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Arthur Marshall

Electrolux 3 way fridge

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Running an Electrolux 3 way fridge on gas, I'm getting too much air into the burner if I turn the fridge up to 3.  Works fine on 1 and 2, but in hot weather it needs turning up and it's trying to make too hot a flame. Is there an adjustment to the control knob that will turn it down a bit? I presume that's where the problem lies as it seems to be a smooth increase as you turn the control up rather than three specific settings.  I can't find a schematic for the thing anywhere.

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I think the knob controls the gas flow rather than air, not sure if its direct or via a thermostat. I am not aware of any adjustment so maybe its gone wrong. We have had two of these fridges as we had "his and hers" camper vans before we got together and got a boat, nasty temperamental things. A good clean usually helps things.

 

.................Dave

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1 hour ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Running an Electrolux 3 way fridge on gas, I'm getting too much air into the burner if I turn the fridge up to 3.  Works fine on 1 and 2, but in hot weather it needs turning up and it's trying to make too hot a flame. Is there an adjustment to the control knob that will turn it down a bit? I presume that's where the problem lies as it seems to be a smooth increase as you turn the control up rather than three specific settings.  I can't find a schematic for the thing anywhere.

How do you know its too much air? or not enough gas? What happens to the flame pattern?  It it blue or yellow? 

The usual problem is fluff in the air inlet hole at the foot of the burner causing an incorrect gas mixture.

The thermostat modulates the gas supply, not the air supply.

Is the heat spiral in the exhaust clean and the tube clear? Is the exhaust tee connected to the external vent and is it not undamaged outside?

Edited by Tracy D'arth

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Thanks for all that. I was making a wrong assumption about the thermostat. I'll hoick the thing out and clean it out. Your suggestion about the air inlet hole reminds me that Bizzard said something similar a while back & I'd either forgotten or not really understood.

The flame pattern looks ok, but bigger than I remember it being and noisy, and a couple of times I've had it on 3 the CO alarm has gone off, which it never has at any other time. That's why I was a bit worried about it!

The spiral is ok, the tube's clear. There's no external vent.

I've been putting off a major clean as I have to dismantle part of the kitchen to get at the back of it, but the time has come...

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It will be burning with a yellow flame and producing CO. I would advise fitting the exhaust to the outside, these fridges are dodgy enough without dumping the products into the boat.

Inspect the burner, there will be fluff in the air hole below the jet tube,,,     restricting the air for combustion and risking killing you.

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I've got a Dometic version which I run on gas of I'm away from shore power. Is that the same thing as the electrolux? Anyway the only adjustment I'm aware of is the temp/thermostat control knob on the front.

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I’ve had problems where flakes of rust have dropped down onto the burner. Make sure that is clear of any crap.

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10 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

It will be burning with a yellow flame and producing CO. I would advise fitting the exhaust to the outside, these fridges are dodgy enough without dumping the products into the boat.

Inspect the burner, there will be fluff in the air hole below the jet tube,,,     restricting the air for combustion and risking killing you.

 

I've been living with gas fridges as long as I've been living on boats and never found them dodgy at all. Is your statement based on any hard data or just another of these unsubstantiated off the cuff remarks that get bandied around on this forum? What are the stats on fatalities on boats from gas fridges I wonder?

 

In terms of producing CO I really don't see how a gas fridge would be any dodgier than any other fuel burning appliance on board? In fact since the flame is so small I suspect even a poor flame on a gas fridge produces a lot less CO than a poorly burning solid fuel stove or instant gas water heater for example.

Edited by blackrose

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The Company of Electrolux never approved the 3 power source fridge for use on boats. The exhaust flue is often not connected and frequently not correctly connected after the fridge has been pulled out for essential maintenance.  

There is no safe limit for CO adsorption.

 

So I reserve my stance in agreement with the makers.

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When the BSS came out, fridges had to have an outside flue. After several boats got stuck in locks because of them, the rules got changed. Luckily in my case as the outside bit had just got knocked off. Decent ventilation is the key. If they were really thought to have been lethal, the BSS wouldn't have been relaxed - they're barmy enough about other nonsense.

I've had the fridge 30 years and this is the first time it's been any trouble, and I suspect, as you say, it's just muck in the hole. I've not been back there for a year or two and it's probably been colonised by spiders.

The reason they weren't certified for boats was because they are supposed to be horizontal, and seagoing boats are anything but. Never really applied to canals, where we are no rockier than a motorhome bouncing along British roads.

