Refrigerator Light - Does It Really Go Out? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-30-2017, 12:58 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Light - Does It Really Go Out?

We always make sure our refrigerator door is completely closed by listening for the click and then pushing it to ensure a good seal. (First sentence is very important). We use three remote sensors in the frig/freezer to monitor temps. Over the last couple months we have noted some unexplained higher temperature spikes in the sensor on the top shelf of the refrigerator with equally unexplained returns to "normal" temps. This morning we noted that the refrigerator light was very warm - as if it had been on a long time. After cycling the switch by hand with the door open no abnormalities were noted as far as the light going on and off. Barely touching the switch turns the light off - well before the door hits the closed and latched position. We ensured the door was fully closed then checked the light later - nice and cool. Closed the door again, making sure it was latched and sealed. Checked later and the light was again very warm. Wondering if anyone else has run into this? We may have to take the bulb out if it keeps happening.
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:03 PM   #2
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Take a delayed photo (10 second or so) with phone after closing it in the fridge. This will confirm what the light is doing.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:04 PM   #3
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Take a delayed photo (10 second or so) with phone after closing it in the fridge. This will confirm what the light is doing.
Good idea! We'll try that. We suspect it may be coming on some time after closing the door but at least that will let us know it went off. Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:57 PM   #4
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Interesting. I never looked, but is it not an LED light inside the fridge? Must not be if it feels that warm to the touch. How strange if some of the refrigerator temperature fluctuation problems others have reported traces back to heat from an interior light that won't stay shut off with the door closed!
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:11 PM   #5
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Interesting. I never looked, but is it not an LED light inside the fridge? Must not be if it feels that warm to the touch. How strange of some of the refrigerator temperature fluctuation problems others have reported traces back to heat from an interior light that won't stay shut off with the door closed!
It does go off when the door is shut, if it's operating normally. It is an LED, but it does give off some heat. One interesting side effect of that is, if you camp in a very damp and humid area (such as Oregon where it rains alot, or the Texas Gulf Coast where it rains alot), the heat from the bulb will cause little drops of water to condense under the cover - and if the condensation makes its way to the bulb base, it will cause the electronics to think the door is open when it's shut, and a wonderful beeping alarm will then go off every two minutes. Ask me how I know.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:35 PM   #6
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I've noticed that if I put something in the fridge that is at room temperature, the fridge temp will rise rapidly and stay high until the new item has cooled down, which makes perfect sense. Cooling down a large container of cold-brewed tea alerted me to this.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:41 PM   #7
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Take a delayed photo (10 second or so) with phone after closing it in the fridge. This will confirm what the light is doing.
So now the age-old question of whether the light stays on after the fridge door is closed can now be answered with modern technology.

Life is no fun anymore.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:20 AM   #8
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It does go off when the door is shut, if it's operating normally. It is an LED, but it does give off some heat.
Interesting - your older one is definitely LED - our 2017 light is not LED! I wonder why they stepped back in technology?
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:33 AM   #9
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I've noticed that if I put something in the fridge that is at room temperature, the fridge temp will rise rapidly and stay high until the new item has cooled down, which makes perfect sense. Cooling down a large container of cold-brewed tea alerted me to this.
Yes, a couple warm water bottles will shoot it up pretty quickly. Our spikes are unexplained though, they happen without opening the door and without adding anything. After a rise, the temp will then drop back to normal. We have tried moving the three sensors around to see if one of them is screwy. Whichever one is in the freezer is always very steady. Whichever one that is placed closest to the light is the one that seems to spike. Pretty sure the spikes are localized because the milk is always colder than it is at home! Next step may be to attach a sensor to the light itself.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:36 AM   #10
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So now the age-old question of whether the light stays on after the fridge door is closed can now be answered with modern technology. Life is no fun anymore.
New technology leads to new questions, like, "Is a smart phone smart enough to call for help when it finds itself locked inside a cold, dark refrigerator?"
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:41 AM   #11
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... Next step may be to attach a sensor to the light itself.
My thought, exactly, plus a video recording of the interior while jostling the door latch to see just what it takes to make the light to turn on and off. I can't believe Dometic apparently went "old school" with an incandescent bulb in at least some new models. Do LED's have problems in cold environments?
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:39 AM   #12
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So, here is a photo of the tube-style (Festoon double-contact?) incandescent light bulb inside our 2017 21' DM2663LBX refrigerator. It appears there are LED replacement bulbs available if desired (be sure to check length for correct fit). Question - why are their two lead wires and two ground wires going to a simple light switch? Seems like it should only take one lead and one ground to work the light. So what are those other two wires going to that is also being controlled by the door switch?
12 volt LED Bulb, Festoon Double Contact - Diamond 52628 - Light Fixtures - Camping World
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:46 PM   #13
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Interesting - your older one is definitely LED - our 2017 light is not LED! I wonder why they stepped back in technology?
Although the Americana series of refrigerators are used in the newest Escapes, they are an older design than the 8000 series. Dometic didn't step back in lighting technology; Escape changed the door of the trailer and so is now able to use a existing refrigerator model with a better record than the 8000 models.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:59 PM   #14
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So, here is a photo of the tube-style (Festoon double-contact?) incandescent light bulb inside our 2017 21' DM2663LBX refrigerator. It appears there are LED replacement bulbs available if desired (be sure to check length for correct fit).
That style of bulb has been common in cars, typically for interior lamps (such as the dome lamp). It's probably not necessary to use an RV parts source.

