Propane Refrigerator failure

nkinnkin Registered Users Posts: 3

We purchased a Crystal Cold propane refrigerator about ten years ago so that we could get through the long low-sun periods of Vermont without regular generator use.  Suddenly, the refrigerator has failed.  We've cleaned the flue, the burner and the orifice without improvement.  We've "burped" it by letting it sit on its side, then top and then first side again for 30 minutes each.   No help.  It lights but the flue doesn't seem to be at normal "high heat" --- gives no significant cooling.   Perhaps one clue is what looks like maybe a small rust stain on the rear, possibly starting at a tube weld and extending down?  We've never seen anything dripping, or anything on the floor, but don't remember this "feature" when new - and wonder if it is likely evidence a new and very slow leak.  Other than that, we wonder about possible thermostat failure. 

No propane service people known within reach, so we're looking  for advice on how to best proceed.   In other discussions I've seen mention of replacing components but am not sure how to diagnose and what to get, or whether replacement of a thermostat or cooling system is practical.  If a new unit seems warranted, any tips on the relative merits of Crystal Cold versus EZ Freeze (or other 18 cf +/- options) would be appreciated.

Thank you for any help.

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,340 ✭✭✭✭✭

    a propane fridge uses an ammonia / water mix to produce cooling, neither of which will leave much residue.

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  • nkinnkin Registered Users Posts: 3

    Update:   Please consider the fact that the tube coming out of the heating column has shed most of its paint, apparently due to high heat.  In my imagination, it seems that maybe the heated gas rising up in the tube above the burner is not able to circulate as far as the cooling fins and thus causes the flaking paint.  Perhaps this is due to a blockage before the fins?  Not sure how to treat it since burping failed.      [Ignore that rust stain - more likely related to slight water leak at defrosting. ]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,587 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My experience long ago with the CC is it is toast and needs a guy who can tear apart the system. I can dig up some more info as alot of clients had these 20 years ago. If you want to fix it it is going to have to take a truck ride. I hope this helps.

    Stuff always seems to fail in winter or at night on the ocean. Good Luck and sorry😥

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  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,587 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 10 #5

    The Amish shop in Pennsylvania makes these BTW. They are old Amana units stripped down.

    link to old thread

    https://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/9919/crystal-cold-gas-frig-consider-repairs-before-buying-something

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • nkinnkin Registered Users Posts: 3

    Thanks All,

    Discussion new and old, - and helpful info from Ben of Ben’s Discount - has guided me toward replacing the cooling unit. Will wait until Vermont “mud season” is over (for trucking up steep muddy roads) give it a try and report on experience.

    Nkin

  • HDuttonHDutton Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1

    My brother had a very similar problem on a older Danby. Fridge cooled a little but not at capacity. It was a defective burner orifice. Replaced this and it works well again.

  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    @ nkin,

    on servicing propane referigerators go to Dometic.com search for manuals, search for "servicing old Dometic referigerators" This is the dealers technical manual. It explains everything! Theory of operation to diagnostics...must read....more later

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    Straight out from Dometic, do not invert unit! Tip left 15 degrees wait 10 minutes, tip right 15 degrees wait 10 min then back same thing , then forth , same thing...repeat until gurgling is done ..this allows ammonia mix to drain down back to boiler...get domestics book it tells all! Been there, done that....info not so well known hydrogen gas absorbes the ammonia vapor ! It's in domestics book, way old....out of print...search Dometic s website

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,362 admin

    David,

    Is this the old Dometic Service Manual you are thinking of?

    http://www.nationalserroscotty.org/resources/dometic-service-manual.pdf

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    BB,

    That is the one, I lost my copy in a ipad trashing . Kinda explains the whole works. All of these work on the same principle

    david

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,286 ✭✭✭✭

    Somewhat related - maybe. Loss of coolant is an extremely common cause of losing cooling capacity in a/s and refrigeration. Any way to check the pressure of the ammonia/water mix?

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    They are a sealed system at about 500 psi., pretty much untouchable

    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
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