Engel Trouble

I have a grey 40 litre Engel about 12 yrs old. My son took it to Denham fishing and when sitting in the house they could smell an electrical burning smell. They found smoke pouring from the Engel, quickly unplugged it and carried it outside. Upshot is it still works perfectly on 12 volt. Obviously something has shorted out. Can anyone tell me what is the likely fault, can it be repaired and what it's likely to cost. Fridge before this was in as new condition. Thanking you all in anticipation.

Peter
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Reply By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 05:49

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 05:49
I would assume (always a bit of a dangerous thing to do, I know) that it would be the 240v > 12v transformer.

Suggest you seek professional repairer as mucking around with 240v is illegal and very dangerous.

Having said that (to cover my backside), if it was mine, I would remove the cover off the back and tinker around to find the component that looks/smells like it's been having a little internal BBQ and see if it appears to be a "plug'n'play type of component that could be unplugged and then plug a new one in.....but I didn't say that, okay!! hahaha

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 06:29

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 06:29
No problem Roachie, it is perfectly legal to modify/repair/build 240v in appliances that 'plug in' provided the work complies with the specs.

However, obviously anyone contemplating it should know what the hell they are doing.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 16:37

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 16:37
Sorry Boobook, What you say is ABSOLUTELY WRONG!!

In any State or Territory of Australia it is NOT LEGAL to do any work on an appliance unless you are in possession of an appropriate Electrical Licence. That requirement applies even to replacing a plug top on the appliance. There are various levels of licence even down to a Restricted Licence covering persons not employed as electricians but at least some appropriate licence is required.

It is not enough to believe that you "know what you are doing". The danger to you and others comes from what you 'do not know' and are unaware that you do not know.

The Rules and Regulations applicable to electrical equipment and installations have been enacted to protect persons from injury or death and should be recognised and obeyed. To promote otherwise is very irresponsible and could lead to a fatal injury
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 16:43

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 16:43
I should add the bleeding obvious....... the comments above relate to appliances and installations above the classification of ELV, Extra Low Voltage. In general we are talking about 230 volt.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 at 13:29

Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 at 13:29
Hi
Just to add to Allan's post
You may find the source of the smoke & the smell,but THAT may not be the cause!!
The transformer serves more than one purpose.

PeterQ
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 06:09

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 06:09
I guess it depends on the State. For example it is legal in WA and I believe Vic.

"Householders may connect their own plugs to flexible cords. However, this is not permitted without an electrical licence when the work is carried out for gain or reward or in the course of employment."


WA link
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Follow Up By: Member - Twocrowsdown - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 13:46

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 13:46
Curious to know if electrical licence applies if you are generating your own power or is it if you are drawing from the grid?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:40

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:40
Coming from a "generator powered" background, Twocrowsdown, I'd suggest it would be in one's interest to use a licensed tradie. From a safety point, if nothing else.

But some work would have been done on stations, by amateurs. Replacing GPO's, light fittings etc.

Bob
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:45

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:45
The regulations relating to electrical installations apply regardless of the source of electrical power, be it grid mains, generator power, or from an inverter.
And they apply to appliances that are designed and capable of being connected to the power sources above.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Twocrowsdown - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:56

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:56
I grew up with a Lister single cylinder genny thumping away in the background and kero lamps and kero fridge as fail safes. I can remember dad doing most of the electrical work because it was so damned hard to get an electrician. Nobody died :)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 15:22

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 15:22
"Nobody died"..........
Well that was a fortunate thing.

There was a bloke picked up the other day for driving for 5 years without a licence........ but he had not killed anyone....... so does that make it OK?

The point is that carrying out electrical work without appropriate skills demonstrated by a licence is dangerous. People have been injured and killed. I have been witness to one such death and a number of lesser events.

No doubt many unapproved works have been carried out and mostly successfully but that does not diminish the peril. In most such installations hazardous errors are made because the person is not aware of all requirements but believes that he has "done it right". The saving grace in such a faulty installation is that the "second event" has not yet occurred.

Do it by all means. Put yourself, your family and others at risk, but do not promote unauthorised work and breaking the law to others.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Twocrowsdown - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 16:22

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 16:22
Allan, you seem to be missing my point. A long time ago (when I was a kid) in a land far away (on the eastern fringe of the WA wheatbelt next to the rabbit proof fence), where necessity drove people to do things not normally considered these days, some people wired their own houses to provide basic lighting and maybe a power outlet or two. No more than two though, those old single cylinder thumpers didn't put out a lot of juice and you couldn't have both outlets turned on at once.
I can't recall if my father had an electrician check over his work when we eventually managed to get one to travel out our way (from God knows how many 100's of kilometres away-not many tradies had a/c in their utes back them, he probably had nightmares about perishing out in the sticks), but it's the sort of thing he would do.
I certainly would never condone or encourage anyone to perform their own electrical work in today's' litigious environment - I'm almost afraid to stand up in public and declare my preference for vanilla ice cream lest someone interprets this as being racist. It's a fact, I'm sorry,vanilla goes better with apple pie in my opinion.
Sometimes things HAVE to be done and the rules can't always be followed, that's all I was saying"
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 16:56

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 16:56
I did see the point of your expression..... until you got to "Nobody Died".

