Houseboat Marine Fridges - is an LP Propane or Electric Refrigerator better?
by Kyle Libhart
Marine Fridges Houseboat Refrigerators - What's better?
When it comes to houseboat marine fridges, what's better, an LP propane, or an electric refrigerator. Which is the best type of refrigerator for a houseboat on Lake Powell?
We own a timeshare on the houseboat and for the past four years we have been having issues with the two Norcold model N8412A refrigerators that are on the boat. We are constantly having to jump the wires for the burner.
At our annual owners meeting we all agreed to replace them but don't know if we should stick with LP, or change to electric models. What do you suggest.
Thanks for your help, Kyle. Reply - Answer
Well Kyle, welcome to the houseboat forums, and sorry to hear about your fridge dilemma. It can be very annoying to be on a houseboat with a constant refrigerator problem.
Before I get into which is better, I would suggest to have the ones you presently have inspected and repaired with a certified Norcold Service Technician first. It would be much cheaper and easier to have those ones serviced and working properly. It would also eliminate any removal, or any installation issues by changing them.
When it comes to marine refrigeration, the fridge(s) is an area that consumes the most energy whether it is 12 or 120 volt, even if your take into account the new and energy efficient models. The propane models alleviate any energy consumption issues, other than gas.
propane fridges are very energy efficient, yet they consume propane gas which requires rotating a spare tank on board. With propane, there are some safety issues that need yearly maintenance inspections. The LP systems also require some form of remote switches, sensors and solenoids to maintain a safe explosion proof environment.
I personally have had all the different types of marine electric, household type electric, and many propane LP refrigerators. I have always enjoyed using the propane models, and enjoy the peace and quiet that the LP models provide.
Another worthy point is not having to run the 6 to 20 kW generators to charge the houseboat battery banks, especially considering the price of fuel , that's another big bonus.
I am sure than many other houseboaters will have their own thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of each style. If you use the search function, you will find other articles discussing marine refrigeration. here's a few of interest.Do houseboats need a marine refrigerator, or will a house fridge work?Houseboat marine refrigerators, where to get them serviced, and what to buy?Where to find Norcold marine refrigerator replacement parts?Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat fridge or refrigerator experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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