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Author Topic: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD  (Read 5709 times)

Bill54

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NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« on: March 22, 2013, 02:18:59 PM »
We have a 2003 Holiday Rambler Vacationer- having a few issues that I have not been able to resolve even with the help of RV shops.

1.   NORCOLD  1200 LRM refrigerator - after having it serviced for the 2 recalls - it doesn't get COLD like it used to within a few hours on start up.  Now it takes about 2 full days on either gas or AC and still it struggles. It stays at 50 and with the help of a external and interior fans it does get to 45 then overnight to 40 but then during the day back up to 50. It is on #9 which is the max.  To replace it they said it is $3,000 to buy one and I don't want to do that - but no one knows for sure what the problem is.  Any ideas?


JerArdra

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 05:42:17 PM »
Because of all the Norcold 1200 fires I suggest you turn off your Norcold and unplug it.  Then get rid of it!!!

You can then get a new Norcold 1210 or have your refer converted to an electric household model which is probability the safest way to go.

JerryF.
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Jeff

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 05:43:17 PM »
Bill:

Before we replaced our 1200 with a residential refrig we had a good local RV tech look at ours and he found two things.

1. National RV's installation did not seal the baffle at the top of the cooling tubes at the rear of the refrigerator

2. The doors had sagged which he resolved with a couple of shims under the bottom hinge pins.

Bill54

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 07:37:30 PM »
I really don't want to buy a residential one- because we travel and rely on what we buy plus my wife is on a special gluten free diet and she brings everything she can eat with us as we have found when we leave home not many stores carry gluten free items - and if they do , the selection is sparse.  Plus it is so much easier to just have our food bought and in the refrig instead of spending a few days shopping for food.  We do pick up milk and water while on the road as we need it, but for the most part, all of our food is bought at home. She gets very sick if she eats out of what she can eat and it would ruin our trip  so we just bring everything she can eat.   
Do you think it is the thermistor?   I know during the humid months  the fins have condensation of them and them overnight turns to frost.  Never did this.  I was thinking it could be the door seals?   The freezer gets ver cold fast and stays cold  and food never defrosts so I don't think it is the cooling unit    It never did this, usually within 5-6 hours it would get cold 40 to start loading it up and then while traveling it would go between 35-40   In the cold months it works better.  But as I said  I have noticed that since I had the recalls done it does not get cold faster anymore and struggles to get to 40  takes about 2 days and that is with the roof a/c on to help it along.  I think it is getting old  11 yrs old   any ideas/

Jeff

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 09:52:49 PM »
Bill:

Since we had the baffles sealed and the doors shimmed at the same time I am not sure what the issue was bur we were able to go a 6 setting instead of 8-9 and the frost build-up took a few weeks instead of a few days.

PS: What my wife likes most about the residential reefer is the extra 8 cubic feet to bring along all her favorite gluten-free foods.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 09:56:05 PM by Jeff »

winnie32v

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  • 2001 Winnebago Adventurer 32V, 2008 Jeep Grand Che
Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 06:23:02 AM »
Bill:

Since we had the baffles sealed and the doors shimmed at the same time I am not sure what the issue was bur we were able to go a 6 setting instead of 8-9 and the frost build-up took a few weeks instead of a few days.

Hummmmmmmmmmmm
Just Wondering, what do you mean by "having the baffles sealed" ??? ??
I just had my Norcold replaced and didn't see anywhere where there were baffles to seal.  Where do I look??
Thanks for the reply & info....
Paul

Staff edit: Fix missing quote close tag
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 07:02:11 AM by Ned »
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 32V,
30a Shore Line
Ford F-53 Chassis, V-10
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 09:24:55 AM »
Since this is a new problem, I would be looking carefully for air leaks around the doors. Excessive frost forming on the cooling fins indicates that moist air is entering. Of course, that happens every time you open the door too, but lots of frost often indicates air leakage as well.

Also check to make sure the two thermostatically operated fans near the top of the the cooling unit are still functional. Maybe the tech who installed the recall fix disturbed a wire?

The thermistor would not cause the problem you describe. If it fails or the wire gets broken, the fridge goes into continuous cooling mode and usually gets too cold. However, if it got moved to a different location on the fins, it will change temperatures. Could that have happened?

A Norcold 1200 is very sensitive to the physical installation and requires very exact spacing around the sides and top and proper sealing to prevent warm outside air entering from the rear. Nearly all complaints about inadequate cooling in a new Norcold are improper installation at the RV factory. Likewise for those that have had a cooling unit replacement - some techs simply don't think the installation specs are critical (but they are).

