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Propane Refrigeration

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  • Jeff Blunck
    I was doing some research on propany refrigeration and found a common theme for using these units on boats. The following is an example.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2002
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      I was doing some research on propany refrigeration and found a common theme for using these units on boats.

      The following is an example.
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      There are only two main failures with gas RV / Marine refrigerators (Dometic, Norcold and selected other).



      #1 The RV refrigerator is run unleveled causing the cooling unit boiler to overheat, block and crack.



      #2 The RV refrigerator cooling unit's steel tubing rusts and the ammonia/hydrogen gas leaks out.



      Gas refrigerators do not operate the same way as other refrigerator types. They are charged with four types of chemicals and this mixture must be exact for the unit to work properly. The four chemicals of the charge are.



      Water

      Ammonia Gas

      Hydrogen Gas

      Rust Inhibitor powder




      Boiler blocks or cracks - If the refrigerator is run while not level, the cooling unit water will not flow into the boiler. The boiler as a result gets excessively hot and can bake the rust inhibitor. This will in-turn block the small 1/4" tube in the boiler and all flow will stop. If the refrigerator is kept running under these circumstances the boiler tube will get so hot that it will crack open. If this happens a yellow powder around the burner area may be visible indicating that the cooling units rust inhibitor is leaking.



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      I'm thinking I may stay away from propane now. In fact, I may just cook with an alcohol stove and eliminate propane all together on the boat.

      Jeff


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