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Old 01-18-2018, 02:59 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Not Working, Whoops!

Last year while in Daytona Beach the OE refrigerator finally packed it in so I was faced with a choice. Go back with a dual power plug and play marine unit or go cheap. No surprise I went cheap and bought a Danby 7.3 cf for $250 from of all places, Office Depot. They dropped shipped it for free to a retail store and I flew down form NC for the install. Rented a Home Depot truck for 19.95 and carried it to Halifax River Marina. The Danby was narrower and slighty taller so after I made the modifications, installed it and had ice cubes by suppertime.

I don't know about the rest of you but every so often I reminded myself that I had replaced a $1,500 marine unit with a $250 dorm style fridge. When would it it quit?

Well Tuesday I got my answer. Instead of taking the boat to FL this year I left it in Edenton NC to do the Albemarle Loop in the Winter. (There is always a free slip) After the recent cold snap I went to check on the boat and when i arrived the cabin temp was 31 degrees and the refrig was 34 and not running and the ice had melted in the freezer. Once again my cheapness had followed me down a blind alley attacked and left me for dead.

Since it had a 1 year warranty I called the factory to see what could be done. They needed the serial number which is on the back of the unit so I had to uninstall it and wrestle it out into the salon to check. Upon calling back they walked me through the trouble shooting questions: Is it plugged in? Duh yes. Is it installed inside or outside? Inside a boat. Is the boat heated? Not recently. What is the temperature inside the boat? 31 degrees. Well skipper the refrigerator is plenty cold w/o the compressor running so turn your heat on and see if the fridge doesn't start working. If it doesn't call us back. I did, it did and I didn't call back. I had ice cubes before I left.

I know that 95% of the people on this site knew my problem halfway through this post. To the other 5% accept this cautionary tale of what happens when you don't think things through!

Don
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:17 PM   #2
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I know that 95% of the people on this site knew my problem halfway through this post. To the other 5% accept this cautionary tale of what happens when you don't think things through!

Don
EASILY something I would have gone through also......
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up on this one. I wouldn't have figured that one out either but it makes sense now that you've explained it to me.

Cheers!
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
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What do you do when you're away from the dock? Run the fridge on an inverter?
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:51 PM   #5
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Yes, the 110V refrigerator circuit is wired to an inverter which automatically switches over to shore power or the generator when running. Even the OE fridge was not wired to the 12V DC circuit so the dual power option was never utilized.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #6
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Speaking of refrigerator failures, my 19 year old Nova Kool finally stopped working. Replacement cost, roughly $1200 plus shipping from one coast to the other.

Following the troubleshooting instructions on their website, I determined that it was the Danfoss control unit. Calling them confirmed this. The part and shipping was $237. Refrigerator is like new again.

So - replacement is not always the only option.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:03 PM   #7
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You are absolutely right! Glad it worked for you. I would have rather kept the old fridge and prior to replacement the electrical component board had been replaced and exhaust fans installed but it just struggled with NC summers.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:48 PM   #8
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ours seems to have trouble switching from 120 to 12 v. after switching to 12v it will quit working turning it off and good kick it will start working on 12v . I think it may be a relay.

if you store food in your freezer while away from the boat it's a good idea to put an ice cube in a cup . check it when you return to be sure it still has cube form . you could have a problem that corrected its self before your return.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:55 PM   #9
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I have 3 Engles. I live aboard. I do not have them plugged into AC at all.. 3+ years and not a hiccup. 2.5 amps @ 12v while running. 2 swing door and one used as a freezer, raise lid. Happy!
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:58 PM   #10
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if you store food in your freezer while away from the boat it's a good idea to put an ice cube in a cup . check it when you return to be sure it still has cube form . you could have a problem that corrected its self before your return.
oohhhhh....... that is one scenario i have never even came close to thinking about......not sure i would leave anything for any length of time but that trick with the ice cube is burned into my memory banks if i ever do
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:04 PM   #11
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I have 3 Engles. I live aboard. I do not have them plugged into AC at all.. 3+ years and not a hiccup. 2.5 amps @ 12v while running. 2 swing door and one used as a freezer, raise lid. Happy!
Mule....
common sense should tell me the answer but is that 2.5 amps each? or total ?

how long does it take them to come down to temp from a "cold" (warm) start ?

i think i just came close to hijacking my first thread, lol

......... dammit, i said hijacking, now im on a list somewhere....
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:25 PM   #12
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The temperature here dropped a while back and this caught us too. Ice cream melted and re-frozen all over the bottom of the freezer.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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This beats the ice cube trick. It's magnetic and sticks to my fridge door.



https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-009...cuRite+00986A2
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:32 PM   #14
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This beats the ice cube trick. It's magnetic and sticks to my fridge door.



https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-009...cuRite+00986A2
I just bought one of those (a dual model) for my home refrigerator/freezer which somehow managed to fail the same day as the boat refrigerator.

It just arrived yesterday and seems like a good solution. I'll try to find a single for the boat.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:28 PM   #15
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The dual model can be used in fridge and freezer, or in my case with 2 fridges, I use one in each fridge.

That's a coincidence...I had a similar dual fridge failure with boat and home units about a year ago. Brought the 2nd boat fridge home to save the day until the new home fridge was delivered.
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:45 PM   #16
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Just like leaving a city water hose connected to your boat, this is a topic that generates great controversy, marine refrigerator vs. dorm refrigerator.

In my opinion, the marine refrigerator earns its higher price by being more energy efficient, something that's important for those of us who spend time on the water and at anchor with no genset.

For others, efficiency may not be as important and the dorm refrigerator works as well and at a lower initial cost.
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:46 PM   #17
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The dual model can be used in fridge and freezer, or in my case with 2 fridges, I use one in each fridge.

That's a coincidence...I had a similar dual fridge failure with boat and home units about a year ago. Brought the 2nd boat fridge home to save the day until the new home fridge was delivered.
Apparently, that manufacturer does not make a single unit for a refrigerator.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:54 AM   #18
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ours seems to have trouble switching from 120 to 12 v. after switching to 12v it will quit working turning it off and good kick it will start working on 12v . I think it may be a relay.

if you store food in your freezer while away from the boat it's a good idea to put an ice cube in a cup . check it when you return to be sure it still has cube form . you could have a problem that corrected its self before your return.
Our 12 year old Nova Kool started having the same problem. After talking to the manufacture tech (super nice people) and doing the trouble shooting it was determined I would have to replace the Danfoss unit.
I turned off the AC power breaker for the fridge and it has run flawlessly for two years on 12v. While on shore power the battery charger has no problem covering the needs of the fridge while remaining in float mode.
I am unaware of any negative impact operating this way.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:56 AM   #19
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Experienced similar problem with our boat's Keurig coffeemaker. If the water source is too cold the machine won't operate. Keurig customer service suggested we first warm the water in the microwave oven...sure enough, it fired up and brewed a perfect cup of Peet's Major Dickinson blend. (I know, pods are bad for environment, but can't beat the convenience...)
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:00 PM   #20
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After talking to the manufacture tech (super nice people) and doing the trouble shooting it was determined I would have to replace the Danfoss unit.
I turned off the AC power breaker for the fridge and it has run flawlessly for two years on 12v.

I don't see how that tracks. The Danfoss compressor runs on DC (sorta) anyway, even when you provide AC to the power supply. Unless they meant the power supply (which converts AC when present to DC) is physically part of the Danfoss compressor? and the reason you needed to replace the Danfoss is because the converter isn't working?

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