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Old 12-13-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
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Fluorescent light affects Fridge

We have a 2011 Canyon Star gas model 3810 model. We are having a problem with the overhead light next to the fridge. The light is a ballast operated system. When we turned the light off at the switch on the light unit the fridge went out. Not a good thing. Now the unit is not working at all and we have to concern ourselves with the Fridge going out and loosing product in the freezer. We placed new florescent tubes and they do not work so the Unit must be toast. We don't want to buy a new light and still have a problem. Need help.
Anyone have this problem?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:01 PM   #2
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Perhaps one of the ballast free LED might suit your purpose
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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Your fluorescent light and circuit board on your fridge are powered by 12v. It's possible, but not likely both are on the same circuit and when your light went bad if blew a 12v fuse.

Have you checked your 12v fuse panel for any blown fuses?? If not I would start there.

Also on the back of some refrigerators ther's a black plastic box that encloses the circuit board and on the outside of that box there's also a 12v fuse usually a 3 to 5amp I would also check and make sure it's not blown.

Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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Your fluorescent light and circuit board on your fridge are powered by 12v. It's possible, but not likely both are on the same circuit and when your light went bad if blew a 12v fuse.

Have you checked your 12v fuse panel for any blown fuses?? If not I would start there.

Also on the back of some refrigerators ther's a black plastic box that encloses the circuit board and on the outside of that box there's also a 12v fuse usually a 3 to 5amp I would also check and make sure it's not blown.

Good luck and keep us posted
Thanks for your reply Jim & Sherry & Phranc: Fuses are okay. The fridge is on. It is when I shut the light off by the fridge that the fridge goes off. The LED light suggestion might work, that is if the ballast type of light is the problem. I have contacted my dealer in Canada and was told that this type of light is a problem for some Newmar Class A motorhomes. Suggested that I replace the whole light unit with another type. The unit we have is rounded on the ends the unit he suggested is squared off on the ends but should fit in the receptacle in the ceiling of the motor home. All I have to do now is find a dealer that has this type of light. Warranty would cover the problem but we have a $100. deductable in the U.S. I will check with my dealer again and find out if they feel the LED idea would be the answer as I do not especially want to have two different style lights in the motor home.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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A fellow RV'er with an Multimeter, and the knowledge to use it should be able to diagnose the problem in no time.

I know it sounds silly but it sounds as if the light may be wired is series with the fridge controls, but have no idea how this could have happened - - just thinking out loud.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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Interesting that the fridge goes off (Does it actually shut off and you can turn it back on?)

One possibility is a small voltage spike, again the LED suggestion should fix that as well.

I would say someone wired that house strange.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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Interesting that the fridge goes off (Does it actually shut off and you can turn it back on?)

One possibility is a small voltage spike, again the LED suggestion should fix that as well.

I would say someone wired that house strange.

Yep, definitely something strange about the light switch affecting power to the refrigerator, something's not right somewhere
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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is this a new problem or has it always been a problem since you have owned it?
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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I had the same problem years ago. I replaced the light with a regular 12 volt light, the problem went away. My frig would go off at night, I finally realized the problem started at dark when we turned the light on.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:45 PM   #10
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Sounds weird, but you never know how these rigs are wired sometimes, only MH manufactures can take a simple thing and make it hard.

+1 on getting an LED light, one can be had for less than your deductibe and you will have a better light in the long run.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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You need to sort out the switch effecting the fridge first. You can change the fixture any time. Pull the switch out of the wall and post a picture. Grab a test light or voltmeter and drag your shoreline cord close enough so you can use the ground lead for your meter or test light. Put the test light or meter probe on each side of the switch. If you have voltage on one side all the time and the refer still goes on and off with the switch you need to find which wire goes to the fridge and move it to the hot side of the switch. Then using the same method, drop the light fixture down and check the wires going to it.

If the devices were connected in series your light would probably be very dim or not work at all. Someone just plugged a wire into the wrong place from the start probably.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #12
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The ballast fluorescent lights are known to cause RF problems in RVs. For years, they were especially hard on AC thermostats like The Coleman RVP Comfort Control thermostats. This sounds to me like that kind of problem. If it is there are two options available that i know of. One is to go the an electronics store and purchase an RF filter (shunt) and wire it on the +12V wire feeding the refrigerator. The other is to replace the fluorescent light. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #13
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The ballast fluorescent lights are known to cause RF problems in RVs. For years, they were especially hard on AC thermostats like The Coleman RVP Comfort Control thermostats. This sounds to me like that kind of problem. If it is there are two options available that i know of. One is to go the an electronics store and purchase an RF filter (shunt) and wire it on the +12V wire feeding the refrigerator. The other is to replace the fluorescent light. Good luck.

By RF I presume you're referring to "Radio Frequency." Could you help me understand the technical details on how RF from a fluroescent ballast interrupts the 12vdc power supply to the circuit board on the back of the refrigerator causing it to shut down? In my 17 years with an RV, that's one of many things I've missed in my learning curve..

Thanks and safe travels..
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:57 PM   #14
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RF has even been known to interfere with the TV remotes function. Usual cure is to replace the light or transformer. RV 12 volt fluorescent lights don't use a "ballast" they are correctly called "transformers"
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