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Electrolux camping fridge


Guest Mick

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Guest Mick
Hi, I've bought a Pennine folding camper with an Electrolux 3 way fridge fitted which works on gas but not 240v electric, I've not tried it on 12 volt. Seeing as how we normally go on serviced sites I would like to get it going on 240v to save gas. Any ideas, are there any fuses inside the unit? When I bought it the plug was cut off. regards Mick.
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Guest Frank Gordon
Not to worry, Mick - it just might have been useful to know in case there is information about it on the Dometic (previously Electrolux) website. Because it's in a folding camper I guess your fridge is relatively small and, more importantly, I shall assume it's some years old. As I'm sure you're aware, Electrolux 3-way fridges use an absorption process for cooling that involves a refrigerant being circulated by a heat source. There are 3 separate heat sources, one each for gas, 230V or 12V operation. On most fridges (and all the older ones) the 12V system is the simplest (no thermostat), followed by the 240V system, then the gas system. Because of its extra complexity (and due to owners' tendencies towards not maintaining their fridges!) it's usually gas operation that plays up. Fortunately your fridge cools on gas which also proves that the coolant-circulating parts of the fridge are also operative. The 230V system has 3 basic components - on the front fascia an ON/OFF switch and a thermostat-control with a selection knob, plus a heater at the rear of the fridge - and any of these could be the cause of your problem. There will be no 230V fuse on the fridge itself. Common practice with a leisure-vehicle would be to protect the fridge (and its owner) by connecting its 230V power-supply cable to a switched fused-spur connected to a RCD unit that is 'fed' from the camper's 230V hook-up input-point. I wouldn't expect to find a plug on the fridge's 230V power-supply cable but who knows what manufacturers or owners get up to? Does your fridge's 230V ON/OFF switch light up? This would prove that mains power is present at the switch and the bulb's OK. However, it won't prove that the switch is working properly, but it's a step in the right direction. The logical thing to do is to identify the 230V heater (follow the cable) and confirm that mains power is reaching it. If it is, then the heater is probably duff and will need replacement. (Presumably the 230V heater should become hot to the touch when working properly, but I've never had the opportunity or inclination to touch one on a 'live' fridge to confirm this!) If 230V power isn't present at the heater, then there's a fault upstream, either with the thermostat-control or the ON/OFF switch. You'll just have to check the path of the 230V current after it reaches the fridge and see where it stops. There are also the possibilities of poor connections and cable failure, so don't overlook these. Make sure the fridge is level - this is normally far more important for correct gas operation, but one never knows. Good luck with this - chances are the fault is minor and inexpensive to correct. If you do need to seek professional assistance it would be sensible for you to have confirmed beforehand whether 12V operation is OK. No point in having work done on the 230V side and then needing to return shortly after for a 12V repair.
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Guest Mick
Frank, thanks for all that, I'll hoik it out of the camper and have a good shufti this weekend. I dont see a thermostat on the front, only on the gas control knob which has a big flame or a small flame. The switch on the other side is just 0ff/12v/240v. regards Mick.
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Guest Frank Gordon
OK - sounds like quite an old model Electrolux fridge then. Anyway, no thermostat for 230V operation means one less thing to go wrong and one less thing to check.
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Guest Frank Gordon
In '93 I was still a virgin (at least where camping vehicles are concerned) - in fact, I didn't get involved with the hobby until late-1998. The 3 separate heaters arrangement I mentioned earlier would have been true for Electrolux fridges from, say, 1996, but I couldn't swear it applies to yours. However, as technological evolution tends to be based on existing principles, it seems reasonable to assume your fridge has separate heaters for 12v and 230v operation even though its switching differs from later models and there is no 230v thermostat-control. I've had a look at the fridge chapter in the "The Motorcaravan Manual" and noted that it says about the 'burner-tube' that sits above the gas-burner assembly: "This tube is effectively a chimney clad in an insulating material. Wrapped within its insulation are the heating elements for 12v and 230v operation." So that sounds like a good place to look for your fridge's electrical heating elements (though accessing the elements themselves may be another matter). If you've got a friendly caravan dealer nearby, it would be worth picking their brains about this before performing open-heart surgery on your fridge. You don't want to start with a fridge that works on gas, perhaps on 12V and not on 230V, and end up with one that doesn't work at all. Please let the forum know how you get on - feedback is always valuable, just in case someone else reports a similar problem in future.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Mick greatbatch
Frank, I opened the camper up yesterday but getting the fridge out looked like major dismantling so I left it in and took off the flue thing inside, this lets me see down the back of the fridge. It does have a thermostat at the front and a 3 position switch, 12v, 240v and off (another control for gas at the other side). I turned the switch to 240v and the thermostat to 8 and left it for two hours. No sign of any cooling but when I stuck my hand down the back I burnt it on a pipe which leads into a sort of radiator with fins. Everything at the back looks okay, a pair of wires to the 240v heater, a pair of thinner wires to the 12v heater and a single wire to the stat. Looks like I'll have to grit my teeth and pay for the gas. regards Mick.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Folding caravan with Electrolux fridge.Just been reading Frank's been having fun with his fridge. I have a similar fault but have checked heating element and found it open circuit.It says its 220v 75watt.My not thing is to locate one.any idears?? Pete Manchester
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