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Dometic 8551 fridge not working on gas


mark-w
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If you have a digital control panel on a fridge, that, along with the internal light, runs on 12 volt from the leisure battery. So whether the actual refrigeration is being powered by gas, 240V from a hook up, or 12V from the car's alternator, the display is always powered by 12V from the caravan battery. So it looks as if the PCB you have removed is the one that runs the controls and display. Whether the 240V circuit has a PCB or just a relay I know not, but the first check should always be to see if 240V power is actually reaching the fridge and an active display/internal light is not an indicator that it is.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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On 13/07/2021 at 14:15, mark-w said:

Just had a call from the PCB repair company. They've looked at my PCB and can't see any issues. But they also said there isn't any component on the board that is 240v related.

So apart from the small PCB behind the buttons does anyone know if there is another PCB board somewhere? I had a quick look but couldn't see 1. Will have to trace the power cables from distribution box and see where they lead me.

There is the brick on the back of the fridge, the panel tells the brick what to do, generally the front panel is at fault.

 

having said that….if you have the battery pack try new batteries, I had this come up last week, it shouldn’t really make a difference but it did 🤔

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On 13/07/2021 at 15:56, Steamdrivenandy said:

If you have a digital control panel on a fridge, that, along with the internal light, runs on 12 volt from the leisure battery. So whether the actual refrigeration is being powered by gas, 240V from a hook up, or 12V from the car's alternator, the display is always powered by 12V from the caravan battery. So it looks as if the PCB you have removed is the one that runs the controls and display. Whether the 240V circuit has a PCB or just a relay I know not, but the first check should always be to see if 240V power is actually reaching the fridge and an active display/internal light is not an indicator that it is.

Many thanks for this info. WIll investigate further. Looks like I'll be digging the fluke out and trying to remember how it operates. :)

12 hours ago, Mutley said:

There is the brick on the back of the fridge, the panel tells the brick what to do, generally the front panel is at fault.

 

having said that….if you have the battery pack try new batteries, I had this come up last week, it shouldn’t really make a difference but it did 🤔

Is the brick easilyaccessiblee from the rear or is it a fridge out job?

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Had the PCB returned from the repair bloke. As he couldn't see anything wrong with it, it was returned.

Fitted it lastnight. Now I have no lights on the control panel, no light inside the fridge. Infact no power to any aspect of the fridge.

I found a plug socket under the cooker which has 240v going to it and works.  I checked with a kettle and that worked.

Not sure if it is for the cooker or the fridge. I've read somewhere on here that there are 2 plug together, 1 for cooker the other for fridge. So not sure there.

I've also seen mention of another control box on the rear of the fridge. Is this easily accessible or is it a fridge out job? I'm quite handy with the tools.

So far, I've checked the plug socket, pulled all the fuses in the sargent distribution box, all good and none blown. So now I'm stumped where to go next.

Problem is, were going away next weekend for a week and currently have no fridge that works. I do have a fridge that we had for vehicle expeditions but I don't fancy leaving a £600 fridge in the awning for the week.

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It's no good looking at 240V sockets/plugs etc if the digital screen and interior fridge light aren't working. They are 12V and fed from the leisure battery. So either the PCB is shot, or it's not connected properly, or there's a problem with the circuit somewhere, or the battery is dead, or a 12V fuse blown.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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5 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

It's no good looking at 240V sockets/plugs etc if the digital screen and interior fridge light aren't working. They are 12V and fed from the leisure battery. So either the PCB is shot, or it's not connected properly, or there's a problem with the circuit somewhere, or the battery is dead, or a 12V fuse blown.

Many thanks, I'm beginning to think the PCB is shot, It's been problematic with working on electric then not, and now not functioning at all. The van is on the EHU so the 12v circuit is fine,  I took mega care when I reconnected the PCB back to the fridge so looking like an expensive call tomorrow.

 

Thanks for your help, very much appreciated !!!!

