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Old 08-14-2021, 12:05 PM   #1
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Dometic refrigerator not working but freezer is working

I have a Dometic Americana refrigerator that does not get cold. The freezer is working great. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-14-2021, 05:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by traw7 View Post
I have a Dometic Americana refrigerator that does not get cold. The freezer is working great. Any thoughts?
First question, how long have you let the refrigerator try to cool?
The freezer section cools first, then the refrigerator section.


Second question, is there a fan running inside the refrigerator?


Third question, has the refrigerator gotten cold previously, or is this unit new to you?


Fourth question, is the refrigerator level, at least within the specs of the refrigerator?


Before we assume there is a blockage in the cooling coils which, by the way, is fatal to the refrigerator, we need the answers to the above questions to give meaningful advice.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:04 PM   #3
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I'll toss some ideas your way, but it would be helpful to know the model and year.

If yours is a typical ammonia based Dometic fridge with electric/propane, then the fact that the freezer works is a good sign.
(And on ours, I once thought of drilling a 2" hole between the 2 compartments, but am glad I dismissed that idea.) The freezer on an ammonia based system gets cold first, then the refrigerator section gets cool. Just never enough to suit me.

The problem can often be solved simply by moving the temperature sensor on the refrigerator fins in the top right side of the fridge section. Forgive me, I dont remember the exact details - I think it's the right hand most fin - but, it's detailed in the Dometic manual for your model.

If you've already done this, and waited 4-8 hours for the change to take effect, then replacing the OEM Dometic fridge controller board, located in the outside compartment for the fridge, with the newer and better designed board made by Dinosaur Electronics, may fix your issue.

Dinosaur boards have better temp sensor adjustments and that drives the fridge to a colder setpoint. We added one to our 2005 Wildwood's Dometic and have not had an issue in 10 years since. Great product, easy plug n play replacement. Dinosaur boards came standard on our 2019 Coachmen, so maybe Dometic now uses them as standard?

Of course, you may want to get a quality fridge thermostat and put it in the fridge. It needs to read 40 deg F or lower when the door's been closed for a good while. Above 40 deg F is a concern.

So, temp sensor position change, actual temp measurement, board swap are what worked for us.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:13 PM   #4
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Here is Dinosaur Electronics Dometic controller boards.

Replacement boards for Dometic

I'm excited to see they now sell a thermistor adjuster gadget. This was not available a few years back. The temp sensor in ours is a thermistor. This gadget adds some resistance into the circuit to fool the controller into a lower temp setpoint. Clever. Because moving the thermistor sensor on the fins rarely makes a difference.

Dinosaur Electronic's thermistor adjustor replacement page
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:22 PM   #5
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I found the manual for your fridge online. There's some great tips in there on improving operation.

This includes a tip about unplugging the temp sensor temporarily to let the cooling "run wild" for 12 hours as a test, using a thermometer in a glass of water.

The manual mentions they also sell auxiliary fans for the outside compartment with built-in temp sensors that turn on the tiny aux fan if it gets too hot in the outside compartment. It's similar to the exhaust fans used in large computer servers. Something I thought of doing years ago. Wish I'd patented that in '06!

Helpful if your outside Dometic fridge compartment is in the hot sun.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WalkTheWalk View Post
I found the manual for your fridge online. There's some great tips in there on improving operation.

This includes a tip about unplugging the temp sensor temporarily to let the cooling "run wild" for 12 hours as a test, using a thermometer in a glass of water.

The manual mentions they also sell auxiliary fans for the outside compartment with built-in temp sensors that turn on the tiny aux fan if it gets too hot in the outside compartment. It's similar to the exhaust fans used in large computer servers. Something I thought of doing years ago. Wish I'd patented that in '06!

Helpful if your outside Dometic fridge compartment is in the hot sun.
Where do you find this manual, I have had problems with temp control for several years and am about ready to scrap the old refer and get a new one.
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:19 AM   #7
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It's a large PDF file so it's hard to link to.

Just Google "dometic americana refrigerator manual"
and it shows up on the dometic web site. Manual covers several models.
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