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jmaguire
06-25-2012, 06:46 AM
I have a 5500 watt generator that I use when no electric is available and we need ac. My son has weekend baseball tournaments every weekend in July. Yesterday I ran the generator for a couple of hours to test everything out and the refrigerator seemed to have issues. The freezer was frosting, but nothing in the refrigerator section. I shut it off and tried again with the same results. I then disconnected the generator and plugged the extension cord back in and the refrigerator worked perfect. Could there be an issue with the generator?

danemayer
06-25-2012, 07:12 AM
The freezer was frosting, but nothing in the refrigerator section. I shut it off and tried again with the same results. I then disconnected the generator and plugged the extension cord back in and the refrigerator worked perfect. Could there be an issue with the generator?
Hi John and Kim, I doubt there's anything that could be wrong with the generator that causes partial operation of the refrigerator. But it's possible that the generator might have been running, but no AC getting to the refrigerator - a breaker tripped, or a problem with the transfer switch that switches AC from shoreline to generator. In that case, the refrigerator might have been running on 12V. Of course, if your battery is ok and propane was on, it should be cooling but the 12V/Propane side of the refrig could have a problem that you've not noticed if you usually run on AC.

When you were testing, did you allow enough time for the refrigerator to get cold? On a hot day, it may take quite a few hours before the refrigerator compartment starts to feel cold, although the freezer compartment usually gets cold pretty quickly.

Another possibility is an air leak to the refrigerator compartment. If the door were not completely closed, the freezer would get cold but the refrigerator would stay warm. If after you checked it, you closed the door completely, that would also explain why it started cooling.

jmaguire
06-25-2012, 07:31 AM
Thanks for the reply. Even with the generator running I still had the refrigerator on gas because it always has cooled better on gas than electric. I'll try it again tomorrow, but it just seemed odd that it was struggling while on the generator and then seemed to run much better when hooked to power. The camper was real hot when I started. Maybe it's what you said, or just my imagination but I'll try it again and see what happenes. Thanks.

wdk450
06-25-2012, 08:48 AM
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that all portable generators do not have the ground bonded to the neutral as do conventional electrical supply systems, and the fact that the refrigerator is on a GFI protected circuit. Did the refrigerator indicator lights show that it was running on AC?
If, indeed, you ran the refrig on Gas, then the AC power is out of the question, as the refrig then just needs gas and 12 volts DC for the logic board, fans, gas solonoid valve and igniter.

danemayer
06-25-2012, 09:08 AM
it just seemed odd that it was struggling while on the generator and then seemed to run much better when hooked to power. When running on LP, 12V from the battery and/or the Power Converter (if plugged in or running the generator), is all that's needed. If your battery were marginal, AND the 110V transfer switch was failing while running on the generator, you might not get 12V to operate the refrigerator properly. But in that case, you'd most likely get an error code on the refrigerator and it wouldn't work at all. So if running on LP, it's really unlikely that slow cooling has anything to do with the generator.

jmaguire
06-25-2012, 10:22 AM
Thats what baffled me. No error indicated on the refrigerator. It was running on gas so I thought the 120v had nothing to do with it. But I can tell you I have never had any issues with the refrigerator before. Also after I connected the extension cord we keep it plugged into it worked fine. I am going to double check everything tomorrow to see if the unit was just hot or something.