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3 Way Fridge CO Safety

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ChrisP

Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-04-01

3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by ChrisP on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 1:13 am

I have a portable three way fridge. On a hookup (no gas burning, so no CO) I run it inside the Dandy. I have a 4/5 with inboard wheels and it fits very nicely between the bulge for the wheel and the end with the door.

Last weekend, I was at a site with no hookup and even though it was just me in the Dandy, I took the awning to run the fridge on gas outside. i didn't really need the awning other than to keep the fridge dry.

I was wondering if I am over cautious. The beds are well above floor level and there is a huge draft around the base of the door where it has warped. Would it be 'safe' to run the fridge inside. My old Destiny had a fridge built in, but it also had a vent at the back.

On a second note, the fridge ran on gas for a 'home test'. It was then an absolute pig to light on site. The next morning the bottle was low and i switched bottles only to fine it would not light at all. It was cool enough inside that my milk kept for the weekend, but it was rather frustrating. I could see the spark down the flue and smell gas, but it never lit. Not sure whether it is bust, or with the new bottle there was too much gas flow and it was starved of air. i did swap the old one back and try that but it would still not light even though I could still run the stove off that bottle. Any lighting tips appreciated.

Finally, if inside is a deninate no, does anyone run one tucked under the beds with a windbreak to stop rain getting blown under? If so does the hot exhaust from the endanger the underside of the bed?
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Helen
Dandy Owner

Posts : 6826
Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Helen on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 7:30 am

We had difficulty lighting our fridge and had to phone a friend     it had worked fine until we changed the bottle   ........ you have to have the fridge perfectly level or it will not light, we have a small spirit level we now keep in the Dandy and the fridge is still fully functional several years on. We have'nt run the fridge inside the Dandy as we only take it for longer breaks and put the full awning on (short breaks we take the cool box) but we do have a Carbon Monoxide detector that we use because of the underfloor heater ...... just for peace of mind.
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 12:35 pm

I think you are going to be hard pushed for people to give you advice on this as the possible penalties for getting it wrong are very severe.
Have I operated a gas fridge (infact a gas freezer) inside a Designer? Yes. Would I recommend someone else does so? No.I won't recommend it. it's your call.
It's up to you to decide.
Factors I think are relevant.
You can now only use room sealed gas heaters within a caravan (God only knows what the regulations for a hybrid like a Dandy are) That is to stress a heater stoves still vent within the living area.
Before non sealed appliances were banned catalytic heaters and other small heaters could be used. These heaters could only be used within a room of a minimum volume or larger and required a minimum amount of ventilation.
Just done a search for Ubique Gas Heater but all the images I saw were of lapsed eBay sales so this image may disappear soon.
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The heaters are about 800W
From what I remember the room volume of a Designer would be sufficient but the volume of a Dart too small for one of these heaters. The information I got was actually off a different heater so it's all a bit iffy.
If you look at the figures a gas fridge consumes far less gas. Again I looked but it's a while ago. You check for yourself.
I often use a Tilley lamp to light the Dandy and to take the chill of the room. They are about 800w.
I have a CO alarm in the Dandy it has gone off three times.
1&2) In January 2012 when experiencing extreme gales to the point where the roof was lifting. The wind blowing through the Designer was such that if I'd got a gas fire in the middle of the floor I'd expect it to have sufficient venting. I was using the externally vented Riviera heater. Why the CO alarm went of ???????
3) I was using a large gas lantern glass about 7" in diameter in the Designer. The type meant to screw in a R904/R907 cylinder Quite a lesson.
The effects or more correctly the concentration can vary depending on proximity to the source. See the inquiry quoted below.
Frequent low level exposure to CO is not good either for more information about this and CO poisoning in general see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Things go strangely wrong look at this inquiry into a death in Scotland [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The appliance was a room sealed fire and the inquiry couldn't replicate a situation that produced sufficient CO without sealing under the floor. I found it odd because there is a space under a parked car.

The idea is for the system to be safe and then use a CO alarm as an insurance policy. It is inherently wrong to run a system that might or might not be safe and rely on a CO alarm as your primary safety.

If using a gas fridge or freezer internally I'd suggest cleaning the flue checking the inlet air holes and inspecting the combustion to make sure you have a blue flame.

