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Old 12-16-2006, 05:57 AM   #1
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Because this problem now seems to be okay, I was not going to post it. However, when another forum member had mentioned looking at RV.net, I decided to have a first time look. What I saw regarding a Dometic refrig. recall startled me.

One night last week, our refrig. door (we have '06 36'FDDS with side by side Dometic refrig.) was inadvertantly not closed completely. When I discovered this the next morning, the refrig. was off. I assumed there was an automatic shut-off, and by just closing the door things would be okay. I did this, and it did seem to be cooling, but the next day Buddy mentioned that the milk did not seem to be cold enough. Upon observing things, the frig. seemed to cool for a while then shut down. We tried resetting everything (clock, temp., even put it on gas) per the manual instructions. Problem continued. We asked a mobile RV tech (who happened to be working on another MH in the park) to have a look. He did some checking and said everything appeared to be okay with the frig. and suggested we shut everything off completely (he said the frig. was "confused" with our attempts at settings), wait 20 min. and restart. Wait 4-6 hrs, and if it were still not working, repeat. We did so. No luck. The frig. would seem to cool for a while, then shut down and not cool (freezer seemed fine throughout this episode). This went on for a couple days. Called tech, and he suggested we put it on gas and leave it.

The next morning we smelled a strong ammonia odor. We turned ceiling vents on and left for the day. Upon returning, the coach was aired out. We went to bed. I couldn't sleep as the ammonia odor was coming back strong; I was coughing and even got a hurting in my chest. Buddy was asleep, but I decided to get up and turn the refrig. off and leave it. However, when I opened the door, it was definitely cooling and seemed to be doing so properly, so I left it on. The next morning, the ammonia smell was gone, and the frig. was cold. We were there for two more days. We left it on gas, and it worked fine. When we got home, we hooked to shore power, switched the frig. to elec.;and it has worked fine since.

When I read on RV.net that Dometic refrig. (though not our model) with ammonia smell were being recalled due to fire hazard when near a flame,I became alarmed and wondered if we should have even stayed in the motor home.

Has anyone had this problem?

As everything seems to be fine now, I hesitate to have to deal with something that is "not broke." I do plan to call Dometic on Monday.

Comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:57 AM   #2
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Because this problem now seems to be okay, I was not going to post it. However, when another forum member had mentioned looking at RV.net, I decided to have a first time look. What I saw regarding a Dometic refrig. recall startled me.

One night last week, our refrig. door (we have '06 36'FDDS with side by side Dometic refrig.) was inadvertantly not closed completely. When I discovered this the next morning, the refrig. was off. I assumed there was an automatic shut-off, and by just closing the door things would be okay. I did this, and it did seem to be cooling, but the next day Buddy mentioned that the milk did not seem to be cold enough. Upon observing things, the frig. seemed to cool for a while then shut down. We tried resetting everything (clock, temp., even put it on gas) per the manual instructions. Problem continued. We asked a mobile RV tech (who happened to be working on another MH in the park) to have a look. He did some checking and said everything appeared to be okay with the frig. and suggested we shut everything off completely (he said the frig. was "confused" with our attempts at settings), wait 20 min. and restart. Wait 4-6 hrs, and if it were still not working, repeat. We did so. No luck. The frig. would seem to cool for a while, then shut down and not cool (freezer seemed fine throughout this episode). This went on for a couple days. Called tech, and he suggested we put it on gas and leave it.

The next morning we smelled a strong ammonia odor. We turned ceiling vents on and left for the day. Upon returning, the coach was aired out. We went to bed. I couldn't sleep as the ammonia odor was coming back strong; I was coughing and even got a hurting in my chest. Buddy was asleep, but I decided to get up and turn the refrig. off and leave it. However, when I opened the door, it was definitely cooling and seemed to be doing so properly, so I left it on. The next morning, the ammonia smell was gone, and the frig. was cold. We were there for two more days. We left it on gas, and it worked fine. When we got home, we hooked to shore power, switched the frig. to elec.;and it has worked fine since.

