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Old 02-06-2015, 02:51 AM   #1
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Interior light not working on Dometic 4.3 fridge

The performance of the 4.3 cu. ft. Dometic fridge in our new 17B seems to be OK, but then we have not challenged it with hot weather operation. However, the interior light never seems to work. I saw it working one time, and that was all.

In another thread, Trip Report (Long), DonF reported a similar problem, which prompted me to take another look.

I went to the trailer and turned on the fridge, and to my surprise, the light actually worked when I opened the door! Then, a few minutes later, it no longer came on when when the door was opened. I turned the fridge off and back on, and the light worked upon opening the door, but again, it soon stopped working.

According to the manual, the light is supposed to turn off if the door is open for more than 2 minutes. So, if the fridge "thinks" the door is open when it is not, the light should run continuously for 2 minutes and then it would stop, even if the door is closed. To test this, I restarted the fridge, turned on the video of my cell phone and put it inside, and sure enough, the interior light stayed on when the door was closed!

So, it looks like the problem with my fridge light may actually be a problem with the door sensor. I could take it in for warranty service, but that would be a hassle. Can anyone offer a suggestion on what to do next? Is there an adjustment or something simple that may fix it?

-Dave
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:44 PM   #2
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There is a reed switch which senses door open. Reed switches are triggered by a magnet - in this case probably the magnetic door gasket. I do not know where it is but you may be able to trace the wiring for it.

I have attached a snapshot of the wiring diagram from the installation manual. I believe the door switch is connected to the "terminal block DC."
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File Type: jpg Screenshot_1.jpg (92.0 KB, 30 views)
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Jane View Post
According to the manual, the light is supposed to turn off if the door is open for more than 2 minutes. So, if the fridge "thinks" the door is open when it is not, the light should run continuously for 2 minutes and then it would stop, even if the door is closed. To test this, I restarted the fridge, turned on the video of my cell phone and put it inside, and sure enough, the interior light stayed on when the door was closed!
I have no useful ideas for you, but I just wanted to note that this is an excellent piece of troubleshooting, and a great use of available technology - easy and effective.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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Following up on Jamman's comment, I moved a magnet around the door opening to see if that would trigger the reed switch. I soon realized this was futile, however, since the entire door seal is already magnetized!

I found a Dometic service manual at http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/Servi...,%20RM8xxx.pdf that refers to a service procedure to recognize the reed switch. I was able to step through the process, below. The lights turn on (step 6) but I can't make the reed switch work (step 7), probably because I don't know what "Deactivate D+" means.

So, unless anyone has another suggestion, I'll just ignore the light issue for now. It's not all that hard to see inside, anyway.

-Dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dometic panel.jpg (59.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Dometic service mode.JPG (69.6 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Dometic light.jpg (72.2 KB, 12 views)
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:36 PM   #5
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It appears that D+ is on the terminal block and powers the white wire. Or did that not work?

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Old 02-26-2015, 04:03 PM   #6
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I realized that D+ had something to do with the battery power so I tried pulling the fuse, but of course that just shut everything down. Now I see the D+ on terminal block in the manual (AES photo and MES wiring diagram, below). It's not entirely clear to me, but D+ looks like the violet wire on the MES model.

So, it may be a few days, but I'll probably try again. Do you know where this terminal is located? So far, I only have worked with the exterior controls.

-Dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dometic AES terminal.JPG (67.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Dometic MES wiring.JPG (16.2 KB, 10 views)
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:12 PM   #7
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"D+" is the alternator signal wire: when live, it indicates a connection to a running tug. It is used by Dometic's Automatic Energy Selector system to decide what source (propane, 12V DC, 120V AC) to run on.

In Europe, trailers routinely have two separate power connections, only one of which is live when the tug is not running. In motorhomes, the AES uses some timing logic and D+ signal to avoid running the propane flame when the motorhome may be at a station getting fuel.
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
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Today I solved the problem with the non-working fridge light, but I'm sorry to say that it seems to have resulted from prior damage and careless installation/quality control.

I removed the control panel to work on the fridge door for another reason (see Any Damage From Driving on Rough Roads? when I spotted the magnetic door switch. It was in the space above the fridge and behind the panel, still connected by its wires but otherwise loose. I could see a broken plastic bracket in the panel where it should have been securely held in place above the door opening, so put the switch in its proper location and used a little electrical tape to hold it there.

Now, the door light works, just like it should!

-Dave
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File Type: jpg Loose switch.jpg (116.2 KB, 25 views)
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