Norcold Fridge Problem

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Well-known member
Jun 20, 2010
I think my model is a 641 if this helps.  The fridge is not cooling all of a sudden.  Everything fine as recently as this morning.  The freezer is still frozen but this may be because it only quit cooling today.  No problems with indicator lights on eyebrow panel.  Will light on propane or run on electric.  The burner tube is hot when I touch it outside, however the cooling unit tubing is not even warm where it is usually hot.  Is there anything this could be besides a bad cooling unit?

Open the outside door and check for the smell of ammonia and/or yellow deposits anywhere on the cooling coils.  Either sign means the cooling unit has sprung a leak and is toast.

If it's a small leak so the unit is gradually losing capacity, the freezer will fail last.  That's because the ammonia condenses in the freezer, then whatever's left over cools the refrigerator box.
No signs or smell of ammonia.  There is no cooling at all happening.  My wife tells me all was fine at 3:00 PM yesterday but we noticed the problem at about 7:00 PM.  If cooling unit failed would it just all of sudden quit cooling at all?  Anything else it could possibly be?
If a corroded spot on the metal cooling unit finally broke through and leaked, the failure would happen quite quickly.

About the only other thing I could think of is a sudden blockage in the upper part of the tube, but that's pretty rare.

Is it an N641?  Service Manual available here:
Actually it is a Norcold 682.  A mobile RV guy who happens to be staying a few sites over from us saw me fooling around with it outside and came over to take a look.  Although there is no sign of ammonia or of any leakage, he says its the cooling unit.  Everything else is operating properly.  It looks like an Amish cooling unit will be ordered soon.  I am thinking I may have a blockage but unsure how to correct that without removing the cooling unit.  If I was going that far, I would just replace it anyway.
I replaced my cooling unit with an Amish rebuilt unit several months ago and found the workmanship was first class. Installation was not what I would rate as easy but someone with average abilities should have no problem just follow the well written instructions available from the web site. At that time they had a special price I think of $400 and they had a rebate of $100 after returning the old unit via prepaid UPS. Good luck!

Just as a matter of information, we recently changed our 4 door Norcold to a residential. When it failed I was at a dealership where I used to work during the summer. I mentioned the Amish unit to them and I was shown one out back that had failed just like the Norcold.

They might be a little better but they are not perfect!  Love the freezer on the residential that will keep ice cream frozen!! ;D

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