Hopefully you can see why I won't give you a straight yes or no answer.

Lighting Problems

I have a gas freezer (3 Way) that other than making sure the gas is purged upon changing cylinders is a cinch to light. I have a gas fridge that is a pig.

Make sure the fridge is level.
Purge the gas on changing or first coupling.
Check and clean the combustion tube and air inlets.
You saw the spark but for others check for a spark not just clicking.
The priming button. I found this on another website. On some fridges the priming buttons are just adequate but they wear in use so you might be able to smell gas but there isn't sufficient flow to light. Pack the inside of the button.

The gas is supplied through a regulator so a new cylinder shouldn't change pressure.

Substitute your regulator on another appliance and or a different regulator on the fridge. They do occasionally fail.

The fridge can be used under the bed. I'd suggest concealing it if you wan't the beer to still be in when you return. Puting a windbreak or skirt around the fridge??? If the skirt was tightly fitting and you were sleeping in the bed above see CO issues above.

The regulator has to be protected from rainfall.
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mike
Dandy Owner

Posts : 5172
Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 68
Location : north east lincs

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by mike on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 1:52 pm

We never ran the fridge inside i just found it too much of a pain to work round even in a six,if we where not using the awning i used one of these space for fridge BBQ chairs and all sorts

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Cazz

Posts : 2052
Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 41
Location : Staffordshire

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Cazz on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 8:26 pm

We've had trouble starting our fridge before when it's been on the wonk, or if it's possible damp or something on the ignitor, but a long lit match poked through the little hole in the back soon fixed it - well lit it.  Laughing  And we always had it in the awning or utility tent when running on gas.

navver

Posts : 995
Join date : 2013-01-03

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by navver on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 10:13 pm

If it helps, the gas consumption of a fridge is a lot less than a gas fire. We have a small chest type fridge which is about 60watts. A gas heater is probably 7 or 800 watts for small one so any CO output is going to be proportionately less. You could run it on gas by day and turn it off at night. Being cooler at night, it will probably still be cool in the morning. That is what I would do if I was not on EHU.

On the lighting front, air gets in the pipe when you change a cylinder or switch off at the cylinder for a long time. It has to be bled through either by keeping the button pressed on the fridge or by lighting the cooker. Because of the low consumption of the fridge, it will take a while to bleed the air through.
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Helen
Dandy Owner

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Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Helen on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 11:43 pm

Oh yes I forgot ..... you could turn it off altogether at nights as navver says. We turn ours down to the lowest setting as a rule but on the occasions that we've forgotten (partly due to the lovely cold beers) we ended up with everything frozen the following morning and had to wait for the bacon to defrost because we couldn't split the rashers  What a Face 
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ChrisP

Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-04-01

3 way fridge responses

Post by ChrisP on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 12:13 am

I think Navver is on to something with the run by day when the Dandy is unoccupied and turn off at night. The fridge seems well insulated. It ran on the 12v for 5 hours driving up then on gas for 7 hours overnight, then when I change the bottle it would not light. Eventually left it and went out walking for the remainder of the day. It was still cold inside when I got back. In fact my milk kept in it from Friday morning all the way through to Sunday afternoon without any further cooling being applied.

The plan then becomes light the fridge in the morning, climb a mountain, hold breath and turn off fridge on return, leave door open while drinking a beer outside. Once beer has been consumed all clear inside.

I tried lighting it again after work. It was on the back step to the house, so I know it was level. It still didn't work. I tested the regulator, hose and bottle on the Dandy cooker while trouble shooting on site and they worked fine. I then ran it on mains, and confirmed that the fridge part is fine it is just that the gas won't light.

I will try again tomorrow (just looked at the clock...today) and use a long match. I need to find out soon if it will light as it is still under guarantee for the next 5 weeks.
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ChrisP

Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-04-01

And First prize Goes To.......

