Dangerous design fault

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Biker51 on Wed 8 Jan - 19:47

Couple of question as I'm considering making some vents covers.
Do you need to cover both vents? We have a newish Thetford fridge with top and bottom vents. 
Do you know if there is a minimum free air area requirement for safe operation when on gas? 
Do you need any free air venting when fridge is using electric?
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Paulmold on Wed 8 Jan - 19:56

The makers covers leave one 'line' open if you know what I mean and do covers for both vents. If your 'exhaust' vent is part of the vent, then that must not be covered.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Biker51 on Wed 8 Jan - 20:19

Thanks for quick reply Paulmold. 
Do you mean i should not fully cover vent when on electric as fridge still produces exhaust gas?
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Wed 8 Jan - 20:30

Hi Biker 51, yes you do need to leave the gaps on the top and bottom vent covers even when on electric as the heat generated by the operation of the fridge needs to escape.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Wed 8 Jan - 20:32

Thanks Ron, will make some of those. You have just saved me about £38 allthumbz

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Biker51 on Wed 8 Jan - 20:37

Thanks John.
Like you hope to save c£38 by making some.
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Paulmold on Wed 8 Jan - 21:19

Usually several for sale on Ebay secondhand. I bought mine for £7 a pair.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Biker51 on Wed 8 Jan - 21:47

Is it reasonable to expect a MH manufacture and sold in GB to used stored at temperatures below 8 degrees? If so should AS / Thetford be supplying vents to comply with requirements stated in  handbook / manual at no cost?
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Wed 8 Jan - 23:11

Totally agree and my Bailey caravan did have them with it. Times seem to change though :-(

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Biker51 on Wed 8 Jan - 23:40

My van was registered 27/01/2012, the weather records for that week in Poole shows average temperatures of 8 degrees maximum  and average minimum of 3 degrees. I wonder if the fridge was tested by Marquis or demonstrated to original owners without the winter covers and not in accordance with manuals?
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Tue 14 Jan - 13:13

Jaytee wrote:Thanks Ron, will make some of those. You have just saved me about £38 allthumbz

Just made two sets, one to completely block while stored and one set with slots for when the fridge is in use. Very quick to change and made out of some spare vinyl kitchen flooring.

Good result  handshake

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by ubuntu1 on Tue 14 Jan - 14:36

If anyone is worried about CO in their vehicle then ask your service engineer to carry out a flue gas analysis when you have your habitation service carried out. This is something that I do on a service. I properly working fridge gives off very little carbon monoxide but dirty burners or blocked flues can easily generate enough carbon monoxide to make you very ill indeed. So the sealing of the fridge isn't a big issue when things are burning cleanly but if you have a fault then it does become a major life threatening issue.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Dutto on Tue 14 Jan - 14:36

Jaytee wrote:
Jaytee wrote:Thanks Ron, will make some of those. You have just saved me about £38 allthumbz

……... one to completely block while stored ……………..
Good result  handshake
Hi there,

But …. (there's always a "but"!) … don't EVER forget to remove the "completely blocked" set when you are using the fridge.  wave 

The reason they don't make 'em and sell 'em is because they know people will forget to remove 'em; and that's potentially dangerous!  tap_fingers 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Tue 14 Jan - 16:08

up!  up! 
Dutto wrote:
Jaytee wrote:
Jaytee wrote:Thanks Ron, will make some of those. You have just saved me about £38 allthumbz

……... one to completely block while stored ……………..
Good result  handshake
Hi there,

But …. (there's always a "but"!) … don't EVER forget to remove the "completely blocked" set when you are using the fridge.  wave 

The reason they don't make 'em and sell 'em is because they know people will forget to remove 'em; and that's potentially dangerous!  tap_fingers 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

Have no fear, they will only be there when the fridge is not in use. I keep visual triggers around such as a yellow post it on the fridge door and the cut ones in the fridge to remind me. Did that with the caravan to ensure the charger was off before the inverter (which was wired into the van mains circuit) was switched on.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by inspiredron on Tue 14 Jan - 17:40

Not dangerous but can cause damage. On my Hymer with fully open vents I plugged in the mains unaware that Judy had lit the gas - separately switched on Electrolux fridges c 2001!
We were staying at a friend's house in Germany. When we went back to the van two days later the vent had softened and distorted! New vent was quite expensive.

Glad to have saved you money - am sure you are capable of taking care!

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by ajrm on Wed 15 Jan - 17:39

I had the same concerns about the draught coming in from the fridge seal, if I shine a light on top of the fridge I can see it through the top vent. There is definitely a gap.
I contacted A/S and this was their reply. My van is a 2013 broadway FB
"Dear Mr ..........

Thank you for your enquiry.

It is impossible to comment specifically about your vehicle because I have not seen it but the condition you have described indicates that there is a fault.

Normally the foam is used to form the seal so if there is a gap between it and the fridge so I am concerned that the refrigerator is loose in its housing and has moved away from the seal. In view of this I can only advise you to turn the gas off at the cylinder/tank and book the vehicle in with your dealer for inspection as soon as possible so that they can determine exactly what is happening.