When I read on RV.net that Dometic refrig. (though not our model) with ammonia smell were being recalled due to fire hazard when near a flame,I became alarmed and wondered if we should have even stayed in the motor home.

Has anyone had this problem?

As everything seems to be fine now, I hesitate to have to deal with something that is "not broke." I do plan to call Dometic on Monday.

Comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:36 AM   #3
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From your discription of events, I suspect strongly that shortly you will find that the refer will not cool properly. Ammonia is the fluid used as the referigerant. Our Dometic unit developed a leak and we had to have the cooling unit on the back of the refer replaced under warranty. This is was a two day job for us. If this is the case, a word of caution. Have the repair techs reseal the back of the refer very carefully using extra 'silly puty'. We and several others have had to have the refer removed a second time due to air leaks from the back causing heavy frosting-up of the refer and freezer. Good Luck!
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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If you smell ammonia in the frig, it is a problem and will not get any better. It is very rare to have a leak in this new of a unit. Get it back to your dealer to be checked and repaired. You can get some suplhur sticks from an ammonis supplier to test for leaks. You light the stick and you will get a white smoke in the pesence of ammonia. Watch the fumes. You can also use wetted litmus paper to find ammonia leaks.

Ken
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:57 AM   #5
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It's good to know that the cooling unit can be replaced. For some reason I always thought an ammonia leak meant a replacement of the fridge.

Still - that must be quite a job - pulling the fridge out to access the back!

Audrey

P.S. You guys just don't know how grateful we are for this forum!
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:22 AM   #6
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Here's the link to Dometic recall discussion:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/18592867.cfm

Just wondering if anyone has received a recall notice from WRV or Dometic.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:11 AM   #7
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Hi Jim..........Just checked our Model# and Serial# and ours should be recalled. I am going call Dometic tomorrow.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:17 AM   #8
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Hi Mike!

Thanks, I haven't checked mine, but I'm guessing it's on the list too, since we both have 04s.

Please post back with your next steps...
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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We echo those that are so thankful for this forum.

Will post what I am told when I call Dometic tomorrow.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:57 AM   #10
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Called Dometic "Refer Recall" hotline this morning. The 1-888-446-5157 HOTLINE is a recording that will ask you if you want an informational package sent out to your address when it is available. I would suggest that if your Model number and Serial numbers fall within those listed on NHTSA website that you get your name on list for informational packet.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:41 PM   #11
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Talked to a Dometic tech this morning. Had no problem getting to speak with a "real" person immediately at the 800-544-4881 Dometic number. Was told without hestitation to get it in for replacement of cooling unit. The fact that it "seems" okay now doesn't matter (just as some of you on this post said). Was also told to turn it off--it was a fire hazard. (Guess our guardian angels were working overtime for us while we were turning it on gas trying to get it to work, then going to bed and sleeping through the ammonia smell.)

Thanks to those of you who posted.

Now, for a question related to this problem. We can't get it in for a service appointment at our regular place until Jan. 2. We have a relative who is dying of pancreatic cancer in Orlando,Fl (where we were when this happened). He has taken a turn for the worse, and we need to go back soon. Guess we will just use ice chests for our cold items. Do any of you know of a place there that you would recommend for this job? We know there is a Camping World in Kissimmee, but from reading these posts about Camping World techs, I'm inclined not to want to use it.

Thanks.

Beverly and Buddy
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:54 PM   #12
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I'd call the dealer back and tell him you need to use it as a nmatter of family medical emergency. Remind them it a new unit and totally their problem. Also, call the general manager of the place and lean on him.

Ken
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:20 PM   #13
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Beverly - Call WRV in the morning and ask them where to take it in Orlando. I talked with Jerri & Clyde Hobbs (who are in Orlando with the Snooks)this last weekend and WRV sent them someplace to have their radiator replaced last week and they were VERY pleased with the people & the service. Carolyn
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions, but things are on hold for now as far as the motor home goes.

My brother is not expected to live, and I am flying to Oklahoma tomorrow morning.

Beverly
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