Waeco fridge problem - thoughts?

darb

Well-Known Member
other than "its waeco throw it out" , does anyone have a constructive idea what may be going on ... here's the scenario and video

-- Only occurs if fridge has been off for quite a while and powered on.
-- It runs for a minute or two normally after being powered on, then suddenly hear the RPM of internals ramp up before the compressor kicks out, and a smaller fan sound spins up.
-- After a minute or two, it will re-engage the compressor, and once again kick out.
-- Seems to do this for quite a while.
-- last few times its happened the issue eventually goes away.
-- Once the issue is passed, the fridge runs for weeks and months without incident... at great temps, even throwing a bunch of warm cans in she will happily chug along and bring it all down to temp.
-- Voltage is not a problem (trust me, it aint volt drop).
-- it's ONLY when she's been off for a while (ie weeks).
-- Does not do it on AC power (again, trust me it's not a DC supply problem)

It's almost like air in the system or something else upsetting the compressor?
Here's a youtube video (have to turn the volume up sorry), excuse the leg hair was just recorded on iphone. :

waeco problem - YouTube

Normal until the 7 second mark, then she ramps up RPM, drops the compressor, and runs some other fan (and cooling stops).
 

ratsack

Member
Maybe it isn't a voltage problem, maybe it's a current issue :p
If it doesn't do it on AC then your reason doesn't make sense. Maybe it's an internal issue with the circuit/PCB. Could be a faulty cap or something?
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Rat sack , tried it on two cars, and a fully charged waeco battery pack.

Dc source is 60amp Anderson feed from a fully charged 115ah auxillary.

No volt drop evident at the socket (around 12.4 under load). Even with the emergency mode enabled (bypasses volt drop and fuse circuits).

Tried different lead.

Tried it in mrs car.

Two other fridges run fine in my car.

An hour or toe after boot up it settles down and then happily runs for hours and hours (compressor on constant cooling the fridge).

Agreed its perplexing that it works on ac but it's not supply... Maybe dc related inside fridge as you suggest.

Someone on anothe forum just said likely a sticky Tx valve / diafragm. But then why ok on AC, and once initial issue passes it runs on DC no worries in super hot conditions keeping things icy cold no probs.


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Brisey

Member
A few years ago I had a problem with my waeco may be similar to yours I found that the compressor would run much faster from my 240V power pack than from 12 volts in the car specially with motor not running. Once when out camping the fridge temperature was running warm & I was checking around & found the power lead where it plugs into the fridge was very hot & obviously a bit of volt drop over one or both pins of the plug. After a bit of wiggling around it went better & got me through the trip. I cut the plug off & soldered the incoming wire directly to the terminals inside the fridge. It hasn't missed a beat since.

Cheers

Bri
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Was just reading elsewhere that they run the compressors at 100% on AC but less on DC.


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cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Does sound like an internal control board issue to me, best to call Waeco or one of their repair agents - they would / should knw in an instant

cheers
 
Hi Darb,

I'm not sure if this will apply as I don't know what model you have but I found this on the net - Waeco CDF 35 Fridge repair
The tech describes a fault and explains how some models switch into "Turbo Cool" mode at around 3500rpm. Normal operation according to this guy is 2500rpm. This got me thinking about your fault and I can see a possible scenario that would generate your fault.

Basically, dependant on how old your fridge is, Cookie64 is probably correct in that the fault is on the control board. I would suggest a dry solder joint is likely to be your culprit. A dry joint could easily cause your fridge to exhibit the symptoms you have.
Not sure if your up to it or not, but this photo shows the kind of faulty joint you would look for if your keen to repair yourself.
Dry-Joint-Magnification.jpg

If you find a joint that looks like this and your going to reflow the joint yourself, please use flux to get the solder to flow nicely. Hope this helps.
 
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waccoFozzy

Member
I have read somewhere that if the thing has been sitting for a long time the oil pools or gets thick or something so takes a few goes at starting to circulate and the thing shuts down on a pressure fault.

I think it was Myswag where they suggested literally inverting the thing for 5 minutes before you power it up as it helps get the oil moving....
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
I have read somewhere that if the thing has been sitting for a long time the oil pools or gets thick or something so takes a few goes at starting to circulate and the thing shuts down on a pressure fault.

