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Author Topic: Norcold N842IM Replacement  (Read 7818 times)

RGrimm

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Norcold N842IM Replacement
« on: June 24, 2014, 03:51:35 PM »
I have a 2006 Journey 34H with a Norcold N842IM refrig. This is a 8 cu ft, 2 door refrig. I am struggling with keeping the refrigerator box cool when it gets hot outside during the day. I started it up 3 days ago and while the freezer got below 0 degrees with in a day, the refrig box took 48 hours to get below 40. This morning when I got up it was at 36 degrees and remained there until about 1:00 pm when the afternoon heat started to build. By 3:00 pm it was up to 40 degrees (door was never opened - reading the 'box' temp with a remote digital thermometer). The freezer is staying at -5 to -10 degrees.

If anyone has ideas as to what I can to try, I did replace the thermistor, have run it on AC and LP with the same results. I checked the Roof vent and it is clear (no birds nest). It is now back to 38.9 degrees, but that is with a fan sitting on a step ladder blowing in the (removed) wall vent. And it is now overcast here (NE Florida) and 86 degrees outside.

So has anyone found a residential refrig  that will works as a replacement for this Norcold N842IM? At this point, after reading about the fire risk with absorption type refrigerators and their inefficiency when the ambient temperature goes up I think if I have to replace it I rather go residential.  So if you have replaced your N842IM Norcold, what did you replace it with?

Thanks,
Russ   
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
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Ned

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 04:25:20 PM »
A refrigerator at 36-40F sounds like it's working correctly to me.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 04:59:06 PM »
Puzzling situation.  With your freezer getting below zero your lower box should be doing fine, I'm agreeing with Ned that it sounds nominal.  However, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by replacing the Nocold for a residential fridge.  Look up the dimensions of your two door and go Internet shopping.
--John
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 05:04:18 PM »
A refrigerator at 36-40F sounds like it's working correctly to me.
Yes - but they are temps on a refrig where the door was never opened. On a trip to Gaffney last week, when we occasionally went in the refrig to get food, drinks, etc. the refrig went over 45 degrees and we started to loose food. Unfortunately, if the refrig hits 45 degrees during the afternoon when it is 85+ out, it will take until midnight to get back down below 40. During the evening hours, sun down, cooler ambient outside temps the refrig will recover quicker when the refrig door is opened to get something. So yes, 36 - 40 degrees is acceptable, but I can't open the door to get anything out or it will move out of the 'safe temp zone' for hours.
-Russ
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 05:07:48 PM by RGrimm »
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 05:12:49 PM »
...... Look up the dimensions of your two door and go Internet shopping.

While I have the Operation Manual for the Norcold, it does not have the dimensions (any other specs)  for the unit. I was hoping someone on the Forum has already replaced their N842 and can share what make/model they replaced it with.

-Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 05:13:59 PM »
How are the seals around the lower door?  You should be able to take a dollar bill and insert it between the gasket and the door frame, close the door and when you pull it out, there should be resistance.  Since your fan test improved the cooling, that does point to a ventilation issue.
--John
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 05:16:01 PM »
While I have the Operation Manual for the Norcold, it does not have the dimensions (any other specs)  for the unit...
Here's your service manual with dimensions.
--John
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 06:13:30 PM »
Here's your service manual with dimensions.

John, Thank you for the manual, I'll start researching to see what residential options I might have.

Yes, I did the dollar bill test (and the test Norcold told me - put a bright flash light in the refrig at night and with the coach lights out look for any light coming out around the door).  Since I pulled the fan off the ladder and put the side wall grille back on the refrig temp is up to 43.5 degrees. I am sure it will be below 36 by morning. That is just too much od a temperature swing with not really opening the door.

Again - Thank you.
-Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 06:30:37 PM »
Clearly the cooling unit is working well, as is witnessed by the excellent freezer temps. If the fridge door seals are also good, the problem is somewhere else.  My guess is that you have inadequate seals around the backside of the fridge, or maybe a missing baffle in the "chimney" above the cooling unit. Hot air is surrounding the top and/or sides of the box and heating it up, so that the cooling unit cannot keep up with the heat gain in the lower box.

