WAECO 70 Litre Fridge problem

Submitted: Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 21:57
ThreadID: 31387 Views:5644 Replies:9 FollowUps:12
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I have a 70 litre WAECO which has given me problems since I bought it. The first two occasions it was fixed under warranty, but this time I want to take it to somebody who can guarantee to fix it before I take it to the nearest cliff!

It is connected to a WAECO Thumper in the vehicle, which in turn is connected to the vehicle. This is an alternative to a dual battery kit which I can't fit under the bonnet of my vehicle.

The first time I used it, it lasted for a couple of days before running out of puff and not cooling anything. I took it back and was told the valve was loose so they regassed it and sent me on my way.

I headed off to the Simpson Desert and got as far as Camerons Corner before it gave up again. Luckily there was another vehicle with us but we had to dispose of a lot of food and survive with a single fridhe for the rest of the trip.

This time round I was informed that the compressor had managed to suck oil into the pipes and basically stopped the gas from circulating. So the pipes were flushed and it was regassed again.

I headed off on my next trip and guess what, yes it happened again.

Can anybody recommend a good refrigeration repair place in Melbourne that might be able to resolve this problem?
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:09

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:09
Your nearest Engel fridge retailer, but it will cost you around $1200 LOL. Good luck
AnswerID: 158413

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:18

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:18
Dunno what's up with these Waeco's lately. They are falling over thick and fast.
FollowupID: 412847

Follow Up By: Member - 'Lucy' - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:02

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:02
Very funny you closet Engel coota. The Waeco God watching you.

By the way, shouldn't you be at work where you would be way more productive than on here.

FollowupID: 412862

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:07

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:07
Long weekend here, still working where you are. Only trying to be helpfull, not necessarily the cheapest option but maybe so in the long run
FollowupID: 412864

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:14

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 23:14
Certainly the more reliable option and I am at work. Grrrr, don't upset the dog.
FollowupID: 412867

Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:37

Friday, Mar 03, 2006 at 22:37

I would suggest that the product is not fit for the purpose for which it was purchased. A warranty claim involving a full refund would be my thoughts. (Providing it is still under warranty or only just out of warranty)

Approach WAECO outlining your issues with the product and request a full refund ( all in writing). Failure to agree, pursue with your state consumer department.


AnswerID: 158421

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 13:53

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 13:53
Yes, as above however be very specific in your information to Waeco, actually state what you really want to happen and what you have had done to the fridge and by who and when, include photo copies of any 'repair' receipts/invoices or relevant written information so they can see you are on the ball and will not accept a faulty product... specify you want the fridge replaced if that's what you want, don't allow them to falsely believe you will accept another repair job, as when it's outa warranty it's your problem...$$$$$

Waeco will be given the opportunity to repair the faulty product "OR" replace it with a 'brand new' fridge before they will be forced to refund the purchase price by a 'Consumer advocate' it's up to your insistence as to the final outcome, you have to make a decision as to what you want and expect and stick to that decision.

I believe an Engal failed a few years ago too :-)

Best of luck.....
FollowupID: 412995

Follow Up By: Leroy - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 09:15

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 09:15
Those Engals are terrible...I would never buy one. That's why I bought an Engel. Proven reliability.

FollowupID: 413164

Reply By: H2O - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 00:10

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 00:10
I bought a FF90 and so did a mate about 2yrs ago. Both of our fridges would not work on 12v but would on 240. Fiddled with the high-low switch and then dissconnected the fan and found out that the compressor was not working. We sent them both back to get fixed under warranty and on return mine worked on 12v but my mate did not check his until we were half way to the gulf so we had to run the genset for 100hrs over 6days to keep it working as it was not fixed!! Mine running on the genset until the fuel ran out (8hrs) then automatically flicked to 12v would not fully freeze fish, we took 3days to get home (plus the 6days there) with the waeco 1/3 full and they were still not frozen! I though that was a waeco problem but my mate has a new 60l Engle and it performed the same.

We took the 90l with the genset and thumper on a weekend trip a few weeks ago and on fridge I recon we can get 8hrs out of the Thumper running the fridge at 2deg at 34deg ambient - not too impressive. I am thinking out somehow rigging two batteries up to get 24v as the frige runs better on that - but not sure how I will achieve charging them as that is what the genset does as well as powering the fridge?? Waeco is good as it is compact but only really as a fridge or to keep already frozen foods frozen. I think I need a 40l Trailblazer with dual thermostats to snap freeze the fish and then put it in the waeco.

