“Burping” Your Propane Refrigerator

Over the years, we have heard many different reasons for “burping” a propane refrigerator. Some believe it to be the cure for all problems of a propane refrigerator.

The reason behind the burping procedure is to move the liquid solution or coolant back to the correct location within the sealed cooling system.  The coolant will migrate during transportation, moving, or operating out of level. This may create a “lock” within the sealed system therefore requiring the burping procedure to relieve the lock.

If this lock occurs, the coolant will not circulate properly and little or no cooling will occur.  There is no long term consequence if this occurs unless it is left to run like this for a long period.

TRANSPORTING – For those that wish to transport the unit beyond the delivery point or moving the fridge from one location to another, transporting standing up is recommended but not required. Strap the unit around the sides and over the top using multiple ratchet type straps to secure it. Laying the unit on the side is acceptable. The key to this is to lay the unit on the side so that the boiler is on the downward side. Most modern day built units will have the boiler to your left hand if you are standing facing the box marked “Front”.  This allows for the liquid coolant to stay in the boiler area and will most likely no create a lock when the unit is positioned back upright.

Each brand has slightly different burping procedure suggestions that they recommend for their particular models. Below is a list we compiled of the brands and the procedures.

Danby / Consul Gas Refrigerators – Standing in front of the unit and facing the front door. Lay the unit on the side to the left. Rotate the unit upside down onto it’s head. Reverse this process unit it is standing back on it’s feet. It is only necessary to leave it on each side for a minute. This is what we call the “Full Burping Procedure”. See below image.

Gas Fridge Repair 101 - Burping your LP Gas Refrigerator

Diamond / Miller Refrigeration Gas Refrigerators – We have had success burping this brand in many different ways. The above full burping procedure is usually successful. In some cases it only requires to tilt the unit to a 45 degree angle to the left and then to the right for only a moment. In extreme cases, laying the unit on the front door facing downward completed the process.

Crystal Cold Gas Refrigerators – The full burping procedure or the 45 degree tilt will work on the units.

EZ Freeze Gas Refrigerators – We have never had an EZ Freeze that needed the burping procedure. When transporting on the left side, no burping is necessary when this method is used. Simply stand it up and continue with the installation. The factory does recommend the full burping procedure or just the 45 degree tilt method if a lock does ever happen.

Burping is not a fix all for a propane gas refrigerator that does not cool. It will only fix a coolant liquid solution that is locked and will not circulate properly. Other reasons for not cooling may be: 

  • Burner not burning clean
  • Partial orifice clog
  • Leaking cooling unit
  • Internally clogged cooling unit*
  • Low propane pressure
  • Thermostat failure

*In the case of the internally clogged cooling unit, it is possible for the burping procedure to temporarily fix the low circulation of the solution, but the clog will eventually return and be permanent.