Vitrifrigio Problems

Hi

Can anyone assist..

Taken delivery of a new caravan but having issues with the Vitrifrigio Frig,Its a 200l 12/24v,the problem is that the compressor runs for approx 15secs and trips out for approx 1 minute and goes through the cycle again.When connected to 240v there are no issues,its only when I run on the 12v system.
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:37

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:37
Sounds like it's not getting enough volts while plugged into 12 volts.

Check the voltage as close as you can to the fridge when the fridge motor is running, most of this type of fridge have a low voltage cut out at about 11 to 11.5 volts, so if your line voltage drops below that the thing will stop for a period, then start up again till it senses the voltage has dropped again and so on and so on.
AnswerID: 400434

Reply By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:45

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:45
Thanks for that,checked at the frig with a multi meter and the unit kicks in at 12.43v and then draws down to 10.5v then trips,its approx 5mtrs from frig to batteries and has been fitted with 6ml supply wire.
AnswerID: 400435

Follow Up By: snoopy2 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:18

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:18
Sounds like the battery has dropped a cell and has reached the end of its life. Time for a new one.
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FollowupID: 669587

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:19

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:19
Yep, you must have too much resistance in the line somewhere, check for heat being generated at connections like fuse holders and joints.
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FollowupID: 669588

Follow Up By: snoopy2 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:20

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:20
Forgot to add. Go to your local battery supplier and get them to load test the battery. That will confirm if it is good or bad.

Rgds,
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FollowupID: 669589

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:20

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:20
To check if it's the battery, test the voltage at the battery when the fridge is running, if the voltage doesn't drop at the battery then it will be a high resistance somewhere in the line.
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FollowupID: 669590

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:21

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:21
Yep, either too much resistance, or the battery is low/stuffed. Check the volts at both the fridge and the battery. That will give you the answer.
Gerry
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FollowupID: 669591

Follow Up By: Member Boroma 604 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:14

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:14
Gooday,
You say it is a NEW Caravan?, if so, phone the dealer and get them to sort it under warranty.
You say it is OK on 240, well it will still only be running on 12 volt via your batteries so maybe it is a battery problem.
Cheers,
Boroma 604.
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FollowupID: 669598

Reply By: Karen & Geoff - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:41

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:41
HI All Clear. Can I void all the answers above please. We have had the same problem with our new Vitrifrigo fridge in our new van. We could not get our fridge below 9.9 degrees. The compressor was starting for 10 seconds and then cut out. We had the fridge dial on 6, and nothing helped to cool it down. Everything was going off in the fridge and it was a night mare. I was in tears with it out of pure frustration. Exactly the same as your problems. Finally got a fridge guy out to have a look who KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT THEM. Problem was.......................

Have a look at where your thermostat is. In the fridge part, at the top you have a slide out plastic drip tray. Slide that out and have a look at where your thermostat little doovey is. It will be up the top touching the ice that forms under the freezer, in the fridge section. Therefor it is getting a false reading.

Our fridge guy moved it and now we have the fridge dial on "1", and the tempreture sits around 1 - 2 degrees. We have had temps in the 40's last week and the hottest the fridge got was 3 degrees. Our compressor now runs for ages, the way it should. And the fridge is chock a block and still runs at 1 or 2 degrees, it is great.

Go on, go out and check where your thermostat is and then come back and let me know. You can give us a call if you like. 0418187300.
Karen
AnswerID: 400439

Follow Up By: greybeard - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:48

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 11:48
it would be strange for a fridge to have two seperate thermostats ( ie one for 12v and another for 240v operation ). the original poster has said that it works ok on 240v suggesting that the thermostat placement isn't the issue in this case.
also the voltage into the fridge has been measured at the fridge under load and indicates a significant voltage drop suggesting that this could be the more likely problem.
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FollowupID: 669593

Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:01

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:01
Hi Greybeard, I say throw the whole lot of the fridges away and go back to the esky's with ice in them. Not as frustrating and the only thing that can go wrong is a leak in the plug.......lol

They are so frustrating when the things dont work properly....



Arrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

Karen
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FollowupID: 669594

Reply By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:59

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:59
To answer some of the prev threads,I have been dealing with the Manufacturer and Dealer and they are investigating ,they say they haven't experienced this sort of problem before...(doesnt that sounds familiar!)

The van is new with 3 x 115v batteries and 3 X 120 w solar panels so I wouldnt think power supply not a problem,however the delivery from batteries to frig might be suspect,maybe 6ml wire is too light.

Karen,The frig isnt cold so I would think thermo not a problem however I will check and give you a ring ,do you know what sort a gauge your wiring is?

AnswerID: 400445

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 13:05

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 13:05
I mean 3 X 115a batteries
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FollowupID: 669604

Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 13:26

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 13:26
****Karen,The frig ***isnt*** cold so I would think thermo not a problem**

Did you mean the fridge is cold or isnt cold.

The wiring I dont know about, I am just going on what the fridge man said.
Does your brand of caravan start with a "T"?
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FollowupID: 669608

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:46

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:46
Sorry Mate,

What I was trying to convey is when the frig is turned on it is still at room temp.

Hope that makes sense.



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FollowupID: 669619

Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:50

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:50
Just out of curiosity, did you check where the thermostat probe thingy was? Is it touching the ice up underneath the freezer but in the fridge compartment?

Karen
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FollowupID: 669621

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 16:01

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 16:01
Yes it is..

Brand of van is "R"
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FollowupID: 669623

Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:40

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:40
Lots of advice.

Here's my 2 cents worth and it's simple.

1 Is it the fridge, wiring or battery????

2 If 240V is converted to 12V before the fridge (I assume this the case)

3 IF your fridge runs off 240 V via transformer to the fridge

THEN run on 240V and check DC V AT FRIDGE.
THEN leave voltmeter connected and turn 240V OFF and check DC V AT FRIDGE

IF significant voltage drop the test above with checking battery V at the battery will be relevant versus battery V at the Fridge

Voltage drop could easily be wiring -- when you say 6mm wiring do mean 6mm diameter of 6 square mm cross section???

MY Vitrifugo book for the 150l with Danfoss BDF50 compressor says a 6 square mm cable is rated to 6m length only.

If you have the same compressor you could conclude that the same SHOULD apply otherwise you may need to go to 10 sqaure mm cable.

Have a look in the book anyway in regard to cable.

BUT steps above should point to the problem.

Cheers Baz
AnswerID: 400455

Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:44

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:44
Meant to say ours runs off tranformer to fridge as per point 3 above
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FollowupID: 669611

Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:49

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 14:49
ahhhhhhhh

also meant to say the BDF50 compressor cut out voltage is 10.4V BUT

this can be varied with a different resistor fitted (by expert) but as standard is 10.4V

so voltage drop or battery would be severe to cause that in my experience
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FollowupID: 669613

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:21

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:21
Hi All
"also meant to say the BDF50 compressor cut out voltage is 10.4V BUT "

At that setting all it protects is the fridge from damage due to low volts.Let it take your batts down to that voltage a few times & their life will be drastically shortened.
THe low voltage seems to indicate a serious problem with wiring or connections ,if the voltage under load @ the batts stays above 12plus volts
I would suggest that if it is under warranty you do nothing, but take it straight back.
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FollowupID: 669617

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:58

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 15:58
Thanks Baz

Wiring goes from the batt through a Waeco Mobiltronic transformer then to the frig.

I am leaving to Dealer/Manufacturer to fix but still waiting for a solution.

Not sure on wiring I was told 6mm but it is certainly not sqaure.
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FollowupID: 669622

Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 17:55

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 17:55
All Clear,
This 6 millilitre (ml) wire you speak of which I assume is meant to be 6 millimetre (mm) is it measured as per the standard layman philosophy of diameter including insulation or the correct electrical measurement of cross sectional area of the copper at 6 square millimetres?

I know this may sound like splitting hairs but in your problem and most extra low voltage problems (12 and 24 V DC are Extra Low Voltage) it is an extremely significant question to answer correctly.

The cable wont be square, it'll be round but the copper cross sectional area should be measured in square millimeters and ignore the insulation.

My guess is exactly what a few people have been telling you, far to much voltage drop in the cables caused by cable that is far to small for the job.

