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Gas fridge not working


40ftnarrowboater
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Hi everyone,

im hoping somone might be able to help.

ive recently bought a narrowboat and have just changed the gas bottles after running out. the oven and hot water are working fine since changing over the gas but the  fridge (a SIBIR) will not turn on. I’ve been trying for a few days now but still no luck. The fridge was working perfectly on gas until the bottle ran out.

i have been pressing and holding down the gas knob at the bottom of the fridge (far right in photo) and then pressing the ignition button (left in photo). Occasionsly I get a spark but the pilot does not stay on. I have tried adjusting the middle dial to every setting but doubt this would make any difference bevause that sets the fridge temperature when turned on. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks 

E7132D3A-D4B2-4680-B66C-22677B46CE8F.jpeg

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Does the pilot light actually light at all? If it does light do you keep the button pressed in for about 15 seconds? The thermocouple needs to get up to it's operating temperature before you can let go of the button.

 

If you've done all that then the burner might need a vacuum to clean debris out but it seems strange that it was working before.

 

Edit: If I've run out of gas and changed bottles, or I haven't used my fridge on gas for a while it can take up to a minute of pressing the button before enough gas comes out to light. I know it doesn't feel right because of the thought of unburned lpg in the boat, but you need to purge the pipes of air and it's actually a tiny bit of gas that's coming out the burner. As long as you're pressing on the pilot light to get a spark every 20 seconds or so you won't be flooding the bilges with gas.

Edited by blackrose
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4 minutes ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

Almost certainly a dirty burner I'd suggest. 

 

Seconded. The flame should stay alight while you are holding the button in. As it goes out, this suggests too little gas is passing through the jet to sustain combustion.

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If you're not keen on removing the burner, I wasn't, try this trick. Remove the shield at the back of the fridge, exposing the burner assembly. Separate the burner from the exhaust or whatever the correct term is. On my Electrolux fridge these are held together by a small screw. Put a piece of paper under the exhaust to stop the crap from going into the burner then rod out the exhaust. I did it with a thin pipe cleaner of Ebay, couple of quid. Then, tap the burner assembly with something suitable, I used a short piece of 2 x 1. When you do this a whole load a crap should start dropping out. Try again to light it. It's worked for me twice. 

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21 hours ago, 40ftnarrowboater said:

Thanks guys.

yes it lights but the pilot doesn’t stay on, just a quick flame, then out straight away. I keep the button pressed in the whole time. Very frustrating 

If it goes out straight away even while you are keeping the knob pressed in then it might still be a sign of air in the line.  Keep trying.

 

N

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  • 4 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, El Perro Negro said:

I have a similar problem with an old Electrolux 3 way fridge. The gas burner lights ok and stays lit but the freezing unit never gets cold, even tried running it for 24 hours but nothing. Freezes ok on 12v. Any ideas?

Gas jet needs cleaning to enable a slightly bigger flame?

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2 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Gas jet needs cleaning to enable a slightly bigger flame?

Most likely, also consider the air supply to the burner base, if its fluffed up the flame will be yellow and not hot enough.

That is also dangerous as the flame will be producing carbon monoxide.

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1 hour ago, El Perro Negro said:

I have a similar problem with an old Electrolux 3 way fridge.

 

Yours sounds like a completely different problem to me!

 

The 12v working suggests all the refrigeration gubbins (technical term) works fine. So this suggests the gas flame is simply not producing enough heat energy. Blocked jet or as Sam suggests, not enough air leading to a yellow (cool) flame.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Yours sounds like a completely different problem to me!

 

The 12v working suggests all the refrigeration gubbins (technical term) works fine. So this suggests the gas flame is simply not producing enough heat energy. Blocked jet or as Sam suggests, not enough air leading to a yellow (cool) flame.

 

 

 

 

OR missing "whirlygig"  that often hangs on a piece of wire inside the flue to force the hot gasses against the sides of the tube.

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While you have it out you might as well turn the fridge upside down and give the pipes at the back a good seeing to with say the heel of a trainer. The set the right way up and wait half an hour before lighting. Sometimes this works on a gas fridge but as yours seem to work on 12V I doubt its the chemicals that need mixing up again.

 

To owners of compressor fridges - never, ever try this, you are likely to ruin the fridge.

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Our old Sibir fridge (a different model from yours) had an incredibly fine filter just before the burner jet, which looked like a dented washer whose centre was covered in a mesh you could barely see..  If your fridge has one of these, check that this is not blocked.  It was necessary to dismantle the burner assembly (easily done).

 

When we finally got rid of the Sibir, due to increasing problems with lighting it, I dismantled it for spares - only to find that the pipework in the fridge was filled with rusty sludge.  This was probably the underlying cause of the problem.  Worth checking.

 

Chris G

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1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

While you have it out you might as well turn the fridge upside down and give the pipes at the back a good seeing to with say the heel of a trainer. The set the right way up and wait half an hour before lighting. Sometimes this works on a gas fridge but as yours seem to work on 12V I doubt its the chemicals that need mixing up again.

 

To owners of compressor fridges - never, ever try this, you are likely to ruin the fridge.

I find most things work better after a good seeing to with a slipper or even a cane, the little whippy ones are best. Must go before I start getting carried away.....

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47 minutes ago, Batavia said:

Our old Sibir fridge (a different model from yours) had an incredibly fine filter just before the burner jet, which looked like a dented washer whose centre was covered in a mesh you could barely see..  If your fridge has one of these, check that this is not blocked.  It was necessary to dismantle the burner assembly (easily done).

 

When we finally got rid of the Sibir, due to increasing problems with lighting it, I dismantled it for spares - only to find that the pipework in the fridge was filled with rusty sludge.  This was probably the underlying cause of the problem.  Worth checking.

 

Chris G

 

Absolutely and I have known some that have a cigarette style filter in the inlet connection. These can be contaminated by liquid from the gas bottles or clog with dust.

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4 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

OR missing "whirlygig"  that often hangs on a piece of wire inside the flue to force the hot gasses against the sides of the tube.

 

Thats a good point, although the OP later says it is present. 

 

Certain gas boilers have these things too. In the world of boilers they are called 'turbulators'. 

 

Good word for them eh?!

 

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Its a good plan to sweep the flue too, which might never have been done, but before cleaning the burner and jet. There's often a bit of build up of soot and rust which will reduce heat transfer.  I sweep mine with a model engineers boiler firetube brush. A length of thick ropes would do.

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Well guys and gals of the forum. Pleased to say that after being on my knees for an hour, fiddling, brogeling and cleaning, we have a result. Ice is being made as we speak. I just pulled the fridge out of its "socket" as some kind soul had thought of long enough leads/pipes. Took the burner unit off, disposed of an egg cup,'s with of rusty powder, took the jet out, cleaned and pricked that and reassembled...As someone said it ain't getting hot enough to get cold !!!? Years worth of crud gone now.

 

Sorry if I hijacked the original posters "not lighting thread" but think the problem has the same solution.

 

Thanks to all

Aj

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