I think it was Myswag where they suggested literally inverting the thing for 5 minutes before you power it up as it helps get the oil moving....

I'm no fridgy but I have always understood never tip a fridge over or lay it on it's side

cheers
 

bally

Banned
I'm no fridgy but I have always understood never tip a fridge over or lay it on it's side

cheers

Iv heard this as well but the fridgies at work said that if you flip them to let them sit a while before starting them up
 

darb

Well-Known Member
Awesome thanks fellas. She run all weekend no issue (once again) so I think ill just have to leave it on !

Does seem more like an initial oil / refrigerant issue or something.

never been on the side as such tho damn near close when the 4wd it's mounted in hits some hairy angles / leans!


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frosty

Well-Known Member
I don't suggest you turn it over. If you tip it the wrong way, the oil will drain from the compressor and it may nip up on start up.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
OK Problem sorted. After 2 weeks in the shop and a little bit of arguing, it was the bloody DC lead itself.

It wasn't causing a "low voltage" error at ALL on the fridge, it was causing a 3flash error indicating a compressor fault.

When i booked it in, I had asked if they would test it with leads I provided they said yes.

They couldnt fault the fridge ... they weren't using the lead.

WHen i picked it up today (told they cant reproduce the fault at all) i plugged it in, and issue came straight back... i again asked them if they'd tried different leads (I knwo its not the car) ... one guy said yes, other guy said no ... so off to workshop to fetch a brand new lead... and the issue is resolved.

The fridge was not registering a low voltage error at all (it does if the batteries go dead) ... and issue only occured when it was in "turbo" mode (pulls 5-7amps instead of 3amps) ... which makes the symptoms make sense ... if i added say, 6 beers to an at-temp fridge, it'd happily cool them ... if i added a full hot carton, it'd engage turbo mode and then trip out 30 seconds later ... and NEVER even try cooling them.

I was absolutely SURE i had tried different leads, but i must not have! .. and neither had they (yet they reckon they've been scratching their heads for 2 weeks unable to reproduce the fault and never once thought to try my lead either...)

Bottom line : check the bloody simple things sometimes that's all it is!

All in all, bit of blame on me, and a bit on them.

Beer is cold, so all is forgiven.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
i also had a yarn with them about "new engels" vs "new waecos" and reliablity, he pegged them the same as each other ... and both have "dumb electrical type faults".

the older "less smart" engels were rock solid reliable... and his opinion is they should have used the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle ;... but like most things, cars especially these days, it's all soft buttons and computer controlled.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
i also had a yarn with them about "new engels" vs "new waecos" and reliablity, he pegged them the same as each other ... and both have "dumb electrical type faults".

the older "less smart" engels were rock solid reliable... and his opinion is they should have used the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle ;... but like most things, cars especially these days, it's all soft buttons and computer controlled.

What, are you trying to start an argument over fridges :eek:;):D

I really couldn't care if I bought a Waeco or an Engel, so long as it keeps my stuff cold or frozen as I require, then I don't care.

Yep really big fan of KISS

love big manual clunky switches

cheers
 

darb

Well-Known Member
ha god no , although wars have broken out over lesser things.

I moreso just asked him tongue in cheek whether I should go out buy an engel and have less problems, and he just said nah they both have pretty similiar failure rates (among current generation models) and issues that they see all day every day. (they are an engel and waeco repairer)

The OLD school low tech analogue type engels however are more bullet proof.

Less prone to computery type "control boards" problems anyway.

Bit like comparing an old simple farm ute to a brand new ranger (for example) that has a zillion "soft touches". The simple one is more reliable, but the fancy one puts a smile on your face... until it screws up and you want to drown it for being fancy.
 
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billolga

Well-Known Member
OK Problem sorted. After 2 weeks in the shop and a little bit of arguing, it was the bloody DC lead itself.

I have only had one problem with my 14 year old Engles & as soon as I took it to the Engles listed guy he felt the DC plug & said "Squeeze it with a pair of pliers" - PROBLEM SOLVED!
I did the right thing & bought a new lead for his great advise & kept the old one as a spare.
 
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