Quote
I really don't want to buy a residential one- because we travel and rely on what we buy...

I don't see the problem here. A residential fridge holds much more and cools better, so should be superior for you. I'm guessing you think it can't be used while you drive? That's not the case, especially if you have an adequate size inverter, which could power the fridge as you drive. Many RVers now use residential fridges and they aren't just staying in RV parks 24/7.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Bill54

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 10:04:42 AM »
No it was not moved. I have to go with the recall -  The week after we had the recall done we went on a trip and that is when I noticed the BIG difference. I called the RV place and they denied it and said all they did was work from the outside and installed the recall.  However, it was not getting cold as fast as it did the week before we used it.  As you know there was a second recall and when I brought it back to them I again asked and he said  most likely the cooling unit. But the freeezer gets cold almost 15 -20degrees if I leave it on 9 which now I have to since any number lower the box does not go below 50.
I am curious about the door seals - that is something I never considered. It is a four door. When I close the refrig portion  I hear the click that tells me it closed and then a second or two later I hear another small  'click'  if I go back to the refrig I can push in the door (usually it is the right one) and it will click again.
How do I check to see if it really is the door seal?  How much would RV shop charge for this? Or can I do it myself?  I am a mechanic.
I hear the fans running above - but they are so small - I doubt it if they are doing anything   Last summer I hooked up a fan and plugged it into the outlet and it runs all day and I do see a difference but not alot.  I cannot find a fan (battery) to put inside- the one I have it stays on and then within a hour or two shuts off mostly likely because the cold is effecting the unit and is not made for cold conditions.   
Any ideas?? 

JerArdra

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 12:59:58 PM »
Bill,

Here is an idea for installing a fan inside a Norcold 1200 refer in order to enhance the cooling.  Buy a fan just like the one in the two attached photos.  Sorry I did this years ago, when we had a model 1200, and do not remember at which RV supply place I bought it.  Just search the internet.

Now here is the magic of the model 1200 dome light wiring.  You can connect it to the positive +12 V interior dome light which is just above the fan and ground the fan to the fins with a squeeze clip.  When you get the proper connections it goes ON when the door is closed and OFF when it is open.

For anyone who has a newer Norcold model 1210, like we do, you can do the same thing but the connection point is now near the top of the left large door where there are 3 contact buttons.  Open this door.  In this case your must bring a single wire (white colored for looks) across behind the fins.  Then bring it forward in the slot for the drip tray.  Then it goes behind the vertical plastic shelf stop which is a nice way to secure the wire at this point.  Then tape the wire to the lower of the three contact buttons.  I suggest flattening the raw wire so it is not so round.

Finally scratch and/or cut a small hole in the white tape you used to hold the wire to the contact button so the lower plunger that is in the door itself can still make a connection to that contact button.  You want all three items, the contact button, the new white wire, and the door plunger to be able to make contact.

I suggest you buy some white colored electrical tape because is in much thinner that white duct tape.  Last but not least, connect the ground wire to the fins.  The fan will go ON when you close the door and OFF when it is open. 

JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

JerArdra

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 01:59:56 PM »
Paul (Winnie32V),

Start with the URL below and get the "Installation Manual" for the 1200 or 1210 Norcold.  It has the specs for installing the Baffle.  My guess is that NO Motorhome manufacturer has ever installed the a baffle as Norcold wants it. 

I did because I knew our Model 1200 had failed so I ordered a model 1210 ($3,000) to be delivered to the folks who would install it ($700).  But first I removed the failed Model 1200 and slid it out of the way.  This was easy.  A neighbor helped me carefully set it on the floor.  Then I installed the proper baffle, to Norcold's specs, before taking the MH to have the new model 1210 installed.

http://www.thetford.com/HOME/PARTS/NorcoldIncRefrigerators/tabid/334/Default.aspx

JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Jeff

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 08:36:36 PM »
No it was not moved. I have to go with the recall -  The week after we had the recall done we went on a trip and that is when I noticed the BIG difference. I called the RV place and they denied it and said all they did was work from the outside and installed the recall.  However, it was not getting cold as fast as it did the week before we used it.  As you know there was a second recall and when I brought it back to them I again asked and he said  most likely the cooling unit. But the freeezer gets cold almost 15 -20degrees if I leave it on 9


Bill


15-20 degrees is not cold for a properly working 1200. Ours was keeping the freezer down to 5-8 degrees on a setting of 5 or 6. I still think you have either a cooling unit problem or a baffle that is not keeping the warm outside  air off of the rear of the refrigerator. Also there are two fans up on the rear of the cooling unit. If only one is working that can be another reason for the cooling unit to show poor performance.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 08:56:13 PM »
As Jeff says, 15-20 in the freezer is not good.  The way the cooling unit works, the freezer gets chilled first and then the residual cooling action passes on to the fridge section. Yours isn't getting cold enough in either area. For what it's worth, my own Norcold 1200 runs between 0 and 5 in the freezer and is seldom set above #4, even in the hottest weather. This time of year here in Florida it is on #2.

