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Old 02-25-2005, 04:59 PM   #1
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Opened my fridge today after not using it for two months and got a blast of ammonia. I immediately closed the door. I assume that the cooling unit it shot (leaking). I am taking the Coach out next weekend and don't have time too replace the fridge. What should I do? Will it be ok to just keep the door closed?
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:59 PM   #2
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Opened my fridge today after not using it for two months and got a blast of ammonia. I immediately closed the door. I assume that the cooling unit it shot (leaking). I am taking the Coach out next weekend and don't have time too replace the fridge. What should I do? Will it be ok to just keep the door closed?
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Old 02-26-2005, 02:45 AM   #3
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Bill, sorry to hear that your ref. took a dive. It is leaking and will require at leak a new cooling unit to repair. If you can live out of a cooler on your outing just keep the doors closed on the ref (maybe even put some tape to hold it and remind yourself) NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR! There is no other harm that can be done.
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply Mike. I opened the roof vents and left the fridge open last night, doesn't smell at all now, possibly all the ammonia is gone?
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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YJ Bill,you should shut off power and propane to frig.
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:44 AM   #6
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While there is little chance for an explosion, there is a very remote chance. I don't remember what the numbers are, but the is a very limited range where ammonia and air can be ignited. It will not sustain a flame unless there is a constant ignition source. Basically it wil pop and once the concentration is out of range, it will go out.

Best not to use it. There is not enough ammonia in the cooling unit to really harm you, espically with a slow leak, but the concentration can get high enough to cause some irriation of the eyes, nose and throat.

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Old 02-27-2005, 08:36 PM   #7
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Wow that really stink's ..But does this mean the fridge has too be replaced? or could it just be recharged?Does this happen to all units. can it be prolonged with some sort of maintance..inquiring Mind's just gotta know..Amos
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:06 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by amoose:
Wow that really stink's ..But does this mean the fridge has too be replaced? or could it just be recharged?Does this happen to all units. can it be prolonged with some sort of maintance..inquiring Mind's just gotta know..Amos </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is toast...:-)
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:38 AM   #9
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If you smell ammonia, the cooling unit is almost certainly corroded. Unless you know for certain that the refrigerant loss was due to localized damage, replacement of the cooling unit or, depending on age, the fridge itself is your best bet.

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Old 02-28-2005, 12:41 PM   #10
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Generally they are nor repairable. With the ammonia and water, it is a very delicate balance to get the right percentage of each plus a corrosion inhibitor. There are very few people that understand the ammonia absorption sytem and even few when it comes to repair. If it is over abour 10 years old, I'd replace the refrig in total.

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Old 03-10-2005, 06:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

It's the original fridge in a 20 year old coach.

I have a used cooling unit that was scavaged out of fridge of the exact same model that a friend replaced when the electronics went bad.

Am I nuts too try to replace the cooling unit in a fridge this old?

I'm not planning on keeping the coach a whole lot longer and would like to sell it with working appliances.
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:45 AM   #12
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Bill, with the 120 volt heating element in the used cooling unit you should be able to test it to be sure it is good before going thru all the trouble of putting it in. Stand the unit up straight and wire the heating element to a plug and plug it directly into a receptacle. It should be cooling in a few hours. If so you could go thru the labor of removing the ref. and gutting out the cooling unit and install the good used one. Be sure to use a thermastic compound to help transfer heat from the fins & plate to cooling unit. Also be sure to seal the unit it good to help reduce frost build up. It will take probably 4-5 hours if you have not done one before.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:34 AM   #13
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RV Wizard, I tried it the cooling unit in the garage and it works, that was a great idea, thanks.

Now where do I pick up this thermastic compound?
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:40 PM   #14
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Check with an rv service center or possible an appliance repair shop.
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