Please note that there is no risk of the exhaust gasses ( usually referred to as products of combustion) from the refrigerator causing a problem in the habitation area because the effect of any ingress of these products into the interior of the motorhome, would be cancelled out by the effectiveness of the ventilation system.

Sincerily
Alan Curry
Customer Service Manager
Auto-Sleepers"

The main draught comes through the two vents above the microwave, no idea what to do with them!

Allan

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Wed 15 Jan - 17:49

Hi Alan,
Sounds as if they will certainly sort the fridge for you which is good. They seem to have sorted mine by putting more foam around both the fridge and the microwave.

Yes agree, the wind blowing through the square vent inside by the microwave from the two round vents outside is totally unacceptable, even without -Deg C temps you can feel it on the opposite side seating. Awful.
Anyway, AS service centre at the factory said they cannot do anything about it as that is the design requirements for the microwave ventilation.  shrugg 
OK; well we dont very often use the microwave as avoid EHU whenever possible so am searching a means of an easily removed blanking for the two outside round vents. Something like I have done with the fridge so they can be easily removed when M/W is needed for my morning porridge for example  biggrin .

I believe Swift do a cover but have not found it yet on fleabay etc so will keep searching.

Other than that it is design head on  scratch head and will advise accordingly  up!

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by ajrm on Wed 15 Jan - 22:13

Let us know if you figure a way out of safely blanking the two vents, I will be taking mine to the dealer soon to see what they can do about the fridge seal.
Allan

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by inspiredron on Wed 15 Jan - 23:15

Interesting that you have TWO microwave vents and that you feel draughts through the rectangular internal vent. On my Lancashire I have just one external vent and the internal faces across the habitation door towards the end kitchen - so no noticeable draught.

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Thu 16 Jan - 10:26

inspiredron wrote:Interesting that you have TWO microwave vents and that you feel draughts through the rectangular internal vent. On my Lancashire I have just one external vent and the internal faces across the habitation door towards the end kitchen - so no noticeable draught.

Yes, it points fwd and when there is a wind on the offside it blasts through like an aircon outlet.  shrugg  Great design  Whistle1

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by ajrm on Mon 20 Jan - 21:19

inspiredron wrote:Interesting that you have TWO microwave vents and that you feel draughts through the rectangular internal vent. On my Lancashire I have just one external vent and the internal faces across the habitation door towards the end kitchen - so no noticeable draught.
We don't have an internal rectangular vent there ( ours is under the rear bed) the draught comes out through the microwave housing, there is about an inch gap under the microwave, and about 1/4 inch top and sides.
The draught coming in through the fridge seal is nothing compared to the gale we get through the microwave housing. 
I will be taking the van to the dealers tomorrow to get them to seal the fridge, I'll go to B&Q to buy something to seal the rest.

With regard to the external fridge vent covers, I only fit the bottom one. I made it myself from a pattern I saw on line. It fits the vent exactly, but with a 1" x 5" slot cut out top and bottom.
Fitting the top vent as well stops the fridge from cooling.  Whistle1 

Allan
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Tue 21 Jan - 10:17

I only use the two full vent covers when stored or for day trips. I have two with  a full width slot cut out which mirrors the proper winter covers for when the fridge is in use. Seems to work well. The seals they put round the fridge and micro wave have worked well so I just need to sort the two outside vent covers (when not using the m/w) to stop the gale  content

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Gram on Fri 31 Jan - 19:11

My Symbol has a slide-out work surface between the top of the fridge and the underside of the fixed work surface.

At the rear of the slide-out surface there is a large gap which allows cold draughts to get into the vehicle from the fridge vents.

My dealer told me it is not possible to seal this gap despite the installation instructions stating that the fridge must be installed in an enclosure which has sealing strips that isolate the rear of the fridge from the living space.

Fridge:  Dometic RM4231.

G
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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by Jaytee on Fri 31 Jan - 20:06

Gram wrote:My Symbol has a slide-out work surface between the top of the fridge and the underside of the fixed work surface.

At the rear of the slide-out surface there is a large gap which allows cold draughts to get into the vehicle from the fridge vents.

My dealer told me it is not possible to seal this gap despite the installation instructions stating that the fridge must be installed in an enclosure which has sealing strips that isolate the rear of the fridge from the living space.

Fridge:  Dometic RM4231.

G
 Hmm, surely if it meant to be sealed then it should be sealed  scratch head

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Re: Dangerous design fault

Post by inspiredron on Fri 31 Jan - 23:26

Sorry that I cannot agree with your dealer, at least in principle. The sides of the fridge should be sealed to the van wall with some shielding,  usually the sides of the cupboard. At the top there should be a metal plate which goes from the top of the fridge up at around 30 to 45 degrees to the top of the vent. That plate should be bent down at the sides to form triangular ends to the plate. That deflector directs hot air out of the van and stops draughts coming in.

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