Let me guess, the Waeco Mobitronic unit is mounted either inside the fridge or that close to it there is almost no difference but the batteries are a distance away.

This bizarre and dangerous notion people have of measuring the overall diameter of a cable including insulation and assigning it a blanket current carrying capacity is a recipe for at best failure and at worst fire.

Insulation does not carry power, copper does! How in any basis of common sense can people include the PVC in the current carrying equation?

I guess common sense isn't all that common.

Geoff

Geoff,
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Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:15

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:15
Geoff

Typo on the 6mm ,however I don't profess to know anything about electrical systems,I was told by an Auto Electrician that the wire was 6mm ,whether that included PVC insulation I am not sure.How is electrival wire normally measured ,does it include PVC?


62 and no grey hair,have 3 children!!
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FollowupID: 669642

Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:36

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:36
Hi Allclear

An auto electrician will probably be referring cable which is often measured by overall diameter & means nothing as far as conductor size is concerned.

cable can be referred to by several means
#1
As above totally useless in my opinion

#2

By "square mm ",11/14 dia squared of the actual conductor

#3
By "mm squared" now the more common way [except some auto cable as in #1]
With 'mm squared" it is referring to the cable conductor actual diameter & as such is easy to measure
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FollowupID: 669645

Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:10

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 19:10
Hi AllClear,

Great question, "How is electrival wire normally measured ,does it include PVC? "

For me in Electrical Engineering the "normal" way is to measure the cross sectional area of the copper only in square millimetres and ignore the insulation (for practical purposes in this discussion we'll ignore the insulation). As I said in the previous post this is the most logical method as it measures the part that carries the current and ignores the part that doesn't. We also factor in circuit length in metre's (we also include positive and negative path, ie if the battery is 2 metre's from the fridge the circuit is 4 metre's in length) and the current draw in Amps before we decide on a cable size.

In automotive, caravan, camper, motor home and marine parlance there are a selection of people who consider the "normal" method to measure the overall diameter of the cable including the insulation and then assign it a blanket curent carrying capacity regardless of other factors enshrined in the Laws of Physics for electrical circuits.

My guess is you've met the second breed. Someone who thinks any length of a piece of their and I emphasise their belief of say 10 Amp cable will do anything.

I'll put it another way, if you wanted a nice hot long burning fire in the bush one night would you pick a log 8" in diameter of good aussie hardwood or a 12" diameter log of good old notty pine?

That's the nearest comparison I can make, it's not the overall size but the punch packed into the size.

Geoff

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Follow Up By: All Clear - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:04

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:04
Thanks Geoff for your info,I have learnt a lot over the last couple of days.Wow

FYI..Approx 5mtrs from batt to frig ,so I have 10mtrs of circuit!...On a so called 6mm wire!


I reckon the 6mm wire is measured overall as explained by OT123 refer #1
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FollowupID: 669722

Reply By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 16:10

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 16:10
Mate, have a look at the connections that are down the edge of the compressor. There is a wiring block with a number of spade inputs that may or may not contact correctly. It will depend on the quality of fittings your manufacturer used. I have replaced some of the original ones supplied by Vertifrigio but they are all close enough together to find it difficult to track which is which.

I know the symptoms of the compressor starting and the fan not cooling, which then trips it out. Best to ensure you get an easy access to that area of your caravan if you need to access it again.

Good to use some electrical contact cleaner too to help improve the contact.
Cheers,
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John

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AnswerID: 400469

Follow Up By: All Clear - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:16

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 18:16
Thanks John

Appreciate your help,I can get easy access ,will investigate.

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FollowupID: 669643

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:38

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 20:38
This wiring block is at the rear of the compressor, opposite the end of the condensor. There is an opportunity to connect a diagnosis LED across the + and D terminals, that can help track down future problems. The condensor fan is on + and F. The BD35 and BD50 aren't all that different except capacity. You may like to download a PDF file giving the wiring diagrams. I got one from a link on This Components Page

Cheers,
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Reply By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 01:20

