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Portable Refrigeration FAQs

September 02, 2018

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Portable Refrigeration FAQs

Can I leave it on the back of my ute?

Yes you can is the short answer, but you should consider that in direct sunlight the refrigerator will not perform as well usually, and if you get sufficient rainfall at the right angle it may cause damage to the refrigerator by interfering with the electrics. Damage by external causes is not covered by the Manufacturer's warranty so steps to protect the unit should be taken. It should also be considered that portable fridge/freezers left on the back of a ute unattended may prove irresistible to thieves.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Can I run the refrigerator on its side/end?

It is not recommended to run refrigerators on their side or end. 30 degrees angle is the steepest recommended angle to leave the refrigerator running at.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Can I tip it upside down to clean it?

With the CFX models, this is not necessary as there is a drain bung in the base of the refrigerator for ease of cleaning and draining. With earlier CF models, yes you can up-end the refrigerator if necessary for cleaning, but this should only be for a short period, you should not leave the unit upside down for extended periods and you should not restart the unit for several hours after turning the unit upside down, so that the oil can resettle in the compressor.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Can you leave it plugged into 12 V DC and 240 V AC at the same time?

Yes, you can. If both power sources are available to your Dometic Waeco CFX refrigerator, it will automatically select 240 volts AC as the priority so that you are not consuming battery power.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Do you have an extension lead for the cable?

No. It is recommended that you do not extend or modify the 12 volt cable supplied with the refrigerator as this can lead to voltage loss and potential poor performance. Designated in car wiring kits such as the RAPS12RU2 are available inexpensively which negate voltage loss.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

How long will my refrigerator keep running for on my battery?

You need to ascertain how much power your refrigerator will consume on average per hour under certain ambient conditions; We provide this information in our catalogues and on our website. You also need to know the size of your battery in amp-hours. Once you know these figures, you can divide the size of the battery by that average consumption figure (multiplied by 24 hours) to give you approximate run time. e.g. If the stated consumption is 1 amp per hour average, multiply that by 24 hours. (equals 24 Amp hours per day). You should understand that you never get the full amount of amp-hours from a battery however. You should use 80% as a good rule of thumb. So if you have a 100 Amp hour deep cycle battery, you can assume 80 amp-hours of usable power. So if a refrigerator consumes on average 1 amp per hour, and is the only appliance running from a 100 amp-hour battery, you should be able to have the refrigerator run for around 80 hours before recharging becomes necessary.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

I can hear the refrigerator making a "breathing" noise when it is in a quiet area, such as a tent at night. Is this normal?

This is standard in all capillary refrigerators in varying degrees. It is simply the refrigerant returning to gaseous state from liquid state as it moves through the system. Mostly you will not notice it unless you are very close to the refrigerator. If you put your head close to the freezer in your home refrigerator whilst it is running you will likely hear this noise.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

I press the power button but nothing happens.

You need to press and hold the power button for several seconds to turn the refrigerator on or off. This is designed to prevent accidental shutdown or start-up and prevent children fiddling causing shutdown of the unit.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

I sometimes hear a light knocking noise from the refrigerator when driving over potholes, speed bumps, or rough roads.

This is nothing to be concerned about. The mechanicals/electricals inside the compressor unit are mounted on springs to absorb centrifugal force on start-up and shut-down. The cylinder head has a heavy duty nylon buffer which prevents the metal cylinder head striking the metal top dome of the compressor. This will just make a dull light noise of the nylon striking the metal and certainly does not cause any damage. It is a solid piece of electro-mechanical equipment and we are so confident in the reliability of the compressor that we supply a five-year warranty on the compressor part!

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

My food is frozen solid even though I have selected a temperature above 0°C. What is wrong?

Check that the emergency switch is set correctly to the "Normal use" position. Having it set to "Emergency Override" will cause foodstuffs to become frozen.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

My fridge switches off as soon as my car ignition is switched off, but the DVD/promotional material says it will run with the ignition off.

Check that the 12-volt outlet you are running the refrigerator from still has power available when the vehicle ignition is switched off. It may need to be wired independently of the ignition. If power is available but the refrigerator shuts down, the wiring may not be heavy enough to carry the current required by the refrigerator. The voltage needs to be tested under "electrical load" by either a Dometic service agent or a qualified auto electrician. Another potential cause is that the voltage protection level you have selected may be too high and need to be set at a lower setting.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What are the battery protection levels and what should I set mine for?

