ARB Fridge has started acting up lately and cutting out with "THERMAL CUT-OUT OF ELECTRONIC UNIT"

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by dfinn, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. dfinn

    dfinn

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    In the past week or so I've noticed my ARB 48qt fridge has been acting up. I had thought it was my aux battery failing so I replaced that. Well, it's not that. New battery is in and fridge still cut out after running for a while tonight. It's blinking 5 times quickly, according to the ARB manual this would be :

    1. 5 x flashes every 5 seconds – THERMAL CUT-OUT OF ELECTRONIC UNIT

      The fridge freezer has stopped operating because the control unit has become too hot.

      Things to check

      •  Check to ensure that there is adequate ventilation around the control unit and the compressor.

      •  Check that the fan is operating correctly. The fan must always be running when the compressor is

        running.

      •  The fridge freezer may be operating in extremely high ambient temperatures. For example in a

        sealed stationary vehicle that is parked in the direct sunlight. Try to improve the ventilation around the fridge freezer or shield it from direct sunlight.

    The other day when it cut out the windows in the truck were open and it was probably only 80 degrees out. Today it is actually pretty damn hot, maybe 95 and I had the windows up so it was probably over 100 inside the truck. The thing is though, I've never run into this before and I've definitely had the fridge running in the truck, with the windows up in much hotter temps. Fridge and dual battery system have been in the truck for over a year w/o any issues until now.

    Part of the reason I thought it was the battery is that the fridge would cut out when the truck was parked. As soon as I'd start it up, it would start running. I incorrectly assumed that this meant the battery was on it's way out and that the fridge was starting to kick on because it was being powered by the alternator. But maybe it was starting to run because the truck was moving and air was flowing, cooling things down?

    Anyone know what might cause the fridge to become more sensitive to in vehicle temps? Anyone else run into this?
     
  2. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    I have not torn mine apart. Is there a standard condenser on these? The condenser looks like a small radiator and the fan draws air across the condenser. In standard refrigeration units these can get impacted with dust and overheat. I am not near my fridge or I would go look. See if you can see a condenser in there. Use a flashlight and see if you can look all the way through the fins. Use a fine horse hair style brush or blow it out with compressed air. Be sure the fan is working also.
     
  3. dfinn

    dfinn

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    OK, I'll take a look at that. I have not started to take it apart yet either so I'm not entirely sure.
     
  4. dfinn

    dfinn

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    Just spoke to ARB. Sounds like they want me to ship this back to them so they can take a look at it. Unfortunately that means going with out it for 3 weeks during prime camp/travel season.
     
  5. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    Bummer. I would check the condenser before shipping it off. ARB would know best though and I would imagine they would suggest cleaning the coil prior to having you ship it back. I think cruiser outfitters rents them. I recall reading that somewhere on here.
     
  6. dfinn

    dfinn

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    I did ask the ARB tech if cruiser outfitters would service it and he said no, only sales. I guess it can't hurt to call them and ask though.
     
  7. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    I think they rent them
     
  8. dfinn

    dfinn

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    Oh, ok, I see what you meant. I've got a yeti cooler that I can use in the meantime. ARB is also suggesting I check/clean the condenser before shipping back to them. I'll take it apart and clean it out really good later today and report back if that makes any difference.
     
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  9. dfinn

    dfinn

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    There wasn't much dust around the fan and condenser and in general it was pretty clean but I blew it out with air using a compressor and so far it seems to be back to normal. I'll give it a better test this weekend.
     
  10. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    It generally takes a fair amount of dirt to cause an issue on a standard refrigeration system. I can't say how tolerant these fridges are of dirt. Please report back with your findings
     
  11. dfinn

    dfinn

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    So far so good, it didn't cut out at all this weekend although we were camped up around 10k feet and it really wasn't that hot.
     
  12. John McVicker

    John McVicker SILVER Star

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    This is good info to know. Glad it's working so far. Please let us know an update after you drive & camp with it a few times.
     
  13. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    It may be possible that at the extreme temps the condenser must be super clean to avoid shutting off. Normally when a dirty condenser is blown out it creates quite a dusty mess. I am interested to see how it does on the hottest of days.
     
  14. dfinn

    dfinn

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    The strange thing was that it was cutting out at some very un-extreme temps.
     
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