I suggest getting a copy of the Norcold Installation instructions for your fridge and going over the physical install very carefully.  All too often, these fridges are improperly installed, right from the factory.
Gary
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judway

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 06:57:29 PM »
I replaced my Norcold N842IM with a 10.7 cu ft Whirlpool unit. The freezer stays pretty much at 0 degrees and the frig at 38 to 40 degrees. I installed a 1kW Xantrex sinewave inverter to drive it from the battery when traveling or no 120Vac. I also installed a Xantrex switch to automatically switch to battery when no 120Vac is available. The size of both refrigerators is very close to the same. The doors extend 5" into the hallway. Sears has their version of the same refrigerator. Either would be the same.
Wayne
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judway

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 07:27:01 PM »
I purchased a Xantrex Prowatt SW1000 true sinewave inverter at about $250, a Xantrex automatic transfer relay at about $52, and a Xantrex remote switch panel at about $35. Total was about $337. I also installed 3 cheap meters measuring the input Voltage, output Voltage and input current. Also a big fuse and a mechanical switch from Harbor Freight. The stuff was purchased through eBay. The inverter stuff was mounted under the bed.
.
I got the refrigerator on sale at about the same price or about $700 + for all.

If you decide to go this way I will try to let you know what I did to install the unit. I won't, however tell you about my stupid mistakes.
Wayne
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2017 Chevrolet Equinox LT
Remco Towbar, Demco Baseplate & Air Force One Brake
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 09:39:32 PM »
Wayne,

Thanks for the information. If I decide to change the Norcold out I will look at the Whirlpool Refrig. My Journey has a 2000W Dimension Inverter with automatic transfer when AC isn't present. The Dimension is Quasi-Sine wave, not a Pure Sine wave inverter so I guess I would have to see if a Whirlpool residential refrig will work on it.

Thanks,
Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 09:21:49 AM »
The Whirlpool will probably work but Whirlpool won't warranty it if the compressor fails or some other electrical problem occurs (whether actually related or not). And the compressor is not as efficient on modified sine either (can lead to overheating).

By the way, there is nothing "quasi-sine" about the Dimensions inverter output. It is a simple square wave.
Gary
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 01:07:47 PM »
....... By the way, there is nothing "quasi-sine" about the Dimensions inverter output. It is a simple square wave.

Gary, I pulled the "quasi-sine" term from the information in the original Dimensions Unlimited WIN-12X20 Owners Manual that came with the coach. See excerpt from the specs page.

At this point, if I go residential, I wouldn't run the refrig on my current Inverter knowing it is certainly not a pure-sine wave inverter.

Thanks,
Russ
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 01:27:51 PM by RGrimm »
~ Russ and Arlene ~
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 01:19:44 PM »
..By the way, there is nothing "quasi-sine" about the Dimensions inverter output. It is a simple square wave.

Insufficient data to determine what waveform the Dimensions "quasi sine" actually looks like - you would have to put a scope on the inverter output.  There are stepped sine wave inverters which are commonly referred to as modified sine wave and Dimensions does call their non-pure sine wave inverters quasi sine, however I suspect this might be more of a marketing driven description as opposed to a technical description.  If you look in their knowledge base about AC waveforms, they show pictures of a pure sine wave and a plain old square wave.

Plain old square wave inverters are bad news for lots of the AC powered stuff in a typical RV.
--John
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Stan Birch

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2014, 05:36:52 PM »
I have no problems getting my N842 down to 30 degrees. It didn't start out that way though.

1. Tucking loose fiberglass wool insulation all around the fridge that came with no insulation made a significant difference in performance;

2. Make sure the burner is cleaned/blown out annually. Rust flakes from the chimney can accumulate on the burner, and mess with the flame pattern. First, give the chimney a few good whacks to dislodge any loose rust flakes before cleaning;

3. Remove and clean the gas orifice with solvent. Don't stick anything harder than solvent into the orifice.
The tiniest accumulation of sludge and debris can make a BIG difference in the efficiency of the fridge;

4. Check burner flame for appropriate pattern and height (1.5" ?? check your manual.)

5. Make sure the drain tube is not wide open. It should be pinched a the bottom, but not so much that it restricts drain flow.
     
