Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

kedmun
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Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby kedmun » Sat Oct 24, 2015 7:58 pm

Sorry if this has been done before, I found a few threads regarding this but just looking for some general information as I'm new to owning a camper.

I bought a 1993 Ford Econovan last week. On board is an Engel 2 way fridge. It has a temperature knob inside the fridge which goes from 1 to 5 and has an on/off switch. I've had this on 1, presuming this is the 'warmest' fridge setting compared to a frosty 5. The fridge appears to be controlled (comes on or off) via a thermostat - this is a typical house thermostat, so starts at 0deg celcius and goes up to 30 - it is placed away from the fridge on the side of a cupboard in the van.

The problem I'm having is that the fridge is erratic - in the night it has been staying on, but it's freezing everything inside it, even on 1. During the day I've been putting the thermostat up to keep it on, but it's either just always on or just off. The main issue is that my partner is type 1 diabetic and needs her insulin chilled - we've had to throw out some valuable vials because they've been destroyed...

Is the 'thermistor' inside broken?? Is this the way camper fridges are set up?? Can I change the setup easily or should I bring it to an electrical motor tech?

Any tips/help is much appreciated!

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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby razor » Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:11 pm

check the position of the thermostat tube that it hasn't been dislodged from the chill plate when being cleaned
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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby squashed » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:28 pm

Can you take a photo of your fridge - shot from just in front with door closed, then shot of the fridge door open and then a close up shot of the dial you mentioned?

Lastly take a photo of the thermostat thingy you say is positioned on the cupboard near the fridge?

Only asking because I have a 1993 Econovan with exact fridge.

I thought the exterior thermostat mounted on the cupboard wall was for the heater when plugged in to mains . Never used it.

Photos might help the experts …..
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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby petercw » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:54 pm

Out of interest we hv a3 way fridge that has a sensor setting for each of the 3 ways we r using, could yours possibly hv a separate sensor setup..
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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby Neddy » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:12 pm

If the fridge is running all the time and freezing everything, the most likely culprit is a faulty thermostat.

Neville.

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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby kedmun » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:40 am

Thanks for the replies, sorry I've been without internet for a while!

Here are some photos of the fridge and bits:

Image
Image
Image
Image

Sorry neddy, maybe didn't explain that well. The house thermostat determines when the fridge comes on - last night was cold so I put it between 1 and 5 degrees but woke in the night with it on constantly, so had to turn it to 0 just to get it off with the fear it would freeze everything.

The house thermostat determines whether the fridge is on or off both on battery and 240v. Definitely feels like the temperature control inside the fridge is gone, but is it not strange for a fridge to be wired up like this? Surely the house thermostat is for heating, not that there's any in here now, but maybe there used to be

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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby kedmun » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:44 am

Took these off 240 by the way so there's usually a green light on the fridge temp control and the battery panel next to the house thermostat...

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Re: Engel fridge too efficient - freezes everything!

Postby Neddy » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:01 am

"The house thermostat determines whether the fridge is on or off......."
That is quite bizarre. I can't think of any logical reason why it would be set up like that.
You want the fridge to be held at around 4°C regardless of what the "House" temperature might be.

".... both on battery and 230v."
This, too, is really curious. I would have thought that any "House" thermostat fitted would be controlling only 230v for heating, not 12v as well.

" Is it not strange for a fridge to be wired up like this?"
Indeed it is!

"Surely the house thermostat is for heating, not that there's any in here now, but maybe there used to be."
The only explanation that I can think of is that the "House" thermostat was fitted to control power to a 230v socket dedicated for heater use. Maybe you have plugged the 230v fridge lead into that socket???

"Definitely feels like the temperature control inside the fridge is gone"
That's what it sounds like to me.
Regardless of all the above, your fridge should NEVER run non-stop and NEVER freeze.

Neville.

PS: Please re-confirm that, when you are NOT plugged into the mains, the "House" thermostat controls whether the fridge compressor runs or not. (You will gather that I am having trouble believing that such a thing could be!)


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