It had been well looked after and there wasn't a great deal wrong with it - that is until we were carrying out functional tests on the appliances and measuring the combustion ratios at the flues of all the gas parts of them. The fridge was a shocker!
When we check the combustion ratios we look for a reading of less than 0.0040 and we also take note of the CO ppm. The Thetford fridge in this particular van had a ratio of 0.5266!!!! The CO was 32601ppm - we usually see between 15 and 250!! The fridge had the potential to be lethal!
Now, one of the common problems with this age of Thetford fridge is the burner corroding leading to a sooty flame and so a high combustion ratio and CO reading.
A phone call to the customer revealed that last summer a mobile engineer repaired the fridge because it wouldn't stay lit. Apparently he replaced the burner - the problem, as it turned out was, he replaced it with the wrong one!!!
So we removed the burner, cleaned the flue of all the soot and fitted the correct burner. The difference between the burners can clearly be seen - the correct one is the one on the right hand side.
You wouldn't believe the amount of soot we removed, so couldn't resist a quick snap!
If you get your van serviced or any gas appliance repaired/serviced the engineer should carry out combustion ratio tests and give you a print out for each test.
Here's a before and after print out for the fridge - as you can see the readings are now as low as they should be and a quick inspection of the flame shows it's nice and blue!
Now, whoever charged the customer for the previous dangerous repair could have killed someone! The moral is only let someone who is qualified to do work on gas, touch you gas appliances - ask for their photo ID card (which they should have) and see their certificate (which should be displayed or available to view) - a qualified engineer has to retake the gas accreditation course every 5 years. They should also, always provide you with print out(s), proving that the appliance is safe.
Remember it's yours and your family's life at the end of the day - Job Done!
** Total cost to the customer £111.50 - (£39.50 burner and 1 1/2hrs labour) inc. VAT **
A nice blue flame is so satisfying!!
Incorrect burner (left) and correct burner (right) - notice the difference in the spacing and size of the slots
A serious amount of soot and carbon deposits were removed from the flue
Print outs from before and after the repair was carried out