Dometic Refrigerator Won't Get Cold Enough

15th Apr 2016

Dometic Refrigerator Won't Get Cold Enough

Is your Dometic refrigerator not getting cool enough?

There are several components that work together to get the refrigerator to cool properly. Understanding the basics will help you in locating the cause of the failure.

AC/DC model Dometic refrigerators are fairly simple in troubleshooting. You will know that you have one of these models if the refrigerator has a compressor in the back (typically installed in boats and trucks). Most RV's have gas absorption refrigerators and these can be more troublesome since there are more components that affect the cooling.

Below is a useful diagram of the gas absorption cooling unit on your Dometic refrigerator:

  1. The first thing to know is that the cooling units on every Dometic gas absorption refrigerator are gravity operated and MUST be level in order to run properly.
  2. The second thing you need to understand is that the refrigerator will not cool properly if it is too hot outside (typically over 90 degrees F ambient). The refrigerator needs good air flow across the "condenser fins" that are located at the top of the cooling unit. If you remove your refrigerator's access panel on the outside of the RV you should be able to look up and see these fins. Make sure that there are no obstructions. If your refrigerator doesn't have good air flow it will not cool properly. Many models do not come with external fans behind the cooling unit. For the RVers that love the heat, we recommend installing some fans in the back to help with the air flow.
  3. The next thing to check is your Thermistor (thermostat/ resistor) located inside the refrigerator. It has a 4-prong connector located at your light fixture at one end and the other end connects inside the refrigerator on one of the back fins. To test this Thermistor you don't need any tools whatsoever. Provided your refrigerator is not showing any fault codes, you can turn the temperature setting as cold as it gets and disconnect this Thermistor. If it cools properly, you have a bad Thermistor.