Monday, October 05, 2015

Off the Grid Propane Refrigerator Repairs

The Never-ending Story Part Done (We Hope!)

Dave and Wayne tip the fridge on its side for repairs.
After a week of monitoring our Unique propane refrigerator, we knew Dave’s adjustments weren’t enough. We were pretty sure the problem was in the thermostat, so we ordered a new one from the factory. In the meantime, we had to empty the fridge for another trip to the States.

We scheduled Dave to come back up to the cabin right after our return. Coordinating the part pickup at the post office and Dave’s arrival was tricky, but it all worked out.

Four months of working around a fridge in the middle of my kitchen.

It was a very good thing that the fridge was empty. It had to be tipped on its side to install the thermostat on the bottom. Of course, there was very little space to work around pipes and tubes to get things out and in properly.

The hardest part was getting the capillary temperature sensor installed from the back of the fridge into the food compartment. This tube is what tells the burner to go higher or lower to regulate the temperature.

Dave installs the replacement regulator from Unique.

Getting a hot fire to cool and freeze food is a “unique” process. Now I understand it a lot better. Here are some links if you are interested:

Unique Off-Grid Appliances
How Propane Fridges Cool PDF by Unique
How a Propane Refrigerator Works by Ben Campbell
RV Refrigerator Operation Video by ABCsofRVs

Propane appliances are a good solution for off-the-grid living, but they can have their own issues. If you aren’t able to do repairs by yourself, it’s really important to have someone who’s willing to go “the extra mile” to get the job done. Thanks John and Dave.

D and M Burner Services
1-8425 Sunshine Coast Highway
Powell River, BC
(604) 487-4516

Without your assistance from both of you we’d be cooling our food in a ice chest like the old days. -- Margy


  1. Let's hope that solves the problem with the fridge.

  2. You just have way too much fun with challenges!!! :-)

  3. Hope the part lasts a long time.

  4. So far so good. I keep hearing different sounds, but the temperature is holding and the food remains cold in the fridge section and frozen in the freezer. - Margy