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Old 08-30-2017, 06:39 PM   #1
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Dometic RM8551

Just bought a 2016 17B and can not get the refrigerator to start on propane. Previous owner said he never had any problems with it starting. Troubleshooting guide says there may be air in the line and try to start it a number of times, which I did.
The refrigerator will act like it's starting for 3 or 4 minutes and then the caution light will come on. And I restarted it and in three or four or five minutes later it'll do it again. Have gone through that procedure numerous times and still the caution light will on come on.
Has anybody else had this sort of problem and have a suggestion on what I need to do. Maybe I just need to physically bleed the line. Or maybe it's electronic issue.
Thanks, Ted
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
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I haven't had that problem but if I did, these are two things that I'd try;

1. Turn on the gas stove or hot water tank and see if they operate properly. That also helps more quickly bleed out any possible air.

2. Remove the small sheet metal guard on the fridge burner, one screw, and observe the flame or lack there of.

Ron
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:34 PM   #3
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Yeah Ron the gas stove works and did not observe a flame on the refrigerator but did not take the guard off.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:00 PM   #4
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Mine worked fine on gas the first leg of our last trip. Ten days on elec and the gas would not work on the next leg or on the way home. The igniter clicks for a while, the flame comes on for about 20 seconds, goes out and the trouble light comes on. Fortunately 12 v works fine.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:34 PM   #5
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I had a similar problem, I used compressed air to clean out the tube where the gas and air mix and this helped. On a later occasion I found that the orifice where the gas comes out was clogged, cleaned it with a length of emery cord and all was fine. I think a pipe cleaner would have also worked.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:26 PM   #6
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Yeah Ron the gas stove works and did not observe a flame on the refrigerator but did not take the guard off.
Thanks
The next thing that I'd do, and I just did, after my fridge that was working flawlessly for the last year and a half is check the orifice just before the burner.

Sorry the photo is out of focus but if you look just above the tiny orifice you can see a particle of carbon. That's all it takes to make a fridge not work.

Lot's of videos on youtube about servicing the jet or orifice.

Ron
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:33 PM   #7
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Like others have said, after taking the trailer out of storage, I normally test all the other propane appliances before the fridge to get any air out of the lines.

I have had this happen lately when testing the fridge after taking it out of storage. It will light and run for awhile, but goes out and will not relight, eventually causing the propane fault. Sometimes it will restart, and then the alarm is on when I check an hour later.

If the problem persists, then I will remove the burner and orifice assembly and soak in rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to lose or damage the orifice - a small round metal disk with a pin hole for the gas to flow through.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:19 AM   #8
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Like others have said, after taking the trailer out of storage, I normally test all the other propane appliances before the fridge to get any air out of the lines.

I have had this happen lately when testing the fridge after taking it out of storage. It will light and run for awhile, but goes out and will not relight, eventually causing the propane fault. Sometimes it will restart, and then the alarm is on when I check an hour later.

If the problem persists, then I will remove the burner and orifice assembly and soak in rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to lose or damage the orifice - a small round metal disk with a pin hole for the gas to flow through.
The other day I tried to remove the burner but gave up when I had to apply so much pressure that it started to round the nut on the gas line. And yes I used the proper kind of wrench, I think they are called a flare nut line wrench. Is there trick to removing the burner?
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:59 PM   #9
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The other day I tried to remove the burner but gave up when I had to apply so much pressure that it started to round the nut on the gas line. And yes I used the proper kind of wrench, I think they are called a flare nut line wrench. Is there trick to removing the burner?
I think that it's important to get that nut loosened and operable because if a flake of carbon blocks the orifice you need to be able to clean it out.

I noticed that the nut seems to be an oddball size. It's a really sloppy 7/16" and a less sloppy 11 mm but it's larger than 3/8" So, if the nuts really tight, I can see how the wrench would be more likely to round off the nut.

I'd use WD-40 but not hold out much hope. Then I'd make sure the propane valve was shut and heat the nut. There's nothing like a blast of heat to loosen an stubborn nut.

Ron
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:47 PM   #10
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Just a word of caution WD40 is flammable and could cause a fire if exposed to flame. I have an opportunity to make that mistake before ....

I echo the need to bleed the lines by turning on the heater. Once you feel heat at the heater you know you have gas on that side of the trailer (my 5.0ta has the heater close to the fridge).

Also depending on how much use the fridge gets the soot can build-up in the flue. It needs to be blown out with compressed air from time to time. Also like stated before be very careful with the gas orifice .... objects can ruin it easily.

Let us know how it goes ... Bill
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:20 PM   #11
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Mud dauber. Easy fix once I got the burner tube out.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:55 PM   #12
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RM6881 stubborn orifice nut

I reopened this thread since my wknd project is to open the nut to access and the orifice on my RM6881 as pictured below. I have a few questions about the best way to loosen the nut (since I've tried with a 11mm wrench and the nut is proving to be stubborn.

