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.


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,170 ✭✭✭✭✭

    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: 4,279 ✭✭✭✭✭

    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😥

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 10 #5

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

    link to old thread

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 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.


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