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Old 03-21-2016, 12:46 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by JLE Seminole View Post
It is my understanding that it does not make any difference if the refrigerator has power to it, or is totally disconnected and turned off (e.g. - battery disconnect).

Engineering reports that have been submitted as part of the discovery process document in the class action litigation indicate that when the cooling unit tubing ruptures at 400 psi and evacuates into the housing area behind the refrigerator, that the force of the gas escaping blows insulation fragments into the air. These insulation fragments can create friction and a spark resulting in ignition causing a fire and explosion.

So, it doesn't matter if it is on gas, or electric, or totally disconnected and turned off not being used. If and when the tubing ruptures due to corrosion of the tubing that it can and has caught on fire.
Would you post a link to where insulation fragments were causing a spark/fire.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:14 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLE Seminole View Post
It is my understanding that it does not make any difference if the refrigerator has power to it, or is totally disconnected and turned off (e.g. - battery disconnect).

Engineering reports that have been submitted as part of the discovery process document in the class action litigation indicate that when the cooling unit tubing ruptures at 400 psi and evacuates into the housing area behind the refrigerator, that the force of the gas escaping blows insulation fragments into the air. These insulation fragments can create friction and a spark resulting in ignition causing a fire and explosion.

So, it doesn't matter if it is on gas, or electric, or totally disconnected and turned off not being used. If and when the tubing ruptures due to corrosion of the tubing that it can and has caught on fire.
hmmmm I would like to see this report. Maybe a link?? Anyway slowly grinding through the Kentucky appellate court system.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:41 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by JLE Seminole View Post
It is my understanding that it does not make any difference if the refrigerator has power to it, or is totally disconnected and turned off (e.g. - battery disconnect).

Engineering reports that have been submitted as part of the discovery process document in the class action litigation indicate that when the cooling unit tubing ruptures at 400 psi and evacuates into the housing area behind the refrigerator, that the force of the gas escaping blows insulation fragments into the air. These insulation fragments can create friction and a spark resulting in ignition causing a fire and explosion.

So, it doesn't matter if it is on gas, or electric, or totally disconnected and turned off not being used. If and when the tubing ruptures due to corrosion of the tubing that it can and has caught on fire.
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Would you post a link to where insulation fragments were causing a spark/fire.
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hmmmm I would like to see this report. Maybe a link?? Anyway slowly grinding through the Kentucky appellate court system.
mrt_1111 and anotherone
I would also like to see those "engineering reports".

JLE Seminole;
I find it hard to believe that any RV refrigerator ever "exploded and caused a fire when it was totally disconnected and turned off not being used.
Is that information in those "engineering reports" also?

Mel
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:15 AM   #74
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Since this is on-going litigation that hasn't been buttoned up and settled, I doubt very much that the engineering report submitted to the court is available to the public. Possibly afterwards but sometimes they seal the documents so the public has no access to them. I would highly suspect that will happen with this case because Norcold does not want the information to become public. That would probably bury the company which is where they should have been a long time ago when the fires first started with the 12XX series fridges.

JLE Seminole is directly involved with this litigation. Go back to page one of this thread and read all of the posts from JLE Seminole.

You will have a much better idea of what's been going on behind closed doors in the courtroom.

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Old 03-21-2016, 08:55 AM   #75
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Jeff,

Any update on the class action suit and litigation proceedings?

Dr4Film ----- Richard

Class Action Update

Richard, Thanks for asking. The response is that I have absolutely no idea! The final arguments in the case regarding the pending certification of the class / objections to certification were made in early October of 2015 and a ruling was expected on November 12th, 2015. However NOT A WORD has been heard from the Judge in the last 4 months, so we are left only wondering where the Judge is headed in this case.

Basically the plaintiffs are split into two camps. The ORIGINAL PLAINTIFFS who brought this case (myself included) objected to a highly inadequate settlement that did virtually nothing to resolve the danger faced by approximately 1,000,000 RV owners who have a potential hydrogen bomb in their RV. The settling plaintiffs (not the original group who brought this case) wanted to take the inadequate money and run - with a massive settlement for the two firms who were willing to sell out the interests of the class for their fees.

