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NB Alnwick

Three Way Fridge - maintenance?

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Five years ago, after an extensive search, we found Malcolm Rock, a local Dometic service engineer who serviced our three way fridge. Malcolm has now retired and we wondered if anyone knows of an engineer or competent person who might service our fridge. Alternatively, is there anyone local to Cropredy with knowledge of these fridges who might be able to help me to do it myself?

Edited by NB Alnwick
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Have a word with Paul on Anjuna, he is moored through B154. The gas service part is only cleaning the burner and jet and the spiral in the flue. Regards and best wishes to Jane.

Ross.

Boater sam.

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I shoved a plastic tube down the flue and blew the dust off the burner. That seemed to do the trick... In the past I've cleaned it with a soft brush but i can't get at it now. 

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Ours is room sealed and I may not be able to get a tube down the flue - but I will try that. The fridge worked fine until we switched it off while we went for a fortnight's holiday in the Isle of Man. Since then it will not ignite - or rather the ignition light keeps flashing - so something isn't right.

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The old Electrolux 3 way fridges can be a real pig to light if they haven't been used for a while. Frequently, it is due to spiders' webs or dust near the burner or flue.

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14 minutes ago, PhilR said:

The old Electrolux 3 way fridges can be a real pig to light if they haven't been used for a while. Frequently, it is due to spiders' webs or dust near the burner or flue.

We have nowhad two Electrolux 3 way fridges, (non room sealed).

The one on the last boat was a bugger to light, the one on the boat I'm in now less so, but stilll by no means a first time lghter.

 

Having spebt some time investgating the current one, I conclude....

1) The problem seldom has anything to do with spiders webs or other debris

2) The igniter always produces a spark

3) There is always gas to the burner

4) If you drop the burner down from the tube it is installed in, it literally ignites first time, every time.

5) Put it back in the tube, and it doesn't

 

What seems to happen is that with it all put together as it should be, the air gas mix is "too explosive" and as it lights, it then blows itself out.  This doesn't happen if the burner is not surrounded by the tube. 

 

I don't fully know how to solve it, but I'm sure I have worked out what is actually going on.

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I’ve always struggled to light my 3 way fridge after long periods out of use,  but noticed that the burners on the hob also don’t catch immediately if I try them first. Once the hob has been lit for a minute or so the fridge will light easily. Could “something” less flammable than gas collect in the pipes when out of use?

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9 hours ago, noddyboater said:

I’ve always struggled to light my 3 way fridge after long periods out of use,  but noticed that the burners on the hob also don’t catch immediately if I try them first. Once the hob has been lit for a minute or so the fridge will light easily. Could “something” less flammable than gas collect in the pipes when out of use?

That is because you have a gas 'leak' of incredibly minor proportion.  When you turn the gas off AAat the bottle /main tap there is at least some pressure in the flexible pipes.  ALL flexible pipes are permeable to gas albeit very slowly ( too slowly to be detected by a BSS type leak check) so while you are away the gas in the pipes diffuses out through the flexibles and is replaced by non flammable air

When you come back this air has to be expelled before you get a flame.

 

Permeability gets greater with age which is why flexi hose should generally be treated as having a life of~5 years betweebn routine changes.

You may hear a brief hiss at the regulator as the bottle is turned on-this is new gas repressurising the pipes after the old sneaked off.  

N

 

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2 minutes ago, BEngo said:

Permeability gets greater with age which is why flexi hose should generally be treated as having a life of~5 years betweebn routine changes.

You may hear a brief hiss at the regulator as the bottle is turned on-this is new gas repressurising the pipes after the old sneaked off.  

N

 

You have reminded me that I have for some time had new hose (along with a new regulator) packed away to replace the really rather old stuff that is currently in use.

 

A job I really must  move up the priority stack!

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I've owned three Electrolux 3 way's, my present one I bought s/h about 15 years ago still going strong. I service them every spring. I've found that as well as sweeping the flue, removing and cleaning the burner that cleaning and probing the actual gas jet is important for a clean burn and easy lighting. Cleaning and probing the jets can make the world of difference with cooker burners too. They can get gummed up which restricts the gas flow and can entirely block them.

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2 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

You have reminded me that I have for some time had new hose (along with a new regulator) packed away to replace the really rather old stuff that is currently in use.

 

A job I really must  move up the priority stack!

We also need to do this - it is at least five years since we replaced our flexible hose/regulator. Having said that, this unlikely to be the current issue because the fridge is also noticeably less efficient when connected to a 240 V AC supply. I admire Alan’s perseverance with his three way fridges and they are definitely very economical to run and exceptionally quiet but, not for the first time, the difficulty of sourcing a competent service engineer, has made us consider changing to a conventional modern 240 V AC fridge which will probably be no more expensive to run than a television.