There are three set-able battery protection levels; "Hi" equates to 11.8 volts (High cut-out), "Ned" equates to 11.2 volts (Medium cut-out), "Lo" equates to 10.1 volts (Low cut-out). These are the voltages sensed at the refrigerator under load at which the compressor will shut down to protect your vehicle battery. If you have a small battery in a smaller vehicle, you should select high so that you are able to restart your vehicle easily. If you have a larger vehicle and larger battery capacity you should select the medium setting. If you have a dual battery set up and the secondary battery is able to be isolated from the starter battery you should select the low setting.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What do the error flashes mean?

If the power LED is flashing once every five seconds this means that the refrigerator is sensing low voltage. The battery needs to be recharged or the wiring in the vehicle may be inadequate, or, you need to adjust the battery protection level to a lower setting.

The error LED flashing means;

Twice every 5 seconds: The fan has a problem. Is something jamming the fan blade such as a pencil poked through the vent by a child? If not, the fan may be faulty and you should contact an authorised service centre.

Thrice every five seconds: Power may have been interrupted at a critical stage of the refrigeration cycle. Switch off for ten minutes then restart the refrigerator. If the problem persists, contact an authorised service centre.

Four times every five seconds: Compressor struggling to achieve speed. Switch off, wait 10 minutes then attempt restart. If the problem persists contact an authorised service centre.

Five times every five seconds: The unit is overheating. Check that the vents are not blocked by other equipment in the vehicle. It is easy for example to toss a sleeping bag in the back of your wagon and it could roll against the vent causing an overheat situation. The vents should be kept clear at all times.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What is the emergency switch for?

The emergency switch should be left in the "Normal use" position at all times, except if you cannot get the refrigerator to switch on for some reason. Switching to "Emergency override" feeds power straight to the compressor so that you do not lose your foodstuff. The thermostat control is overridden when the emergency override is selected and the compressor will run constantly which may cause fresh food to become frozen. Manual turning on and off will be necessary to prevent that until service is arranged.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What solar panel do I need to run the fridge?

The panel should be of a suitable size to meet the requirements of the refrigerator and any other appliance running from the battery. You should always use the solar panel to charge a battery, not to run the fridge directly from the solar panel as voltage will drop if clouds come overhead for instance. The battery means your refrigerator keeps running even if the voltage output of the solar panel drops severely due to cloud cover. A good rule of thumb to prevent inadequacies with power supply is to have a solar panel large enough to provide enough daily power to run your refrigerator and have battery storage of an extra 2/3 on hand. So, if your refrigerator (or any other appliance) will consume 30 amp-hours per day, you should have battery storage of 90 amp-hours capacity and a solar panel of around 80 watts or greater capacity to ensure you won't have problems. It is advised to go a little higher in specification than your needs, however.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What sort of inverter or generator will it run from?

It is best to use well regulated AC (240 volt) power sources such as pure sine wave inverters and good quality generators that are inverter equipped. Some lower priced generators can have voltage fluctuations that could potentially cause harm to the refrigerator electronics. It makes more sense to use the DC voltage output of a generator to charge a battery and run the refrigerator from the battery. This way you need not have the generator on for extended periods.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

What temperature should I set for fridge and freezer options?

Typically your home refrigerator would be running at between 2 and 4 °Celsius which is optimum for good food preservation. With camping refrigerators, some campers choose a temperature a little higher than that to conserve battery power. With WAECOCFXportable refrigerators you are able to select a temperature to suit your needs in 1°C increments. For freezing, your home deep freezer would operate somewhere between minus 18 and minus 20 °Celsius. For camping applications however, minus 15 ° Celsius would be more than adequate and also conserve battery power.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Where can I get spares fuses from?

Most service agents will be able to supply fuses if needed and most Dometic retailers either keep them or can get them in. If you are traveling and need a fuse and a service agent is not nearby, fuses can usually be sourced via a local Auto electrician.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.

Where is the serial number?

The serial number is beneath the refrigerator on the identification plate.

Applicable to models: CFX 28, CFX 35W, CFX 40W, CFX 50W, CFX 65W, CFX 75DZW, CFX 95DZW.