Today started out bad and really didn’t seem to improve much. When we awoke today it was to the realization that our refrigerator was kaput! It was not keeping things cold at all. The Freezer got up to 36 degrees and the cooling section was in the 50s. Not good.
Even though we were 200 miles from Bakersfield, that was our destination for today and I figured I would have better luck getting it fixed closer to a major metropolitan area. So I called around and found one guy who suspected that the cooling portion of the unit was shot. These types of cooling units have to run on both propane and electricity so they use a ammonia based system with a burner. The tubes in this particular unit are easily blocked internally and that ruins the unit.
We had this same problem 2 years ago and got a replacement under warranty. 2 years later, we face it again and probably no warranty help.
So he suggested that we turn the unit off for two hours and drive down the road. The bouncing may actually dislodge the jam in the pipes. So we did that. When we turned it back on, the temp was at 36 and over the next 2 hours it slowly came down to 20 which sounded like it was working. Unfortunately, the non-freezer area never got below 50 which is not good enough.
We elected to eat out and when we came back, the freezer was up to 22 and rising slowly. We went to get some dry ice and it cooled down to 16 but that is not a permanent fix in any way.
Tomorrow we shall explore options including an alternative “Amish” cooling unit which supposedly is much more robust. We will also consider replacing it with a residential refrigerator. That obviously will not run on propane but it will be a lot more reliable for sure!
I’ll post again tomorrow night to let you know where we are physically as well as where we are with the repair. We are supposed to go to Calico Ghost Town tomorrow but that doesn’t appear very likely at this point. Instead we need to spend some time “chilling out.” (Or at least our food needs to spend the time!)