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34 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

The Company of Electrolux never approved the 3 power source fridge for use on boats. The exhaust flue is often not connected and frequently not correctly connected after the fridge has been pulled out for essential maintenance.  

There is no safe limit for CO adsorption.

 

So I reserve my stance in agreement with the makers.

 

While at the same time dodging my point on gas fridge safety in relation to other fuel burning appliances. As I said, you'll get a lot more CO emitted from your solid fuel stove so if you're worried about no safe limits everyone better get rid of their stoves too.

 

Actually your stance isn't in agreement with the manufacturer because you're citing a safely issue and the manufacturer isn't. Gas fridges aren't approved for use in any vehice in which the base angle goes off horizonal by more than a few %, not just boats, simply because the gas cut out will prevent the fridge working in such situations. I suspect the boats the manufacturer had in mind weren't flat bottomed canal boats which largely ply flat water. 

 

 

Edited by blackrose
  • Greenie 1

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35 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

If they were really thought to have been lethal, the BSS wouldn't have been relaxed

I think you are confused about the aims of the BSS.

 

It is nothing to do with protecting the boat occupants (and they cannot legally do that anyway), it is all about protecting visitors to the waterways.

A gas fridge can be used on a diesel engine boat and produce all of the CO that you want and the BSS can do nothing about it - however - should the CO escape from your boat, drift down the canal and enter a third-parties boat then they can make having CO alarms mandatory as it is warning you about CO produced by others further up/down the canal.

This was the justification used by the BSS to justify the additional requirements of having CO alarms fitted.

 

From the BSS website :

 

The Boat Safety Scheme, or BSS, is a public safety initiative owned equally by the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency. Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways' workforce and any other users.

 

 

 

2.2 Why now were mandatory new BSS Requirements being considered?

In the past two years new information about the potential risk to boaters presented by CO has brought the need for action into focus. From the recent evidence collected, people and their pets aboard their own boats are at medium risk of CO poisoning from sources of CO generated outside of the boat by others e.g. the use of engines and appliances on adjacent boats.

The recently identified potential risk cannot be controlled by boat owners themselves. The risk is enhanced by the fact that CO is a hidden danger.

The circumstances fall within the remit of the Scheme to have in place measures that protect boat owners from the activity of others. In these circumstances a mandatory new BSS Requirement is warranted, as opposed to an ‘Advice check’.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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The biggest emitter of CO on most boats is the gas cooker.

Less than 35 ppm is considered to be acceptable but not as a constant.

 

Solid fuel stoves are quite good provided the seals are good and the door is not opened too often.

 The increase in CO from a gas flame when combustion is not correct is significant.

Any gas appliance should be installed and used in accord with the manufacturers instructions, this will exclude a gas fridge designed to have a flue which is not fitted.

Boats are a special case because there is no downward escape route for noxious gasses in an enclosed space.

 

I accept that these fridges have had a long and successful period of use in boats. But complacency and lack of maintenance of a defective appliance is not a good idea.

It is noticeable that no new build boat is allowed to use one.  For the reasons quoted.

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The external flue for the 3 way fridge is, or certainly was when I installed it, an optional extra, not an integral part. You could as well argue that no boat should have a solid fuel stove, as it impossible to install a chimney tall enough to comply with the manufacturer's instructions. The BSS is a load of nonsense that has cost us all a fortune to the benefit of nobody except a stack of penpushers.

  • Greenie 2

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15 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

It will be burning with a yellow flame and producing CO. I would advise fitting the exhaust to the outside, these fridges are dodgy enough without dumping the products into the boat.

Inspect the burner, there will be fluff in the air hole below the jet tube,,,     restricting the air for combustion and risking killing you.

don't forget the spiders

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and while you are at it get or make a small long handles wire brush (one used to come with a new fridge) so you can remove the spiral from the flue and de-rust/de-carbon the flue tube.

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10 hours ago, Arthur Marshall said:

. The BSS is a load of nonsense that has cost us all a fortune to the benefit of nobody except a stack of penpushers.

 

Really? That sounds a bit crass. I'm sure the BSS has actually saved hundreds of lives. I knew very little about boat safety when I fitted out my second boat according to the BSS Essential Guide 2 (first boat was already fitted). I'm sure it's a lot safer than had I fitted it out according to my own standards. 

 

We can certainly criticise the BSS, often with some justification, but let's not get silly about it.

