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Old 05-10-2015, 06:49 AM   #1
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More power to Refrigerator ?

I am wondering whether this might be feasible......the 12v heating element on my Dometic RM2193 three-way (120v/12v/Propane)has recently gave up the ghost and needs replacement.

That said, I've never been very happy with the cooling capability of either the 12v or 120v mode of operation of this refrigerator....however, using the refrig in Propane mode never has let me down....cools that sucker down in a heartbeat.

My question is, will I damage this refrigerator if I upgrade the heating element from the original 115-watt to an identical 140w or 170w element ?

I am almost certain that the electrical supply components can now handle the extra load, as I have recently upgraded the old Centurion CS-2000 20-amp power converter to a new WFCO WF-8740 40-amp converter, and upgraded the DC source from a single group-24 deep-cycle Marine battery with 160 minutes of Reserve Capacity to brand-new twin group-31 hybrid deep-cycle Marine batteries with 230 minutes of reserve capacity each.

Any ideas or suggestions ?
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:11 AM   #2
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Sorry I can't provide an answer to you question; It's been 25+ years since I had a 3 way RV fridge, and when I had the unit I never considered the 12 volt operation anything more than, marginal maintenance while in transit for the temperature of the unit.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post

Sorry I can't provide an answer to you question; It's been 25+ years since I had a 3 way RV fridge, and when I had the unit I never considered the 12 volt operation anything more than, marginal maintenance while in transit for the temperature of the unit.
Indeed...."marginal' being the generous operational word.

That said, from past experience, I do not like to run the refrigerator on propane whilst in transit....as too many times past-- in this RV and others-- the flame has blown out despite my best efforts, leaving me with a refrigerator-full of warm milk, melted butter, and worst of all....WARM BEER . This leaves 12v operation the only viable alternative while in transit...transit time that sometimes stretch 2, 3, and sometimes in excess of 4 hours or more. As I've said previously, the performance of this unit while on 12v battery power leaves something to be desired on these extended trips....perhaps not warm beer-but nobody could pretend to call them cold either .

My rational is this : since the 12v heating element needs to be replaced anyway...and exact size matches with greater heating capacities are available at little to no greater costs....would it not make sense to purchase one of those more capable heating elements.....it might spell the difference of a beer pulled out of the refrig at 55 degrees and one pulled out of the refrig at 45 degrees when I reach my destination

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Old 05-10-2015, 03:21 PM   #4
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Here is why I think I might be able to get away with a higher wattage rating for the 12v heating element :


According to the refrig's specifications -- On high setting (the setting most used) , the propane burner delivers a maximum of 635 BTU's of heat energy to the ammonia/hydrogen cooling solution in the condenser...therefore, theoretically I should be able to install a 12v or a 110v heating element that delivers the same maximum energy to the ammonia/hydrogen solution in the condenser, correct ?


Nominally, according to specs-- the 12v and 110v heating elements of this refrigerator each deliver a maximum of 115 watts of energy to the cooling solution.....in other words, 392 BTU's per hour maximum.


If I want to accomplish near the same cooling capacity in 12v/110v modes of operation as I can get from the propane mode of operation, I theoretically could install heating elements delivering a maximum of 635 BTU's per hour...or 186 watts maximum in electrical terms.


Anybody see any flaws in this logic ?
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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I would say, go for it, but I'd be concerned about going to high, I'd probably go for the 140 watt element
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:53 PM   #6
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:36 PM   #7
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Ok so the fridge is old enough , that it doesn't have electronic ignition, should have figured that out for myself earlier.
If the larger 12v element doesn't help your situation ( warm beer) then adding extra insulation, around the fridge, may help , if there is any room to do so.
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