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The other advantage is that one can get more beer /tonic in yet still have the same amount of food in there:-)

N

4 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

You have reminded me that I have for some time had new hose (along with a new regulator) packed away to replace the really rather old stuff that is currently in use.

 

A job I really must  move up the priority stack!

They are of course still deteriorating whilst sat in your stock.  Look at the manufacture dates to be sure it is worth the effort of changing them.

 

N

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When I had a 3 way fridge I had lighting issues so made arrangements to take it to Stalham Gas who took care of the hire fleets in Stalham.

I loaded it into my dinghy and headed upstream to our car park. Transferred it to the boot of the car followed by a 15 minute drive .

When I got it into the workshop it was piped in and fired up immediately. Problem solved FOC, they told me a good rattle about often cures all sorts of ills. I used this method on my cooker too, gave it a good rattle about and bobs yer uncle. 

Phil 

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50 minutes ago, BEngo said:

They are of course still deteriorating whilst sat in your stock.  Look at the manufacture dates to be sure it is worth the effort of changing them.

 

N

No they were as last year purchase, as I am embarrased by the 1991 manufacture date on what is currently in the gas locker.

Our BSS man inspected the current hose closely a couple of years back, and didn't seem to mind it being 25 yeras old!

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I have the Electrolux gas fridge as well. Struggle to light sometimes. Also when it gets bunged up and does light, it's less efficient. So far I've been able to clean it up to the point that it lights and works, but I'd love to give it a proper clean.

 

There's a heat shield on the back, encasing the burner unit, I take this off. I also remove a screw that enables me to lever the flue away from the burner unit, so I can give the flue a good sweeping with a small round brush I have. The problem I have is with the burner itself. It appears to be encased in a small cube of metal with a clear screen (glass?) on the front. I've been unable to work out how to get at the burner, had to limit myself to tapping the cube with a screwdriver. This results in satisfying amount of rust and crap emerging from the bottom of the metal cube, where there are small gaps at the sides. Any ideas what I can do to give it a proper clean? 

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After all that, mine has just died on me. Was working fine.... And I can't get at it to clean it without disconnecting the gas, and I'm a bit dubious about reconnecting it myself. I'll try the rattling technique, but i have my doubts. It's usually an airlock that stops the gunge circulating. 

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Our was well rattled on the way back from Braunston - bumping through eighteen locks should have done it even I f the three cylinder Kelvin failed to rattle it sufficiently. Sadly it is still not working properly on gas! We are currently running it on 240 V AC . . .

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Many years ago I was told that to clear an air lock you turned it upside down for an hour, then left it the right way up for a couple of hours. Which I used to be able to do, but the new gas flexible hose is too short for me to even get it out to clean the burner. I sense a redesign of the kitchen coming on... 

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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47 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Many years ago I was told that to clear an air lock you turned it upside down for an hour, then left it the right way up for a couple of hours. Which I used to be able to do, but the new gas flexible hose is too short for me to even get it out to clean the burner. I sense a redesign of the kitchen coming on... 

That I think only applies to the old absorbtion fridges, Electrolux,  not compressor fridges.  Alnwicks problem is most likely the actual gas jet that id bunged up. On yours too. They need cleaning and probing every couple of years.  A wire brush bristle should fit.

Edited by bizzard

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12 hours ago, bizzard said:

That I think only applies to the old absorbtion fridges, Electrolux,  not compressor fridges.  Alnwicks problem is most likely the actual gas jet that id bunged up. On yours too. They need cleaning and probing every couple of years.  A wire brush bristle should fit.

I thought 3 way fridges were absorbtion. 

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4 hours ago, stegra said:

I thought 3 way fridges were absorbtion. 

I believe you are correct. 

Edited by WotEver

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22 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Not all of them, only the old ones. Our caravan had a 3 way Electrolux compressor fridge. 

Can you remember  model Number or name?

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4 hours ago, cereal tiller said:

Can you remember  model Number or name?

My apologies. I believe I was talking out of my bum and getting confused with the Waeco we had on WotEver. The caravan fridge was a Dometic and so almost certainly absorption because that’s about all they make. 

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36 minutes ago, WotEver said:

My apologies. I believe I was talking out of my bum and getting confused with the Waeco we had on WotEver. The caravan fridge was a Dometic and so almost certainly absorption because that’s about all they make. 

Would be the Holy Grail of Fridges if it Existed ,I grafted the Important Bits of an Absorption Fridge onto a Small 240 Volt Fridge once to test in the Workshop.the Burner was lit when the Compressor was turned off.it Worked but the Boat Safety Bods would have Frowned....

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23 hours ago, bizzard said:

That I think only applies to the old absorbtion fridges, Electrolux,  not compressor fridges.  Alnwicks problem is most likely the actual gas jet that id bunged up. On yours too. They need cleaning and probing every couple of years.  A wire brush bristle should fit.

I'm going to get a new flex pipe fitted - current one is too short so i cant get the fridge out to fettle it. 

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