No long trip is possible without an RV fridge, but the check light coming on randomly with no explanation can worry many RV owners.
Why does my RV fridge say Check?
The RV fridge says check because it has no power, a blown heater fuse, no propane gas source, low freon levels, or a bad compressor. The check light is triggered by a loss of power to either the electrical or gas power source. Resetting the fridge or restoring power will turn the light off.
If the RV fridge is not cooling as well as it used to, there are a few reasons why this may be happening. After examining many RV fridge manuals and tech sheets like Dometic, the data and research below provide the best approach to resolving this issue.
Reasons Your RV Fridge Says Check
An RV fridge can run on electrical power or a gas system with propane. Ultimately, how a fridge gets set up depends on the resources available in an RV.
When things go wrong, the fridge has a check light that turns on to indicate something is off. This can happen due to a loss of power, a blown heater fuse, or the propane gas has been turned off.
The way the fridge is set up impacts what the cause for the check light could be too. For example, it’s possible to set up a refrigerator using electrical power with a propane backup.
What this means is when the fridge loses power, it can trigger the propane to keep running so it doesn’t turn off. The light will either be red or green depending on the fridge model and the cause of the light.
No power will cause the fridge to not function. Check the breaker box to ensure the box is on, and the fridge is connected to power.
If the fridge is connected to power and the breaker box is on, but the lights are not coming on, then there is a problem with the switch, or the light bulbs are burned out.
You have a problem with the wiring if the breaker box is switched on and the fuse is not blown. If the wiring is old and worn, it may need to be replaced.
Blown Heater Fuse
A blown heater fuse is a sure way to cause the check light to turn on. This will also impact the power source; sometimes, the fridges will stop working if the blown fuse is powerful enough.
To check the fuse, a multimeter is required to get a reading of the power going to the RV fridge. This can be done by checking the fuse box in the RV to see if there is enough power.
When using the multimeter, it should beep while checking the fuse. If there is no beep, the fuse has been blown and needs to be replaced.
After replacing the fuse, recheck the power and see if this triggers the check light to turn off. Try a reset if the light is still on.
Gas Is Turned Off
Many RV refrigerator users decide to use an LP gas system as the primary power source to save electricity. The check light turns on when the fridge runs out of gas or the gas gets turned off.
Once you restore the gas source, do a quick reset on the fridge to get the light to turn off. There is also a way to use electrical power as a backup system so the fridge stays running.
However, the light will always come out regardless of the secondary source if the LP gas flame goes out.
Low Freon Levels
When the freon levels get low, the control board in most RV refrigerators will trigger the check light to indicate they need to be refilled. The first thing to do is check the freon levels.
This can be done using a pressure gauge available at any local auto parts store. The fridge has a service valve in the lower section or at the bottom to attach the pressure gauge.
Once you attach the gauge, open the pressure gauge for a reading. Any freon reading below 0 is too low, and a refill is needed.
Refilling the freon in a fridge is a tedious task, and it’s best to rely on a professional technician.
What Does The Check Light Mean On An RV Refrigerator?
The check light means the refrigerator’s control panel is registering a problem with the power source. Whether this is due to a power outage, low freon levels, or lack of gas supply, the fridge isn’t running correctly.
In most cases, the primary reason this light comes on is to indicate an issue with the propane gas source. Whether using propane as the backup or primary power source, when it goes out, this light turns on.
The check light is a warning, and the first place to look is at the gas power supply. The same is true for the electrical power supply if this is the primary source for the fridge to run on.
How Do I Reset My RV Refrigerator?
Any type of power surge or outage can cause a brief problem for your RV refrigerator. If this happens, doing a simple reset can be the easiest way to solve the issue.
However, if this light comes on, it’s important to know what it means and how to fix it before starting to troubleshoot.
1. Check The Owner’s Manual
As a precaution, look through the owner’s manual to read about the specific reset button process for the fridge model. They are all slightly different depending on the brand.
2. Locate The Reset Switch
Next, locate the reset switch on the refrigerator. This is located either at the top of the fridge, inside the fridge door, or at the back of the refrigerator.
3. Press The Reset Button
Press the reset button and hold it for a second or two. Once the button gets pressed, the reset process begins.
4. Allow Time For The Fridge To Reset
Allow between 1-5 minutes for the fridge to reset, depending on the time recommended in the owner’s manual.
5. Check If The Fridge Is Running Properly Again
Lastly, check on the fridge and see if the check light has turned off. The reset is more than basic troubleshooting and typically fixes many of these issues.
Where Is The Reset Button On A Dometic RV Refrigerator?
The Dometic RV refrigerator has a reset switch somewhere near the top of the fridge or freezer. Resetting the refrigerator is a good way to fix small issues with it and potentially fix the check light.
The layout at the top of most Dometic refrigerators includes an on/off button, an auto light, a check light, and a gas light. Between all of these lights is a button, which is used to reset the fridge.
If the button is not located in this area, the best thing to do is check the owner’s manual for the specific Dometic fridge to find where the reset button might be. Other common areas include inside the door or at the back of the refrigerator.
By clicking that button, the fridge will begin the reset process. It only takes a few minutes until it’s up and running again.
How Do I Know if My RV Fridge Is Working?
Once the reset finishes and the RV fridge is on, it takes a few minutes before the refrigerator is working again. There are three ways to check if it is working correctly too.
Check If The Lights Are On
First, look inside and see if the fridge lights are on. At the top of the fridge, there is also an auto light, gas light, and check light.
If either the gas or auto light is on, the fridge is running. If the check light is still on, the refrigerator hasn’t been repaired yet.
Check The Power With A Voltmeter
If the fridge runs on an electrical system as the primary power source, a voltmeter can be used to get a reading. They work to check power between 12V and 120V, and this will indicate if the fridge is working.
Check The Thermostat Temperature
Lastly, the thermostat temperature of the fridge is a good indicator of whether or not it’s working as it should. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit.