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Old 12-10-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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Yesterday evening I noticed my freezer was not cold enough (Dometic 2652). I checked it and it showed about 25º. The fridge was about 33. I switched to propane and waited a few hours and the freezer went to 0 as usual. I figured maybe my heating element had died. This morning the freezer was about 21 and the fridge about 30. So now that the propane didn't solve the problem I'm onto another possible cause.

Its been extremely cold lately. This morning we saw -7 and the night before -4.3. Today's high was only 14.3. I see light frost on the right side of the fridge starting about half way down and extending clear to the bottom. My theory right now is that the outside temps are getting in and messing up the controls making the unit think its too cold so shuts down leaving the freezer section to run warmer than normal and fridge a few degrees cooler than normal.

This is the first problem I have seen so far. This unit has always cooled really well even in the triple digits we get here in Moab. I looked at the back and there are no visible coolant leaks. I guess I need to look at the insulation on the sides next.

Anyone ever heard of this? As far as I know this all stared right along with these extreme temps.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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Before wasting too much time looking for a problem that may not be there, wait till it warms up a bit. I suspect it is the low temps causing your issues.I know that same thing will happen to my fridge in the garage. It gets so cold in the garage (been in the teens this week) the fridgecompressor stops working and the freezer thaws. I had a bag of ice in there last year and it all melted. Not sure if the temps will damage the RV fridge or not. I shut mine down for the winter.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:26 PM   #3
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Thanks. Yeah I don't plan to do anything with it for now. I highly suspect the low temps are what's confusing it. I found the problem when I removed the one item I had in the freezer and it wasn't fully frozen. Oh what fun living in an RV in the winter. Maybe I should partly cover the lower vent so less cold air gets in there.

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Old 12-10-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Isold appliances for Sears several years ago, and I remember that they came out with a really cool looking fridge/freezer that was designed specifically to operate normally in a garage regardless of the temperature. The literaturethat we had said that mostfreezers will not operate efficiently inextreme cold, looks like they were right.

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Old 12-11-2009, 02:37 AM   #5
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Mark, I would suggest driving south at least 1000 miles, I think that might help it, Even if it doesn't at least YOU will fell better lol.



Other than that I have no idea. I have never heard of any thing like this.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:14 AM   #6
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My parents used to have a fridge inour vacation house. The service tech told my parents to turn the fridge off when we were not there. If you think about it, if the temps are below what the fridge/freezer is set at, the unit is working to keep the fridge/freezer warmer than the outside temps.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:24 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure I don't have a problem other than location, lol. I turned the fridge off last night and left it off today and its still slightly under 30 so I guess I have free refrigeration for a while here. Luckily I don't use the freezer much so don't really care if its above 0.


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Old 12-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Mark, Try giving Dometic a call, talk to a tech and ask him what the minimumtemperature the reefer will operate properly in.

Like the others, I have had problems with my home freezer thawing out when operating in temps in the lower twentys.When I come south for the winterI lay up my house and turn off the heat. I would come home in the spring and find that the food in the freezer had thawed and then refrozen. It was operating fine when I got home. I thought it was because we had lost power for 3-4 days in a row. But after loosing another freezer full of food the next year when there were no extended power losses I got out my owners manual (DUH) and right there in black and white it said don't operate ina space below 50 degrees F. Later I talked to an air condtioning and refrigeration tech I had worked with years ago and he saidyep that is what happens with many units. So nowI turn offand empty my home reefer when I leave for the winter.

I have since found a small 7 cubic ft freezer I keep in my garage that is garanteed to work down to 0 degrees F. But it wasn't easy finding that one. Most units I looked atare only good to 40 or 50 degrees or they can't tell you what they will work to.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:22 AM   #9
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Interesting. I had never even thought of this being a problem so I have learned something. Feels really weird having the unit off yet still cold. The fins have not even thawed out at all since last night until now.

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:41 PM   #10
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I emailed Dometic and asked at what temp these things will operate properly and they didn't give a temp but they did say the following.

"In cold weather some folks by=pass the interior light (turn it on constant
) to cause the unit to come on and cycle.

Some refers have a climate control switch that turns on the interior
light."


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Old 12-14-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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Interesting response from Dometic. I guess keepingthe light on inside the reefer supposedlyputs out enough heat to warm the box, fool the thermostat, and keep the frig running long enough to cool the freezer compartment to operating temperature. I'll have to remember that one.







I have the 2852 frig and it does have a climate control switch, but I don't believethat switch controls the interior light. The instructions sayit is a "12 volt DC climate control that will evaporate the water droplets when they form". It is intended for hot, humid climates. I just tested it by turning it on and pushing the door light switch and the light goes out when the switch is pushed inwith the climate control on or off.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:55 AM   #12
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Mark I think I have the answer to "what is the lowest ambient temperature that Dometic recommends operatingin".



While I was reading my dometic operations manual to look up the climate control switch they told you aboutI found on page 5 the following: For models RM 3862, NDR1062, & NDR1292, they have a LOW AMBIENT CONTROL. I will quote it's function. "The refrigerator is equipted with an exclusive feature that allows for trouble-free operation in low ambient temperature (like below 50 degrees F) for extended periods of time. Once the outdoor temperature is above 50 degrees F, the low ambient switch should be turned off."



So even though they didn't give you a temperature response in their e mail to you they have put in writing that the temperature for trouble free operation is 50 deg F.



Even though that is what their manual says that has not been my experience. I have camped in temps into the low 20's for extended periods of time with no operattional problems with my current or former dometic reefers. I am currently camped where the night time temps are in the 30's and low 40's. I am sure that many others on this forum have or are currently camped in colder conditions without problems.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:45 AM   #13
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Very interesting. We have never noticed a problem and we have been in - temps many times. Hmmmmm......



I think I'll take Don's advice though, just cause it keeps the rest of the "house" warmer.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:26 AM   #14
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I never noticed any problem until we went below zero a couple nights and not over 14 for a high one day. Last year we saw down to 6 one or two nights and its possible it messed up then but I didn't notice since I don't use the freezer much. I know mine does fine in the 20s as I have been checking it now. I'm just so relieved that its all okay. Right at first I was freaking out. I also have that climate switch but never use it. That's interesting that some models have a cold weather mode. Dometic sure didn't tell me much and it looks like they could have said a lot more on the subject. I'm just glad we don't see those kind of temps here much. That below zero stuff was very unusual. It got cold enough if the fridge box to lightly freeze some cucumbers that were in the lower right drawer next to where the side had frost on it.

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Old 01-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #15
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We had a similar issue late this past fall. Both the fridge and freezer stopped working when the temperature dropped to the negative teens (Celsius). It made no difference on gas or electric, in fact the pilot would be lit on gas but the unit would not cool.
The dealer tried to recreate the problem over several days but could not figure out what was wrong. In a follow up conversation with the service manager, he suggested that if it occurred again to try and run a trouble light in behind the fridge. The light would put out enough heat to trick the unit into operating.
Of course the fridge / freezer worked fine last week over New Years with the temps in the same range as last trip.
We shall see if it stops working again next time.


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Old 01-09-2010, 05:53 AM   #16
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We arehaving the same problem withour 30sk freezer.We live in Alabama but the temps have been in the low teens this week. The 5er ishooked to electrical power.It's good to know that it will resolve when the temps rise.
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