3 way fridge problems lighting

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 11:13
ThreadID: 96593 Views:10699 Replies:3 FollowUps:13
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Hello everyone, Have a 3 way fridge "Dometic '" THAT WON'T LIGHT ON gAS. aNY IDEAS ON HOW TO REPAIR,WHAT THE PROBLEM MIGHT BE THANKS JOHNO
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:18

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:18
Johno,

If the piezo lighter works, and you KNOW the gas cylinder is full, and the valve/tap is turned on, then it should light.

If it doesn't then either the gas supply pipe has been squashed/crimped, the jet is blocked(rare) or the safety cut-off valve is u/s. If the fridge is old, I'd bet on the last one. Just check that the tab attached to cut-off valve is where it can be heated by the flame too.

I suppose you are holding the over-ride button in, while you're working piezo lighter??? Also, is the regulator working on the cylinder?

The other thing, if all the above check out ok, and the fridge has been in a van for sometime, is to check that all the connections between cylinder and burner are tight. If not, gas maybe leaking out, and not getting to burner. Then you've got a safety issue.

Let us know how you get on,

Bob.

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Follow Up By: johno59 - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 17:28

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 17:28
Bob, Thanks where do I look for the cut off valve. Is it located from outside the van under the plastic vent. thanks johno
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 17:47

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 17:47
Johno,

Cut-off valve should be adjacent to the burner/flame, as the small metallic tab sits just above the flame, and the heat transmitted into the valve keeps it open, while the flame's going. Flame goes out, valve shuts, you don't get gassed, or blown up.

If you can access the back of fridge from outside, you could remove the burner assembly, and give it a clean. Before you do this, try the following: Using a gas stove lighter, or Bic lighter, apply a flame to the tab, and if it's going open, there should be an audible click, as it opens. It's not safe, but I've pulled valve to bits, and wired the valve open with small length of fly wire, until a replacement could be sourced.

If you can't get into the back of fridge, you'd have to remove it, and I know you don't want to do that!!!

Bob.

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Follow Up By: johno59 - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 19:50

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 19:50
Thanks Bob I will have a look tommorrow. Have a Waeco that has kept us out of trouble while we get the fridge going johno
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Follow Up By: johno59 - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 10:15

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 10:15
thanks Bob. We are in Kalgoolie.the local demetic repairer can't do the job because he is not a qualified gas fitter ???? I have had a quick look from the back of fridge.there is a thin wire thing (tab?) adjacent what i think is the cut off valve. Will try with flame and wait for click...............or Bang! thanks johno
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 11:12

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 11:12
Looks like Murphy is alive and well in Kal, Johno!

These "things" always stop/break on a friday, so you usually have to wait over the weekend to get a repair done. Maybe there's a licensed plumber/gas fitter that can do the job, IF you can get the part?

That small wire you mention may be the wire for the piezo starter, Johno. One thing I didn't mention y'day, was if you hold the button in, while using the Piezo lighter, the flame should light, and stay lit, as long as you hold that button in. Just remember that it often takes some seconds for the gas to come through the pipe, if the fridge hasn't been going for a while.

You in a situation where you can use the fridge on 240v, while you wait for a fix? Might help the Waeco a bit.
I'm going back to work early tomorrow, for over a week, so won't be able to help you after today. Hope you get it all sorted early this week.

Bob.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 11:40

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 11:40
Johno,

Looks like my info might be a bit dated, as the thermocouple(to keep the valve open), is not as I described it. The one in photo is similar to ones I've replaced on Rheem Gas hot water systems.

The "pointy" end sits in the flame, is heated, and this works the valve somehow. They spend a lot of time in the flame, but do wear out after a while. Probably like a bloke with a fiery missus!!!

For future info, Johno, check out caravansplus.com.au That's where I got the photo of the thermocouple from, and there's other photos of burner assemblies, for different models of Dometic. I reckon you could change the t'couple, because you aren't actually interfering with the gas set-up.

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Hope these photos help,

Bob.

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Follow Up By: johno59 - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 17:18

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 17:18
thanks bob for all your advice. Pulled the valve to pieces and cleaned it.The gas is coming through but won,t stay alight.Looks like i might have to get an expert johno
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 20:46

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 20:46
No worries, Johno.

If the Dometic bloke can't help you, or it'll take a fair whle to get a replacement thermocouple, then you could try a place that sells Rheem gas hot water systems. Somewhere like Retravision, Betta Electrical or any electrical store usually sells those items.

As long as new thermocouple was same length as your old one, it should work. As for being an expert, you'll be pretty close by the time it's going again.

Leave a follow-up, to let us know how you get on. I'll pick it up when i get back home,

Good luck, cya,
Bob.

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Follow Up By: johno59 - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 17:31

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 17:31
Thanks Bob, Been to 3 or 4 places,asked around and no one seems to be able to help. Ran into one refridge joint and the young girl said she could make a mint for all the enquries about 3 wayfridges needing repairs,she advised no one in Kal does them!! So will have to wait till we get back to Ballarat johno
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Follow Up By: johno59 - Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 17:57

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 at 17:57
Bob, You won't believe it!! I am back in Vic Ballarat and just had a Gas Fitter repair our household Gas Heater in the Lounge and he also took a look at the Caravan Fridge. There was a wire that had shaken loose from the little pointed thing that provides the spark. IF the loose wire was visable by ME I could have fixed it in a second!! Jayco quoted $ 50 just to take a look! JOHNO
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 13:34

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 13:34
Pity you had to get all the way back home to get it fixed, Johno.

Have seen that wire come out on gas hot water sytems, and we just used one of those gas fire lighting thingys instead. They get the thermocoupling hot enough to turn on. We've also used a piece of felt, or something similar that's not too flammable, cut about 20mm square, and attached to length of fencing wire about 5-600mm long. Dip this in metho, and use it light the fridge.

Hope that rest of your holiday was good, even without the fridge. Johno, you'll be "full bottle" now on any fridge problems, thanks for getting back to us,

Regards,
Bob.

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Follow Up By: johno59 - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:39

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:39
thanks Bob, If you take a look at the photos you sent me, the top one,its the longer wire that somehow disconnected itself. johno
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Reply By: Priscilla G - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:46

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:46
We were able to light our fridge twice with difficulty ( new van) then not at all.Took it to a Dometic repair agent.After a lot of pulling apart ,had to order a replacement part. Not sure what but he said there has been a lot of problems with this brand lately .Look on internet for Dometic agent.We live remote but had 2 not far away!
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 09:58

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 09:58
what is the flame like on your gas cooker, does it seem to be taking longer to boil the kettle, if lots of yellow tipped flames then your regulator might need attention
AnswerID: 489939

Follow Up By: johno59 - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 17:33

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 17:33
Flame seems normal, but thanks anyway johno
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