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Old 01-14-2016, 05:40 PM   #1
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Dometic fridge maintenance--defrosting, or prevent frost buildup?

So I realize we live in a VERY humid environment here in gulf-coastal southeast Texas. Is this humidity the reason our refrigerator is constantly building up a layer of ice/frost in the freezer?

I need to defrost it again soon. It is probably 2" thick in there right now.

I notice that when it defrosts, there is no place for the water to drain from, so I kinda have to hang out and keep an eye on it, and dab it up with towels as it melts.

I just turn it completely off and wait for it to melt.

So, questions...

1) am I doing something wrong to cause the frost in the first place?

2) am I defrosting it the wrong way?

3) can someone suggest an easier/more efficient method to defrosting and/or suggest ways to keep it from frosting up in the first place?
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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You didn't say how long it took you to build up 2" of ice, but if it happens rapidly, you may have a door seal that is not properly seating allowing a small amount of fresh humid air to constantly flow through the freezer compartment, condensing, then freezing on the walls. I would check and see if you fridge is sealing by putting a powerful flashlight inside the fridge/freezer, pointing at at different parts of the door, close the door, and look for any light escaping. Your door may be slightly warped, or the seal may be old and compressed. Either that, or you are opening and closing the fridge an awful lot! Let us know what you figure out!

On the defrosting, not much you can do except sop up the water with towels, or better yet large sponges, and periodically wringing them out.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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The old dollar bill trick, is to close the door on one. If it slides out anywhere the seal is bad.

We defrost ours every 6 to 8 weeks. I load the food in a cooler, plug in a small electric heater and aim it in towards the frosty plate.

A big towel on the bottom collects a lot of the water but I do have a drain hose out the bottom.

In about 45 minutes I am turning it back on and loading it with food.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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Along with the other suggestions, you might try my DIY fan trick. There is lots of moisture in the air where you are, and this won't completely eliminate the build up, but it'll sure cut it down.

With this set up, it takes months before I need to do a defrost...

DIY Defroster
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:43 PM   #5
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Just to clarify...this is the 2nd time since we bought it in May 2015. It seems that the more we use it (ie open and close it) the more frost buildup we get.

We just got back from a 9 day visit to the beach (really warm and humid) so that may have added to the frost. So maybe the humid environment added to the frost.

I just wanted to make sure we weren't screwing it up somehow.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:20 AM   #6
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When we still had our Dometic I used a hair dryer & towels to speed up the process.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:22 AM   #7
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Part of my job is computer repair, so I have tons of spare cooling fans laying around...

I may need to look into that project. But I am pretty sure all my lights are led. Never hurts to check.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:22 AM   #8
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Hair dryer would help make the job go by faster.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottandanna View Post
Part of my job is computer repair, so I have tons of spare cooling fans laying around...

I may need to look into that project. But I am pretty sure all my lights are led. Never hurts to check.
If they are LEDs, it's possible they never bothered to change the wire gauge and may have used a standard 12V bulb socket for the LED(s). In which case, you could just change the bulb back to an incandescent and you're good to go. If you're uncertain about the wire gauge, measure it and let me know. I'll compare it to mine. I haven't measured the gauge but I think it's 18 AWG.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:52 AM   #10
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Hair dryer, only took one beach towel. Took me about 15 minutes, and the fridge was still cold, so I just put my ice tray down there while I did this.

Pretty harmless job.

Went back out about 30 minutes later, freezer was cold again, so I moved my ice back up.
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