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Old 06-23-2022, 04:32 PM   #43
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RV Fridges + Fridge Defend

I purchased a 2000 Endeavor.
Good condition.
I waited for my Fridge Defend (ARP) to arrive, before using the fridge, a Norcold 1200.
When I installed the FD and fans, I found scorch marks on the plywood beside the chimney.
I wouldn't trust any RV fridge, without the ARP.
BTW the fridge on 3 works like new.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:36 PM   #44
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Q1) Would you leave your dog locked in an RV without fire prevention on your Dometic or Norcold absorption fridge?
I wouldn’t own a RV with an adsorption refrigerator. Replaced the one in our previous motorhome with a residential and never looked back. Feel quite safe leaving dogs in it.
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:37 PM   #45
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Safety mitigation is personal as well.

Some folks would never ride a motorcycle as too dangerous. Some would only ride one wearing a helmet, some with full proteciive gear, and others will do wheelies on the freeway in shorts and no shirt. The point is, everyone has a different level of risk they're willing to take.

The absorption fridge in our MH has died. I'm going to replace it with a 12V compressor unit by JC Refridgeration. Primarily it's because it cools faster, and my RV is parked on a hill, making it difficult to get it level enough for the fridge. With a compressor unit, no issues. I could use JC Refridgeration's absorption unit, I fully believe it's better and safer than Norcold and Dometic offer, primarily because they use thicker tubing. But thicker tubing = more weight, and RV manufacturers want to keep the weight of their unit down, and every little bit helps.

The other factor that comes into play is that while Dometic and Norcold make the fridges and have standards for installation, practically speaking they can't inspect every camper to make sure the area is engineered to standard, or that it's being properly installed. Judging by pictures and comments on irv2, I suspect there's a portion of them that aren't. Nor can they control the consumer's proper operation of the refrigerators. Could be why there's been a move in the industry towards 12 & 120 volt refrigerators.
Dave D
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:50 PM   #46
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Fridge defend failures

How many of the ARP fridge defenders have failed?
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:02 PM   #47
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I feel for your loss - great news the pup is OK!

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Old 06-23-2022, 05:14 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by djh77 View Post
I purchased a 2000 Endeavor.
Good condition.
I waited for my Fridge Defend (ARP) to arrive, before using the fridge, a Norcold 1200.
When I installed the FD and fans, I found scorch marks on the plywood beside the chimney.
I wouldn't trust any RV fridge, without the ARP.
BTW the fridge on 3 works like new.
That is due to RV MFGs installation

ARP will not prevent that event.

Insulation/shielding of Flue Exhaust is the issue
I took my Medication today. HAVE YOU?
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:18 PM   #49
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I chose back in 2012 to remove the NotSoCold and install a residential Samsung RF-197 fridge in our Windsor. Best decision ever! The 2006 Dynasty we purchased this past February to replace the Windsor already had a Samsung fridge installed so I didn't have to think about removing it.

However, if you own ANY RV absorption fridge, I believe you only have two options, install an ARP Fridge Defend system or remove the POS and install a residential that will fit into the area.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:26 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Weldrob View Post
Fire department showed me the intsity of fire and heat was at fridge area we never had any problems with the fridge at all the three years we owned it and previous owner used the camper 6 times and they never used the fridge . there was no waring to alert us of any problems and like some do we never drove with the fridge on I had a battery disconnect at battery box area and disconnected all power to camper and prophane off at all times while diving added two more fire extinguishers one in camper and one in tow vehicle and a second fire alarm and carbo moxide detector I thought this was arson untill I researched fires from a failed fridge due to what they told me I had no warning this was going to happen at all
Guess I'm not understanding something. If power was off and propane was off. How could you possibly have a fridge fire???
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:34 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Hittntheroad View Post
My 2016 Precept has this sticker on the fridge. It has a sensor in the chimney.

It does have a sensor but at the temp it shuts off the unit it will probably be too late. I visited an RV dismantler and man was I surprised at how many of the RV's were partially burnt from the fridge area. Let's just say the experience was eye opening!!! My last coach had the Norcold 1200 and the first thing I did was in stall the ARP Fridge defend and I actually wondered if it worked until I had a trip to Lake Havasu City AZ in 121f temps with inside temps getting up in the mid 90's. The ARP turned my unit off 2 x while driving through the desert at night and about 4 or 5 times while I was out there for 7 days. At 110f temps that same frige was fine but struggled to keep my food cold enough unless I made sure nobody opened it unnecessarily. My current Eagle has the same Norcold 1200 and 2 weeks ago I was out in 116f temps and the frige just could not keep cold enough with out shutting off due to dangerous temps detected. I am now purchasing new 120v cooling unit from JC Refrigeration (whole different topic) so my food will stay cold when on trips to Lake Havasu. I personally would recommend the ARP to all who have a absorption fridge just from personal experience.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:36 PM   #52
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What about Dometic...

