Waeco CF50 fridge shutting down on 240 volts

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 10:27
ThreadID: 130532 Views:19658 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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Hello, I have a Waeco CF-50 fridge that works beautifully on 12 volts but has started cutting out after a while if connected to AC (mains) supply. It is the newish type with digital temperature readout. It's a few years old. It previously worked perfectly on AC.

The pattern seems to be that it starts and runs fine, cools the fridge down a few degrees, then stops altogether. The shutdown is complete and includes the digital display going blank. No error light.

Sometimes it restarts after a while, runs for a bit (much shorter duration this time), then shuts down again. I can also restart it by unplugging the AC cord and plugging back in, but the same thing happens - runs for a while, then shuts down. When it does restart, the compressor seems to run at a lower RPM initially before stepping up to full speed, then soon afterwards it stops and everything goes blank. Maybe that's normal behaviour - not sure.

I tried a new power lead but had the same result. Fuse (next to AC socket) looks good. Can't see any visible problems with the PCB that sits at the back of the power sockets, or with any of the connections.

I'm wondering if there's an overheating issue on the AC side of the control unit that sits at the side of the compressor with all the wires running out and connections marked by letters (the compressor says something about thermal protection or overheating protection on its side). I don't know whether the compressor has separate AC and DC windings, or the control unit includes a transformer/regulator to convert the AC to DC.

Or maybe it's a problem with some sort of voltage regulator/rectifier problem that sits between the AC mains supply and the DC control circuitry, and only comes into use when connected to AC power.

I've seen a lot of Waeco problems on forums but nothing specifically about a failure in only the AC side of the unit. I know there's a lot to be said about the relative merits of this fridge compared to others, strength and weaknesses etc, but really I'm just interested in advice on what might be wrong and how I might fix it.

Any help appreciated -thanks.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 14:10

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 14:10
I don't know much about Waeco's, Waz, though I do have an Ironman fridge which looks like a Waeco clone.

What you suggested might be the go, something is overheating in the 240v section, and shutting down. Being AC it might be prudent to take it to an agent for quote/repair, or else just run it as a 12v fridge, though it is handy to have the AC option.


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AnswerID: 591310

Reply By: ian.g - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 15:02

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 15:02
Get hold of a Waeco 240v to 12v power supply, will be a lot cheaper than a visit to a repair shop
AnswerID: 591312

Reply By: nickoff - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 17:16

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 17:16
I used one of these from Jaycar. Runs my 13 year old FF40 24/7 with out a problem. Only $34.95

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AnswerID: 591315

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 21:07

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 21:07
Waz M
Run it and as soon as it stops while running on 240v, test the 240v lead plug pins for a resistance reading.
If there is a high resistance ie open circuit, just after it has stopped running, then it may indicate the transformer coil is going open circuit when heated/running, BUT when it cools it resumes contact and starts again for a shorter time until it repeats the fault once more.

Then you know to buy a 240 to 12 power supply for it. Far cheaper than having a factory check wher eyou still have to pay for the power unit.
AnswerID: 591327

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 22:56

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 22:56
Hi Waz.
I have Waeco CF35 whose 250 volt AC circuit board died 6 months ago.
Works OK on 12 volt dc
The repair cost is more than what a second hand Waeco is worth.
I wouldn’t waste money on it – buy yourself a cheap power supply and use the fridge until it gives up the ghost completely.

AnswerID: 591334

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 23:10

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 23:10
Bit unusual - they had a history in the past of cutting out on 12 volts due to an over-sensitive power regulator, but never heard anyone have issues with 240 v.
AnswerID: 591335

Reply By: Waz M - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 11:45

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 11:45
Thanks for the great responses. I'm inclined to try and fix the problem, but I agree, a 12-volt supply is a cheaper option than taking it to a repairer. Was hoping there might be a simple and well-known fix out there for the 240V fault but appears not.

I ran it yesterday and part of today on 240V with the motor cover off and a pedestal fan blowing on the control box. After a few false starts (before I switched on the fan), it ran fine and cooled right down to -18C. So it's possibly a heat-related issue. Once the compressor is up to speed and 'coasting' it seems to continue running fine, and cycle on and off normally, even if I remove the pedestal fan.

The control box (the one on the side of the compressor) gets a little warm so maybe it's the extra current required when initially getting the unit up and running - something overheating in there and triggering a cutout.

A wiring diagram would be useful ...
AnswerID: 591342

Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 15:56

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 15:56
G'day Waz
Last time I plugged my cf50 waeco into 240v it did as you have described... Eventually it ran ok.. After unplugging it a few times.. (Did cross my mind if throwing it against a wall.. Or dropping it off a bridge might help.. Lol) Might turn it on now and see what it does... And get myself the 12v adaptor... Thanks for posting the problem, maybe it is a manufacturing defect... Cheers Odog
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Reply By: Waz M - Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 22:51

Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 at 22:51
Odog, yep I've decided to throw mine back together and buy a 240 to 12 volt adaptor as practically everyone has suggested. Bought it cheap secondhand anyway - hopefully it's got a few more years in it before I had to upgrade.
AnswerID: 591362

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