RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > RV Systems & Appliances
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-21-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
Community Moderator
 
CountryFit's Avatar


 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between the Oceans
Posts: 6,737
Blog Entries: 4
What fluid behind fridge is thick and dark brownish?

in preparing the rig for hitting the road again, i went to the parking yard and found the fridge (dometic rm1292) was dead - on either shore power or lpg, the fridge lights on front panel were on but no sound/not cold at all. last year it was perfectly fine before i parked it for the winter. in warm san diego area, the only lower temp was in new year's day with 3 inches snow, but it was melted in a day or two. now everything else looks ok but this fridge acts up.

i looked around, i did notice that there are quite a bit drops of dark brown fluid on the inside storage compartment door right beneath the fridge back access. the fluid is dried up now. it must have had happened during this winter, as i had never seen it before and the splash reflected by the door bar inward to the side of a box which was placed before the parking. So what could the fluid be? are the two incidents related? Thanks for your inputs.
__________________
Steven & Polly
2000 Country Coach Intrigue 40'
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
CountryFit is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-21-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
IdahoSRT10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 715
The compressor oil and refrigerant are mixed together in the system. Common for some oil to escape with a refrigerant leak.
__________________
2016 Thor Tuscany 34ST XTE, Freightliner XCR, ISB 360hp/800tq. Allison 3000, Koni FSD shocks, Roadmaster 1.75" front sway bar, Safe-T-Plus, DYI air bag flow control valves.
2015 Jeep Willy's Wheeler Wrangler Unlimited Toad, Ready-Brute-Elite tow system.
IdahoSRT10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 12:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Roaming Fulltimer
Posts: 406
Sounds like the cooling system ruptured and the ammonia leaked out. It is initially yellow but may have turned brown over time.
tkcas01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 12:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
palehorse89's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 8,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoSRT10 View Post
The compressor oil and refrigerant are mixed together in the system. Common for some oil to escape with a refrigerant leak.
I don't believe the OP has a compressor.......his is a absorption fridge........
Guessing ammonia residue from a leak????
__________________
2012 Essex 4544 2011 Jeep JK, M&G Braking, 2014 MTI 27' Hog Hauler, Wireless brake control, 2006 Ultra & 1989 Springer
palehorse89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 01:00 PM   #5
Community Moderator
 
CountryFit's Avatar


 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between the Oceans
Posts: 6,737
Blog Entries: 4
thanks for the fast responses. palehorse89 is correct - my fridge is an absorption one. it runs on either electric or lpg. if it's indeed ammonia leaked out, phew, it could have been worse...

keep coming...
__________________
Steven & Polly
2000 Country Coach Intrigue 40'
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
CountryFit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 01:24 PM   #6
Community Moderator
 
Lt Dan's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 6,869
Could it have been something spilled from inside the fridge that splashed into that area?

I couldn't tell from your description exactly where the brown spots are located. If it is a ammonia refrigerant leak, then there should be signs of it inside the access panel behind the fridge around the evaporator/condenser/boiler tube area.

You might try moving the insulation around the boiler tube to see if it looks like there might be a leak. After the liquid evaporates, the residue is normally a yellow powder, but could have turned like previous post said. If it requires a new cooling unit, the Amish units are excellent. They make units to fit the Dometic and Norcold fridges. Check them out at RVCoolingUnit.com

I am not associated with them in any way, just satisfied with their product and technical assistance.
__________________
2017 Phaeton 40IH XSH Maroon Coral - Power Glide Chassis with IFS
Previously '15 Tiffin Allegro RED 38QRA and '06 Itasca Sunrise 35A
'16 Jeep JKU Wrangler Sahara or '08 Honda Goldwing
Lt Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 02:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Roaming Fulltimer
Posts: 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
thanks for the fast responses. palehorse89 is correct - my fridge is an absorption one. it runs on either electric or lpg. if it's indeed ammonia leaked out, phew, it could have been worse...

keep coming...
Actually, it doesn't get much worse than that. If it has leaked, either the entire fridge will need to be replaced, or some folks opt for some "Amish" replacement absorption system to replace the old one.
tkcas01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 03:54 PM   #8
Community Moderator
 
CountryFit's Avatar


 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between the Oceans
Posts: 6,737
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
Could it have been something spilled from inside the fridge that splashed into that area?

I couldn't tell from your description exactly where the brown spots are located. If it is a ammonia refrigerant leak, then there should be signs of it inside the access panel behind the fridge around the evaporator/condenser/boiler tube area.

