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Old 06-26-2008, 08:17 AM   #1
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I awoke this morning to an "error 13" on the Dometic fridge. The service manual says this a a drain tray heater element problem. Two years ago it was an "error 12", freezer heater element problem. In that case, the defrost heater element was blown. I'm guessing the same thing for the drain heater element.

More reinforcement for my low expectations of Dometic products.

Ken
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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I awoke this morning to an "error 13" on the Dometic fridge. The service manual says this a a drain tray heater element problem. Two years ago it was an "error 12", freezer heater element problem. In that case, the defrost heater element was blown. I'm guessing the same thing for the drain heater element.

More reinforcement for my low expectations of Dometic products.

Ken
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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Ken- What is the temp in freezer/fridge? Is the tray in freezer and/or set of aluminum fins @ back of fridge frozen over? On my rig the freezer freezes over every 6 or 8 months. I thought it was a failed heater element also, but a quick defrost and it works like a charm again. I think the cooling systems in these things have some personality, i.e. different units act a bit differently. Our last one never froze up; I've talked to a fridge tech who says some freeze up (& therefore need total defrost) every 3 months.
Don't know if that changes or reinforces your expectations.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:06 AM   #4
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On my Dometic side-by-side Refrigerator, I received ERR 13 code initially after the coach was 8 months old. Camping World in Denton, TX replaced the defrost drain heating element at no charge to me, since Dometic covered it under warranty.

Eleven months later, I received the same ERR 13 code. Again, Camping World replaced the heating element under warranty from Dometic.

The service tech showed me the heating element, which was clearly shorted out. The heating element is a very thin, very flat multi-S-shaped piece of wire acting as a resistor, enclosed in some type of plastic insulator. It fits down into the drain hole. It appears that there is either a poor design or poorly manufactured heating element.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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Thanks Dale. I am familiar with the heating element as I helped the tech replace the last one. I just called Dometic and they have a NEW part number for that element, indicating that they are aware of the faulty part. I'm off to the local shop to have them order the part.

Ken
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:26 AM   #6
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I had heater element #2 replaced yesterday. It is supposedly a new part, although it looked the same as the old one. The old one was, again, burned through. Lets see if Dometic got it right this time.
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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Ken
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">More reinforcement for my low expectations of Dometic products </div></BLOCKQUOTE>.
I am with you.
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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Last fall I had ER 11 and had it fixed. This spring I had ER 19 and had it fixed. I have always had a frost problem and each time I had it was in for repair, it was adjusted, without success. After the last fix, the ice maker would freeze up when the bucket was full and it would have to be defrosted to start working again. Last week, I opened the freezer and water was running and filled the cube container. I rushed to turn off the water. I then did another complete defrost and started again. The cube maker cycles (manually) but no water flow. (Yes, I turned the water back on and bled the line). With all the problems with this 2nd Alpine, I have had just as many problems with component equipment. Quality control seems to be an issue with most suppliers, too.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:01 AM   #9
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Another observation....

In order to repair the heater element, the ice maker was removed. I noticed that the fill tube for the icemaker was flush, or slightly recessed, with the fridge back wall. A small circle of plumber's putty was used around the fill tube as a seal, so that water would not run out when the ice maker was filled. The putty had about a 1/2" gap in it near the bottom. This explains why I would end up with a frozen waterfall down the back of the freezer when I was using the ice maker. Water would run down the back wall of the freezer and freeze. It was a mess, so I stopped using the ice maker a year ago.

I repaired the plumber's putty before putting the ice maker back in place. However, this is a terrible seal system that Dometic has blessed us with. The fill tube should extend beyond the back wall and into the ice maker fill funnel. I tried pulling the tube out, but no joy.

I am reluctant to try the ice maker again. All of that work I went through to plumb the ice maker to my reverse osmosis system is for naught. I'll just continue to use plastic ice trays.

If your ice maker leaks, take a look at the plumber's putty seal around the fill tube.

Ken
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