And I certainly know that many installations in rural areas (and elsewhere) were carried out successfully(?) by unqualified persons. It just goes to show that it is possible to win the lottery!

As you say, sometimes the rules are difficult to follow, but I think they should be followed whenever possible.

Yes, vanilla ice-cream is good, but I am also quite accepting of chocolate. lol
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Twocrowsdown - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 17:08

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 17:08
"Nobody died" is just a result of my twisted sense of humour. I keep forgetting people that don't know me probably won't get me :). I might sound flippant about safety but I've still got all my fingers.
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 23:05

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 23:05
Member - Twocrowsdown posted:
Allan, you seem to be missing my point. A long time ago (when I was a kid) in a land far away (on the eastern fringe of the WA wheatbelt next to the rabbit proof fence), where necessity drove people to do things not normally considered these days, some people wired their own houses to provide basic lighting and maybe a power outlet or two

[1]. No more than two though, those old single cylinder thumpers didn't put out a lot of juice and you couldn't have both outlets turned on at once."

"
Hi, just to add to Allan's very valid comments.

[1]Any Ac voltage exceeding 50V Is considered Licensed ELECTRICAL work in ALL states!
The actual current that WILL KILL depends on a number of factors
But anything in excess of around 40 milliamps can kill,
So even the smallest generator or inverter is a risk.once certain faults develop ANYWHERE in the system.
Those faults usually do not give any indication that they exist until xxxx

Fuse give NO protection from electric shocks
Plug in RCD protected power boards etc give NO protection from electric shock, with the usual of the shelf generator or inverter!
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 07:27

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 07:27
Peter, if it runs ok on 12volts and no smoke escapes, not a problem.............
John and Jan

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Reply By: Rangiephil - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 08:33

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 08:33
My admittedly imperfect understanding of an Engel's operation is that the voltage is rectified to 24 volts from either 12 or 240 in what is a plug in assembly, so I am surprised that it works on 12volts unless the problem is before the rectifier unit.

So I would have a look to see if some wires have been chafed and shorted between the unit and the plug.

If you see that it is part of the rectifier unit , AFAIK the fix is to buy a new voltage control unit which costs several hundred dollars.

Again AFAIK all the units in an Engel, such as the compressor unit, voltage unit etc are basically plug and play, so its really a waste of money to have a technician do the labour if you can ID the problem by smell or sight.
I have bought parts from a mob in Perth who were good to deal with.
Regards Philip A
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 08:52

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 08:52
Let's add to this thread by talking about ours rather than yours. It recently stopped getting cold (which is a bit of a bugger). Obviously it will be off to the repairer but curious if anyone else's has suffered the same malaise and the reason for same.

The power light comes on initially, but then fades out over time.
AnswerID: 557098

Reply By: Berniec - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 10:53

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 10:53
So - your son borrows your Engel to go fishing and when he returns you can't smell any fish. No fish smell, no fish. He takes the Engel, lets the smoke get out, and doesn't give you any fish. Sounds like someone owes you some fish if not an Engel.

BernieC
AnswerID: 557106

Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 11:05

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 11:05
Hi Peter

Not sure where you are in WA, but give these guys a call. All they deal in is Engels sales, service and repair. They have a few shops that may make it more convenient.

ENGEL WORLD - conact details

They fixed my old rattler a few times when the fridge mechanics said it was cactus.

No affiliation blah blah blah - just a customer happy with old fashioned service and commitment to quality.

Cheers

Anthony
VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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AnswerID: 557107

Reply By: Member - Peter W (WA) - Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 at 00:14

Saturday, Jul 18, 2015 at 00:14
Thanks to all who replied. When my son gets back (hopefully with some fish) I'll have a look at the fridge. I don't make a habit of playing with something that can kill you but you can't see.

Peter
AnswerID: 557124

Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 01:39

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 01:39
Hi Peter, Very wise to get agent to check it even if tempted to tinker. Sounds odd that you've still got 12v operation. have heard of a case of very unexpected nasty shock from a 12 v device (globe) - voltage to globe was 12 but as the 'tap' at midpoint from transformer was the origin, it was actually 125V AC to earth! . person changing globe was touching ground via there leg on something. Boot thru arm, chest and out leg!
it was still live to transformer when 'off' at eqpt control panel.
MG.
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Reply By: Phil 23 - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 09:08

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 09:08
I'm a little edgy about repair agents.

