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Old 07-11-2019, 08:58 AM   #1
kingdaddy
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M.O.C. #10966
Question Norcold fridge not cooling on LP

Getting ready to leave in a few days on a trip, so I brought the Monty to our house to load up and check a few things like always.

Problem is, the Norcold fridge is not getting cold even though the burner is coming on and I'm not getting any codes on the panel on the fridge.

EDIT: The model is a 1210 and I noticed the two fans aren't coming on. The light is on inside. I'm not plugged in, on batteries.

We live on a hill (not too steep), so our trailer isn't quite level (nose down hitched to the truck).
I'm wondering if it needs to be more level, or if that has nothing to do with my issue? Seems like if it were not level enough, the burner wouldn't come on or stay lit?

Doing some online research, but I know that my best chance of finding help is probably here on the forum!

Thanks in advance for any help guys!
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #2
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Update...

OK, so doing some more research and I believe that the problem actually IS the leveling (or lack of).

Just "eye balling" the trailer it doesn't seem to be that far out of level...but putting a torpedo level in the freezer shows that I am farther out than I thought!

Looks like I won't be pre-cooling the fridge at home without a LOT of hassle trying to level the trailer. At least not on LP.

Question: is it still critical to be level (+- 3 degrees front to back) if you're on shore power (not LP)?

Anyway, gonna haul the trailer back to storage area where it's level and try again!

FYI, I found a couple of good videos online regarding leveling your RV to have proper fridge performance!

Hoping this solves the problem!
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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It is critical regardless of which mode you are in. If you donít get the fluid moving inside the cooling unit, you will damage the unit and replacement is the only cure. Once you have it working properly, assuming it has been damaged by being off level, you might not investigate an ARP device to protect the fridge. We have had one ever since we had our second cooling replaced, and our fridge still works great. www.arprv.com
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:22 PM   #4
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Maybe plug in electric and cool it? You still want to make sure the gas cooling is working though. Also check the inverter is working?
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info...won't have time before we leave, but I will definitely take a good look at the ARP device as soon as I return!
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:27 PM   #6
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It seems like I am not level enough parked in front of my home, so that would be true if on electric too. I will post an update if the fridge starts cooling properly after I move it later today.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #7
carl n susan
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Remember it takes at leat 24 hours to get the refer to cool.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:02 PM   #8
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Thanks Carl, Ya I took it to the RV storage today and got it nice and level (my spot is on a very slight incline...nothing like my house tho). Put the torpedo level inside the freezer and I'm within half a bubble in both directions.
Gonna head back over tomorrow morning to see how it's going!

**Dumb question warning...I assume I do need to leave the battery disconnect in the "on" position (i.e. NOT disconnected) so the fridge has DC power while it's cooling?

Also, I noticed the two little fans not running, do they come on at some point later on?

The Norcold owners manual is not really all that helpful when it comes to troubleshooting.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #9
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Assuming you don't have shore power, and even if you do, the batteries should not be disconnected as 12V is required (whether on gas of electric).

The fans have a thermostat and don't come on until they reach some preset temp (140 degrees??)
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:50 PM   #10
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Thanks again Carl for the advice...GOOD NEWS, apparently the problem WAS the leveling issue. I've learned that the trailer has to be more level than I had previously thought.

I'm curious about your comment regarding the fridge fans...assuming you meant 40 degrees, NOT 140?
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingdaddy View Post
Thanks again Carl for the advice...GOOD NEWS, apparently the problem WAS the leveling issue. I've learned that the trailer has to be more level than I had previously thought.

I'm curious about your comment regarding the fridge fans...assuming you meant 40 degrees, NOT 140?

It's 140 on the top back fins on the condenser.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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Oh, so the fans are not for air circulation inside the fridge, but are for cooling the condenser in the back? So blowing cold air from inside toward the hot fins behind the fridge?
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:48 AM   #13
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No. There are two fan circuits. One for inside cold air circulation and one for air flow through the condenser.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:22 AM   #14
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I suggest you do some reading on the operations of these RV fridges as they are quite different from a residential fridge. Spend some time read the articles on the ARP website previously mentioned and at the Norcold Guy’s blog. You will get a better understanding of how to keep your fridge running efficiently.

https://thenorcoldguy.com/norcold-te...ng-is-it-safe/

https://www.arprv.com/
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
No. There are two fan circuits. One for inside cold air circulation and one for air flow through the condenser.
Got it, thanks for the info.

The fans I was referring to are the two fans in front of the fins inside the fridge which I didn't see come on. Those are the ones I assumed are for cold air circulation?

Obviously, the fridge is an area I need to do some more research on. It's one of those things that when it's working properly, you just know enough to operate it without really understanding how it all works...

Bottom line, seems to be working fine now that the RV is completely level.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butchy View Post
I suggest you do some reading on the operations of these RV fridges as they are quite different from a residential fridge. Spend some time read the articles on the ARP website previously mentioned and at the Norcold Guyís blog. You will get a better understanding of how to keep your fridge running efficiently.

https://thenorcoldguy.com/norcold-te...ng-is-it-safe/

https://www.arprv.com/

Thanks for the links...I will definitely look into the ARP device for my fridge. Understanding how it works has obviously not been high on my "to do" list, of course that all changes when it doesn't work the way it should.

As always, I know I can find the help I need here on the forum. In this case, it was simply a matter of not being level enough...lesson learned, hope it helps others who may experience the same thing!
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:58 PM   #17
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Yep - an RV refrigerator relies on the flluid being able to be heated into a gas, rises in the tubes where it cools (bringing the inside temperature down with it) and then as a liquid flows down a set of tubes to the bottom where it is heated up again. If the refer is not fairly level, the liquid sits in the tubes and doesn't come back down in enough quantity to work. The readings given by Butchy will get you well on your way to understanding more.


As for the fans, if your refer is NOT in a slide, there may not be any fans in the outside portion of it - natural air flow used to be thought to be enough. A lot of youtube videos and Facebook posts though saying that is not true and showing how to use a 'computer cooling fan' to help. If your refer is in the slide, then the fans outside are needed - some may have a small one up top, others on the bottom, some in both places. These are on a thermister and turn on at a higher temperature.


Hope this helps some.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:41 PM   #18
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I'm guessing your Norcold 1210 fridge is the original fridge that came with your 2011 Monty.
I have the same Norcold 1210 double door fridge in my 2012. The only fans on the fridge are located on the back of the fridge. They are 2 12v fans that cool the condenser coils. They are controlled by a thermal switch and will come on when the first condenser cooling fin reaches 130 deg and turn off at 115 degs.
There are no air circulation fans inside the fridge. The new model Norcolds now have a fan inside the fridge to circulate the cold air but not the older models like ours
I did install 2 fans inside my fridge on the cooling fins. The unit I installed is called the "Fridge-Fix" from smart RV products. They make one specifically for the Norcold 1210 fridge.
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