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  • chrisfinncjf

Broke Down Already??

3 days into our journey and our refrigerator was in need of repair :( The temperature started running in the 24-28 degree range and was starting to freeze stuff. This Dometic fridge is an "automatic" fridge that doesn't need adjustments to set the temperature, haha. There is a sensor (thermistor) that is mounted on the cooling fins you can use to fine tweek the temperature but the fridge was unresponsive to changes in the sensor position.

The Dometic fridge is an absorption type fridge that allows you to run on electricity or gas, residential refrigerators only run on electricity and use a compressor. The absorption fridge doesn't have a compressor so you can't hear when the fridge is running. The Hughes surge protector was invaluable in troubleshooting this problem since it allows you to use your phone to monitor the power being used. By monitoring the power I was able to determine that the fridge was not cycling off.

I verified that the problem exists when using electric or gas. This eliminates a significant portion of the components. The control systems used in these refrigerators are relatively simple and once the electric heating elements and gas heating elements were eliminated (both were affected) that really only leaves the control board and the thermistor (temp sensor). Ohm meter check quickly isolated the problem to the thermistor.

I found a replacement thermistor in Jacksonville but we had to manually turn the fridge on/off for 2 days since we wouldn't being going thru Jacksonville for a couple days.

The replacement was relatively easy thanks to Patricia's smaller arms/hands that allowed here to reach up the rear of the unit to grab the fish wire to pull the new sensor up. If it wasn't for Patricia's smaller arms I would have had to slide the fridge out to route the wiring for the new sensor. Using the Hughes power monitor I was able to verify that the unit was now cycling on and off and actually controlling temperature.

The fridge had at most 6 days of use since it was new before failure. While the unit is still under warranty I decided to fix it myself instead of going thru the hassle of trying to schedule a repair in a shop. Paying the $40 for the part was less painful.

$40 for a simple thermistor!

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