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Author Topic: Norcold to residential fridge project  (Read 3417 times)

BinaryBob

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Norcold to residential fridge project
« on: March 31, 2017, 09:15:39 PM »
Like many of you, Iím researching the replacement of my norcold 1201 with a residential fridge. There is a lot of useful information here on this popular topic.
Itís turning out to be frustrating. Picture 01 shows the current situation. There is plumbing underneath so I am only able to drop the bottom about 2Ē.
Looking at the Norcold specs for the 1201, the cabinet width is 32.4 and height 63.2. Another post indicated the installed floor for the norcold is 1.5Ē thick. Replacing with 3/4Ē plywood gives another 1/2" of height.
Iím not ready to pull this unit to get an exact measurement, but unless Iím missing something, I would need a 32 X 66 fridge.
Further complication is picture 2. There is only 30Ē between the door face of the existing norcold and the stationary cabinetry. (15" from the end of the open door to the cabinetry). This makes french doors preferable but not mandatory.
Iím having a difficult time finding a quality fridge with these specs. The popular Frigidaire LFHT1837 does not appear to be available any more.
Anyone else faced with a similar situation? How did you handle? What fridge did you get?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 09:17:24 PM by BinaryBob »
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BRex

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 11:05:28 PM »
I would not let the plumbing underneath your current fridge deter you. Plumbing and wiring can be re-routed if you just need a few more vertical inches.


Good luck and please post pics as you go.....

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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 10:18:00 AM »
Not an insurmountable problem. See this post from our fridge conversion thread in the sticky topic section.
--John
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Kevin Means

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 11:01:08 AM »
And remember to verify that the fridge you ultimately choose will fit through your doorway. I've read that many fridges will fit once the fridge's door is removed (not a big deal apparently) and several folks have said they had to remove the front passenger seat in their DPs to "make the turn." (Also not a big deal) But I read about one poor guy who could only get his new fridge into his RV by removing his windshield - yikes!

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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 05:09:30 PM »
Thanks for the responses.
Some progress.... I've figured how to re-work the mess under the fridge. Along with the kitchen drain pipe, I also have a small outdoor radio bay jutting inside about 6 inches. I can work the fridge floor to be flush with that.
A  trip to Lowes found a lot more options for sizing than I realized from just looking on the web.
This Frigidaire LGHT1846QF looks like it should work.
Thanks for the tip Kevin. My door (not a DP) is 27" wide. According to the specs. the depth without doors is 26.88. That's gonna be tight.
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Rene T

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 05:20:28 PM »
You're also going to figure out how to seal the outside access doors. Cold air will come in through them and enter the RV.  Now if you found a fridge with the condenser on the back, you would not need to close off those access doors. Then you could just insulate with fiberglass on all four sides of the fridge.
If you do need to seal them, Gary B Had some pictures as to how he did it last year. Maybe he can pull up those pictures again for you.
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afchap

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 07:18:32 PM »
I used Frigidaire model LFHT1817LF. I had to lower the compartment floor apx 2" and did a little re-plumbing on the central vac system underneath the shelf. I made a new faceplate underneath and trim on the right side from red oak, and after a clear stain it was a perfect match. I used a combination of duct tape and spray foam to seal the access door. It can still be removed to unplug the fridge, etc, but is pretty well insulated.
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 07:15:51 AM »
That Frigidaire looks similar to ours I installed a few years ago. Here's my fridge write-up.
--John
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Cant Wait

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 08:28:39 AM »
Bob Just food for thought, The Samsung fridges work OK on a MSW inverter.  I don;t know what's in your unit but some of the fridges you'll need a PSW inverter for them to operate properly.  I know a lot of write ups on conversions where they used the Samsung's for this reason.
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 09:24:28 AM »
I've been tracking the various fridge conversions write ups here on the forum.
Very valuable information.
I have no inverter in the rig (well.... I don't count the crappy Dimension 300W in the overhead bin that is supposed to power the TV's)
After the fridge install, I was planning to have a PSW inverter installed that will power all the 110's. I could sure use some advice on that as well.
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 10:50:45 AM »
OK... I'm amateur handy on most things, but one of the reasons I tackled this project is to follow the write ups of those who have tackled this project.
One thing I CAN do is follow instructions!  Barely started and here's another Q:
When I picked up the Watts A159 plug at the Home Depot, the dude said never put pipe dope on a flared fitting; let the flare due the job.
Seems all of you have doped the fitting.
Which is it?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 10:53:20 AM by BinaryBob »
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 12:06:02 PM »
You're also going to figure out how to seal the outside access doors. Cold air will come in through them and enter the RV.  Now if you found a fridge with the condenser on the back, you would not need to close off those access doors. Then you could just insulate with fiberglass on all four sides of the fridge.
If you do need to seal them, Gary B Had some pictures as to how he did it last year. Maybe he can pull up those pictures again for you.

Don't forget to seal up the roof vent. 

With a rear coil refrigerator you can keep the original vents as-is and seal around the refrigerator into the room, since this one vents into the room through the grill in it's base you'll want to seal and insulate the outside openings in the enclosure instead.

You'll want to leave the rear access door as a way to get to the AC plug and water connection, just add some foam insulation to seal it up.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 12:11:04 PM by Lou Schneider »

Alfa38User

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 12:37:45 PM »
Quote
the dude said never put pipe dope on a flared fitting; let the flare due the job.

