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Old 10-13-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Wahoo NE
Posts: 5
Atwood Helium Refrigerator problem

My 8 cu ft refrig is giving me fits. All electrical connections check out fine, the fuses are fine, plenty of power to the trailer, and it is less than a year old. I have read the manual, spoke with the dealer, spoke with Atwood tech service people and they felt it was a faulty brain board. A new one was sent and I replaced the old board. The unit started on manual gas mode and ran great all weekend. I switched it back to auto and it chose ac as its preferred power source. This morning, everything is thawed out again. The check light is not on, and the power is supply is still perfect. I did lower the inside temp of the trailer to 50 degrees since it will be sitting a few days. I really hope the temperature inside the trailer wouldn't effect the temp inside the refrigerator, but it is the only variable I haven't ruled out. I do not have a service center very close by and was hoping to share my situation for any advice.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Wahoo NE
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I believe I will be answering my own post. The temp inside has no bearing on the frig. Not only did I have a reject brain board in the refrigerator but the AC heater element for the refrigerator is defective as well. The service shop said that mine is the third one that has failed at their dealership alone this week. Both my dealership and Atwood tech service were very patient with helping me solve this one.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
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Glad you got your problems "sort of" figured out. Once the replacement parts get installed, hopefully all will be "good to go" for you.

Keep in mind that as you indicated, the "inside the camper" temperature has no significant bearing on the refrigerator operation (within limits), the outside temperature does affect how the refrigerator functions. To explain, the rear of the refrigerator is "open to the elements" and there are vents at both the top and bottom of the outside area. The refrigerator is dependent on heat generated by either the electric element or the gas flame to "percolate" the cooling liquid, in your case, a helium mixture, so it flows in gas form through the cooling unit to absorb heat. Once the outside temperature falls below a certain temperature, the gas flame or the electric heating element can no longer get the cooling liquid hot enough to vaporize and the absorption process stops. While this will only occur at very low temperatures, it can, and does happen. You may want to discuss this with your service technician if you're planning to use your RV for extremely cold weather camping such as hunting, skiing or other winter activities.

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