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Old 10-31-2017, 10:17 PM   #1
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Vitrifrigo repairs

My DP2600 was installed new in Mar 2015. It replaced one that was new in 2010. The 2010 unit failed the day before we intended to cross to the Bahamas, so the aggravation level was pretty intense.

In addition, service access to the fridge requires that it be removed from the recess in which it's installed, and given the prospect of cruising the Bahamas with a fridge freshly repaired and questionable reliability, the decision was to replace it. In hindsight, probably not the wisest, but at the time it seemed best.

The 2015 installed unit started having trouble maintaining temps this summer while cruising in Canada, and got progressively worse, ultimately not able to keep the box below 45F.

I replaced the control module with a spare I had removed from another Danfoss compressor, and the temps returned to normal, so I ordered a new module. In service for two weeks, the box temps again started to climb. I'm getting removal down to a science now- the condenser fan failed (open).

Several calls to RV sources went to voice mail & unanswered: Camping World specifically. Calls to various marine sources in the Balt/Annap/Wash area came up with some sources for the OEM replacement fan, one was $70, another was $35 for a close but not exact match. I was unwilling to pay $70 for a $11 fan, so opted for a replacement fan from Mouser that matches precisely the fan specs, and was able to order 2 and have them next day air shipped for $52. Fan is installed and fridge is back in its recess, box is maintaining at 36F and unit is cycling. All's good.

Notable is that I have an auxilliary fan providing ventilation that runs with the condenser fan. The aux fan is 245 mA, the condenser fan is 146 mA. This is significant because the control module monitors the amp draw of the fan. If the amp draw exceeds 500 mA, the module shuts down on a fault mode and may shut off the compressor. Even though the combined amp load is below the 500 mA threshold, I decided to add a relay to power the auxiliary fan rather than run both through the module to eliminate the potential for the module faulting out due to the additional fan amp load.

The takeaway from my experience that others may find useful is that the control module and/or the condenser fan are the typical failure points, neither of which are terribly difficult to repair, however without the correct parts, can cause a huge inconvenience for full-time cruisers! Replacing the contents for a planned 3-month cruise is a real PITA!

Because of that, I'm now stocking a replacement condenser fan as well as a control module, since failure of either of those components can take the fridge out of service. If the parts are on hand, a repair can be completed in a short time, and avoid the loss of the contents. The module is about $300 depending on if it's the 120V option. I really see no advantage to a 120V module, although I have it and reorderd a 120V module. My spare is 12/24 VDC only, it works fine. The condenser fan is available from Mouser, the exact replacement is Mouser model # 562-FAD1-12025CBLW12.

Finally, since a large contingent of marine fridge manufacturers use the Danfoss compressors, they're all subject to the module as well as the condenser fan failure, so my experience cannot be viewed as a commentary on Vitrifrigo reliability, I believe my experience was just luck of the draw. I do believe that any full-time cruiser whose fridge is "mission critical" and cruises where repairs involve long lead time for parts would be wise to carry a spare module and condenser fan. Even if you don't do your own repairs, you may find a repair facility that may not stock the parts, making the cost of inventorying the spares insignificant compared to the cost of waiting for parts or replacing the fridge contents!
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:30 PM   #2
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Is there just one model control board for danfoss setups?

Any luck with either inexpensive or quick response suppliers?
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Steve,
I just went through the same issues with my 4 month old DP2600.....module and condenser fan. Hoping the new module is more dependable.
I also installed an auxiliary fan to pull heat out of the frig cabinet, but have mine controlled by a toggle switch and mostly run it during summertime. I'd like to control it with a relay, but a relay coil would add more amperage to the condenser fan sector of the control module than acceptable. Where do you feed your relay coil from?
Thanks,
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greysailor View Post
Steve,
I just went through the same issues with my 4 month old DP2600.....module and condenser fan. Hoping the new module is more dependable.
I also installed an auxiliary fan to pull heat out of the frig cabinet, but have mine controlled by a toggle switch and mostly run it during summertime. I'd like to control it with a relay, but a relay coil would add more amperage to the condenser fan sector of the control module than acceptable. Where do you feed your relay coil from?
Thanks,
Luke


The micro relay mounts on a PC board, coil only draws 30 mA, well below the 500 mA module cutoff. The contacts are rated 30 A. It's in parallel with the fan (F) terminal which is (-) and the main 12V (+) terminal on the module. The aux fan won't run if the module is powered 120V unless the 12 V supply is energized since that powers the fan, not a big deal as I always have it powered. I really can't see a benefit in the dual voltage module, when would I ever not have 12VDC available..? Added complexity on an already complex module IMO.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Is there just one model control board for danfoss setups?

Any luck with either inexpensive or quick response suppliers?


There are a number of boards that function with various compressors, Danfoss lists compatible matches online. My spare is a discontinued AEO(?) variable speed module, takeoff from a Frigoboat compressor I lunched by running it with the keel cooler out of the water - dumbass! Life lesson. But it worked fine. Lots of sources for modules, do a little homework to learn which are compatible, then shop it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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Below is a copy of a post I made about the ECM, and new model#, on my Vitrifrigo fridge about a 2013 model. you can see the entire thread on the Other Trawler Systems section of the forum.

I did speak to a Vitrifrigo Tech this morning I explained my problem, he said I'd need a new Electronic Control Module. I asked what could have caused the failure after 3 years he said maybe an electric spike in the shore power supply. Possibly, I guess, anyway I ordered a new ECM from a 3rd party supplier. Danfoss have an upgraded (hopefully improved) one 101N0510 to replace the original 101N0500 we'll see how that goes. $294.00 including shipping.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:53 AM   #7
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I purchased a DP2600 this past March to replace one that lasted for many years on the boat. The condenser fan stopped working in June. I had a guy come out to replace it. That fan lasted all of 5 days. Symptom is the freezer barely gets to refrigeration temperature and the fridge portion is just a bit cooler than ambient. Also, the outer frame of the DP2600 gets very hot.

Going to try to get the tech to replace the ECM as well as the fan this time. But I'm rapidly losing faith in this appliance.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:08 AM   #8
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Same thing, bought a dp2600 in February, started having problems in April,would randomly shut down, spoiling food. Added venting to cabinet, no help. I contacted vitrifrigio, they put me in touch with tech. Bad condenser fan and control board. He installed what he said was a better fan with bearings, not bushings and installed 12 v only controller. All under warranty. No problems now. Pretty good customer service.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:34 PM   #9
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Robert - thanks for the quick response. I also called Vitrifrigo just now and before I could even finish describing my problem, he said "new AC/DC board and condenser fan". So I'm trying to get my local expert back out to the boat to get this done.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:10 PM   #10
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I talked to the guy that did the repair, he said any 12v 2.5 amp. or less, 4 1/2" square, ball bearing computer fan will work, he said the last year of production has had issues. Good guy, does repairs in the so cal area. Don't know if I can post his info on this site?
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:34 PM   #11
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Robert - thanks again. If your guy has a manufacturer and part # for the fan, that would be fantastic. Even if I don't get it installed this time, I'll stock a couple as spare parts for when the fan dies in the future.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:23 PM   #12
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My module failed as well. Have not replaced yet, just runs at 120V only. Been using the inverter when on the hook
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