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Old 04-04-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
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Any Norcold fires since last recall ? (revisited)

Has anyone experienced or heard of a fridge fire after having the work done from the latest (E) recall ?

A little over a year ago this question was posted, and it only generated a couple of replys, and none that reported fires. I recognize that the recalls do not correct the problem that is causing the fires, but 'if' the system gets to dangerous temps, and 'if' the new sensor works, and the system then shuts down in time, then perhaps another disaster has been averted.

I know the Norcold/Dometic refrig problems have been a hot topic here in the past, and I hope not to re kindle a controversial subject. Guess for me, I am trying to find some comfort in thinking that having the recall done reduces the chances of my new (to me) coach being reduced to a pile of ashes. It took awhile to find this coach, I am not ready to go thru that process again for awhile. I hope to do the Amish cooling unit 'down the road'

Thanks all

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Old 04-04-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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I've seen ; in the forums a second hand report of a fire , after recall. But the story involved a second tech, saying the recall was done wrong and changing something. I'll try and track it down, and re-post.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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See, Norcold Refer Fire... By , dons2346, page 2 Appliances forum.
Like I say second hand info but troubling.
Would like to see a fire investigators report, on this one.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:16 AM   #4
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From information that I have seen I believe there is an average of more than one Norcold refrigerator fire per day somewhere in the US. Norcold has been doing their recalls for about eight or nine years - versions A, B, C, D, and E - and still the cooling units are failing. I would have to assume that the vast majority of the cooling units that fail have had the recalls done on them and the same is true for the resulting fires. I spoke to someone recently at a FMCA show who had just returned from a Rally in the Southwest where during the course of the Rally in one week there were three Norcold refrigerator fires. My first 1200 fire occurred within days of being told by Norcold that my unit was not in the recall. The unit failed, it took it in for service, and it exploded while the tech was working on it. Had he not been walking away from the unit when it exploded he said it would have probably killed him - shot flames feet outside the coach. My next Norcold had four of the recall boxes installed - each to fail within an hour of being installed. After months of waiting when the next Recall box was to be installed it turned out that the cooling unit had failed in the interim and had to be replaced. Not sure, but experience and conversations with others who have all had multiple Recall failures leads me to surmise that there is a link between repeated failures of the recall and the subsequent failure of the cooling unit. Don't count on Norcold's customer service department ever telling you the truth - when I called in 2012 they told me that there wasn't a problem with the cooling unit and that my problem was a problem that was outside of warranty and they would be of no help to me.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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The last I heard we are now up to version "F" reason unknown, only to Norcold.
If you keep the Norcold change the cooling unit to an Amish unit.
No recalls necessary.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLE Seminole View Post
From information that I have seen I believe there is an average of more than one Norcold refrigerator fire per day somewhere in the US.
Huh?? Where do you get these "facts"?

I "believe" that would trigger a huge outcry on this and other sites, not to mention something in the regular media.

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Old 04-06-2013, 08:41 AM   #7
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In my recently sold Dynasty the recall was correctly fitted at NIRC in Lewisville Tx
They pointed out to me that the kit was basically thrown in by a "reputable" repairer and the temp sensor was laying loose in the compartment
That fixed I added a auto Halon extinguisher which I got from Cooling Warehouse.
So the recall shuts the fridge down but doesn't guarantee it hasn't done it after the fire starts and the extinguisher $165 puts the fire out
It let me sleep easy - certainly reduced the risk.
So my advice to you is if you can live with the added protection do. If not you will need to spring for an Amish unit or a residential fridge.
I'm no expert but the Amish unit will give you an around camping experience where as the res unit will require extra batteries and an extra inverter to boondock
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrobinryan

Huh?? Where do you get these "facts"?

I "believe" that would trigger a huge outcry on this and other sites, not to mention something in the regular media.

J
I saw in this or another thread that a posters wife works for an insurance company and they are "on to this" and something about a fire a day. Challenging that or other statements is futile. They said it and that's that whether true or not. I'm with you. One or more fires a day would make the news, especially now that the class action suit has been filed. That many fires borders on pandemic.

I ordered the Amish cooling unit, halon with 4' remote head and the extra baffle for my 1210 yesterday. I want to keep the propane option, the continuity with cabinetry and don't really need the bigger box and the changes that would be needed to fit it in the available space. I do have 4 6 volts and 2000W pure sine inverter so I would have been fine going residential. Just feel like if we want residential we'll upgrade to a coach with residential from the factory. But that will be years down the road.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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A little over a year ago I saw the remains of a burned out motorhome caused by a Norcold refrigerator. I have a Norcold 1200 that had the recall done in Oct 2010 and I was searching the internet to see if this last recall has been effective in stopping the fires. What I found out is that the fires continue. So what can I do to detect the problem before a fire, suppress a fire if started, or replace the cooling unit or entire fridge? Here's some info I've garnered.

