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Old 03-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #1
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Refer doesn't run on propane...

Norcold N842IM 2 door refer looked brand new when I bought this used rig. It worked fine on AC over the last year. When I got around to trying it on LP it throws a no FL code on the display (no Flame). Note this refer is NOT listed in the recall. It's manufacturing date is after the trouble with the 1200 series Norcold.

Opened the outside cover and found a pile of black carbon soot flakes in the tray under the burner tube. Blew all that out, banged on the chimney a few times to dislodge any more, never saw any rust flakes. After that, the flame appeared to light and operate as normal, and it ran fine overnight. But than faulted again after 22 hours of operation. Switched it to AC operation.

Today, checked it outside again, here's what I found, and it was surprising considering all the cleaning I did yesterday:

This time the soot is in big chunks, not the little flakes I found yesterday. Again I banged on the tube and more soot fell out, but smaller chunks than what were in the picture. I again cleaned all of the tray, tube, chimney areas and it's been running fine for a couple hours now.

Perhaps this a case where I should climb up on the roof and run a chimney sweep down the chimney? Or has the 'dropping soot' issue pretty much run it's course?

Anyone else have some insight about this?


[I did write a blog post about this problem here: Refer on LP]

'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 03-09-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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I'd clean the flue as who knows what up there. That's some big chunks!

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Old 03-10-2017, 10:04 AM   #3
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You might try blasting the flue with compressed air to dislodge the junk.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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OP here, back with results of the latest test after the cleaning. It ran fine for 27 hours and I don't see any new carbon soot in the tray. Everything around the burner is clean as a whistle.

So I'm going to guess the problem cause was by being run in a way that caused a bunch of soot to be created one time and than blown up into the chimney. As I drove around the country with the refer turned on, it would create more soot, which would drop down on the burner causing the next spark event to misfire, prolonging the problem? Now that I've seemingly gotten it all cleaned out, it hopefully won't be a problem again. But if more soot drops down during my next trip, I'll go ahead and make a small chimney brush and go at it from the top of the RV.

Had to cut the test short because I've gotten to below 1/3rd tank of propane and I want to wait until I'm back in the US to fill up.

So for now, I think the soot problem is solved. Thanks for the advice.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : http://chaos.goblinbox.com
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:03 PM   #5
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Here is the Fridge Manual.
Check out pgs 26-32 .......especially pg 29

You need to CLEAN burner FLUE and FLUE BAFFLE
Unfortunately fridge is NOT in a slide out ----as a roof top vent.
So in order to REACH flue heat deflector (remove it) , flue baffle (remove it) and flue (brush/clean it) you will need to PULL fridge

In a slide out the Flue can be reached via TOP side Vent

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