Archive for May, 2011

Beware The Refrigerator Recall

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

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Many of us in RV’s were faced with a recall of our Dometic Refrigerators a couple of years ago.  Well, the cure can be worse than the disease.   The recall resulted in replacement of the cooling unit of the refrigerator.  It turns out that there is a technique to replacing the unit without damaging the inside wall of the refrigerator.  In our case, and others we’ve encountered, the inside wall was damaged just below the cooling fins.  This allowed the condensation to drip between the inside wall and the outer case.  After 3 years of this,  the plywood floor decking started to give underfoot.

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The problem lies in the fact that the floor is on the slide out.  The carpet, refrigerator and associated cabinet had to be removed.

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The plan was to replace the damaged section of the floor with a patch of 5/8 inch plywood.

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And then we added another layer of 5/8 inch plywood on top and fused the two layers together with glue and anchor screws.  The inside edge is tapered at about a 30 degree angle to facilitate the blending of the carpet once it is reinstalled.

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The refrigerator cabinet had to be modified to allow for the extra layer of floor.   Then it is a matter of replacing the carpet.

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Well, as long as we were at it, we decided to replace the carpet that was covering part of the kitchen, and the linoleum that covered the rest, with hardwood flooring.   After the carpet was removed, a thin padding covered the floor. (Notice that the refrigerator cabinet has been put back in place in the upper left corner.)

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Lay the wood down, add a little trip and BINGO, there you go. (Click on photo to enlarge)

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The key to the entire project was repairing the leaking frig.  The crack was sealed with caulking and the condensation now flows to the outside via the drain hose.

Before you get really impressed, another key to this repair was finding someone with limitless talents and the proper tools.  We did with Jerry Dietrick.  Two tools that came in handy were Jerry’s multi-tool for critical sawing and my pneumatic brad/staple gun.  A table saw was used to remove 5/8 inch from the refrigerator cabinet sections.

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Not only did Jerry make most of the repairs and modifications, but he and his wife washed and waxed the entire rig, taped the slide-out edges, and applied UV protection to the roof.  We were lucky to have them available.  They left to return to Iowa just after they finished our project.

If you have had a refrigerator cooling system replaced, be sure to check the back wall of the frig to be sure that it is not leaking.   If it is, get it fixed before you have a major project.