I spent an hour on the phone with the lawyer that represents a couple from Northern CA, whose Norcold caught fire in the middle of the night, burned the rv, which was next to their house that caught fire. The husband that was seriously injured trying to save his Harley Davidson in the garage.

In court depositions this lawyer has interviewed Norcold engineers & management and was given copies of quality records of reported customer rv fires. Since 1999, over 2000 customer complaints of fires. And he said Norcold continues to use the same design in the burner where the tubing wall thickness is too thin and develops cracks over time which leaks out the highly combustible ammonia and hydrogen gas.

Additionally he said, Norcold continues to install recall ineffective kits which detect high temps, that is too little too late. The rv fires keep on happening (even with the latest recall). He said a more effective way to prevent a fire is to detect abnormally high pressure and shut down the fridge and set an alarm before the temps get too high. Of course the best recall would be to replace the burner tubing with a more robust design, but that would be very costly.

He said there are two tell-tale signs of a cooling system leak, besides the acrid smell of ammonia. One is to look for a yellowish white powder residue around/under the burner area. The other is to listen for a gurgling sound when the Norcold is running.

I hope this helps folks understand the issues related to a very serious fire potential.
Bill
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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Thanks Bill will add your post in with all the others in the Norcold recall thread.
Great company isn't it consumers are left holding the bag, sort to speak.

This post 11/27/2010 has the first and only recall I have,which required a inspection of burner tube, which I might add is not done in the B to F versions now, we now have B,C,D,E and F versions under our belt, whats next.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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Norcold Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by 007";1521501]The last I heard we are now up to version "F" reason unknown, only to Norcold.
If you keep the Norcold change the cooling unit to an [URL="http://rvcoolingunit.com/Default.aspx
Amish unit. [/URL]
No recalls necessary.
I am concerned about this subject. We just bought a new 2013 Thor Hurricane with a Norcold fridge in it. Is the recall/fire issue something to be concerned about with a new unit or this only on older units? Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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I am concerned about this subject. We just bought a new 2013 Thor Hurricane with a Norcold fridge in it. Is the recall/fire issue something to be concerned about with a new unit or this only on older units? Thanks for your help.
We are in the same boat you are ginny47. Our 13 Newmar also has a Norcold fridge in it. It is not under recall as I checked months ago when I heard about the problems here on irv2. It doesn't seem to have any recall sensors on the cooling cools as I looked tonight. We may be good for a while, but if they still are using cheap thin tubing it could be a problem. Had our last Norcold for 14 years, but it was a 94 model and they may of made them better back then. How could Norcold still be building new ones now, without addressing the well known problems is beyond me
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginny47 View Post
I am concerned about this subject. We just bought a new 2013 Thor Hurricane with a Norcold fridge in it. Is the recall/fire issue something to be concerned about with a new unit or this only on older units? Thanks for your help.
Depends on the model of Norcold your RV came with. The fire problem is more associated with the four door Norcold Model 12XX units versus other models but that doesn't mean that some other models are not fireproof. Even the Dometics have somewhat of a history to be fire prone.

It's the nature of the beast. You have a combustible gas inside the cooling tubes and two sources for ignition, 120 VAC heaters and LPG gas flames.

WRT the Norcold 12XX units, the main reason for so many fires is that Norcold is using too small of a cooling unit for such a large fridge. Norcold decided not to re-engineer a new cooling unit for the larger size fridge but instead use one of their smaller units to do the job. NOPE, it didn't work and now they have created band-aids for recalls but the problem hasn't gone away.

I will NEVER own another RV with an absorption fridge in it. I took out the old NotSoCold Norcold POS one year ago. The Samsung RF197 we have had for the past year now has been by FAR the BEST upgrade I have ever invested in for the coach.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:26 PM   #14
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OMG!

We're all gonna burn, run away, run away!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If such fires were as common as you claim we all would have seen multiples of multiples of them. In 40+ years of RV'ing I have not personally seen a single refer fire. Ever. Not one. We spend 3 to 5 months a year in our RV.

Brakes. Water heaters. Engine compartments. Power converters. Batteries. Coleman lanterns. Microwave ovens. Lights. And probably more that I don't remember. But never a refer.

I found the statistics several months ago and there was nothing to substantiate these outrageous claims. I found the same handful of incidents reported again and again. But certainly not 2000 in 11 years, and especially not 1 a day!

Note to administrators: I suggest that you treat all threads about Norcold fires the same as Political, religious, and Apple VS PC.
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