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 > Rusty Dometic Pilot Light? What dangers lurk ahead?

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211Racing

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 08/23/22 08:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]
Bringing a Tioga 26' Ford E350 back to life. Got the propane flowing. Stove works. Dometic fridge wouldn't fire. Interior fridge "function" lights come on as they should. Hear a click. Then the "CHECK" light comes on. Pulled the cowling from around the fridge pilot light and it was filled with flaky rust. Is that from a compromised "coil" or similar that creates the refrigeration? I didn't try firing it up again after clearing the pile of rust flakes as it was late.

Thank you.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 08/24/22 05:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wonder whats dripping on that spot? no rust back on that same piece of metal.

211Racing

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Posted: 08/24/22 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The roof was compromised in about 15 different spots. Lots of leaks. Lots of labor (mine) to make it right. That's been fixed. I will do some exploratory surgery today to find what all the rust came from.

Roger10378

Goodrich, MI.

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Posted: 08/24/22 06:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That area usually rusts first because the flame compromises the galvanizing. If some of those rust flakes dropped into the burner tube it can prevent proper burning. I can't tell from your picture but is there gas going to the burner tube?


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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 08/24/22 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our water heater burner tube also has rust on it, although not quite as bad as yours. Ours is the result of the temp relief valve leaking which sits directly above the burner tube. Bad design in my opinion although the heater still works!
Barney


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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 08/24/22 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved to Tech Issues forum from DIY.

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 08/24/22 10:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few comments from what I have seen in restoring other campers using the Dometic fridge's.

As was said, rust in that area is common, heat breaks down the galvanized and rust starts forming when the system cools down, condensation sets in, and rust starts. That said, yours may have taken more water from above.

If you have the roof cap off, assuming yours has a roof cap and is not in a slide, there is a baffle in the boiler stack (the long tube/hole just above the gas burner). The baffle hangs down from above the top of the boiler tube, has a long rod then a spiral baffle attached to the end of the rod.

You unclick the top of the rod from the burner tube and pull the baffle all the way up and out. Cover up or remove the burner itself so rust from above will not fall directly onto or in the burner when you pull the baffle. Make sure the baffle has not rusted out/off and will come out with the rod. Do not leave it stuck in there if it is broke off. And do not use it with out it. And get all the loose rust out of the boiler tube when the baffle is out. If you have to replace the baffle or rod, make sure the new one is identical in length on both the rod and the baffle so it hangs in the right place.

Now to the burner not firing, not sure how familiar you are with the gas fridge, but it takes a good while to purge air out of the lines to get gas up to the fridge gas valve. It might take several cycles of trial for ignition to get gas to the burner to light. The controls will shut down on safety after 3 attempts and no firing feed back, then the fault light comes on. To reset, shut off the fridge, and turn it back on gas and it will give 3 more tries.

There is a small slot screw looking on/off gas valve before the gas valve that could be on your fridge. Make sure the valve is open. The slot horizontal is on.

You should see the blue spark jump from the electrode to the burner tube. One spark for each click of the igniter. And it should click constantly about every 1 second for a time period. Intermittent sparking points to issues.

You should hear a faint click/clunk of the gas valve turning on, then the igniter starts clicking.

To help more, tell us the year, model number of the fridge. Pics help too as we or you have no idea if someone modified something.

Also, your fridge does not look like it has the recall done to it. Pending your model and serial number, Dometic still has open recall on all the fridges that fell into that group. It is a free recall that can be scheduled and done by a factory authorized repair shop. Look into this as it was a fire safety recall. More on this if needed. I have restored several year 2,000 to 2006 made campers, and they all fell into the recall on certain models. Most owners who bought a used one never knew of the recall nor the original owner.

Hope this helps

John


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211Racing

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 08/24/22 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK ... some embarrassment to report. Rats had chewed through (or consumed) every wire in the Dometic mechanical bay. I worked like a "meatball surgeon" to splice it all back together. Today I noticed I missed one ground wire. It grounds (what I'm assuming is) the electromechanical device that opens the solenoid so gas can flow into the ignitor. Rewiring that now. Figured it out by placing a propane "sniffer" all around the ignitor and getting no alarm when attempting to fire it up. Gas was being stopped somewhere. Guessing that is the problem. Still happy I pulled that cowling and got all the rust out. Will disassemble to see what the damage is.

Will report back after more wiring.

Thank you for your input.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/24/22 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBarca wrote:


Now to the burner not firing, not sure how familiar you are with the gas fridge, but it takes a good while to purge air out of the lines to get gas up to the fridge gas valve. It might take several cycles of trial for ignition to get gas to the burner to light. The controls will shut down on safety after 3 attempts and no firing feed back, then the fault light comes on. To reset, shut off the fridge, and turn it back on gas and it will give 3 more tries.

There is a small slot screw looking on/off gas valve before the gas valve that could be on your fridge. Make sure the valve is open. The slot horizontal is on.



You bring up a good point with air in the propane line.

The easiest way to purge air from the propane line is to use one of the stove top burners. I use a long reach butane lighter, open one of the front burner valves with the butane lighter lit. It can take a minute or two before the air is purged enough to start getting a flame at the burner.

Once you have a good blue flame without the need for the lighter you can turn off the stove burner and then attempt to run furnace, fridge or water heater.

Purging the line at the stove should cut down the remaining propane line distance enough that the other appliances should light with one or two tries.

C Schomer

Pueblo West, Co.

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Posted: 08/24/22 04:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would try contacting Atwood and see if those sheet-metal parts are still available. If they haven’t changed things you might also be able to find parts in an RV wrecking yard.

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