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Question - why are their two lead wires and two ground wires going to a simple light switch? Seems like it should only take one lead and one ground to work the light. So what are those other two wires going to that is also being controlled by the door switch?
The wiring diagram for this model shows a switch, likely combined with the interior light switch, which controls power to a "heating cable". I don't see an indication in the manual of the purpose of the cable, but I assume it is to reduce condensation on something... but if that's what the switch is running, then it seems to would be bad to have it left on, no matter what it is heating.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:44 PM   #15
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... The wiring diagram for this model shows a switch, likely combined with the interior light switch, which controls power to a "heating cable". I don't see an indication in the manual of the purpose of the cable, but I assume it is to reduce condensation on something... but if that's what the switch is running, then it seems to would be bad to have it left on, no matter what it is heating.
By that, do you mean it might cause erratic warming inside the fridge if not operating properly? Hummmm...
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:19 AM   #16
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Yep, we have a light problem!

We set an analogue thermometer on the light and made sure the door was securely closed. Here's a pic of the thermometer - gonna take the bulb out until we can figure it out.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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Wow! Keep your milk away from that light! Somewhere I have an old "Flip" digital video recorder. I need to dig that out, put it in the fridge, and then jostle the closed door to see if a little door wiggling is enough to allow the door switch to let the light come on. And I'm still curious what else the door switch is controlling through that second set of wires attached to the switch then exit out the sidewall of the fridge. Described in the wiring diagram as some sort of "heating cable" according to Brian? Anyone on friendly enough terms with a Dometic serviceman to ask them what that "heating cable" is all about and why the door light switch controls it?
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:54 AM   #18
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fridges heat the rubber seal around the door.
or else the rubber would just harden from the cold and not be flexible enough to give a good seal to the door
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:37 AM   #19
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fridges heat the rubber seal around the door.
or else the rubber would just harden from the cold and not be flexible enough to give a good seal to the door
So, regarding the switch, does the heat cable get electricity and hence heat only while the door is open, just like the light? We only open our door for seconds at a time in order to hold in the cold air as much as possible. Seems like not enough time to allow the heat cable to warm up let alone let it then heat the rubber seal. Or is the heat cable on all the time, and opening the door shuts off power to the heat cable for some reason while the door is open. That even seems stranger. Why cut off the electricity for those few seconds the door is open. Still curious....
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:12 PM   #20
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I don't know if the heater cable is on the door side or the frame side.
the manual I found on-line just says this

4.9 Frame heating
All models are equipped with a frame heating
(12VDC/3,5W) around the freezer compartment.
During summer months with high temperatures
and humidity the metal frame may
have water droplets forming. To evaporate
these droplets switch on the frame heating
with button
(6).

I don't have a button six, the symbol they show is something that looks like an oven door.

Operation with gas mode or 12V mode
The operating time of the frame heater can be
set to 2 hours, 5 hours or continuous operation.
After selecting the operating time using the
button
(6), the temperature level indicator (8) is
extinguished for a short time to show the set
operating time for a few seconds. The display

then returns to the temperature level indicator

Operation with 230 V mode
and 12 V mode
AES
(automatic operation):
The frame heater is switched on continuously.

There is no indication on the control panel.


That's all I found.
but a maintenance setting to turn it on to test it;

on the MES model

Service Mode MES
The Service Mode is activated by keeping pressed down the temperature button and switching on the main button.
After this all 3 mode-LEDs(3) light up.
By pushing the temperature button (6), the different test-steps can be activated,
test steps 1-6 are indicated by the temperature LEDs(4)

1 = activates 230 V heating element (230V must be available)
2 = activates 230V relay (230V has not to be necessarily available)
3 = activates 12 V heating element (12V has to be available)
4 = activates burner control device –output (Gas operation)
5 = activates frame heating
6 = activates interior lights (For fridges without electrical lock)
7 = Recognition sequence (Reed switch or electrical lock)
8 = activates temperature LEDs(4)
9 = activates lock and failure LED (2) + (5)

Exiting the diagnosis mode:
Push the „mode“button or wait for 10 minutes.


good luck with it
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