Propane Refrigerators

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by desdawg, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I recently purchased a propane refrigerator and it gets cold but not maybe cold enough. I am used to an electric refrigerator and the propane unit doesn't come close to what I am used to. Is this normal or do I have a problem unit?
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Is it a new unit? What is the ambient temp you are asking it to work in? Have you checked the interior temperature?

    These units can work very well, but there are a few things you have to check on.
     

  3. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Ours gets just as cold as a regular frig,though less tolerant of frequent door opening.
    BooBoo
     
  4. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I bought this new. I am in the mountains of northern AZ so it is warm temp's here. High 80's outside, cooler in the house. I checked the inside of the refrigerator, was about 45 degrees.
     
  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    HI mine gets really cold, you cant tell it is cold unless you measure the temp or feel the lettuce LOL. perhaps yours needs to be turned up, and also make sure the cooling fins on the back side are kept clean with a vacuum, if you have been having a lot of dust in the house this could be an issue relating to cold! Also make sure there is enough air space , as required by maker, to allow the cooling fins to work as well as the exhaust heat to dissapate. hope this helps
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    They will get a lot cooler than that. Sometimes, tho you need to retrofit some extra insulation if the ambient air temp is too hi. One thing that you might need to check is your popane regulator. If you aren't getting enough gas thru you won't get very cold. Tho I would make sure first that it is turned lower. I gather you are not on the grid. Does your fridge have a 12v ignition?
     
  7. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    There is lots of air space around the unit. It is not vented to the outdoors so I may need to do that. It has a piezo ignition. Yes, we are off the grid and it will be a while before I can get the solar electric system fully installed. That is why I chose the propane fridge over a high efficiency electric. This is a weekend cabin for now and a 5 hour drive to get there so my time to do things there is limited. So far what I do there is work, work, work. But that's OK for now. Anyway it works more like a glorified cooler that a refrigerator at present and having never owned one before I didn't know if I could hope for more or not. I be a rookie.
     
  8. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Hello again! Was just wondering, since propane friges take several days to reach max cool temp, are you turning the thing off when you leave each week? If so that is the problem, you will need to leave it on all week if you want it to be cold when you arrive for the weekend.
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Yes you need to vent it. There should be a pipe on the back that you can connect to a gas appliance type vent pipe. Like the ones they sell for hot water heaters. If you can add some insulation (foam slab type) on the sides and top it won't use as much propane. I would definitely check the regulator when you get up there next time. You should be able to get temps around freezing in the box without too much effort on the new models. A friend of mine was having trouble with a good fridge that I sold him and found out the problem was the propane regulator. Once he replaced it there wasn't a problem, cooled right down.

    Just wondering if you have a big yard tank or doing the bottles.
     
  10. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I have 2-100# cylinders. I don't know how to check the regulator on the fridge. Gas goes through and it burns. Doesn't seem to use a lot of gas. It was advertised to use a little over a gallon per week. It is pretty big, not like a smaller RV type. I left all of my manuals there so I can't look up the specs right at the moment. It has a design like a refrigerator/freezer with the small upper door but there is no separation between the compartments. The idea being that you could open the top door to get to the frequently used items without dropping the cold air out the bottom as happens when the other larger door opens. Sodas or drinking water or whatever can be stored in the top.
    Sisterpine, I leave it on when I am not there. SW Montana huh? Where at? I grew up in Havre in a past life.
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    The reason I asked about the bottle vs big tank is that the gas co supplies a regulator with their tanks. If it is your tank you have a little more control over the equipment. The regulator goes between the tank and the cabin inlet pipe. Some propane items, like camp stoves have their own regulators. Refrigerators depend on a main regulator. It should be adjustable. Without knowing what you have exactly, no body could really walk you thru it. When you get back to the cabin you might try to find time to see if there are instructions in your paper work. I know there aren't enough hours in the day when you are trying to get things done in a new place. At least maybe you have an idea what to look for now. Good luck!!
     
  12. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

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    One thing that you might check is the water level... My FIL has a new fridge in his camper & his water level was low in it... Now, I'm not sure if household units have water levels, but it's something you might check.

    I should say that his wouldn't et cold enough, that's why I mention it....
     
  13. bbmae

    bbmae Member

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    We have a full size dometic and an enormous OLD servel that both run off propane. Living in the high desert it gets into the 90's during the summer. If anything we fought the problem of them being too cold and freezing everything. Took us a while to get them regulated. I think a propane fridge will get just as cold as an electric one. That is just our experience.
    Good luck!
     
  14. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for all of the input. I want the too cold problem bbmae. That is what I have been looking for. I will work on it this weekend. Thanks again to all.