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 01:20
Hi All Clear,
We had the same problem with our new vitrifrigio 8months ago (re thread 67481) the battery dropped under 12vts then the fridge just kept trying to cut in but wouldn't hold. The problem with these fridges is they like to be direct wired and ours wasn't. It had a Mobitronic rectifier attached also so that it would run off 240vts with out us having to switch over. Did a lot of research with help from people on here, plus camec(who sell them) and fridge mechanics and they all said we needed to direct wire it. The cable is now directly run through to our batteries and we took away the rectifier. These fridges don't like rectifiers on them. We had asked to have extra heavy duty wiring on the fridge when we had the van made but it wasn't done heavy enough. Since then we have very heavy cabling and we have no problems at all with the temperature.
The only thing we are not happy with now is that it always seems to be cutting in every 15 minutes even during the evening when the fridge is not being opened. I understand that they will cut in a lot during the hot days but compared to other fridges we still think that it is cutting in too much and has anyone else had this problem. We have only just come back off another trip and am now looking into this. We find that it has to be up to at least 5 to keep the freezer working properly. Even on cool days its always cutting in every 15minutes and running for 5minutes. You never miss it as it triggers interference with the radio.
Cheers Red Tail Black
AnswerID: 400536

Follow Up By: All Clear - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:10

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 09:10
Thanks RTB

Have you tried using a lower setting ,5 is the coldest ,also see Karen`s post re position of thermo.
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FollowupID: 669724

Follow Up By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:55

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:55
Yes All Clear
We did look at the thermo stat 1st of all and they even changed it, plus they then put in new fans while they had it out. Got behind there last night after reading Karens but doesn't seem to be touching. We had it at the van mob for 4weeks trying to get it right and even the fridge guy took it back to his factory and couldn't find anything wrong so they rewired it took out retifier and no more problems. I had the van built by a small family firm in Perth and it was the first time they had use Vitro. We went for this as it came in 260lt and tracker had been using them for ages.
The only thing we can think of is that they are made for the European market and the hot weather really makes them work. We are thinking of putting extra insulation around the walls. Going to get the cycles tested in the the next few weeks now that we are back and see what they say.
Our fridge has no direct outside vents and we pull the cool air in through 900ml poly tube built into the side wall to the bottom of the motor and then its drawn up passed the motor by two in built fans in the roof. These are all controlled manually by us depending on the weather. We had it built this way to control the dust coming into the van as its an off roader.
I still believe they are a great fridge but just need to find out why they cycle so much.
Also don't forget to put extra locks on the doors as they have a tendancy to jump open.
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FollowupID: 669768

Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 16:29

Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 16:29
OK All clear - it's good to hear you are taking van back to manufacturer.

Knowledge is powerfull so I'll give you some info to show the manufacturer that you have done your homework.

1 This link shows a 10 metre cable run to fridge (from AND back to the battery - so make sure it's not longer) with say a 6 amp fridge current REQUIRES A WIRE WITH A CROSS SECTION OF 4.6 mm2 (square mm) MINIMUM.

http://www.rpc.com.au/products/efn/efn133.pdf

2 This link calcualtes that with up to 5% voltage drop (ie the recommended maximum), AND 10m run length of wire AND maximum current of 6A, AND 12V system you need a minimum cable of 4.6 mm2 (wire only NOT platic PVC coating).

http://www.kilowatts.com.au/calculator-voltage-drop.php

So IT could be assumed that the MINIMUM size wire you need is 4.6 mm2 if the fridge draws 6A. IF it draws higher A use this figure to calculate wire size.

SO HOW DOES THIS HELP YOU.

3 This link shows that AS A RULE OF THUMB IF YOU CUT THE WIRE AND MEASURE THE DIAMETER OF THE WIRE ONLY (not the PVC) for a 4.6mm2 wire the diameter should be almost 3mm.

You have to use column 4 - metric wire size in mm2, and go down till you look between 4 mm2 and 6 mm2. Then go the the right column and see the approximate diameter in mm.

http://www.simetric.co.uk/siwire_elect.htm

Ask the manufaturer to show you some wire they use ie a sample and you can have someone with a vernier guage measure it for you.

Hope this is not too daunting for you ,,,, it is not intended to be. BUT if you have some idea (background info) and IF the numbers above are correct you will know that IF they use 6mm2 cable it should be OK.

Cheers Baz
AnswerID: 400624

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