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Author Topic: Norcold 841 Not Cold....:(  (Read 10104 times)

Offline Dreamscape

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Norcold 841 Not Cold....:(
« on: December 16, 2009, 06:15:14 PM »
We got back from a short trip and noticed our fridge is not keeping things cold. Freezer is at 34 and fridge is at 54. We have 12v and 120v operating it, no propane. It has worked flawlessly for this past year without any problems. The vent stack is hot, don't see any abnormalities anywhere.

Not much frost in the freezer at all, fins on back wall of fridge are not cold like they should be.

Any ideas on where to look?

I've checked the web and didn't find anyting related, most problems were when the propane was not working properly. I stumped!

BTW, no fault codes on the display.

Thanks,

Paul

« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 04:30:18 PM by Dreamscape »
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.

Offline Eric

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 07:22:41 PM »
I'm not aquainted with this model unit however if the other components appear to be normal i would say your thermostat would be the culprit! again i don't know the unit but you can generally "jumper" a t-stat and you'll know pretty quick if that is the issue! I'm sure Nick will have a good idea!

Offline belfert

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 07:43:06 PM »
Is the temp setting light blinking?  If so, it is operating in backup mode.  In backup mode, the temperature setting is actually the percentage of time to run.

If in backup mode the most likely culprit is the thermistor inside the fridge.  There are ways to put the thermistor in ice after disconnecting it to measure the resistance.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline JohnEd

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 07:50:05 PM »
Paul,

Mine only cooled marginally in the 115V AC mode.  I have been told that all the 12V mode will do is retard the defrosting.  BUT....you said yours was working....soo?

Nick suggested that I turn mine upside down as a fix.  Call around on that one. ??? ::) ;D ;D

John
"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
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Offline Dreamscape

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 08:28:19 PM »
Like I said, the control panel is not showing any faults, no blinking lights or codes.

It's just odd, it worked great when we had temps at over 100. I have done some research but have not found much to help me troubleshoot it. Is the thermsistor the divice hooked to the fins? The manual does not show its location.
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Offline pvcces

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2009, 08:58:43 PM »
Dreamscape, if the boiler is hot, then the thermostat is calling for cooling; your problem seems to be in the fluid portion of the refrigerator.

If you have smelled ammonia lately, then I would be thinking you have a leak.

Is there any possibility that the cooling air over the fins is obstructed? If so, a hot boiler might not be able to do it's job.

I think that the hot boiler is telling you that your problem is not in the electronics.

Good luck!

Tom Caffrey
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Offline Dreamscape

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2009, 09:13:25 PM »
I have not smelled any ammonia, nor noticed any leaks from the outside access panel, it all looks clean. The cooling air over the fins....are you referring to the fins on the back at the top of the unit? If so, it's clear.

That's what's so puzzling, no codes to define a problem, everything appears normal.

I"m not a refer man, but after this I'm sure I'll have a better understanding. ;)

A new cooling unit is $625, heck a new refer at Lowe's is a lot less!

Paul
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________

Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.

Offline Lin

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 10:34:09 PM »
If you can not run it on propane, there would seem to be little reason to have an RV-type frig.  The 12 volt is only meant to keep the temp from rising much while traveling.  The heating element should be much hotter when it is running on 120 volts.  If the unit is working, then the hotter the heat source, the colder the frig.  Hence, propane cools best, but 120 v should do just fine.  I do not know the spec, but it would seem that manufacturer tech support should be able to tell you how hot the element should be.

The turning it upside down thing is an attempt to clear up a blockage caused by the flaking of the tubes internal coating.  If you can determine that the element is putting out adequate heat and is running continually when the t'stat is turned to the coldest setting, you may have a blockage.
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Offline Fred Mc

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 11:10:07 PM »
I assume that ,even though you don't have propane, this is an absorption type of refer.

When my refer did the same thing earlier this year it was suggested I turn it upside down for 24 hours or so and tap the coil etc with a rubber mallet. I did this and it worked fine thereafter.

Another bonus was it forced me to remove the eating knook so I took it out and put in a small table and two chairs. Wife(and I) love it.

Offline Dreamscape

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 04:50:55 AM »
I could fill our propane bottles and run that way, just thought I would try and work it on the AC.

I did wake up to a fault code "no co". Which means "No Cooling", no kidding! ;)

I reset it and we'll see what happens, it looks like a phone call and a long day is in store. :(

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll let you know what happened.

Paul
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.

Offline belfert

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 07:33:09 AM »
If the fridge is running in backup mode the burner will still run.  The issue is the burner runs only a percentage of time based on teh setting on the front panel.  If the temp setting is on say 5 itt will run 50% of the time.

In backup mode either the thermistor or control board is bad so the fridge cannot monitor the temp in the fridge.  The thermistor is the little thing clipped to the fins inside the fridge.  If you do some Google searching you can find instructions to test the thermistor with an ohm meter and a glass of ice water.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline Dreamscape

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 07:50:47 AM »
I did find the method of testing the thermistor online, so if all else fails I'll check it. I did do a board reset using a jumper, so far no fault code in over 30 minutes. The freezer appears to be getting cold, will recheck in a couple of hours. The vent stack is much hotter than last night, I couldn't even let my hand rest on it for very long. Last night is was not as hot.

Onward and Upward!  ;)

Paul
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.

Offline JohnEd

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 01:42:46 PM »
FredMc and Nick,

I owe you an apology....of sorts.  Nick suggested, and you reiterated, that I turn my refer upside down and rap on the fins with a mallet.  One of my best friends was a RV shop manager for 20 years and after I ran that past him he said he had never heard of that but, instead, he suggested I roll the unit slowly.  With his response as motive, I asked the shop managers of two RV repair facilities and got the same response....never heard of that!  They also suggested laying it on its side.  Counting Camping Worlds manager in Junction City, a friend, that made it 4 to one against for the experts.  My conclusion was that I was being played with in a way that I would probably fix it anyway by following the instructions.  So here is what clued me in: Paul is one of a very small group that no one would screw with so I conclude the "upside down" instruction was lagit.  Now why would I bare my soul about this, you might ask....I ain't all that special and others might have made similar checks and drawn the same conclusion and much of the motive is reaching them...if they exist, lurker or not.

Thanks Nick....Thanks FredMc


John
"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla

Offline Lin

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 02:24:38 PM »
John,

I have never looked into the insides of one of these frigs.  What I was told was that if particles of the tubes inner coating flaked off, they could block the coolant flow at some narrow orifices.  The idea of turning it upside down would be to use gravity to make the fluid flow backwards to clean out the orifice.  Turning it on its side and rolling it would probably be meant to achieve the same thing.
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Offline Dreamscape

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Re: Norcold 841 Not Cold....HELP!
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 02:40:28 PM »
I've just done a hard board reset one more time, if that doesn't work out she comes to lay her on it's side for 24 hours. The stack was not hot this time, we'll see what happens! >:(

The reset has worked for several people that have responded to my post on another board, of course not for me! :( Just trying to save a few bucks as this could not have happened at a worse time. Never a good time anyway I guess!

Paul
Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________

Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.