1. is it best practise to unscrew so the line, nut/orifice and chamber drops away from the burner (I may not be using the correct terms).

2. When attempting to loosen the nut with the 11mm wrench I held the aluminum chamber with another wrench to avoid breaking the line or messing with the ignitors.

3. This thread mentions using WD40 but cautions that it is flammable (advised running the furnace to burn off propane in the lines). The thread also mentions heating the bolt - I suppose with a little fire starter (like we use to light the gas stove?) And I also suppose I would try that WAY BEFORE trying WD40 and wait again before trying to fire the fridge. Any other ideas about getting that stubborn nut to loosen?

4. HISTORY - while out on a recent trip we had noticed the fridge wasn't firing (5th season of use) and remembered Reace's telling us about the orifice. But we got the fridge running by physically blowing on and just tapping on the chamber. My last trip had the same problem, but this time I had a small can of pressurized air (for cleaning computers) and blew that into the little hole in the chamber while trying to start the fridge. While blowing air into the hole the fridge started but quit. then when I had put the can away and jiggled the chamber the fridge fired without issue. Since then the fridge fires up perfectly, keeps the fridge cold (frozen freezer) and the flame burns a nice blue.

I'm a bit tempted to leave well enough alone. But it seems that using solvent (which I will buy at Cnd Tire this wknd) to clean the orifice appears to be part of regular maintenance. Plus in two weeks we are heading out and will be WAAYY of grid (away from help) so want the fridge to work.

I'll include a picture of the area I'm writing about.

Thanks for ideas from our helpful forum members (FYI this kind of work pushes me right up to and slightly beyond the level of my mediocre mechanical skill set.)
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:30 PM   #13
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Seems to me you've done everything right. Using two wrenches to disengage and access the orifice was a struggle but we managed it. I'd use heat on it before trying anything else. My hard lesson learned was when that teeny tiny orifice fell out and was lost in the weeds. We paid through the nose for a replacement orifice.

I later bent an aluminum sheet and screwed it down. Who knows if that made any difference (?), but, been all good ever since.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:04 PM   #14
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Thanks Myron.

I’ll forge ahead. Does it matter much about what kind of solvent I buy? Last thing I need is to damage the aluminum orifice
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:11 PM   #15
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I have never used solvent on the orifice. What for? I think using compressed air and no other tools is the only way. Just remember, if you damage or lose it in the process, you are screwed!
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:40 PM   #16
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The YouTube video people mentioned solvent. Someone used alcohol.
I see the wisdom in keeping things simple, thanks Myron
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:43 AM   #17
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Hi Larry,

I hope I remember this correctly - I thought I got it finally figured out last time I did this. To disassemble the burner/orifice for cleaning, I first remove the screw that holds the burner to the vertical exhaust tube, then disconnect the long propane tube at the valve end (left side of fridge opposite to burner on the right). Then the tube and burner assembly is loose, next remove the igniter/thermocouple. Now you can take the propane line and burner to a safe place to disconnect and not lose the orifice disc.

I used to struggle with 2 wrenches to remove the burner from the propane tube, but it is easier to remove the tube and burner first.

I do the opposite for reassembly, but take care to align the propane tube and burner so they will fit back together. Sometimes it takes a few tries until everything lines up going back together.

Hope this works for you.


Edit - P.S. My method is to soak the burner/orifice in alcohol, usually I find bits of brown grit are removed.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:09 AM   #18
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Thanks Kirk. I like the idea of removing the length of the propane line.

On the alcohol .... would 12 year old Glenfiddich Scotch do?
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:23 AM   #19
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LarryandLiz: That looks like red high strength thread locker (Loctite) on the threads in your photo. You will most likely damage the nut before it breaks free. You need to carefully heat the area with a propane torch. See this link.

How to Remove Red Threadlocker - Henkel Adhesive Technologies Blog

(It looks like Myron’s nut in post #13 was heated at some point based on the coloration, but it is hard to tell for sure)
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:30 PM   #20
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Thanks for the help Myron, Kirk and Rubicon327

I got it done with the help of my son-in-law who happens to be a liscenced auto mechanic.

We disconnected the left side propane line and disconnected the right side from the ignition/burner. Use a lighter to heat up the nut. A 11mm wrench on the nut with another wrench on the chamber and with some effort the nut came off.

We used a can of compressed air to blow out the little holes in the chamber, and the end where the orifice resides. The orifice didn’t fall out. We didn’t want to damage the orif8ce by prying at it, or poking it so we’re content with leaving it where it “lives.”

Reassembled all the pieces and fired up the fridge three times. It burns right away. with a strong blue flame.

So i guess I’ll be traveling with a can of compressed air. (I always throw in my tool box with wrenches)

Forum Members helping one another with all their expertise is great.

I hope this thread and my posts prove helpful to other members (or at least I hope my posts provide some entertainment).

Larry
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