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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm
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Location: Port Matilda, PA
I just had a two-year-old Norcold refrigerator installed that was an exact size replacement for the original (1998). Works great on propane but won't kick in on 110V. Any trouble shooting hints out there?

The guy that installed it in Florida ran out of ideas.

Thanks

Karl


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:24 am 
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Location: Tipton, Iowa
I haven't had to work on an ammonia-absorption refrigerator for a lot of years, but I presume that the new ones still use a heating element alongside the ammonia boiler to heat the ammonia. If it works on propane, then your sealed ammonia system is fine. These are pretty simple systems with no moving parts, so you have wiring to the power source, and the heating element to go bad, and that's about it. There is a possibility that your control board could be bad too... your manual will tell you how to troubleshoot that. In the old days, there were simple switches; now it's likely circuit board controlled.

You don't mention what you've already done for trouble shooting... so I'll cover the usual suspects... and we'll presume that your control board is good. Make sure that you have 110v at the heating element. First, make sure the fridge outlet has 110ac and that the fridge is actually plugged in to the outlet (usually in the access panel outside behind the fridge.) Then, check any breakers you may have in the system. Usually, there's just the normal circuit breakers in the AC breaker box. If you're plugged into shore power, your fridge is plugged in and your outlet and breaker(s) are good, but still no 110 ac to the heating element, you've got a wiring problem.

Last, if everything else works and you have 110ac at the heating element, the heating element itself is bad and needs to be replaced.

That's about all there is to troubleshooting 110ac problems on an ammonia absorption fridge. I'm sure that if I've left something out, someone will join in and let you know.

Good luck!

Roger

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:41 am 
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Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
From the Norcold service manual...
"The AC heater, see Figure 22, is a cartridge type heater. Refrigerators with serial number lower than 854647 heater is rated for 300 Watts/2.7 amps @ 110 Vac and has a resistance of 41.25 ohms. Refrigerators with serial number 854647 and higher heater is rated for 300 Watts/2.5 amps @ 120 Vac. Heater resistance is 48 ohms.
When poor or no cooling in AUTO AC or AC-Manual Mode, operation is present:
1. Measure AC voltage input to the power board. 2. Measure heater amp draw. 3. If amp draw is not as specified, measure the heater's resistance at ambient temperature. When replacing an AC heater make sure the stop bead rests fully against heater tube rim. See Figure 22.
AC Heater Circuit Fuse The AC circuit fuse is a fast acting 5 amp 1/4" x 11/4" AGC type. It is on the power board, terminal F3.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Location: Tipton, Iowa
hindeb wrote:
From the Norcold service manual...

AC Heater Circuit Fuse The AC circuit fuse is a fast acting 5 amp 1/4" x 11/4" AGC type. It is on the power board, terminal F3.


There you go. Your heating element may also be bad, but finding hidden fuses to check are always a good thing.

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'06 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
(Former: '01 Born Free 23 RK)
Dinghy: '16 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a Blue Ox Aladdin tow bar.
Traveling with Sir Winston and Lady Rae (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Location: Princeton, IL
What is the Norcold model # ?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm
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Location: Port Matilda, PA
Thanks all for the tips. We're presently motoring along I-70, two hours from home. I'll give the results of the advice in a couple days when I get time to look into it.

The unit is a 2014 Norcold 962.

I had taken the coach to a RV repair guy in Florida to see what was causing the poor cooling in the original unit. He had just taken an identical unit out of another RV because the owners wanted a different color or something, and he offered it to me installed for $100!! I gave him $300 for his generosity and after hours work.

It looks new and works perfectly on gas, so the electrical problem is probably a cb or fuse as suggested. I had installed a new Dynasaur circuit board in the old one some years ago and it worked fine, so if that's the problem it's manageable as well.

Karl


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm
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Location: Port Matilda, PA
Here's the situation.

The 110 outlet is good and power is going to the power board. The two obvious fuses are good. No power to the 110 cord coming out of the power board when "Auto" is selected. It fires up on gas instead.

Direct (bypassing power board) 110V to the heating element makes it hot.

So I guess the power board is malfunctioning.

I'll see if Dynasaur has any ideas other than selling me a new pb.

Thanks all!!

Karl


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