You can read out the actual value that the control board is using to monitor temperatures using the keys on the fridge in a diagnostic mode. See the service manual for instructions.
http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/ncold1200.pdf
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Bill54

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 07:14:31 PM »
How do I know if it is the cooling unit that needs to be replaced?   I have been reading on some of the RV forums that people in Florida put their 1200 on #4 -  If I did that all of my food would spoil  I have to keep it on #9.  They said that freezer temp should be 0-5 degrees. I am around  20 degrees.  Refrig is mid 30's to high 30's on a good day and mostly around 40 on HOT HUMID days with fans inside and outside of refrig.
Also  should I have the exterior fan blowing on the tubing? They are HOT and wonder if I should not be cooling down the tubing??   
Also ....  Dometic Norcold Refrigerator Fan on Ebay - everyone talks about getting this type - wondering if it really does push some air = as you know those small battery RV ones do not blow any air and don't want to spend $$ on a fan that is not going to push air. They are 12v around $15.00.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 08:53:03 PM »
The 1200 service manual I linked above gives the troubleshooting help for the cooling unit and other components. If you don't feel competent to utilize that, you probably have to resort to professional help to determine why your fridge isn't cooling properly.

The back side of the cooling unit generates a LOT of heat in the cooling process, so anything you can do to move air over it and out the vent at the top will improve the efficiency of the cooling. That's why Norcold places two 12v fans in the upper area as standard, but you can add another to help further. By the way, make sure that air shaft is not blocked - you can remove the roof vent cover and look straight down to inspect it.

A fan inside the fridge helps circulate air inside and makes the cooling more even, but if the fins are not getting cold it will be of no value at all. Fin temperature can be displayed in the Diagnostic mode of the 1200 - see page 45 of the service manual.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

wmlovell

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2017, 09:49:29 PM »
I have had several Norcold 12xx refrigerators.  When new, they seem to work okay but after a couple of years they keep the freezer cold but not the refrigerator section.  I think the lines partially clog causing lower cooling performance. The difference between the outside air and the refrigerator section keeps getting less as time goes buy.  My current Norcold has a 40 degree delta which is fine when the outside temp is below 80. Here in Florida it's 95, so a 55 degree refrigerator section isn't acceptable.  If your fridge is not physically broken and you want to restore your cooling for less than $20 here's an option.

Buy a 3/4" foam board at Lowes or Home Depot and a roll of metallic tape.   Remove the bottom drawers from the fridge and replace them with a foam box made from the materials listed above.  This took me about an hour.  The inside temp went to 36 and fridge cycled on and off.  Maybe I could have made the foam box half the size and still got the job done.  Yeah, I lost some interior space but the meat won't spoil and the beer is cold. If it doesn't work for you take the box out, put back the drawers and buy an Amish cooling unit.

I tried to attach a picture; not sure if it uploaded.

davismills

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2017, 05:25:14 AM »
As many people have said...it's quite possible that your cooling problem is a combination of things.  I replaced the frig door, put two 200X200 mm fans on the upper exterior vent and installed a small fan in the interior against the fins.  My freezer ranges from 1-5 degrees and the frig is between 33-38 degrees.
2011 Winnebago Sightseer
2011 Honda CRV
Lovely wife and ugly dog

wmlovell

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Re: NORCOLD 1200 LRM NOT GETTING COLD
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2017, 07:21:12 AM »
You are correct, Norcold 1200 cooling issues can be exacerbated many things. When a product is designed to barely work under optimum conditions the smallest thing will affect its performance.  In your instance, with a six year old fridge, you needed a $600 door plus other mods. 
I have talked to cooling system re-builders and they say some of the chemicals in the refrigerant bake on inside the tubing walls and slowly kill the cooling unit.  This happens faster when the fridge is used in an off level condition for an extended period, like over nighting in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
My current fridge could use new door seals, but Iím not ready to spend $1200+ for new doors. Seems a bit much for $50 worth of seals.
 
The mod I suggested was cheap, effective and easily reversible. When fall comes to Florida and the outside temps drop, Iíll pull out the foam box and hope for the best.

 

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