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Old 09-19-2016, 12:41 PM   #1
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Problems with fridge running on propane

Sorry if this is a common thread. I've done some searching and haven't found an answer.

I have a 2010 JayFlite 25RKS with a Norcold 2-way fridge. Earlier this summer, we had to make an emergency trip out of town. I had been having electrical problems in the garage that affected the TT, so I decided to let the TT run on battery and the fridge run on gas while we are gone (solar panels keep the battery topped off). Came back, fridge was warm, rotten food (nasty!). Got it plugged back in to 110, fridge cooled off fine.

Did some trouble shooting over the summer. Yes, the trailer is level. Removed the shroud, checked the propane burner in the fridge. Was getting a nice blue flame, saw some corrosion around the burner slots so cleaned that up, still would not cool on gas.

Then we had a 5 day trip a couple of weeks ago with no hookups, so I cooled the fridge to the max at home running on 110 (setting 5) and put a frozen water jug on the top shelf when we left. Figured we would make it last as long as we could. Well, the fridge did fine running on gas. Didn't need the ice. Freezer and fridge were both just fine. Had to turn the cooling level down to 3 so stuff didn't freeze. I did notice that now when the burner turns on, it has more of a "roar" sound than before, like it's burning hotter?

So I'm stumped. I've done a lot of touching of wires, contacts, etc., but no unplugging/replugging. No other disassembly in the back of the fridge other than removing the shroud around the burner so I could see it. Any suggestions? Bad control board? Corroded contacts? Is the fridge dying? (I wasn't consistent until a couple years ago about parking the TT level while at home and running on 110). Any help would be appreciated.

Wayne
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:52 PM   #2
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You've got a weird one there.


Cools OK on 120VAC. Won't cool on gas. Have good flame.


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Old 09-19-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by waynem View Post
Sorry if this is a common thread. I've done some searching and haven't found an answer.

I have a 2010 JayFlite 25RKS with a Norcold 2-way fridge. Earlier this summer, we had to make an emergency trip out of town. I had been having electrical problems in the garage that affected the TT, so I decided to let the TT run on battery and the fridge run on gas while we are gone (solar panels keep the battery topped off). Came back, fridge was warm, rotten food (nasty!). Got it plugged back in to 110, fridge cooled off fine.

Did some trouble shooting over the summer. Yes, the trailer is level. Removed the shroud, checked the propane burner in the fridge. Was getting a nice blue flame, saw some corrosion around the burner slots so cleaned that up, still would not cool on gas.

Then we had a 5 day trip a couple of weeks ago with no hookups, so I cooled the fridge to the max at home running on 110 (setting 5) and put a frozen water jug on the top shelf when we left. Figured we would make it last as long as we could. Well, the fridge did fine running on gas. Didn't need the ice. Freezer and fridge were both just fine. Had to turn the cooling level down to 3 so stuff didn't freeze. I did notice that now when the burner turns on, it has more of a "roar" sound than before, like it's burning hotter?

So I'm stumped. I've done a lot of touching of wires, contacts, etc., but no unplugging/replugging. No other disassembly in the back of the fridge other than removing the shroud around the burner so I could see it. Any suggestions? Bad control board? Corroded contacts? Is the fridge dying? (I wasn't consistent until a couple years ago about parking the TT level while at home and running on 110). Any help would be appreciated.

Wayne
I'm confused or miss reading your post...
You had a problem one time with the fridge not cooling on propane, but now it works OK? The problem now is that on propane the fridge sounds louder than it used to?
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:39 PM   #4
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I'm confused or miss reading your post...

You had a problem one time with the fridge not cooling on propane, but now it works OK? The problem now is that on propane the fridge sounds louder than it used to?


Sorry, that was a bit rambling. The fridge has always worked fine whether running on gas or electric. It definitely failed on me this summer running on gas, but now it's working okay. The problem is I want to be able to trust that it's going to work on gas the next time I need it. I don't understand why it failed and I don't know what fixed it.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:23 AM   #5
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I was have a B of a time getting mine to fire off propane. It worked on trip one and two and then trip 3 wouldn't flame on. I got another set of eyes to look at it, poked and prodded the burner and got nowhere. With the gas on and known to be flowing (stove works ok), I finally "rebooted" the fridge with a front panel switch reset. Turned it off, waited 10 seconds and then turned back on. Presto!!! The flashing green light went solid and my food started going back to being frozen.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:39 AM   #6
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I was have a B of a time getting mine to fire off propane. It worked on trip one and two and then trip 3 wouldn't flame on. I got another set of eyes to look at it, poked and prodded the burner and got nowhere. With the gas on and known to be flowing (stove works ok), I finally "rebooted" the fridge with a front panel switch reset. Turned it off, waited 10 seconds and then turned back on. Presto!!! The flashing green light went solid and my food started going back to being frozen.
Yeah, when propane sits in the line for too long, it breaks down into an unburnable gas.

The fridge gives the igniter only about 10 seconds to 'flame on'. Then aborts. No retry.

With the tiny flame a fridge uses, 10 second is not long enough to completely purge the line. 2 or 3 manually initiated retries is normal according to the documentation that the dealer handed us (3" thick stack) at the PDI.

I had to find and read the manual on our first outing because it would ignite and then go out. I did a lot of homework and actually repaired the burner while we were boondocking.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:26 AM   #7
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I have always been in the habit of firing off the stove to purge the line and verifying that we have gas flow prior to lighting the fridge.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:31 AM   #8
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I have always been in the habit of firing off the stove to purge the line and verifying that we have gas flow prior to lighting the fridge.
Works great almost all of the time. But every now and again.....

Reality decides to bite us on the a*****!
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:43 AM   #9
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So back to my original problem. When running on propane I have a flame. Sometimes it cools the fridge, sometimes it doesn't. What's the difference? Does the burner have a "pilot" mode and a full power cooling mode? Is that why it has more of a roar to it when it's actually cooling?
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by waynem View Post
So back to my original problem. When running on propane I have a flame. Sometimes it cools the fridge, sometimes it doesn't. What's the difference? Does the burner have a "pilot" mode and a full power cooling mode? Is that why it has more of a roar to it when it's actually cooling?
If you've got electronic controls and an automatic igniter, the flame has exactly two modes: On or Off.

Since you are getting poor performance (the roar is normal-getting cooling), you've got some kind of blockage in the flow of propane to the burner.

Possible remedies:

- Double-check than the hose isn't kinked or pinched. Move it as needed.

- Pull the burner and the tube that runs from the gas solenoid to the burner and clean them inside and out.
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