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Looking around the web I can find several places that stock panels for the RMS8551. But I'm still hesitant to order the version with the A button to change the fuel source in case it doesn't work. Has anyone actually done it or is it just a thought that it'll work.

Anyone know of any cheaper places than these?

 

https://spares2repair.co.uk/dometic-control-panel-operating-panel-with-temperatu?gclid=Cj0KCQjw_8mHBhClARIsABfFgpjaOK8m3Cws7t_yRRGjtOue_OeMl2X-lolyqlQLivSRbV3-27bnW4oaAi9AEALw_wcB

 

https://www.leisureshopdirect.com/cooling/caravan-fridge/dometic-caravan-fridge-spare-parts/pcb-dometic

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304059512717?epid=10035918401&hash=item46cb5bf78d:g:iZIAAOSwfZJg5uNx

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Hi Mark,

 

I’m currently having quite similar issues to you (although not identical) on the Dometic RMS8551.

 

Used it 2 weeks ago on both gas (to cool it down quickly) and EHU and absolutely fine. Come away off grid this weekend and cannot get it to work on gas. Press the button and just get the ! symbol light up after 2 seconds and starts beeping and after pressing it, just does the same again.

 

Thr thing that caught my eye about your post was that I also can’t hear the ignition at all. Normally I can hear the clicking but nothing happening. Tried all the obvious things but seems to me no power is getting to the ignition. You mentioned you had added batteries - I don’t seem to have a battery box for them - when I take the control panel out it’s just basically an empty void - no springs etc for batteries. Did you buy something to house the batteries in or was there already something there?

 

Barry

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46 minutes ago, Barry-P said:

Hi Mark,

 

I’m currently having quite similar issues to you (although not identical) on the Dometic RMS8551.

 

Used it 2 weeks ago on both gas (to cool it down quickly) and EHU and absolutely fine. Come away off grid this weekend and cannot get it to work on gas. Press the button and just get the ! symbol light up after 2 seconds and starts beeping and after pressing it, just does the same again.

 

Thr thing that caught my eye about your post was that I also can’t hear the ignition at all. Normally I can hear the clicking but nothing happening. Tried all the obvious things but seems to me no power is getting to the ignition. You mentioned you had added batteries - I don’t seem to have a battery box for them - when I take the control panel out it’s just basically an empty void - no springs etc for batteries. Did you buy something to house the batteries in or was there already something there?

 

Barry

 

https://www.dometic.com/assets/18/22/operating manual_51822.pdf

 

If you can normally operate the fridge without batteries then there should be no reason to add them, you need to sort out why the spark ignition is no longer working as it did. A quick scan of the 8551 manual says it uses 12V power from the van battery to ignite the gas. So if the igniter isn't sparking there is an issue with the igniter or its power supply.

 

An 8550 would have onboard battery gas ignition but an 8551 has van battery ignition. The details are at the front of the manual.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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9 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

https://www.dometic.com/assets/18/22/operating manual_51822.pdf

 

If you can normally operate the fridge without batteries then there should be no reason to add them, you need to sort out why the spark ignition is no longer working as it did. A quick scan of the 8551 manual says it uses 12V power from the van battery to ignite the gas. So if the igniter isn't sparking there is an issue with the igniter or its power supply.

 

An 8550 would have onboard battery gas ignition but an 8551 has van battery ignition. The details are at the front of the manual.


Thanks for this. There is a separate fuse for the ignition. I didn’t have a spare 2amp one but swapped it for a 5amp temporarily but that didn’t make any difference. I have a multimeter with me if you could suggest how I can check as I’m not very knowledgeable on that.

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17 hours ago, Barry-P said:

Hi Mark,

 

I’m currently having quite similar issues to you (although not identical) on the Dometic RMS8551.

 

Used it 2 weeks ago on both gas (to cool it down quickly) and EHU and absolutely fine. Come away off grid this weekend and cannot get it to work on gas. Press the button and just get the ! symbol light up after 2 seconds and starts beeping and after pressing it, just does the same again.