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 32T Ford V-10
Newmarket, Ontario

RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 06:27:50 PM »
Stan,

Thank you for the information. How did you add the insulation, from the Front or from the back of the refrig?

I will check the LP chimney, but I have been running the refrig on AC. When I did a test with LP, I did check the flame and it looked good, by the cooling results were the same on LP and AC. I did add a fan in back up towards the roof vent to help with air flow on the back but it really didn't seem to make a difference. I do believe that it is an insulation problem.

Please let me know how you added the additional insulation.

Thanks,
Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 07:11:59 PM »
Quote
Insufficient data to determine what waveform the Dimensions "quasi sine" actually looks like - you would have to put a scope on the inverter output.

True, but I have viewed o-scope images on a couple different MSW inverters and they are all plain old square waves. Since I did not scope this particular Dimensions inverter I cannot be absolutely sure it has a square wave, but I would be willing to make a substantial wager on it.  8) Dimensions makes no claim that their wave form is superior to other brands of MSW inverter and I am confident that "quasi-sine" in an advertising term only.
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Stan Birch

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2014, 07:12:30 PM »

Thank you for the information. How did you add the insulation, from the Front or from the back of the refrig?

I added the insulation from the back, because there was a 1-2" air gap all around the top and sides of the fridge. I just tucked the insulation into the gap. Your fridge may not have been installed the same way.

I have never used a fan or anything other than convection air flow for cooling.

You might also check if it makes any difference when the outside fridge door is removed.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 32T Ford V-10
Newmarket, Ontario

Stan Birch

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2014, 07:17:54 PM »
True, but I have viewed o-scope images on a couple different MSW inverters and they are all plain old square waves.

I seem to recall that I had a MSW inverter that  used one additional stop before reaching peak.   ??
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 32T Ford V-10
Newmarket, Ontario

RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2014, 07:22:19 PM »
I added the insulation from the back, because there was a 1-2" air gap all around the top and sides of the fridge. I just tucked the insulation into the gap. Your fridge may not have been installed the same way.

I have never used a fan or anything other than convection air flow for cooling.

You might also check if it makes any difference when the outside fridge door is removed.

When I was installing the Fan in the back I really did not notice any gap around the refrig sides. I did have the outside vent door off one afternoon and again didn't notice a real change.  I will take a close look tomorrow to see if there is any place I can add insulation.

Again, thank you.

-Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2014, 07:59:06 PM »
I seem to recall that I had a MSW inverter that  used one additional stop before reaching peak.   ??
Some of the MSW inverters have several steps while going back and forth across zero potential.
--John
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Ned

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2014, 08:10:01 PM »
Modified sine wave is grossly inaccurate, they should be called modified square wave inverters.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2014, 08:20:16 PM »
There is seldom any "modified" about the square wave...
Gary
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judway

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2014, 08:21:28 PM »
>>Modified sine wave is grossly inaccurate, they should be called modified square wave inverters.<<

Modified square wave or quasi square wave inverters is what I called them about 50 years ago when I designed a few.
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
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1995 GMC Sierra Z71
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Ned

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2014, 08:28:40 PM »
Well, the modified square wave output does have a non-zero time at 0V whereas a true square wave goes directly from max minus to max plus and vice versa and is never at measurable true 0V at all.  I know, nit picking, but accurate :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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John Canfield

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2014, 09:43:14 PM »
We are on a tangent here, interesting, but a tangent  :o.
--John
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RGrimm

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2014, 09:51:57 PM »
Yes - I feel bad the thread took the direction it has.

If it will help, I will accept that the Dimension 2000 is a Square Wave Inverter and there is nothing 'Pure' about it. It is what came with my Journey and if I eventually go residential I will Not run the refrig on inverter power.

-Russ
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 07:36:13 AM by RGrimm »
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2014, 09:32:51 AM »
Sorry for the digression. It was just a casual comment.
Gary
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Ned

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Re: Norcold N842IM Replacement
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2014, 09:49:20 AM »
Sorry for the digression. It was just a casual comment.

But hopefully educational.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

 

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