Few years back my grey 40 litre started freezing; compressor running non stop.
Measured the Temp control with a multimeter & it appeared in range.

Measured the temp sensor (NTC) and it's resistance varied with temperature, didn't have specs, but it did move thru a reasonable resistance range as I varied it's temperature, so assumed it was still operating Ok.

Suspected the whole control unit/power supply had an issue & would need replacing.
After all, it was the magic box that ultimately sent power to the compressor.
Short circuited transistors, mosfets, or whatever they used seemed a logical conclusion.

So I took it to the authorised service agent & they said they could diagnose it with their "Special Engel tester".

The report was that the compressor was "Surging", something to do with pressures & current.

Required the entire compressor, condenser & evaporator assembly replacing. $650 plus labour etc....

Carted the thing home figuring at 12 years replacement might be a better option.

On the off chance it might fit, I decided I might see if I could rob the controller box from my 60 litre & confirm my power supply controller suspicions.

Can't remember if I did or didn't get to try that, but I did swap the thermistor, even though I was confident I'd ruled it out.

Problem fixed.
Obviously the NTC sensor was out of range.

A phone call to the agents in Perth, replacement sent & me now $30 poorer.

Think that was 4 years ago now.

Cheers
AnswerID: 557155

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 09:33

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 09:33
PS.

Yours should be an easy repair.

Plug & screw in replacement, all 240v parts sealed.
Something like this...



Engel Controller

Cheers
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Reply By: fisho64 - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 21:11

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 21:11
if it runs ok on 12 volt, why bother repairing it? Just go buy a 240-12V power supply such as one of the chargers from Supercheap, $40 odd bucks and off you go?
AnswerID: 557215

Follow Up By: Mark R24 - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 21:30

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 21:30
A Engel compressor requires 24vAC not DC
The power supply / Oscalliator unit pictured converts 12vDC to 24vAC or when 240vac is connect it converts it to 24vac as well
On the older power supply / Oscalliators when 12vdc is connected there is around 200vac at the 240vac socket that's why there is the littlte plastic slide cover..
The older Engels have 3 parts to the power supply unit - the oscillator and the transformer and thermostat
The oscillator converts 12vdc to 12vac ( metal can with a transistor either side)
The transformer has basically two inputs 1- 12vac (from oscillator) & 2 - 240vac and one output 24vac ( to compressor)
The thermostat switches the whole lot on and off

The newer old models have a two temperature sensors and the temperature set dial that connect on to the oscillator board but still has a 12vac output and much the same type of transformer.
Again this unit can also have 200vac on the 240vac connector when connected to 12vdc.
Be Carefull!
The same units are also sold under the name of NORCOLD in the USA and Canada.
Have found a very useful fault finding manual and some parts manuals and some circuit diagrams searching either Norcold or part No only or model No only. Leave out the word engel.

After all that, looks like I have to buy a complete power supply $350+postage to replace my faulty oscillator/temperature controller anyway as I can not find a replacement IC or circuit diagram for it as I have replaced all the identified parts and it still only runs for about 5sec then stops.

Hope this helps




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FollowupID: 856618

Reply By: Mark R24 - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 21:36

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 21:36
A Engel compressor requires 24vAC not DC
The power supply / Oscalliator unit pictured converts 12vDC to 24vAC or when 240vac is connect it converts it to 24vac as well
On the older power supply / Oscalliators when 12vdc is connected there is around 200vac at the 240vac socket that's why there is the littlte plastic slide cover..
The older Engels have 3 parts to the power supply unit - the oscillator and the transformer and thermostat
The oscillator converts 12vdc to 12vac ( metal can with a transistor either side)
The transformer has basically two inputs 1- 12vac (from oscillator) & 2 - 240vac and one output 24vac ( to compressor)
The thermostat switches the whole lot on and off

The newer old models have a two temperature sensors and the temperature set dial that connect on to the oscillator board but still has a 12vac output and much the same type of transformer.
Again this unit can also have 200vac on the 240vac connector when connected to 12vdc.
Be Carefull!
The same units are also sold under the name of NORCOLD in the USA and Canada.
Have found a very useful fault finding manual and some parts manuals and some circuit diagrams searching either Norcold or part No only or model No only. Leave out the word engel.

After all that, looks like I have to buy a complete power supply $350+postage to replace my faulty oscillator/temperature controller anyway as I can not find a replacement IC or circuit diagram for it as I have replaced all the identified parts and it still only runs for about 5sec then stops.

Hope this helps

Ps there is also a utube vid of a norcold fridge beaning pulled apart.

AnswerID: 588824

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