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Fridge Control Panel Not Working

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#1 bluesail20

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 04:02 PM

The control panel for the fridge on my Casita does not work.  I checked the fuse, and that (from the exterior access panel) the distribution block has voltage.  From another forum post I learned that the two lights (exterior and inside entry) are on a shared circuit, and I made sure they were both working (the outside one needed connection cleaning but works fine now).  I pulled the control panel itself (at top of fridge) out, and inspected the wiring there, and all looks fine.  

How can I get my fridge to turn on? 

Thanks campers!


Edited by bluesail20, 02 August 2020 - 04:03 PM.


#2 West Texan

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 05:27 PM

Check the wiring behind the fridge, by opening the two panels on the outside that are beside the door.
I dont have the wiring schematic to tell you the wiring, but I am sure someone will chime in.

#3 bluesail20

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:51 AM

Here are the voltage readings from the rear/exterior access panel.  Doesn't seem right.  I do get the expected 13-ish amps on the light fixtures. Any ideas?

fridge-voltage-on-battery-2b.jpg fridge-voltage-on-battery-1a.jpg

 



#4 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:15 PM

Here are the voltage readings from the rear/exterior access panel.  Doesn't seem right.  I do get the expected 13-ish amps on the light fixtures. Any ideas?

attachicon.giffridge-voltage-on-battery-2b.jpgattachicon.giffridge-voltage-on-battery-1a.jpg

 

That would be 13-ish VOLTS not amps.   

 

Check for a blown fuse at the DC converter panel.  Also check to see that connections are tight and clean.  You may have to do some physical wire tracing if you find the refrigerator terminal and line has 13-ish volts at the converter panel.   They use a White wire for DC ground or negative for everything and it runs around the perimeter of the trailer.  it has many lights and fixtures spliced into it.    I recall the refrigerator wire is Red and should be running direct from the converter panel to the terminal block behind the refrigerator.  The one where you are measuring the voltage. 

 

 

Bob



#5 West Texan

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:22 PM

Check your voltage at the terminal to another known ground to see if the voltage lead is open and then check your ground to another known ground at the terminal to see if that connection is open. This should help to see if one or both leads are open and make it easier for trouble shooting.
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#6 kpiercec8

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 02:16 PM

I could be mistaken because the pics are not clear on my iPhone but it looks like the meter is knob is set to the 10 Amp range. If it is then the red lead is not plugged into the correct jack on the meter. You have the leads across the 12v and Ground leads suppling power to the refrigerator which is correct for reading voltage but incorrect for reading current. To read current you need to be in series with the battery which would involve removing the 12v or ground lead from the terminal block and connecting the meter between the the lead you disconnected and the terminal block. The first thing I would do is see if youre getting around 12.6v across the terminal block but first set the meter to the 20vdc range. KP

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#7 flcoxjr

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 09:53 AM

I could be mistaken because the pics are not clear on my iPhone but it looks like the meter is knob is set to the 10 Amp range. If it is then the red lead is not plugged into the correct jack on the meter. You have the leads across the 12v and Ground leads suppling power to the refrigerator which is correct for reading voltage but incorrect for reading current. To read current you need to be in series with the battery which would involve removing the 12v or ground lead from the terminal block and connecting the meter between the the lead you disconnected and the terminal block. The first thing I would do is see if youre getting around 12.6v across the terminal block but first set the meter to the 20vdc range. KP


I was able to get a better look at the pictures on my iPad, and the meter is set on the 20 volt range of VDC
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#8 Tombrown

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 11:36 AM

for what it worth - I just check the same terminals on my Casita and got 13.5 volts( my charger is on)



#9 friz

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:21 AM

The selector knob on the meter is opposite of the voltage reading position.  Thank goodness  the leads werent in the position for reading amps, or there would have been a flash and smoke. You probably have 12 volts at the terminals, or the meter would have read zero.

 

  There is a voltage regulator or resistor on the control board to feed the switch logic section that is probably out.  Schematic would be nice to have.



#10 Mark Watson

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:30 PM

One way to get a good 12 Volts  at that terminal block where your red lead is connected is to run a wire from the positive battery terminal and run it under the trailer to that two position terminal block. If your display board then lights up you'll know your loosing 12 V between the battery and terminal block.

You can do the same thing with the negative battery terminal and the other position on the terminal block to test out the ground return side of that circuit.

Then you'll know if you need to troubleshoot the voltage going to the terminal block, or the ground return side back to the battery. 

I take it you have tested your meter DC function by measuring from the plus battery terminal to the negative battery terminal and reading more than 12 volts?

And you made sure you've made good contact with both leads on the terminal block?


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#11 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 04:10 PM

One way to get a good 12 Volts  at that terminal block where your red lead is connected is to run a wire from the positive battery terminal and run it under the trailer to that two position terminal block. If your display board then lights up you'll know your loosing 12 V between the battery and terminal block.

You can do the same thing with the negative battery terminal and the other position on the terminal block to test out the ground return side of that circuit.