11 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

and while you are at it get or make a small long handles wire brush (one used to come with a new fridge) so you can remove the spiral from the flue and de-rust/de-carbon the flue tube.

And then vacuum the burner below!

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1 minute ago, blackrose said:

 

Really? That sounds a bit crass. I'm sure the BSS has actually saved hundreds of lives. I knew very little about boat safety when I fitted out my second boat according to the BSS Essential Guide 2 (first boat was already fitted). I'm sure it's a lot safer than had I fitted it out according to my own standards. 

 

We can certainly criticise the BSS, often with some justification, but let's not get silly about it.

And then vacuum the burner below!

Agreed but I would do it when the burner was off for cleaning.

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4 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Really? That sounds a bit crass. I'm sure the BSS has actually saved hundreds of lives. I knew very little about boat safety when I fitted out my second boat according to the BSS Essential Guide 2 (first boat was already fitted). I'm sure it's a lot safer than had I fitted it out according to my own standards. 

 

We can certainly criticise the BSS, often with some justification, but let's not get silly about it.

 

Really? As someone has already said, it's not designed to save a boater's life, just to stop him blowing up a passer by. You could do that with a gas check. My last inspection cost me over eight hundred quid as the guy wanted all the wiring inspected and wrapped plus megafuses. The wiring had been completely redone for the previous inspection. By an inspector.

I've chopped holes in the boat for one inspection that had to be sealed for the next. Stuff that was compulsory becomes advisory and vice versa. It's just a beaurocratic mess and always has been, just got more and more expensive and ludicrous as the years go on.

 

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On 25/09/2020 at 23:50, Arthur Marshall said:

Thanks for all that. I was making a wrong assumption about the thermostat. I'll hoick the thing out and clean it out. Your suggestion about the air inlet hole reminds me that Bizzard said something similar a while back & I'd either forgotten or not really understood.

The flame pattern looks ok, but bigger than I remember it being and noisy, and a couple of times I've had it on 3 the CO alarm has gone off, which it never has at any other time. That's why I was a bit worried about it!

The spiral is ok, the tube's clear. There's no external vent.

I've been putting off a major clean as I have to dismantle part of the kitchen to get at the back of it, but the time has come...

 

A good clean usually sorts it but it is very often fluff so perhaps try a hoover first if you can get it in before you dismantle your "galley"

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On 25/09/2020 at 23:50, Arthur Marshall said:

 

The flame pattern looks ok, but bigger than I remember it being and noisy, and a couple of times I've had it on 3 the CO alarm has gone off, which it never has at any other time. That's why I was a bit worried about it!

The spiral is ok, the tube's clear. There's no external vent.

I've been putting off a major clean as I have to dismantle part of the kitchen to get at the back of it, but the time has come...

Hi Arthur

I have had several boats with Electrolux fridges (including the current boat). When running on gas they have all been completely silent and it is often difficult to see whether or not it is lit. Maybe your burner jet needs replacing if it has got enlarged?

My CO alarm never registers any CO build up. 

Spiders webs etc is usually the cause of failure to ignite, but yours is lighting OK?

 

PHIL

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37 minutes ago, PhilR said:

Hi Arthur

I have had several boats with Electrolux fridges (including the current boat). When running on gas they have all been completely silent and it is often difficult to see whether or not it is lit. Maybe your burner jet needs replacing if it has got enlarged?

My CO alarm never registers any CO build up. 

Spiders webs etc is usually the cause of failure to ignite, but yours is lighting OK?

 

PHIL

Yes. Lights ok, burns well on 1 and 2 but 3 isn't right. I'll clean it up this week and see if it improves.

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1 hour ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Yes. Lights ok, burns well on 1 and 2 but 3 isn't right. I'll clean it up this week and see if it improves.

Just a wild thought... do you have other gas appliances like a hob? Does that perform normally? It’s just with the ‘noisy’ comment I wondered if your regulator could be failing. Unlikely in the extreme but thought I’d ask. 

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I gather gas burners with too much air tend to roar and I have heard it on those frodges when rust flakes were in the burner.

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2 hours ago, WotEver said:

Just a wild thought... do you have other gas appliances like a hob? Does that perform normally? It’s just with the ‘noisy’ comment I wondered if your regulator could be failing. Unlikely in the extreme but thought I’d ask. 

Everything else, cooker and water heater are fine. I'm pretty sure a clean will sort it. Tony may be right about rust flakes too. I'm planning on getting to the boat Wednesday so will know more then.

ETA I do appreciate all the suggestions.

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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