

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 18:24
What setting have you got the dial on ??

My 110 Waeco works better in the fridge than the freezer..
AnswerID: 520967

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 18:32

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 18:32
Hi Gronk,i have it set on 5
FollowupID: 801571

Follow Up By: Kevin.Hutch - Friday, Nov 08, 2013 at 06:49

Friday, Nov 08, 2013 at 06:49
Took me many years to realise all problems are simple just the symptoms are confusing.

My money is on the cable size from the battery.

This is commonly undersized, it not just needs to carry the current, it needs to do it with minimum voltage drop and its size is directly proportional to its length.

If you have access to a digital voltmeter turn the fridge on then measure the voltage across the cable from battery terminal to fridge connector. If it is more than 3% (.36volts) its inadequate for a fridge, as this will the fridge will cut out when the battery drops to 12volts. You can measure the battery terminal voltage and subtract the fridge voltage (must be running).

This is the main reason we use higher voltage for homes.

FollowupID: 801688

Reply By: Brian 01 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:04

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:04
You say that the fridge works well on 240v.
If this is the case, then the fridge is working fine, just not on your 12v supply as it stands.
These fridges use a 12/24v compressor, with the 240v being an add on simple power supply that converts the 240v to 24v to run the compressor.
So, if the total works fine on 240v, why not on 12v as the compressor is obviously OK?
You should check the 12v supply to ensure that it is capable of delivering sufficient power with minimal voltage drop.
Excessive voltage drop will cause the fridge to switch off as the voltage falls and then restart when it again recovers.
Because the refrigerant expansion valve is located just prior to the freezer compartment, this section gets cold first, and so even if the compressor is running spasmodically, the freezer can appear to be OK (although unlikely to be at -18C) whilst the fridge will be warm.
Connect it to 12v and see what voltage you have at the fridge when it is either running or trying to run.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 520974

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 21:52

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 21:52
Thanks Brian it makes sense what you had to say.I will check it Thursday
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Reply By: Member - Rick P (NT) - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:19

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:19
Hi Stuart & Gunny
It took us a long time to get our 110ltr Waeco working properly. We ended up cutting about 3 inches off the top of the foam wall between the freezer and the fridge because it's only the cold air from the freezer that is falling into the fridge to keep everything cold. We even put in a fan to drive cold air from the freezer to the fridge but we rarely use that now because it all works really well, we have the old model with the lights and we have it on 4 lights and that keeps everything in the freezer frozen and everything in the fridge at about 3-4c. Also you want at least 8mm cable from the batteries to your fridge to stop any voltage drop.
Rick P
AnswerID: 520981

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:03

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:03
I would have thought that if the insulation was the problem, then it would exist whether the fridge was running on 240v or 12v, which the OP says is not the case..
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Follow Up By: steved58 - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:43

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:43
I drilled some 12mm holes in my dividers in the 80litre waeco this allowed the cold freezer air to flow through into the fridge section the freezer still keeps everything frozen and my fridge section is very cold when the freezer is at -18 But in this case I would expect voltage drop from insufficient wiring size as suggested previously

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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 05:55

Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 05:55
The current 110 Waeco and for probably the last 5 years actually have the refrigerant running all the way around the cabinet, the earlier models only cooled from the freezer section. I used to just remove one of the dividers until I upgraded a few years ago.

FollowupID: 801608

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 08:08

Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 08:08
I was under the (perhaps wrong) impression that we were talking about an upright fridge here rather than a chest type.
If it is an upright then it is unlikely to have the fridge condenser section built into the walls, or a divider that can be removed or cut.
If it is a chest type then the condenser may well go all around the cabinet, however, it is a fundamental principle of Boyles Law that the refrigerant is always coldest where it is first allowed to expand, and that is always located by the manufacturers at a point closest to the freezer for the obvious reason that the freezer needs to be coldest.

It is for this reason that if the compressor is not delivering full power, or the refrigerant circuit is low on gas, or even overgassed, then the fridge section will suffer first by failing to obtain its required temperature.

FollowupID: 801615

Reply By: William B6 - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 19:24

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 19:24
We have spent past year or two working on various models of Waeco fridges and agree most problems stem from low voltage problems in vehicles or from solar installations. Most Waecos have voltage recognition and will defend themselves and their battery to the utmost! ie not enough volts causes distinct warming of beer.
However there are modifications one can carry out if the Waeco is not starting with a good power supply or the digital readout is telling it's 78C and your beer is like rocks and tongues stick to it. It involves fitting a new digital thermostat , on /off switch and a fuse all mounted in a grey plastic box. This works it revives old Waecos and so far we have one working on 250/12volts for a year and one working off solar (bush block) no mains power close to 3 months. I'll keep you posted on the local butcher we operate on his next week.
Regards Wogsworph
AnswerID: 522347

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