 

Thr thing that caught my eye about your post was that I also can’t hear the ignition at all. Normally I can hear the clicking but nothing happening. Tried all the obvious things but seems to me no power is getting to the ignition. You mentioned you had added batteries - I don’t seem to have a battery box for them - when I take the control panel out it’s just basically an empty void - no springs etc for batteries. Did you buy something to house the batteries in or was there already something there?

 

Barry

When I remove the control panel, there was already receiver for the 8 (?) AA batteries. After I fitted batteries into the receiver it made no difference. I think it's a back up just incase the van battery fails.

I'll be ordering the control box with the A button tomorrow I think.  Most places have no stock of the bit I want or mega expensive.

And I'm away in the van on Sat for 8 days. Need a way to keep my JD honey cold. Never mind the butter/meat etc etc

 

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Haha! Well before we left I checked the fridge works on a nearby EHU point and also worked on 12V when connected to the car… so my issue does seem to just be linked to the ignition. 

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Recently saw a video on fault finding gas operation with Dometic fridge. 
This turned out to be the ignition wire was pinched in cover, resulting in short circuit. 
Maybe worthwhile you having a look to check for any wire damage 

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1 minute ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Recently saw a video on fault finding gas operation with Dometic fridge. 
This turned out to be the ignition wire was pinched in cover, resulting in short circuit. 
Maybe worthwhile you having a look to check for any wire damage 

Thanks for that. When you say pinched in the cover, which cover do you mean? I can check this next time I’m away in 2 weeks.

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Just now, Barry-P said:

Thanks for that. When you say pinched in the cover, which cover do you mean? I can check this next time I’m away in 2 weeks.

It was the burner box cover

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I don't know if it will help or not but last time I had an issue with our fridge in the middle of a holiday, I went in the rear vent cover and hot wired both the 12volt and the 240 volt directly to the two respective elements. You need some spade and blade crimp terminals and short bits of wire. On the assumption that when connected to the car, that was on all the time anyway and when on EHU, the mains element could be on all the time in hot weather. We we in France and it was hot. It got us out of trouble for two remaining weeks of our hols.

The problem was resolved at home by a new pcb. We just couldn't use gas for the rest of the holiday but being on sites with hookups it didn't matter.

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16 hours ago, staffordshirechina said:

I don't know if it will help or not but last time I had an issue with our fridge in the middle of a holiday, I went in the rear vent cover and hot wired both the 12volt and the 240 volt directly to the two respective elements. You need some spade and blade crimp terminals and short bits of wire. On the assumption that when connected to the car, that was on all the time anyway and when on EHU, the mains element could be on all the time in hot weather. We we in France and it was hot. It got us out of trouble for two remaining weeks of our hols.

The problem was resolved at home by a new pcb. We just couldn't use gas for the rest of the holiday but being on sites with hookups it didn't matter.

Not sure I know enough to be messing around like that. 
will order a new PCB today and hope it arrives in time 

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SUCCESS and FAILURE in equal amounts.

 

So new PCB turned up from spares2repair today.

I was working from home so couldn't pop to storage to fit. 

Finished work, went to caravan. Wired it up electrically and SUCCESS, I can change through the fuel sources and change temperture on the graduated scale. So well chuffed.

Refitted the battery box and when I went to slide it into the fridge, FAILURE. It seems the RMS8555 is a flat fronted fridge where as the RMS8551 that I have has a curve to the front.

 

So I can live with it being wedged in for now, we're going away in 3 days and there is no stock of the correct panel, but I have gained the auto function. 

 

So I have 2 options, 

 

1. Try and remove the PCB from the plastic holder and refit to the original. Not sure if it's even possible.

2. Try and source the top panel from an RMS8555 fridge which is designed to fit my new PCB. I can't imagine they have changed the dimensions of the fridge, just the panel at the top.

 

Anyone have any other ideas? 

Or even better a broken 8555 fridge that I can pinch the top panel from?

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