Fridge problems is the last thing you need on a big trip. Hope you can find someone to fix it. Mine went back to the Gold Coast I think.
AnswerID: 158448

Reply By: OLLY - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 08:31

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 08:31
We had the same problem with a similar set up (80lt waeco and thumper) on a recent pigging trip. When we left home the thumper was fully charged (or so it said on the display) but after arriving at our destination some 10hrs later we found that there was an error light on the fridge and it wasn't running. We tested thumper and again it showed that it was full but the fridge didn't like it. After arriving home a week later we discovered that the fridge needs something like 12.6v to run and even a small drop in voltage say down to 12.1 the fridge will shut down and an error light will flash as an indication for low voltage. We ended up running the frige for 240v for the rest of the trip (just to keep the beers icey cold) and it ran fine.

AnswerID: 158472

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:08

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:08
Have you considered checking your 12 volt cable and connections out Olly.

I run a 40 litre Engel from a 75 AH Thumper and consider it the best set up I could have.

The thumper is also connected to a solar panel during prolonged camping excursions to extend the portable battery system's working life an it is connected to the vehicle's in-car charging system when travelling.

Don't have any problems with the Engel, or the Thumper.

The one thing I have done is to change the standard 12 patch lead as supplied with the fridge, to a "merit" style plug, to suit the sockets in the back of my vehicle.

The Thumper is connected via Anderson connectors, which is standard for the in-car charging kit supplied by Blue Apple.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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FollowupID: 412976

Follow Up By: Member - Vince B (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:58

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:58
I had the same problem with the error light. I changed the connections to a anderson plug & the fridge has worked perfectly since then.
FollowupID: 412986

Follow Up By: OLLY - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 08:52

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 08:52
G'day guys, That set was how a mate runs his fridge. He uses all the standard leads ect but what you have both mentioned seems to be very valid as the set up I have for my 110lt in my 'cruiser has been to change the connections all to anderson plugs and I've never had a drama..

FollowupID: 413159

Reply By: marcus - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:36

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 10:36
The address i have for Waeco in Melbourne is 2 Mary St, Blackburn 3130.
Customer assistance looks like it is via Queensland 07 5522 1001.
Cheers Mark
AnswerID: 158502

Reply By: nigeldaus - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:56

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 12:56
Thanks to all for your replies.

I don't really want to go and spend $1299 on a new Engel unless I can help it, but I think those of you who indicated that it was probably a voltage related issue are proibably on the right track.

I have tried running it on a 240/12 volt converter and it works fine and I think I may have a problem with the Thumper because it's on;y displaying two green lights currently instead of three so I will get the voltage checked out first and also try running it directly off the car battery for a while and see whether that makes any difference.
AnswerID: 158534

Reply By: Ron173 - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 20:21

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 20:21

I sympathise with you Nigeldaus, and hope you are successful in achieving a full refund under the 'not fit' clause, its real bad that these lemons get out.

I'm an Engel owner and happy, but it still shouldnt happen, although if you check on here, lots more reports of Waeco issues than Engel, everyone winges bout the cost of engels but it has to be said facts speak, I think they are worth it.

I am not one to bang my Engel drum at your misery, I think thats wrong too, but wish you every success in a full refund, that way you can choose again, Engel or otherwise,

Good luck mate,

dont accept less than a refund,

then choose wisely,

have a good un

AnswerID: 158612

Follow Up By: Nebster - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 21:24

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 21:24

Good middle of the road compromise!
No matter what the brand it should deliver what it promises
FollowupID: 413103

Reply By: Member - Barry C (NT) - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 00:28

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 00:28
Some replies mentioned the Thumpa as a power source. From experience one of the problems may not be the fridge but the Thumpa not having a "full" charge.

I nearly got caught when I first started using Thumpa with fridge. Local expert put (very new) Thumpa on mid to high rate (I think 8-12 amps or so) normal battery charger for a day direct to the + and - terminals, and this fixed the problem for meas it has worked OK ever since. Not identical problem to yours but could be the power source indicating full charge when it has really not been fully charged?

Also from experience a lot of merit in Anderson plugs versus what the manufacturer supplies - ie your power source from the vehicle also (wire size etc) can equal voltage drop.

One way to see if a problem is fridge OR power supply is to run the fridge though the 240V to 12 transformer and to fridge, and if it works problem is likely to be power supply from direct 12 V source or wiring.

AnswerID: 158654

Follow Up By: nigeldaus - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 16:26

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 16:26

Thanks for the reply. I have done exactly what you suggested with the transformer and that seems to confirm that the Thumper is one of the problems. Thanks for the tip on charging the thumper. I will try that and see what happens.

Do you know if you can buy a transformer with an Anderson plug fitting on it, because the transformer I have currently takes the standard Waeco cigarette lighter connection.

FollowupID: 413216

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 18:08

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 18:08
I love my FF - 70
AnswerID: 158739

Follow Up By: michael & lisa - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:08

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 22:08
I got a trailblaza 10 years ago. & have no problum with it. I get 3 Days out of a N70 without moving the ute & it sit in the sun all day ever day & the beer is all ways cold. It has bean treated very rougth. I race with it on. I would not by any thing else.
FollowupID: 414232

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