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Old 08-23-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default Difficulty igniting propane fridge

I turned on the propane and checked that the stove lit - both burners did light. I set the button on the fridge to gas and the other button to #4 and pushed in both the other buttons, including the lighter. I repeatedly pushed the lighter while holding button C, but it only flickered once and did not light. I turned everything off and tried several more times with the same result.

Any ideas what might be causing the problem? I haven't used the fridge on propane before. (The tank is full.)
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

I'm not an expert on propane fridges. The following suggestions are what I might
look for or try before taking it to a specialist for diagnosis.
I only recently tried ours, and it fired up and kept running. Probably luck.
If you've followed the lighting/starting instructions to the letter, it's probably a
mechanical failure of some kind. Most propane appliances have a thing called a
thermo-couple which needs to sense heat, before it opens the gas flow to the appliance.
The pilot flame is the thermo-couple heat source, and allows full operation after a
few seconds of pilot flame. Does the lighting instruction say to hold the C button for a
few seconds while pressing the igniter button? My old LPG gas pool heater used to say
hold the "pilot" button down for at least one minute before releasing it and turning the
valve to the "run/on" position. It lets the thermocouple warm up.
So it could be a bad thermocouple, or it's been bumped out of proximity to the pilot flame.
The only other idea I have is make sure your flow valve at the tank is fully open.
Partially open might restrict flow to the appliances, but you've said your stove works
so it's probably not that. Some models have a "manual gas shutoff valve", usually
somewhere near the external "plumbing" possibly on the back of the fridge, which may
be in the "off" position.
If it still won't light and run, get it to a certified RV repair centre, and spend the money to
get it diagnosed and sorted out.
Also, you might want to move/copy this question to the "General" category to maximize
exposure. I just stumbled upon it while looking for something unrelated.
Good luck.

p.s. I saw this on RVNet and it really seemed kinda scary to me. It seems some folks on there
always run their fridges on propane while on the move, and never turn them off when refueling.
And, they don't think it's the least bit unsafe to do so. I'm thinking I'm not stopping for gas if
I see another TT or fiver at the pumps already. Could be one of them. Isn't it technically illegal
to have an open flame near the pumps or fueling station? I see the signs with the red circle and
line through the cigarette or the lighter. Isn't that a legal warning?
http://www.rv.net/Forum/index.cfm/fusea ... m#24238629
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

I'm with Mike on the manual shut off, on the van's outside louvered fridge door. Also, the longer "push in and hold while you keep the flame to the pilot burner."
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

(topic moved to General Forum)

Here's a general diagram of the parts. As already mentioned by others, check the manual shut-off first. If not that then it could be a bug, a nest, a spider web etc. blocking or the burner tube.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fridge burner.jpg (37.5 KB, 843 views)
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

Despite all of your excellent advice, I can't find the manual cut off valve. I've opened all the louvered doors on the outside (why so many little screws?!) and looked inside also, but couldn't find it. All fathers should teach their daughter's the fundamentals of taking care of mechanical things.

I'll take it to the shop and see if they can show me where it is and figure out what's wrong.

You guys are all a great resource. Thanks so much.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

Spiders and all sorts of other little critters are attracted to the smell of propane. Have you cleaned the burner orfice and line and as much else as you can reach? It's always a problem down here in Ozarks bug land where mud daubers are the most annoying of the bunch.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by VernM
Spiders and all sorts of other little critters are attracted to the smell of propane. Have you cleaned the burner orfice and line and as much else as you can reach? It's always a problem down here in Ozarks bug land where mud daubers are the most annoying of the bunch.
I hadn't thought of bugs plugging the pipes but it's probably a more likely answer.
Good call.
BTW, I did a quick read up on mud daubers. They say they may have been responsible for downing aircraft
by disrupting the external sensing systems by plugging them up with their adobe palaces. That's bizarre.
But, they do kill spiders, of which I'm NOT a fan, so they do some good, too.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Difficulty igniting propane fridge

I'm sure this isn't the problem, but I was having a problem starting our frig too. Then my husband (I hate admitting this) tried and notice I had it in the off position....duh. Not only did I do this once (no I'm not blond), but several times BEFORE I finally now remember to turn that bugger to on . Our old RV was soooo much easier to turn on. Hope you find the problem. Just thought this would help to lighten up your frustrations with your frig.
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