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Replacing a Fridge - Gas Installation

We are going to replace the fridge in our new boat with exactly the same model that has been re-conditioned and comes with a 6 month warranty. However, it states that we need to have this installed by a qualified person. Now we know about CORGI on shore but what or who do we need for the boat? As she is only 30ft we intend to primarily run the fridge off the gas.

Asked by: Debbie Frankland  | 3.39pm, Tuesday 10 February


WW says:

I am sure that Rupert will comment on this and may correct me but, if your gas fridge requires replacing, you cannot put a reconditioned model back aboard. Gas fridges are not type-approved for boats, so when life expired they cannot, and should not be replaced. This would be picked up in the appliance record held by the Boat safety scheme.
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A modern electric fridge uses very little power, is far safer (no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning for example) and much better in warmer weather.
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Also, the CORGI scheme was laced by GasSafe register several years ago. A GasSafe registered fitter, who is certified for marine LPG installations is required for use on boats.
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I would seriously reconsider trying to fit a reconditioned gas fridge aboard in boat and go for a 12V electric fridge instead.

Mark Langley  | 10.47PM, Tuesday 10 February

For laced I meant replaced! Autoccorrect error...!

Mark Langley  | 10.47PM, Tuesday 10 February

I should point out that some gas fridges were type-approved for boats (such as the Electrolux balanced flue gas fridges) but these were rarely fitted- other Electrolux/Dometic gas fridges, Sibiu and camping gaz ones were not type approved for marine use.

Mark Langley  | 10.50PM, Tuesday 10 February

It is generally safer- and actually, cheaper to run. Just make sure that the cable is a good thickness- measure the cable run from the battery to the fridge and back- then use ideally 1mm2 per metre- so if 10m then use 10mm2 multistrand copper cable.
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Also, you can wire the fridge directly to the battery, via an inline fuse (as close to the battery as possible. By wiring directly to the battery, attaching the (positive) wiring to the output of the master switch (and the negative wire to the collective negative return)
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good ventilation around the fridge is always useful- a couple of holes drilled into the floor can help with both bilge ventilation and cooling the compressor.
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If you have a fairly common gas fridge like the Electrolus RM212 or RM122E, then you will be able to find 12V fridges that are like-for-like replacements sizewise.
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Do shout if we can help at all!

Mark Langley  | 11.13AM, Wednesday 11 February

I think Mark has covered all the salient points.
Having talked to boat owners who have replaced their gas fridge with an electric one; they always comment on how long the gas cylinders last without the small but constant useage of the fridge! There is often a constant smell of burnt gas in boats with gas fridges.

Rupert Smedley  | 6.09PM, Wednesday 11 February


Readers say:

Thanks for the advice Mark. I was not wanting to rip out the kitchen for the sake of a new fridge but take your advice on replacing it with an electric one. Will have to see what we can do in terms of space but will definately be easier to deal with the replacement if its electric.

Debbie Frankland  | 8.08AM, Wednesday 11 February

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