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Topic: Norcold fridge not working

Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/09/10 12:58pm

I just discovered that the Norcold refrigerator on my '04 KZ Frontier 2405 is not working on AC or propane. The inside light is working, but there is no cooling in either the freezer or the refrigerator. The on/off, mode, and temp lights on the outside seem to be working normally - no error code. I'm wondering if there is something simple that I might try before taking it in. Thanks so much.

Virginia


Mother Owl
K-Z Frontier 2405
2009 Silverado 1500


Posted By: clearnetedm on 08/09/10 01:22pm

Nothing really simple as you have done that already. If it's not working on AC or gas it's likely either the electrical control board or the cooling unit. both of which would require professional help unless that is your forte. You can check some things though to help when it goes in for repair.

Turn on the unit and after an hour or so open the back outside door and feel the stack on the right side as well as the visible coils. Both should be warm or even hot. If nothing is hot then it's likely a controller board. If the stack on the right is hot but still no cold inside it could be a blockage in the system which requires it to be replaced.
if you can provide some info about the elements getting hot or warm others might have some hints to help troubleshoot.

Also when looking in the back look for any yellow powered or strange smells as it could indicate a leak in the system.


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Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/09/10 01:57pm

Thanks so much. I did go check, and the stack on the right is quite hot to the touch as is a metal tubing that I see. There is no smell or yellow material.

Strangely enough, I just noticed that the freezer is definitely starting to work, but no evidence at all of the refrigerator cooling. I leave it plugged in and on all of the time. We have had at least two weeks of triple digits here in Louisiana, so that may have caused the problem. I discovered that there was a problem when I was out there for something else and opened the door. What greeted me when I opened the freezer was not pleasant as I had left some meat in there. Butter, etc. that I had left in the fridge had melted. Fortunately it is still under the extended warranty that I reluctanty decided to get when I purchased the trailer. Again, thank you so much for your response. I'm going to watch it over the next few hours to see if the freezer is going to continue to cool or if it quits again.

* This post was edited 08/09/10 06:42pm by MotherOwl *


Posted By: clearnetedm on 08/09/10 02:16pm

That might be a good thing. Sometimes the units can get a vapor lock that needs the unit to shutdown and restart. Or it could be the start of a plugged unit. If the fridge never gets cold then its plugged and needs to be warrentied. I'd buy or get a small thermometer to put in the fridge. It should cool down to about 3 Celsius but can take 3-4 hours to get there.


Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/09/10 02:25pm

The only thing I could have possibly done that would have had any effect on the freezer going again was to turn it on and off several times right after I discovered the problem. Again the heat and humidity here have been brutal for much of the summer. I probably should have just turned it off while it was not being used in these conditions. I need to pick up a thermometer to see if there is any change in the refrigerator temp. Will update if anything changes. Again, you have been so helpful.

Virginia

* This post was edited 08/09/10 02:47pm by MotherOwl *


Posted By: usmc616 on 08/09/10 04:38pm

I had a similar problem. Once I let the fridge sit for a couple of hours it started to work again. It will take a good 24 hours for the fridge to get cold. If you put a can of soda in the fridge and then check it in a few hours you will see if it is getting colder. Without anything in the fridge it is hard to feel the fridge getting colder.


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Posted By: russhd1997 on 08/09/10 05:06pm

Is the TT level? The fridges in rv's need to be level, both side to side and front to back to work properly. If not they can and will vapor lock. Sometimes to the point where the only fix is to replace the cooling unit.


Russ

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Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/09/10 05:14pm

I agree to give it 24 hours before writing it off.


Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/09/10 06:13pm

I actually turned it off earlier before going out for a couple of hours. I just turned it back on and am waiting to see what will happen. I can already tell after about 15 minutes that the freezer is once again starting to cool. I haven't picked up a thermometer yet, but I did put a soda can in the refrigerator as suggested. I had really forgotten that it takes the fridge a really long time to cool off after being off, so I won't have anything to report for a while. With regard to leveling, I've always been very careful about that. Fingers crossed! Thank you all so much.

Virginia


Posted By: xciton on 08/09/10 08:39pm

If you do a google search, you should be able to find the the Norcold service manual (might even be on Norcold/Thetford's site). They're pretty good and will give you some troubleshooting tips and what to check.


Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/10/10 06:25am

The news is GOOD this morning!! I'm happy to report that both freezer and fridge are working just fine. Clearnetedm, I'm thinking it must have been the vapor lock thing that you mentioned because all in the world I did was to shut it off and then restart it. USMC616, I'm wondering if you ever had another problem with yours or if it was a one time thing. One thing for certain, if I decide to just leave mine running again, I will check on it more often and will be VERY careful about what I leave in there. Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to help.

Virginia


Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/10/10 08:13am

MotherOwl wrote:

The news is GOOD this morning!! I'm happy to report that both freezer and fridge are working just fine. Clearnetedm, I'm thinking it must have been the vapor lock thing that you mentioned because all in the world I did was to shut it off and then restart it. USMC616, I'm wondering if you ever had another problem with yours or if it was a one time thing. One thing for certain, if I decide to just leave mine running again, I will check on it more often and will be VERY careful about what I leave in there. Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to help.

Virginia


With a reboot 'fixing' the problem there may be a computer involved somewhere.


Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/10/10 08:33am

You just might have a point there, Gale! Wish all of the problems with these toys could be so easily fixed. I'm definitely in a celebratory mood because it worked this time.


Posted By: usmc616 on 08/10/10 08:57am

Virginia, It was a one time thing for me.


Posted By: MotherOwl on 08/10/10 09:02am

Very encouraging, USMC616. Hoping that will be the case with mine. Thanks. V.


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