Then you'll know if you need to troubleshoot the voltage going to the terminal block, or the ground return side back to the battery. 

I take it you have tested your meter DC function by measuring from the plus battery terminal to the negative battery terminal and reading more than 12 volts?

And you made sure you've made good contact with both leads on the terminal block?

 

I wouldn't advise the method suggested.   If there is a short to ground or in the control panel,  the wire from the battery positive to the terminal strip will likely vaporize in your hand.  The method recommended has no current limiting, fuse, or current protection. Not at all wise.  {Sorry Mark}

 

Measure the voltage on the red wire and fuse for the refrigerator, to ground at the DC power distribution panel.  Make sure the fuse is good and you have +12 volts or more at the distribution panel and on the red wire.  Then measure the voltage from the terminal with the red wire behind the refrigerator to any metal case on the refrigerator.  You should have +12 volts or more.  If not, then there is a break in the red wire from the power panel to the refrigerator.   If you do have 12 volts or more to the terminal strip red wire and any metal on the refrigerator, this says the circuit of the white wire which is DC negative or ground is open.  Again measure the voltage between the red wire and white wire on the terminal strip behind the refrigerator.    If you have 12+ volts there, the issue is likely in the control panel.    Refer to the manual and schematic for additional information. 



#12 bluesail20

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 06:39 PM

connector-01.jpg Thanks everybody, electricity is a hoot. 

My multi-meter's selector knob can be confusing.  The indented end is the pointer, which is hard to see in the previous photo, where it is actually set to the DC 20V position.  

I found the online diagnostic service manual for my unit (model RM2454).  It advises to set the multi-meter to the AC scale, and discusses testing for "AC ripple," and states the acceptable voltage range is 9.6 to 22 V DC, and mentions it will shut down at 18V.

 

On my unit, the main terminal block looks quite corroded (picture attached) and probably is causing a bad connection, so I:

disconnected the "shore line" and disconnected the battery, 

removed the block

Went looking for a replacement block but had no luck, so, tomorrow will reconnect all the wires with crimp connectors and retest. 

I'll letcha know how it goes!

 

 



#13 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 07:13 AM

attachicon.gifconnector-01.jpgThanks everybody, electricity is a hoot. 

My multi-meter's selector knob can be confusing.  The indented end is the pointer, which is hard to see in the previous photo, where it is actually set to the DC 20V position.  

I found the online diagnostic service manual for my unit (model RM2454).  It advises to set the multi-meter to the AC scale, and discusses testing for "AC ripple," and states the acceptable voltage range is 9.6 to 22 V DC, and mentions it will shut down at 18V.

 

On my unit, the main terminal block looks quite corroded (picture attached) and probably is causing a bad connection, so I:

disconnected the "shore line" and disconnected the battery, 

removed the block

Went looking for a replacement block but had no luck, so, tomorrow will reconnect all the wires with crimp connectors and retest. 

I'll letcha know how it goes!

 

 

I would say the discoloration is an indication of a loose or poor connection.   Yes, clean the wire ends, use a good crimp connector to splice together, or twist tightly and put on a wire nut.  



#14 thetravelkids

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 10:02 AM

Bluesail20, I think you are looking at Dometic 3858022019 refrigerator terminal block.

Hope this helps.

We experienced wonky operation of the “eyebrow board” on our fridge. The controls pop off pretty easy. Look for burned areas on the printed circuit board. Get the part number off the board while you are inspecting it. 


Edited by thetravelkids, 15 August 2020 - 10:07 AM.

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#15 bluesail20

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 05:10 PM

The terminal block was a problem. The hot and neutral leads each connect to another two smaller wires, and I could not fit all three into any wire nuts.  Those 2 smaller wires have crimped ends and not much slack, so I didn't want to alter them. 

So I ended buying (from Lowe's) a pack of 2 "splice reducers" that allowed me to connect the wires (careful to keep them from touching each other or anything else because they are made of metal and not insulated).  And then I got the 13+ volts needed, and the entry lights (which are on a shared circuit with the fridge) worked again, but not the fridge control panel. 

So I checked the DC distributor panel (blade) fuse and saw it had blown.  So I replaced it.  Still no control panel lights.  I rechecked the (cartidge) fuses in the pcb of the fridge, and discovered one of those was blown (it was not blown before this, I did check it previously).  I will have to go shopping again.

My fuses seem to blow more often than they should, going back some time.  

Just by chance, I noticed, while gripping one of the stabilizer jacks. that it felt like it had an electrical charge.  So now I suspect that something somewhere is shorting to the frame.  I don't know where to start looking. Any ideas?

Also, the rear cabin lights and fantastic fan don't work, suggesting that (or those) circuit is shorted. When I bought the camper (in 2011), the seller told me that the water heater didn't work because it's pcb had blown out. 

I sure would like to get this whole electrical mystery solved soon. 

Thanks for any suggestions.  

 







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