The dude is correct!!! 8)
Stu
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afchap

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 02:52:41 PM »
We cannot swing the single refrigerator door fully open due to contacts with the opposite cabinets. I would have preferred the French door Samsung with bottom freezer that runs off MSW, but DW did not want a bottom freezer. We rarely have a desire to run the refrigerator off inverter so I settled for what she wanted.  My write-up with pics is at http://www.pjrider.com/ReferReplace.htm.
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 03:27:41 PM »
The Norcold is out!
Not bad for working solo.
Slid it out on a couple of 2X4's and didn't damage anything..... so far.
Pic 4 is now what I have to work with.
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Rene T

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2017, 04:05:20 PM »
You only gave us 2 pictures.
Does the old fridge still work?  I sold ours last summer for $500.00. It was 6 years old.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2017, 05:10:29 PM »
The details of removing the norcold have been well documented here, so I didn't do many pictures of the removal process.  Lucky for me, whoever worked on this last (presumably a recall) failed to bolt the left side. The straps at the top were also missing bolts.
Now that it's out, I find I can easily lower the plumbing by cutting the vertical under the sink and cutting the vertical where it drops into the grey tank and adding sleeves to both.
The new fridge is going to jut out about 4 inches with a 30 inch depth (excluding handles). Does that seem like too much? I haven't ordered the new one yet.
Here is a picture of charring at the top. I've seen pics here of worse, but it's still alarming.
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2017, 05:13:05 PM »
Rene, the old one sort of worked, if the ambient temps were below 75 degrees.
With the cost of a new cooling unit, I never really thought anyone would be interested in buying it.
It's going to the scrap heap...
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2017, 06:11:28 PM »
That Frigidaire looks similar to ours I installed a few years ago. Here's my fridge write-up.

John,
While not matching my setup exactly, your write up is my goto reference for this project.
Other contributions are really valuable as well.
A million thanks.
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
--Gary RV Roamer--

Lou Schneider

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2017, 10:15:38 PM »
The new fridge is going to jut out about 4 inches with a 30 inch depth (excluding handles). Does that seem like too much? I haven't ordered the new one yet.

4 inches looks like it will stick out less than the door opening to the bathroom.  Can you live with that?

afchap

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2017, 10:51:18 PM »
Mine sticks out 4" at the bottom,  closer to 2+at the top ...not a noticeable difference. I extend the floor of the compartment 1 inch out from the edge of the opening in order to support the front feet. At the handles,  it is 7 inches.
Paul ... (KE5LXU), was fulltimin', now parttimin'...
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2017, 08:09:49 AM »
...Here is a picture of charring at the top. I've seen pics here of worse, but it's still alarming.
As far as I'm concerned, any absorbed gas fridge (Nocold/Dometic) is a ticking fire bomb.  I should have gotten rid of mine years earlier.
--John
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2017, 08:30:21 PM »
Some progress. Slow, as I'm not retired yet.
Got the plumbing done.
Pic 6 is the existing waste line from the sink to the grey tank. Too tall for the future refrigerator base.
Since it's such tight quarters, a hacksaw cut seemed too irregular so I used my PVC cutters. The amount of reduction was too slight to risk damaging the existing pipe, so I replaced all the elbows. (pic 7)
Pic 8 is the finished job. Glory be! No leaks.....
Tomorrow is the new electrical outlet.
Wish I had more time to spend on this!
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2017, 06:44:01 AM »
..Since it's such tight quarters, a hacksaw cut seemed too irregular so I used my PVC cutters. ..
One of man's great inventions. I bought a pair of Klein PVC cutters years ago and have used them a bunch, I never use a hacksaw anymore if it will fit in the Kleins.
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NoMoreAZ

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2017, 06:20:28 PM »
Don't forget to seal up the roof vent. 

You'll want to leave the rear access door as a way to get to the AC plug and water connection, just add some foam insulation to seal it up.

For top... Fiberglass batts, or foam board; outside remove vent cover and use spray foam if desired.

For side... Metallic tape used inside the door to seal all the openings completely. Gray pipe insulation, trimmed, between the ridges, etc. Makes a neat job.

Also think how you are going to latch the doors for travel. if interested I will explain mine. My latches are completely hidden, no straps nailed to the wall, etc.
NoMoreAZ
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2017, 11:26:01 PM »
For top... Fiberglass batts, or foam board; outside remove vent cover and use spray foam if desired.

For side... Metallic tape used inside the door to seal all the openings completely. Gray pipe insulation, trimmed, between the ridges, etc. Makes a neat job.

Also think how you are going to latch the doors for travel. if interested I will explain mine. My latches are completely hidden, no straps nailed to the wall, etc.

Yes, please. I would be very interested.
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"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2017, 06:55:59 AM »
I filled the vent panel with expanding foam. Since my fridge was on a slide, I permanently closed off the upper vent. For a door latch, I was able to make a simple twist dog. Page four of my fridge write-up near the bottom are details.
--John
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BinaryBob

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2017, 09:16:37 AM »
I bought a can of Loctite Tite Foam.
Supposed to be a lot denser.
We'll see how it works this weekend.
I want to be able to open the side vent panel for the ice maker connection when we winterize.
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NoMoreAZ

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2017, 06:39:14 PM »
Yes, please. I would be very interested.

Will do. Should have something put together by 4/9/17.
NoMoreAZ
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold to residential fridge project
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2017, 07:05:21 AM »
I bought a can of Loctite Tite Foam.
Supposed to be a lot denser.
We'll see how it works this weekend.
I want to be able to open the side vent panel for the ice maker connection when we winterize.
That foam should work fine for you. Since my fridge (Frigidaire) doesn't have a fully closed in back like our home Samsung, I pull the vent cover off once or twice a year and vacuum the dust off the condenser coil. There's actually good access to the compressor and other goodies back there.
--John
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