I guess my question is why is that Dometic isn't forced to absorb the cost to have everyone upgrade to a proper fix rather than the simple upgrade kit they supplied. Seems wrong to me that they are able to get away with a bandaid fix rather than a cure.
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:43 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by REESE18 View Post
Stop using scare tactics in your advertising
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:06 PM   #54
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Refrigerators not always at fault

I have been a fire investigator for 32 years (now retired). Based on the photo of the remains of the the Rv and the fact there was obviously no witnesses I would find it very difficult to say with certainty that the refrigerator caused this fire. In the past I owned a motorhome with the frig in the slide (like many of them now). I opened the top vent for the frig and found that directly over the vent tube for the frig was charred luan! No protection or deflector for the heat coming out of that tube. It would have eventually ignited the luan through pyrolysis and dropped down to the base of the frig and the frig would have been blamed for the fire, not the people who stupidly built the motorhome. My point: make sure you have all the facts before placing blame
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:08 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
I have worked in the ammonia refrigeration industry since 1970 (Until 2013) and seriously doubt if you can substantiate your crazy claim here. I worked with large industrial sites for cold storage as well as ice rinks. There are many standards and codes that have to be met with documented maintenance and training procedures that must be met and maintained by the owners in order to maintain insurance on the system.

The few accidents with these plants were generally caused by improper maintenance and untrained personnel. Vessels, heat exchangers, piping, ventilation, etc. have to meet ASME, ANSI, IIAR and local regulations.

The safety record on ammonia refrigeration plants is really good. Did you know that the ISS (International Space Station) uses ammonia as a coolant?


The only commercial accident I was aware of while I was servicing ammonia units was at a fish processing plant where a electric pallet truck driver drove through a poorly constructed barrier breaking the ammonia lines and flooded the area with anhydrous ammonia killing a number of folks. The other was a Union Carbide facility that leaked out liquid nitrogen onto a roadway freezing several people to death and that was due to a valve failure along with improper landscaping that eliminated the captive moat around the liquid nitrogen storage area. The air conditioning units we serviced (Arkla/Servel) had a few strips of solder at various locations that would melt and shut off the gas burner if the unit overheated. Most times when those units would overheat the boiler it was due to lack of maintenance over the years.

I would suspect that more folks would be having gas water heater fires as I have seen many of those fail and burn up their wiring harnesses due to spider webs blocking the flues or short circuits in the wiring harnesses. Sadly some folks will replace the solder link with a piece of wire after its failed therefore bypassing that fail safe.

Personally I am more concerned about the residential refrigerators and air conditioners that use a Propane or Iso-Butane refrigerant some of which are honest enough to have red warning labels on then advising of the risk of fire and explosion they pose.

Truly any device improperly installed or maintained poses a risk of fire, explosion or other injury. Lets face it people hurt themselves with incidents from things as mundane as flower pots when they don't follow best practice or simply make a mistake.

The critical need for more regular inspection and maintenance along with a good schedule for coach hygiene are what I take away from these incidents. So far the only times I have been somewhat impacted has been having to clean up the workings of fridges, water heaters, engine compartments, generators, furnaces, etc on used coaches due to the poor habits of the previous owners which serves to firm up my resolve to not do similar.

Sorry for their loss and frustration. I've had a motor home fire on the highway and understand how it feels. Mine was due to improper servicing of either the front wheel bearings or fuel lines by the chassis mechanic. We will never know exactly which since the coach was not worth enough to pay for the forensics.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:56 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by NeilV View Post

Personally I am more concerned about the residential refrigerators and air conditioners that use a Propane or Iso-Butane refrigerant some of which are honest enough to have red warning labels on then advising of the risk of fire and explosion they pose.

Frankly the amount of hydrocarbon in a residential fridge is just ounces and when leaked into a larger space will very unlikely have any adverse effect.

A large ammonia food storage plant in San Antonio had an explosion. On investigation, the findings were startling. First off, the water-cooled evaporative condenser was fouled and had not been treated with proper water treatment chemicals. The discharge pressure on the compressors was running high and was tripping the compressors on the high-pressure safety shutdown.

The operators did two things wrong at this point besides not cleaning the condensers and they were experiencing ambient conditions above the design for the plant.

One was due to the high discharge pressures and temperatures, the compressors (oil-injected rotary screws) were using oil and had to have oil added as they were not recovering the oil from the system as the oil return system was not working. They had connected the 55-gallon oil drum to the oil separator (operates at compressor discharge pressure) with a plain rubber hose and left it connected to a compressor after adding oil. They did not use a hydraulic hose or stainless high-pressure hose.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the operators bypassing the high discharge pressure switch on the compressors to keep them online. The water pump on one condenser failed, reducing the cooling of the condensers drastically. The discharge pressure exceeded the high-pressure limit switches setting and did not allow for shutting down one or both compressors as they were bypassed. About the time the high-pressure safety valves relieved, the weak hose let loose blowing oil and ammonia into the equipment room. The ammonia detectors in the room kicked on the auxiliary vent fans and the spark ignited the ammonia and oil vapor in the room, and it went BOOM.

So, a lot of people hear the words ammonia and boom or explosion and immediately say it is unsafe. But the real story here is that people are not safe, even if there are safety devices to protect them. Idiots will find a way to bypass them.

As a Professional Engineer, a huge part of my job responsibility was safety, but we did have to weigh cost as well. But safety was never compromised, and I walked away from more than one job due to customer insistence that it be done unsafely to save cost.

NeilV, these plants that I worked with held large amounts of refrigerant. Both hydrocarbon and ammonia plants could hold in excess of 10,000 LB of refrigerant...some held 30,000 LB to 40,000 LB and more. An atmospheric ammonia storage terminal held in the thousands of tons of ammonia.

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