The non-settling plaintiffs in this matter have been represented tremendously by Mr. Tereance Beard who is the attorney who has now successfully litigated and won numerous cases against Norcold for individuals who have suffered the consequences of these explosions and fires. Terry Beard was also able to have one of the largest and most prestigious class action firms in the nation - Hagens Berman (www.hbsslaw.com) - join the case on behalf of the non-settling objecting plaintiffs.

So, the answer to the question is that we are all awaiting word for the trial judge of where she is going to allow this case to go. Our hope is that she will 1) remove the two firms whom created the totally inadequate and improper proposed settlement, 2) appoint the non-settling plaintiffs counsel as lead counsel in the case and 3) approve the class and schedule the case for trial where we are certain that we will prevail.

For most of the original plaintiffs this has never been about the amount of money that we might be awarded. It is about the case that there are 1,000,000 RV owners out there that have a potential explosive bomb waiting to go off and burn their RV to the ground - and possibly maim or kill them and their family members. This problem needs to be resolved for everyone who owns a Norcold refrigerator unit. It can be. But it won't be if the attorneys are worried about their fees and a few plaintiffs are willing to accept a personal settlement to their benefit and the detriment of the class.

So lastly, I would repeat that the interests of ALL of the Norcold owners have been represented with TREMENDOUS INTEGRITY by Mr. Tereance Beard, our lead attorney. While some people look down on attorneys, I can personally testify that this one gentleman has been an (unpaid) CHAMPION of all Norcold owner / consumers now for the last four years, fighting tooth and nail to try to help resolve this situation.

We're still fighting to win this case. We'll see where it goes from here.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:45 AM   #76
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mrt_1111 and anotherone
I would also like to see those "engineering reports".

JLE Seminole;
I find it hard to believe that any RV refrigerator ever "exploded and caused a fire when it was totally disconnected and turned off not being used.
Is that information in those "engineering reports" also?

Mel
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I am not an engineer, nor am I an expert on this subject, therefore I offer no opinions other than my own.

However engineering experts have been commissioned to study this matter extensively. The attorneys in our case have retained the services of recognized industry experts to study this subject and then document the facts in scientifically documented reports that can be submitted as expert testimony.

I do not believe that it would be proper for me to submit the entire sworn statement of the experts in this matter that have been submitted regarding Norcold refrigerator fires, however I am submitting specific passages of the testimony submitted to the court below:

--------------------

A penetration in the boiler initially allows the weak ammonia solution to leak out, but when the level gets below the penetration, the hydrogen gas in the system will escape. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) defines this leakage as fugitive gas. Since hydrogen gas Is very flammable with a broad flammability range, mixing it even with a small amount of air will product a flammable mixture. All that is needed is a competent ignition source co cause a fire. For the ******* refrigerator, Norcold had implemented several changes/recalls to eliminate competent ignition sources by shutting down the refrigerator, but not solve the root problem of the corrosion causing the leak. The ***** refrigerator had the most recent recall performed, that is the installation of a High Temperature Sensor (HTS). Norcold’s own incident report documents, however, show that fires involving Norcold refrigerators are still occurring even though the HTS is installed, demonstrating that shutting down the refrigerator does not eliminate all ignition sources for hydrogen gas. It should be noted that the methods used for installation of the refrigerator is not gas tight and entry into the living space of the hydrogen gas is possible.

………..

The date suggests that there is an increase in ignition sources capable of causing combustion during a hydrogen release as compared to other flammable gasses. Further, they discussed several postulated mechanism of spontaneous ignition during the pressurized hydrogen release. Several are pertinent to the release of hydrogen gas from a Norcold cooling unit. First, hydrogen has a reverse Joule-Thompson – meaning the temperature of the gas will increase when it is released from high pressure to ambient. Second, the hydrogen reaches high velocities with particles present which can because electrostatic discharge. Dyer, et al., found sudden releases “can result in multi-dimensional transient flows involving shock formation, reflection and interactions” resulting in combustion. The conditions for spontaneous combustion similar to those studied by Dryer may be set up by the geometry of the boiler tube/heater pocket area and the area of hydrogen gas discharge common to Norcold gas absorption refrigerators, including the ***** refrigerator.
…….
Summary from engineering / expert expert witness declaration:
From the above discussions, I hope the following opinions:
• The leak in the boiler tube in the ***** refrigerator cooling unit was caused by corrosion, from the inside of the boiler tube out. This is the common failure mechanism seen on Norcold refrigerators and he subject of their various recalls. It is consistent with the Norcold cooling unit being the cause of the ****** fire.
Shutting down the refrigerator electrically does not eliminate all ignition sources for hydrogen gas because of the many possible ignition sources.
• Spontaneous combustion of the escaping hydrogen gas from the cooling unit cannot be discounted as the source of ignition for the ****** refrigerator fire.