You might try moving the insulation around the boiler tube to see if it looks like there might be a leak. After the liquid evaporates, the residue is normally a yellow powder, but could have turned like previous post said. If it requires a new cooling unit, the Amish units are excellent. They make units to fit the Dometic and Norcold fridges. Check them out at RVCoolingUnit.com

I am not associated with them in any way, just satisfied with their product and technical assistance.
thanks dan. i looked at the back of fridge yesterday, i couldn't see anything abnormal in the area of evaporator/condenser/boiler tube... the fluid was on the door back lining of the compartment underneath the fridge, seeping through the fiberglass shell and the floor plywood touching it. the fluid may not be associated with the fridge malfunction, just curious what it is. because the fridge is not working now, i would need to have an rv shop take a look... has anyone pulled a fridge out by himself? wondering how hard it is... mine is just 7 years old, not too bad if it can be fixed without loosing an arm and a leg.

__________________
Steven & Polly
2000 Country Coach Intrigue 40'
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
CountryFit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 04:35 PM   #9
Community Moderator
 
CountryFit's Avatar


 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between the Oceans
Posts: 6,737
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkcas01 View Post
Actually, it doesn't get much worse than that. If it has leaked, either the entire fridge will need to be replaced, or some folks opt for some "Amish" replacement absorption system to replace the old one.
i read somewhere that the leaking ammonia could start a fire. doesn't it?
if it's the case, i would probably look into a residential fridge, such as samsung 197...
__________________
Steven & Polly
2000 Country Coach Intrigue 40'
2014 Ford C-Max Energi
CountryFit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 06:03 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Roaming Fulltimer
Posts: 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
i read somewhere that the leaking ammonia could start a fire. doesn't it?
if it's the case, i would probably look into a residential fridge, such as samsung 197...
Possibly. I know when I called Norcold last year to ask about a similar issue on my fridge, he was pretty adamant that I unplug it.
tkcas01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 07:17 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 231
Sounds like it is time for a residential refrigerator if you can fit one in the hole. My Dometic developed a personality disorder this winter while snowbirding in Yuma. Out went the Dometic and in cam the Samsung. Now that I'm home, I'm finishing up the details. Just couldn't swallow paying $90 per hour to do what the wife and I can do for materials only.
__________________
2016 Winnebago Journey 40R - 2012 Jeep Rubicon
2 Arctic Cats, 3 Shelties, 4 cats
Bottle of Jack Daniels & wife
BVThunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 07:28 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: michigan-tip of the mitt
Posts: 1,444
Hate to say it, but, prepare to lose the arm and leg.
__________________
2003 Class C, 29' Gulfstream
Next stop?
Previous rigs..2 Pickup campers,2 TT's, 3 DP MH's
t55watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 07:56 PM   #13
Community Moderator
 
Lt Dan's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
thanks dan. i looked at the back of fridge yesterday, i couldn't see anything abnormal in the area of evaporator/condenser/boiler tube... the fluid was on the door back lining of the compartment underneath the fridge, seeping through the fiberglass shell and the floor plywood touching it. the fluid may not be associated with the fridge malfunction, just curious what it is. because the fridge is not working now, i would need to have an rv shop take a look... has anyone pulled a fridge out by himself? wondering how hard it is... mine is just 7 years old, not too bad if it can be fixed without loosing an arm and a leg.
I have pulled my Norcold 1201 four door out twice by myself. I built a wheeled platform the same height as the bottom of the fridge and slid it out. I put wheels on it where I could move it around to change the cooling unit. Not a simple job but doable by one person and I'm not that strong. It was definitely easier the second time, which had to be done because I forgot to change the air baffle to fit the Amish cooling unit.
__________________
2017 Phaeton 40IH XSH Maroon Coral - Power Glide Chassis with IFS
Previously '15 Tiffin Allegro RED 38QRA and '06 Itasca Sunrise 35A
'16 Jeep JKU Wrangler Sahara or '08 Honda Goldwing
Lt Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2015, 08:02 PM   #14
Community Moderator
 
Lt Dan's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
i read somewhere that the leaking ammonia could start a fire. doesn't it?
if it's the case, i would probably look into a residential fridge, such as samsung 197...
From what I understand it's not the ammonia that is highly flammable, it's the hydrogen gas that is part of the mixture in the cooling system. Ammonia is somewhat flammable, just not as much as hydrogen. The ammonia odor is just the indication of a leak.
__________________
2017 Phaeton 40IH XSH Maroon Coral - Power Glide Chassis with IFS
Previously '15 Tiffin Allegro RED 38QRA and '06 Itasca Sunrise 35A
'16 Jeep JKU Wrangler Sahara or '08 Honda Goldwing
Lt Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fluid, fridge



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.