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Adler Barbour (Dometic) Cold Machine

The original Adler Barbour Cold Machine, now owned by Dometic, on our 1999 36MKII is not getting cold. When I turn on the the electrical panel switch the compressor comes on and sounds normal; however, the plate simply does not get cold. Upon inspection I found that the "temperature dial?" attached to the inside of the referigerator and which never had markings, is for lack of a better word - frozen. It will not turn,even with pliers. I plan on contacting Dometic but thought to see if anyone else had this issue. Thanks
Tom Bolen
​Nothport, NY - Long Island Sound
1999 Catalina 36MKII #1780

HowLin's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 1/12/12
Posts: 351

I have the same unit and have not had this problem, (although I have tweaked the fridge a bit)...
The dial is simply a thermostat and you should be able to wire in a number of different types/brands of thermostat without issue...

---- Howard & Linda Matwick ----
--- S/V "Silhouette" - Nanaimo, BC ----
--- 1999  C36 MkII  #1776 M35BC ---
rbrooks's picture
Last seen: 2 days 6 hours ago
Joined: 11/9/13
Posts: 45

I have a 1999 and the "fan" is noisy and hell.  Is there a way to replace the fan? The frig still gets cool. 

Bob & Maggie B. Hobby Time 1999 C36 MK II TM/Wing Hull #1796 Warwick, RI
Mother Ocean's picture
Mother Ocean
Last seen: 2 days 12 hours ago
Joined: 6/4/15
Posts: 24

Hi Tom
As long as the thermostat isn't turned to the off position the plate should still get cold. The noise you are hearing is most likely only the fan. You can put your hand on the compressor and should be able to feel a strong vibration if it is actually running. Your unit may just be low on Freon. Hope this helps.

Tim Askew
 S/V Allure​
1990 Catalina 36 Hull # 1079
Std Rig, Wing Keel, M25XP
​3 Blade Auto Prop
​Elizabeth City, NC
GaryB's picture
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 10/26/08
Posts: 511

My guess is that you have a panel on the compressor with an LED light. If the thermostat switch is not shut off you are hearing it start and possibly the fan. See if there is a sequence to the light flashing on the panel with the compressor. In your manual there should be an explanation of the flashing code. Ultimately your problem may be the thermostat switch, but I also suspect you need to recharge the system  as well,


Gary Bain
S/V "Gone With The Wind"
Catalina 36', Hull #: 1056, Year: 1990, Engine: M-35
Standard Rig
Moored: East Boothbay, Maine
Home: Auburn, Maine

HowLin's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 1/12/12
Posts: 351

Since Tom's boat is just 4 hulls later than mine, he may not have the 2-PC board unit with an LED indicator on his fridge controller board (mine doesn't).  If the compressor is indeed turning on (which means his thermostat is locked in the 'on' position) then it is most likely a coolant issue as mentioned above, if the noise is the fan, then it could be either the compressor or the controller...
In any event a qualified marine fridge tech is probably needed (wherever you find them these days...)

*** Check out the file I am attaching ***

PDF icon AB Fridge Fault Guide204.64 KB
---- Howard & Linda Matwick ----
--- S/V "Silhouette" - Nanaimo, BC ----
--- 1999  C36 MkII  #1776 M35BC ---
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