Post by ChrisP on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 8:58 pm

Cazz - The long lighted match did the trick

I tried it again today. Checked it was level with a decent 24" level not a mini level and then tried the pietzo ignition...No joy at all. I could smell gas, at the base where the spark is. I tried the long match and it lit first time. ran it for 90 minutes and it was very cold inside. I will make sure this is repeatable both at home and also away at the weekend..If it doesn't work this weekend it does not matter as I will be on a hook up anyway.
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peridot
Dandy Admin

Posts : 545
Join date : 2012-09-01
Location : Newport

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by peridot on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 11:37 pm

I long ago gave up trying to use the spark igniter on our portable 3-way. I use one of those gas lighters with the flexible shaft, which just fits through the hole on the back of the fridge.

We always used ours either in the awning or, if not using the awning, outside under the bed. There's enough clearance to prevent the heat from the vent tube doing any damage. We did find however that if the wind comes up strong it can blow the flame out, even with a windbreak at the back of the underbed area. I did have in mind to make up some sort of baffle plate that could fit behind it but never got around to it before we swapped to the bigger Destiny with the built-in fridge.

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Cazz

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Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 41
Location : Staffordshire

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Cazz on Tue 24 Jun 2014, 10:53 pm

I'm pleased the long match worked cheers

We've also found before that ours wasn't cold - despite being lit and on, in this instance we turned it upside down for a while, (I forget how long) once it was back up the right way, we left overnight and relit it, it then went cold. Air bubbles or something get in the tubes or something, and the upsidedownness clears them.

We've also had the wind blow it out too, so we raised the fridge up on tins of beans to clear the gap under the utility tent.  Suspect 
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 24 Jun 2014, 11:02 pm

Cazz wrote:I'm pleased the long match worked cheers

We've also found before that ours wasn't cold - despite being lit and on, in this instance we turned it upside down for a while, (I forget how long) once it was back up the right way, we left overnight and relit it, it then went cold.  Air bubbles or something get in the tubes or something, and the upsidedownness clears them.

We've also had the wind blow it out too, so we raised the fridge up on tins of beans to clear the gap under the utility tent.  Suspect 

Was it the tins of beans that caused the wind?
How close were you standing when you managed to blow it out?
Did you blame it on the dog?
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Cazz

Posts : 2052
Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 41
Location : Staffordshire

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Cazz on Tue 24 Jun 2014, 11:10 pm

Tow Itch wrote:
Cazz wrote:I'm pleased the long match worked cheers

We've also found before that ours wasn't cold - despite being lit and on, in this instance we turned it upside down for a while, (I forget how long) once it was back up the right way, we left overnight and relit it, it then went cold.  Air bubbles or something get in the tubes or something, and the upsidedownness clears them.

We've also had the wind blow it out too, so we raised the fridge up on tins of beans to clear the gap under the utility tent.  Suspect 

Was it the tins of beans that caused the wind?
How close were you standing when you managed to blow it out?
Did you blame it on the dog?

There's always one  lol! 

No
Not very
And not this time

We should have used chopped tomatoes   

hannah3dog

Posts : 75
Join date : 2012-07-26

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by hannah3dog on Sat 05 Jul 2014, 10:10 pm

This is what we did last two weeks  - we use a tea towel rather than muslin and it works fine with a bucket under the dandy. We were shown by another Dandy camper. We change the water if we think its getting warm. Its great for milk, yoghurt, bacon etc the ice blocks never seem to last long enough.
I'm going to try wrapping fish/meat etc in foil to keep it dry

"We never take a cool box (or fridge) camping (like to keep it simple + they take up a lot of car space) but it is useful to keep a pint or two of milk + maybe some cheese cool for a while.  When I went camping with my parents as a kid, I remember my mum keeping a bottle of milk cool by sitting it in a dish of water, with a muslin draped over it.  The idea is that the mulsin soaks up the water, and the water evaporates, cooling the milk."

I used to have a 3 way fridge in a camper van and it was very efficient on gas
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Tow Itch
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Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 10 Jul 2014, 4:24 am

hannah3dog wrote:This is what we did last two weeks  - we use a tea towel rather than muslin and it works fine with a bucket under the dandy. We were shown by another Dandy camper. We change the water if we think its getting warm. Its great for milk, yoghurt, bacon etc the ice blocks never seem to last long enough.
I'm going to try wrapping fish/meat etc in foil to keep it dry

"We never take a cool box (or fridge) camping (like to keep it simple + they take up a lot of car space) but it is useful to keep a pint or two of milk + maybe some cheese cool for a while.  When I went camping with my parents as a kid, I remember my mum keeping a bottle of milk cool by sitting it in a dish of water, with a muslin draped over it.  The idea is that the mulsin soaks up the water, and the water evaporates, cooling the milk."

I used to have a 3 way fridge in a camper van and it was very efficient on gas

I'm sure I've visited this before it must be alzheimer's. Evaporative cooling if you look this up on the interweb you get all sorts of ethnic images of two clay pots with wet sand in between like this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or I dig out pictures of a wonderful 19th and early 20th century Australian fridge [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or you get pictures of really clever "girlie" engineers re inventing the wheel to tell third world people how to keep things cool using manufactured coolers rather than using the same idea with local materials like they have for years [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Now the second form of cooler (and possibly the first) was actually a forced evaporation cooler because it was normally put into a draught.
Unfortunately if you look up images on forced evaporation coolers what you tend to get pictures of is swamp coolers which are coolers but of houses and not fridges. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Forced evaporation is much more dramatic than natural evaporation. If you can visualise taking a dip in the sea in a T shirt and getting out of the sea. The cooling effect is evaporation but if you could immediately stand on a breezy promontory or the end of the pier in a 20mph wind that is then forced evaporation.    

Now I'm sure I can remember in either a scout book or the "Know The Game" Camping the use of a suspended thick muslin bag with trays or wire shelves formed in it. The bag had either a water drip or it trailed into a water tank with the water rising due to capillary action. Because this was a suspended bag it had much more breeze flow through it to increase evaporation.
I know I can remember 1970's and 80's articulated lorries with small cages hanging off the offside mirror with wet rags that chilled a water bottle.
Skin and canvass water bags were also popular years ago these worked particularly well with forced evaporation. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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About 1990 I was managing a snooker hall with a ground floor cellar and we were due to have the cellar rebuilt. There would be no cellar cooling for several weeks a temporary roof and so no insulation and 1990 was a hot summer. I put pin holes into some used water pipe and got some sacking from a local steel stockholder. It was the last of there sacking they were changing over to bubblewrap. The sacking was moistened by the constant drip from the water pipe. This was then placed in a state of forced evaporation by 3 or 4 table fans. It was so effective that I had to limit the running of the fans as I caused the beer (Live cask beer) to chll haze

I'm a mixture of old technology Tilly Lamps and tech overkill. I'd love to see some lightweight camper have a go at make a hanging muslin evaporative fridge.

hannah3dog

Posts : 75
Join date : 2012-07-26

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by hannah3dog on Thu 10 Jul 2014, 9:42 pm

Tow Itch - I'll try and have a read of that when we're away - looks interesting. We're off again tomorrow for another two weeks in the Dandy in Wales. I'm picking up a spare roof and cover from a scrapper on the way back. I've still got a Riviera heater which I was going to fit but am now thinking that the 4 will heat up too quickly. When we get back from the pub its red hot when I've brewed up on the cooker and the gas lamp keeps it toasty (with co alarm) I don't think we'll use it in mid winter. The wheel bearings and spacers are holding up fine. Anyway we're certainly getting some use out of it!

hannah3dog

Posts : 75
Join date : 2012-07-26

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by hannah3dog on Mon 21 Jul 2014, 9:36 pm

Tow Itch your stuffs very interesting - I think the T shirt analogy is very good. We've just got back from 10 days in Wales and used our bucket again which worked fine but the lightweight camper next door used a shallow cereal bowl with some water in it and a plastic bottle of milk stood in it with a J cloth wrapped round it. It seemed to work very well!  On the way back I stripped a scrap Dandy 4 for £100 and have got spare poles, roof, end doors and wings, cushions + really good cover so am well made up. I put all the spares on top of our dandy with the new cover over the top! I was just sorry there was no red retro lino as that's a real feature which won't last forever. The campsite owner said our yellow dandy had become a feature of the site! It didn't half shake in the thunderstorms  but we were completely watertight
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Cazz

Posts : 2052
Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 41
Location : Staffordshire

Re: 3 Way Fridge CO Safety

Post by Cazz on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 8:32 pm

We've also used the water and tea towel method, we put non waterproof stuff in those resealable bags.   

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