How to Clean Your RV Refrigerator Flue? Follow My Lead

When it comes to RV maintenance, the refrigerator often takes center stage, and for a good reason. It’s an essential appliance for keeping your food fresh while you’re on the road. The flue is essentially a crucial part of the refrigerator’s cooling system. It’s responsible for venting out the heat generated during the cooling process, ensuring that your perishables stay chilled. So, a well-maintained flue is vital for the proper functioning of your RV refrigerator.

Surprisingly, the flue doesn’t usually require frequent cleaning, and many RVers are surprised at how clean it remains. However, there are circumstances where a little TLC can go a long way, especially when the burner is misadjusted or simply yearly maintenance. All you need is some relevant tools and applying the below-mentioned process.

How to Clean Your RV Refrigerator Flue

How I Successfully Cleaned My RV Refrigerator Flue

Despite its low maintenance needs, keeping the flue clean is overall a good practice. A clean flue ensures that the heat generated during the cooling process is vented out properly, allowing your refrigerator to do its job effectively. Moreover, doing so will keep you confident about it that it’s completely fine. So –

Step 1. Gather Your Tools

Before you begin, ensure you have the necessary tools ready. You’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a small attachment and a 3/4″ wire brush. If your RV has a roof vent, you might also need a screwdriver.

Step 2. Access the Flue

Depending on your RV’s setup, you’ll either have a roof vent or a side vent. Here’s how to access the flue from both configurations –

  • Roof Vent Access: If your RV refrigerator has a roof vent, you can access the flue from the roof. Start by removing the roof vent cap, typically secured with four screws. Once the cap is off, you can look down through the roof vent screen to see the flue, which is a 3/4″ round pipe.
  • Side Vent Access: If your refrigerator has a side vent, the process is a bit different. You’ll need to remove the refrigerator from its enclosure for better access to the flue.

Step 3. Clean the Flue

No matter which access point you use, the cleaning process is quite similar –

  • For the roof vent, you might need to cut part of the vent screen away to gain access to the spiral baffle inside the flue. Pull the baffle up and out of the flue.
  • Using a 3/4″ wire brush, run it up and down in the flue. This will help dislodge any debris or soot that may have accumulated over time.
  • Simultaneously, use a vacuum with a small attachment to suction out the dislodged debris. Tapping on the sides of the flue can be helpful in this step.

Step 4. Reassemble

Once the flue is clean, reassemble the vent cap and secure it with screws. If you have a side vent, place the refrigerator back in its enclosure.

When Should You Clean the Flue?

As I’ve already hinted, most RVers don’t need to clean their refrigerator flues regularly. However, there are specific scenarios where cleaning becomes necessary –

1. Misadjusted Burner

If your RV’s refrigerator burner is misadjusted, it can result in incomplete combustion, leading to the buildup of soot and debris in the flue. This is a common trigger for cleaning.

2. Annual Maintenance

As part of your routine RV maintenance, it’s a good idea to inspect and clean the flue annually. This helps prevent any potential issues from developing and ensures your refrigerator operates efficiently.

End Note

While cleaning your RV refrigerator flue might not be a regular chore, it’s an essential part of maintenance that ensures your refrigerator runs smoothly. By following the steps outlined here, you can keep your RV refrigerator’s flue in top-notch condition, ensuring your food stays fresh and your travels enjoyable. 

I hope this guide has been helpful in understanding the importance of cleaning your RV refrigerator flue. Remember that a well-maintained flue is key to keeping your food fresh and your RV travels worry-free. If you have more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to me. Wishing you a happy kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I clean my RV refrigerator flue?

Cleaning the flue annually as part of your routine maintenance is typically sufficient. However, you may need to clean it more often if you notice issues with your refrigerator’s performance.

2. Can I clean the flue without removing the refrigerator from its enclosure?

If your RV refrigerator has a roof vent, you can access and clean the flue without removing it. However, if your refrigerator has a side vent, you’ll need to take it out of the enclosure for proper access.

3. What happens if I neglect cleaning the RV refrigerator flue?

Neglecting flue cleaning can lead to reduced refrigerator efficiency, potential cooling issues, and even safety hazards. It’s best to include flue cleaning in your regular maintenance routine.

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