-------------------------

Based up conversations I have had with knowledgeable persons, Norcold refrigerators can have boiler leaks when running on either electric or gas. It also can occur when the refrigerator is totally shut off and disconnected from a power source.

If you read the information about from the report that was generated, it indicates that the high pressure discharge of the hydrogen gas can achieve spontaneous combustion through particulates that can be present in the air - e.g. potentially fragments of insulation dislodged as a result of the escaping hydrogen and ammonia.

Hopefully that information answers the questions / doubts that you had regarding this issue. As I said, this isn't my information. It is information provided as expert witness testimony / statement.

Best wishes.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:18 PM   #77
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And yet Hydrogen Gas has been used in absorption refrigeration units since 1923 so the use of 'bomb' is hyperbole

The issue is that Norcold and Dometic chose to use thinner walled tubing for cooling units in order to cut costs.....starting back in late 1980s with the smaller units and then in the late 1990s with the larger sized units.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:54 PM   #78
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Now you got me thinking about ignition sources. If a leak developed in a tube because of inside corrodion, is it possible a small piece a steel could fly off hitting another piece of metal creating a spark?
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:16 PM   #79
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And yet Hydrogen Gas has been used in absorption refrigeration units since 1923 so the use of 'bomb' is hyperbole

The issue is that Norcold and Dometic chose to use thinner walled tubing for cooling units in order to cut costs.....starting back in late 1980s with the smaller units and then in the late 1990s with the larger sized units.

That was not my quote, but the quote of an RV dealer / service located in Louisiana (I believe) who deemed RV's with Norcold refrigerators in them as "rolling hydrogen bombs" and at one time refused to allow an RV in one to be on his lot.

You can call it whatever you want - makes no difference to me. I've spoken to numerous people who have been in their coach when their boiler ruptured and exploded and I can guarantee you that several of them have referred to it as a "bomb going off".

My first Norcold unit failed in June of 2005. It had quit working - but I had been assured by Norcold that it wasn't included in the "recall". I took it to my RV service guy to have checked out. He had the external fiberglass cover removed from the outside of the coach and walked away to get a tool and when he did the boiler exploded, shooting flames 10 to 15 ft out the side of the coach. His description of it was that it was that "g damnedest explosion he had ever heard" and that if he had been standing there when it exploded it would have killed him. So, again, call it what you'd like and that is fine with me. Personally, I refer to it as a disaster waiting for an opportunity to happen.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:24 PM   #80
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Now you got me thinking about ignition sources. If a leak developed in a tube because of inside corrodion, is it possible a small piece a steel could fly off hitting another piece of metal creating a spark?
I assume anything is possible. However, do you remember being in 9th grade science class when a teacher would take flour, metal shavings and any other small particle and throw it into the flame of a Bunsen Burner to see it burn?

Also, have you ever seen where pure oxygen is exposed to a substance like grease in a fitting? No spark is needed - it will just EXPLODE through spontaneous combustion where the oxygen creates the ignition source with the grease.

Well, as I understand it the hydrogen leaking at 40 psi is very explosive. The fiberglass insulation is a prime source that can cause the combustion.

This is the reason that it doesn't make a difference if the unit is plugged in, on gas, or even on disconnect. The hydrogen and the stands of the insulation create the explosion.

As I said, I'm not an engineer. I just tend to believe them when they render their educated opinions on the subjects that they are qualified to do so on.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:32 PM   #81
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And yet Hydrogen Gas has been used in absorption refrigeration units since 1923 so the use of 'bomb' is hyperbole.

The issue is that Norcold and Dometic chose to use thinner walled tubing for cooling units in order to cut costs.....starting back in late 1980s with the smaller units and then in the late 1990s with the larger sized units.
Correct, the absorption fridge has been around a lot longer than Norcold has been in business.

If the cooling unit is made correctly and sized correctly my guess is that it would last for many more years than most RV absorption fridges do. They are also used in the commercial industry plus thousands upon thousands of Amish people have used absorption fridges for umpteen years.

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