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Old 04-30-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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Dometic Not Cooling Well

Hi Everyone,
My coach has a Dometic New Dimensions Side By Side refrigerator. Model is NDR 1292. Serial # is 440-0089.

1. My question is can someone tell me how to determine if the overheating protection has bee triggered?
2. How does the overheating protection work?
3. Can the overheating protection be reset and if so how?
4. What are the symptoms of the overheat protection being tripped?

The unit has worked as advertised until a recent trip to the Florida Keys. The coach was there for a week. About 3 days into the stay the refrigerator and freezer temp rose to +5 degrees F in the freezer and 43 degrees F in the refrigerator. In the past, setting #4 provided -10 degrees F in the freezer and 34 degrees in the refrigerator.

The only unique thing about where we were parked was the side of the coach the refrigerator is on was facing west. The afternoon sun beat down on the refrigerator side of the coach. The remote thermometer that is by the boiler (heat source) for the cooling unit got to 116 degrees F. This is abnormally hot. Usually, the thermometer never breaks 100 degrees F.

Upon arriving home I kept the refrigerator running. There has been no change in the freezer or refrigerator temp. There are two fans at the top of the chimney pulling air up the chimney to improve cooling ventilation.

The temp setting is set at the coldest setting.

I have:
1. checked the thermistor
2. made sure the unit is perfectly level
3. Cleaned out the interior (nothing in the unit)
4. Placed fans in the refrigerator
5. How the unit is parked, the sun should have no effect on the cooling
6. the unit has been defrosted

Nothing has changed the temp in the freezer or refrigerator. I can set the temp on 4 or 5 (coldest choices) and the interior temps never change.

thank you,
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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Gary are you sure you hear fans above working on and off as temps rise and cool down? You also installed another fan down below on floor deck I believe.
This PDF does not have the test procedures that PDF's for Nocold 1200 has like testing thermistor on fin inside box section.
You also have thermistor for outside fan operation also that does fail. I can hear my fans cycle on and off on warm day.
The VENT area may have a blockage preventing the hot air from escaping.
This fridge is not on slide is it?
Baffles in upper vent may have fallen.
Erratic operation has been blamed on the inside box thermistor in most case's.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
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I have a similar issue. Since the most recent recall I run my fridge mostly on gas. When I use electric it stays cool for a couple of days and then the temps rise to unacceptable levels. Gas is great - never have troubles keep cool on gas.

I've checked the resistence on both heating elements. Both appear to be "in spec". I haven't taken the time to dig any deeper but would appreciate comments from others.

I suspect it has something to do either with the high temp lock out or some issue that only allows 1 heating element to operate after some time.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #4
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There is no difference in interior temps when on gas or electric. The burner tube is really hot, too hot to touch. I do not think the power source is the problem.

The fans at the top of the chimney are solar powered. They run all day and quit at sundown. The fans at the bottom of the chimney are manually controlled. I turn them on only when the remote temp (by the burner tube) goes over 100 degrees F. They were on in the Keys. They have been off since leaving the Keys. The temp (by the burner tube) has never gone above 96 degrees F. I can hear both upper and lower chimney fans when they are on.

The refer is not in a slide. Per the OP I have checked the thermistor. It is not only in spec, but right in the middle of the spec. If there is a blockage in the chimney, it will be new news to me. At night I can shine a light from the bottom and see it out the top of the chimney. Also, since the coach was new, the lover vent has been protected by a screen and the top of the chimney is protected by another screen.

I can put the temp control on 3, 4 or 5. The temp inside the unit does not change.

The Link to Norcold provides the same information as my Dometic manuals. When one gets to my problem they say call a tech. Diagnosing the failure should not be kept a secret. This is not rocket science. I do not want to call a tech.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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I finally was able to change the temperature in the refrigerator. Yesterday I turned on the heater that prevents condensation on the refrigerator wall that is next to the freezer. The fridge temperature went up to 48 degrees F. That tells me the unit is doing the best it can with whatever defect it now has. It could still be limp mode or over temp protection has been tripped. Unfortunately, I am not able to determine how to diagnose either of these conditions.

I guess it is off to the RV Dealer to see what they find.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:46 AM   #6
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I'm sure you have done this but have you pulled and cleaned connections into the control board?
Possible high resistance may effect the operation of control.
The screens you talk about are 1/4" mesh not window screens in your vent areas.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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All connections are as good/clean as possible. The screens are mud dauber screens. The mesh is 1/4". The screens have been on the coach since 2005. The problem started a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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North Trail RV is doing the factory recommended tests today and tomorrow. I'll post the results here.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:22 AM   #9
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Closure of this problem is there is nothing wrong with the refrigerator! All the components checked out okay. There is nothing to replace that would make it cool better than it is now. In reality it is cooling about 4 degrees F warmer than I am used to.

What I learned is to toss the cheap refrigerator thermometer I was using. It was reading about 6 degrees warmer than the official test kit thermometer. I'll buy the old style mercury filled thermometer.

The unit is running at 0 degrees F in the freezer and 35 degrees F in the refrigerator. This is based on the test kit which measures air temp and liquid temp.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:28 AM   #10
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Gary:
just a clarifying question, what # did you have the dial on when tested? I have the same one, and was just wondering where you were set at.
Thanks,
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:35 AM   #11
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Hi laj,
The unit was set to #5, the coldest setting.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:41 AM   #12
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Thanks Gary
Now i have something to gauge mine off of
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:06 PM   #13
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Hi Everyone,
This is my bad because I forgot to mention it in post #9 .

The tech told me I had moved the slider too high on the fin. For the model mentioned in post #1 there is a mark on the right rear side of the refrigerator. The bottom of the slider must not be above that mark. It is unfortunate the instructions do not mention this. The mark has no label or anything indicating its' purpose.

Ran the unit all night on #4, with the bottom of the slider right at the mark. The freezer was at -5 degrees F and the refrigerator was at 32 degrees F. There is now joy around the refrigerator.

FYI, I did not have the slider much above the mark. The thermistor, which is attached to the slider was on the fin the slider was affixed to. The slider needed to be moved down (warmer setting) to comply with the techs instructions. Sometimes mysteries in life remain mysteries.
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