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Old 11-08-2015, 09:34 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Saco, Maine
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Desperately Need Help With Norcold Frig

It is Sunday and I am at a campground in Virginia Beach. My Norcold side by side fridge quit running last night and I can't figure out what is wrong. I have 50 amp service to everything, but no power to the fridge. I have checked the power from out side control box for the fridge unit and everything looks good, as well the fuses all look good. I would appreciate any ideas or input as to what to try next. Thanks

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Old 11-08-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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The fridge may be wired to a GFIC outlet, somewhere in the coach, so check that all interior outlets are operating . GFIC's are usually in the bathroom or kitchen area.
Have you tried running an extension cord from another outlet to the power cord on the fridge?
The ice makers in the fridges are a common cause of the GFIC tripping.
Neighbor's Norcold was tripping GFIC for a week before , someone told him he needed to de-frost the ice maker.

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Old 11-08-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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Desperate Help with Norcold Fridge

Thank you. It did rain hard here last night and heavy winds. I will check all of the interior GFIC outlets, but I read one of he warning labels inside the control box (outside panel) this morning and I thought it said that he power is 12 volt. Aren't the interior outlets 120 volt hooked to shore power?
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:50 AM   #4
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Have you checked the 12 volt power to the back of the refrigerator? The Norcold 1200 will not run on 120 volt alone - it must have 12 volt for the control panel.

I'd agree all 120 volt outlets are connected to shore power unless someone has modified the system. I agree with Skip, check for a tripped GFCI if you don't have 120 at the refrigerator outlet.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:07 AM   #5
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If you have a recall box check it if lite is on run strong magnet to reset
If you have fans on top exterior make sure they are running. If not your refer won't cool. They are temp sensitive. If the thermostat up the is bad you can direct wire them. They'll run constantly but not loud
Check bryantrv.com for a repair manual for your refer
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
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With the outside lower panel off, look for a small black plastic box. That is what's called a recall box. If the box has a red light on, the box has tripped. Since the weather was rainy and windy yesterday, the weather could have caused it to trip. You may be able to reset the box by holding a strong magnet on the red light for about a minute. It you can't reset the light or it comes back on soon, you should not reset again and you need to get your fridge serviced.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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Desperately Need Help With Norcold Frig

Recall box bad or tripped (if bad you can jumper around it, if tripped reset with magnet)
No 12vdc to refrigerator (this is needed even if on shore power, as it powers the control board)
No 120vac to the outlet powering the refrigerator (there are two plugs - one for just the ice maker)

Propane use does not need 120vac, just 12vdc. Does it work ok when manually set to propane? Or on auto switch to propane if shore power is removed?
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:29 PM   #8
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Not familiar with the National way of wiring, but I know our coach, and a few others I've had the opportunity to work with, had a dedicated circuit breaker for the fridge. That would be an easy thing to view!.

I also know that on our coach, I could reach in and unplug the power. If you can reach yours from behind, try an extension cord to validate the fridge is running.

You said 'no power' to the fridge. Does this include the control module? Or if you try to shift it over to Propane or Auto, does the control panel work?

(A power outage of the 120V, should not impact the 12V feed. So good feedback on checking to see if it has the recall unit in the mix.)

Best of luck to you!!!
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:39 PM   #9
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Desperately Need Help With Norcold Frig

If your recall box has tripped out and you cannot reset it or it kicks out again shortly after you do reset it, PLEASE do not bypass it. The recall box is the fail safe device that Norcold uses to solve the problem of their fridges catching on fire. Our fridge caught on fire in less than an hour after our recall box was bypassed and we were extremely lucky not to lose our coach.

There is a lot of info on this and other forums that you can read about the issues with Norcold fridges and you will find a number of posts that suggest bypassing the recall box. From the experience we had, I think this is very inappropriate advice.

Look at it this way, if the fridge will not stay operating after the recall box has been reset, then your fridge probably has a serious problem that has resulted in many fires and much litigation. If you bypass the fail safe device that they have provided and do have a fire, you are not going to get any sympathy from Norcold and probably not from your insurer, also.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:24 AM   #10
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I had a problem, with mine last year. I had inadvertently switched off the salesman switch at the door and did not realize I had done that. When I called Winnebago that was the first thing they suggested I check and that was the culprit.

Hope it is something simple for you.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:08 AM   #11
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Desperate Help with Norcold Fridge

Thanks very much to all for your inputs. I did have recall work done a few weeks ago and they did install the small black recall box with the red light. The red light is on steady now and I am on my way to buy a strong magnet. I have checked power to the control box outlet with a meter and it is good. I do not have any light indications at all on the control panel on front of fridge, so using with LP is not an option. I did talk by phone this morning with a local RV dealer and he did also suggest trying a magnet to reset recall box. I would think that my issues and others if caused by this newly installed recall box, Norcold would assume liability and costs if serious repair is required? Anybody have experience with this?
Thanks very much for the help
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:18 PM   #12
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Your problem may very well be the result of moisture from the storm on your recall box. (That is the assumption the tech who came to fix our problem made.) However, if, after resetting the recall box with a magnet, it shuts the fridge down again, do not just assume you were given a dud recall box. (That again is the assumption our tech made.) That can be a very dangerous assumption (as we found out). It is much more likely that the recall box is doing the job it is intended to do and that is to shut your fridge down because it is sensing a leak in the cooling system that can/will lead to the fridge catching fire (as ours did).

Remember, that the recall box is a fail/safe device. When it shuts down (fails), it keeps you safe. (Unfortunately, the Norcold box apparently has an annoying (but not dangerous) flaw when it is exposed to moisture.)

If you do some searching of previous posts on this and other sites you will find a lot of material on the problem Norcold had with its' four-door fridges. It will also probably change your thoughts somewhat on the help you can expect from Norcold if your fridge is out of warranty.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:35 AM   #13
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Desperate Help with Norcold Fridge

I found a magnet at a local Lowes store and contrary to my doubts, it worked!
In talking again to a local RV dealer service manager, he directed me to make sure I pointed the black recall box downward to prevent further moisture exposure. I am extremely glad to have my fridge back working again and I want to thank everyone on this website very much for your quick help and very worthwhile advice. I am always reading comments here everyday and have been able to learn a lot from all of them. This is a great group of folks that seem to go out of their way to provide help and assistance based on past experiences and trial and error. This is great teamwork and reminds me of my days in the military. Happy Veterans Day tomorrow to all fellow military retirees and veterans !
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:15 AM   #14
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See related post "No power to refrigerator" for some help and what I experienced. The power board on mine ended up being the issue to the tune of about $400 :(.

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need help, norcold

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