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Old 11-19-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
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Norcold Refrigerator Propane Igniters

I posted about a week ago about a problem getting my refrigerator to re-ignite after cycling off. Well, after a week of researching and re-starting the fridge with my grill sparker, I am being told that the igniter for the N8 and N7 polar series models cannot be purchased separately. I supposedly need to replace the entire gas valve assembly. I am suspicious, though, that the 2 dealers that I have tried to work through have only spoken with sales or customer service reps at Norcold.


I'm thinking that there has to be a mistake/omission in the Norcold parts databases because all other polar series models I have seen have an igniter that is available separately and the only diagrams I have seen of my gas valve assembly do not show or list an igniter. Would they really incorporate a part that is bound to need replaced periodically with an assembly that otherwise should last the life of the refrigerator with minor maintenance/cleaning? For a couple models only - which just happen to be grouped in the same service manual?



Has anyone else run into this?


Does anyone know how to reach tech/service support for Norcold?
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:43 AM   #2
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Here are some pictures. The igniter is the larger red wire that connect to the control box (black box with yellow sticker) with a female blade connector and attaches to the flame housing with a teardrop shaped clamp and small screw. Also notice the tag with the reference number that nobody can seem to locate.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:05 PM   #3
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Norcold N7/N8/N10 gas valve/solenoid wires/spark electrode with lead is ONE assembly.


Can't buy just burner either......all inclusive/one assembly




Can be purchased for $98..........Norcold 639572
https://www.camperid.com/norcold/ref...pn-639572.html



WHY do you think your issue is with the ignitor (electrode)?
Does it SPARK at all?
Is the electorde positioned directly over the center of burner slots?
Is the spark gap 1/8" - 3/16"?

You stated you can lite flame off using BBQ lighter.....flame stays on and fridge cools?
That proves spark electrode is functioning as part of flame proving circuit (electrode clean/connection good/not shorting to ground----otherwise the milliamp signal would not be sensed by circuit board)

NOT re-lighting could be circuit board issue.....
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
WHY do you think your issue is with the ignitor (electrode)?
Does it SPARK at all?
Is the electorde positioned directly over the center of burner slots?
Is the spark gap 1/8" - 3/16"?


You stated you can lite flame off using BBQ lighter.....flame stays on and fridge cools?
That proves spark electrode is functioning as part of flame proving circuit (electrode clean/connection good/not shorting to ground----otherwise the milliamp signal would not be sensed by circuit board)

NOT re-lighting could be circuit board issue.....

I turned the gas off and took the electrode out while still plugged to the controller. It is still sparking, but looked to me like it was intermittent. I'll check, but I don't see how the electrode could have moved from the flame based on the way it is clamped to the burner housing - unless it "burned" back. The metal is not moving around in the porcelain or anything.

The flame does remain lit after putting my grill sparker to it, and the fridge works as normal until the flame cycles off. When it tries to re-ignite you can hear the flame puffing like it is almost igniting, but then it eventually stops trying.


Until someone can explain or denies why the N8s and N7s are the only models that you can't by an igniter for, I'm going to wonder if this is because it has been omitted from the diagrams and parts lists. Just seems odd to me.



Thanks a lot for helping.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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Good luck with finding part numbers for
*Gas Valve
*Burner
*Spark Electrode
*High Tension Wire
*Orifice
***ETC
Same complete gas train assembly used in the Polar N10V/ N10X/ N10LX/ NA10LX models.


ALL one assembly.......it is what it is.


Norcold
1-800-543-1219
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:58 PM   #6
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Removed the igniter and lit the flame. Could still hear "ignition clicks" coming from the controller. Flame went out in ~24 clicks/seconds(?).


Tried again with the igniter plugged in, holding the electrode over the flame through the front vent/access hole. Flame ignited from the spark of the electrode and remained ignited until I removed the electrode. After removing the electrode the flame went out after ~25 clicks.


Here's a pic of the electrode. It doesn't look like any others I've seen, but I don't know what it looked like when new.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:52 PM   #7
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Here's a pic of the electrode. It doesn't look like any others I've seen, but I don't know what it looked like when new.
Our '19 24RKS has a Norcold N8XC Fridge. I just looked at the igniter. The end of ours has a radius hooked shaped with the tip of the igniter pointing downward towards the burner. Looks like yours is (was) probably the same, but missing a good portion of the tip.

No time left on warranty? Other folks here may not agree, but for $13.86 w/prime shipping, I'd be tempted to give this one a try (might have to reshape/cut it's tip). 13.86https://www.amazon.com/Norcold-61692222-Spark-Sense-Electrode/dp/B0031XFNAU/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=norcold+igniter&qid=1574203528 &s=automotive&sr=1-2
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:57 PM   #8
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You are missing half of the electrode.......

The 'hoop' is probably due to confineds of burner box and the position needed to spark over burner slot

Attempting to modify different electrode MAY well prove effective.
Nothing really special ,,,,,,, just a rod to provide pathway for high voltage DC current.


For $14 worth a try.


Post results!
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:39 PM   #9
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Our '19 24RKS has a Norcold N8XC Fridge. Looks like yours is (was) probably the same, but missing a good portion of the tip.

I'd be tempted to give this one a try (might have to reshape/cut it's tip). 13.86https://www.amazon.com/Norcold-61692222-Spark-Sense-Electrode/dp/B0031XFNAU/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=norcold+igniter&qid=1574203528 &s=automotive&sr=1-2

VERY helpful. Thank you! I thought about reshaping one from another model, but the one that I tried at a dealer I went to was oriented downward when the clamp was in the correct position. The one you linked is pointed upward, so could possibly be reshaped.



Now, can anyone suggest a procedure for reshaping the electrode without breaking it or the porcelain it is in? I'm not traveling with a blacksmith's workshop.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
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Now, can anyone suggest a procedure for reshaping the electrode without breaking the porcelain it is in?
Grip tightly near the porcelain with needle nose pliers, or small narrow vice-grips. Use another pair to bend the wire upwards a bit, then straighten the tip (reducing the 90 degree bend further) to point it down to the burner. I wouldn't get too hung-up on trying to create the rounded hook.

This also acts as a flame sensor, right? So maybe resist cutting the wire if you don't need to.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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Curious how half the electrode was lost. Is it in the flame all the time??

Carefully bend the new one over a wood dowel just enough to be near the flame path. You could use a couple of needle nose pliers as mentioned by Leaf with tape over them to prevent damage. Be sure not to stress the metal where it enters the porcelain.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:30 PM   #12
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Curious how half the electrode was lost. Is it in the flame all the time??

It could only have happened as a result of the burning and/or corrosion. I'm not aware of a way to adjust the flame to reduce the likelihood of this happening, but I need to find out so that it doesn't happen again.


Initially I was going to order 2 igniters so that I'd have a spare for when (assuming not "if") this happened again. At $120 for the whole damned assembly I am less likely to do that.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:44 PM   #13
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When I look at the flame after the refrigerator has been cooling for awhile, the broken end of what is left of the electrode is glowing red. I guess I can assume it was the same when in the original condition. Is this normal?
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:47 AM   #14
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Electrode MUST be ENGULFED in flame in order to sense the milliamp flame signal


YES they glow RED


Yours was probaly 'stressed' during manufacturing and over time it fatigued and failed. Not surprising with all that bending/hoop



Ceramic insulator is fragile and will easily crack so keep your 'tool's as far away as possible when bending up the electrode.
One crack and the flame signal will go to ground vs circuit board.....
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