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Author Topic: Norcold Refrigerator Issue  (Read 520 times)

ajdec77

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Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« on: May 13, 2019, 11:42:17 AM »
Hello! We purchased a new-to-us travel trailer last year. Before our first trip out, after the camper had sat for an extended period of time, the refrigerator wouldn't work when plugged in at home or on gas. Lights not coming on for either gas or electric.

We decided to go on the trip anyway, and after a couple of hours drive time, we got to the campground, plugged in and the fridge worked fine! Didn't have any other issues with it the rest of the season when we plugged it in at home or at a campground or ran on gas.

Brought the camper home this weekend, plugged in, and the fridge again isn't working. Just like last year. We haven't gone on our first trip yet, so we don't know if it will work after some drive time.

Has anyone ever heard of a similar issue? Or, where we might start with troubleshooting? It is a Norcold fridge.

Thanks in advance for any tips!

8Muddypaws

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 11:58:12 AM »
#1. Check your battery.  The control board runs off 12v regardless of whether itís cooling using gas of 120 VAC.  (This is most likely going to be your problem)

#2. Check the electrical connections to the refer.  Take the cover off the control board and clean the connectors for every connector being used.  Pay special attention to the 12V and ground connections.  (Slight chance)
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ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 01:09:35 PM »
Other things seem to be working on the battery. Do you think it is just a case of the battery isn't charged enough? It is the original battery to the camper, which is a 2012.

8Muddypaws

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 04:10:36 PM »
A deep cycle battery thatís 7 years old is always suspect.
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Alfa38User

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 08:12:54 AM »
They fact that you said it's a Norcold is a good hint. Look in the back of the fridge after removing the outside access panel. You may find a small black box with a red light on it mounted on the back. This is Norcold's mod for overheat protection. If the light is lit, you have found the problem as this units job is to remove the 12V from the fridge. It may be reset by passing a magnet across the top, but if this happens often, (it has a certain reputation for false alarms but...) you may have to have the box replaced by a qualified tech. (Only qualified techs can get the part from Norcold.)


As was mentioned previously a 7 year old battery should be replaced in any event.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 08:16:04 AM by Alfa38User »
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skydivemark

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 09:32:27 AM »
Also don't forget, it takes a while for the fridge to have noticeable cooling. I don't even bother to check if mine is starting to cool down for a few hours or more after I turn it on, and I turn it on the day before we depart.
One more note - be sure it's on level ground.
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Kirk

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 07:40:21 AM »
A deep cycle battery thatís 7 years old is always suspect.
Have you found the problem yet? There are several good suggestions there so let us know and we may be able to help you. If you are not familiar with the RV electrical systems, I strongly suggest you read http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htmThe 12V Side of Life.
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ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 09:47:28 AM »
Thank you all for the tips! We are planning on trying all of these this weekend. We can't keep our camper at our home and we've had a very busy week, so have been unable to investigate further. Will keep you post for sure!  :D

ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 03:39:53 PM »
My husband got the fridge working by unplugging and then unplugging in the circuit board thing. Been working fine for q couple of days. Just stopped working again. Tried the circuit breaker thing but that isnt helping.

ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 05:32:43 PM »
New development. Now the furnace isnt working either. Both are on the same fuse. Fuse is fine...checked it and also replaced it with different fuse. Also checked with 110 meter that there is power going to the fridge. Any other ideas? Super frustrating!

Gizmo100

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 05:45:10 PM »
What is the voltage of the battery?
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Rene T

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 09:11:16 PM »
What is the voltage of the battery?

Unplug from shore power. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Then plug in your RV to shore power and check the voltage at the cable you disconnected and the cable still hooked up to the battery.  You should see 13.6 volts out of the converter.
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ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2019, 08:13:38 PM »
Will test tomorrow and let you know!

ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2019, 12:28:39 PM »
The meter shows 13 volts.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2019, 08:50:32 PM »
With shore power disconnected, that's fine.  I'm thinking you have corrosion problems, either at the battery connections or the 12v power bus & fuse panel.
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ajdec77

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2019, 08:56:36 AM »
A mechanic friend came over to take a look. Turns out, when a squirrel got in last year, he chewed 2 12 volt wires behind the electrical panel. Replaced the wires and knock on wood, so far working fine! Thanks for all the help folks!

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Norcold Refrigerator Issue
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2019, 12:31:48 PM »
 The most common problem with RV absorbtion fridges is down time (storage). This is also the most common reason for having to replace the coils.. The coils contain 4 substances 1.Ammonia  2. Sodium Chromate  3. water  4.Hydrogen gas-- Ammonia is highly corrosive and will eat from the inside out through the coils,,Sodium Chromate is ANTI CORROSIVE and protect the coils...Long and frequent storage times will allow the Ammonia to do its dirty deed because the Sodium Chromate is not being circulated enough to prevent it.. I have three absorbtion type fridges that are in excess of 25 years old and still going strong,, they have never been shut down more that 30 minutes >>>Dan
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 12:36:09 PM by Utclmjmpr »
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