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Old 10-20-2019, 08:51 AM   #1
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Question Norcold fridge propane won't cut off

Have a norcold model N821 refrigerator, cools great on electric and propane. Problem is runs constantly when on propane mode. Will cut off for a split second but then comes back on. Have a good flame at the burner. Cleaned the flue tube and baffle. Not sure if I need to replace the thermister or if there is another problem.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyg63 View Post
Have a norcold model N821 refrigerator, cools great on electric and propane. Problem is runs constantly when on propane mode. Will cut off for a split second but then comes back on. Have a good flame at the burner. Cleaned the flue tube and baffle. Not sure if I need to replace the thermister or if there is another problem.

My questions would be: What is the temperature inside the refrigerator?; What is the temp inside the freezer?; Are these temps remaining constant?; What is the outside ambient temperature?; Is the sun shining on the back of the fridge?; Is there an excessive frost build-up on the cooling fins?; How old are the door seals?


Constant heating of the evaporating system should lead to some obvious results inside, indicated in temperature changes/extremes. You could also have a fault in the cooling system itself and it has lost its efficiency so it is constantly being heated and cycled.


BTW, you mention it runs constantly on the propane mode. Is that because you can hear/observe the gas burner but cannot know when the electric element is operating?
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

As Larry indicated, more info in needed to help.

Just noticed you are kinda new here and wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:49 PM   #4
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Ljwt330 thanks for the reply. RV is in a shaded area with ambient temperatures in the mid 50's to the high 70's. Freezer temp is -12 to -15 deg F, temp inside the refrigerator is 35 to 38 deg F. No frost build up and the door seals appear to be OK. Works great on electric but when I'm on propane is when I have problem. I can hear the gas burner from the outside. As mentioned it will go off for a split second then comes back on. I've checked the flame and it appears to be OK.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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Hello back and thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:26 PM   #6
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Ljwt330 thanks for the reply. RV is in a shaded area with ambient temperatures in the mid 50's to the high 70's. Freezer temp is -12 to -15 deg F, temp inside the refrigerator is 35 to 38 deg F. No frost build up and the door seals appear to be OK. Works great on electric but when I'm on propane is when I have problem. I can hear the gas burner from the outside. As mentioned it will go off for a split second then comes back on. I've checked the flame and it appears to be OK.
I’m sure Old-Biscuit will post soon with some definitive information. Given your answers, my logic tells me there should be the same issue when on electric but monitoring when the element is ON is not so easy. Still, I would try to see if the electric is constant as well.

What temp setting do you have the fridge now, and what happens when you try to lower the temperature, does it get colder?

The heating of the ammonia is done through contact of the boiler with the gas heat tube or the electric element housing. If the gas burner tube has moved away from the boiler or otherwise reduced the heat exchange, then that could account for the inefficiency of the gas option. Just a thought.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
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Old-Biscuit has the practical experience.
Me, I have seen a lot of dead pie fans in PCs. In our case, they are used to vent the back of the frig area. Keeps the air moving across the fins.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
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Larry, have frig set on #6. Will lower it and see what happens. Also going to check the gas burner tube and see if it has moved away from the boiler.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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Pappion, not familiar with the dead pie fans??? Is this a small fan placed at the back of the frig?
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:09 PM   #10
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Constant propane is easy to spot......BUT electric is hard because it's quiet
and only 300W so amp draw is under 3A

Freezer/fridge temps are indicitive of 'continuous' cooling cycle

On the N621/821 Series if thermistor fails the controls go into 'BOS' (Backup Operating System)
To check if operating in 'BOS"
Push any button and the temp setting flashes for 10 seconds then the mode will appear.

IF operating in 'BOS' temp controls are time based......lower numerical setting will result is shorter time frames

Replace thermistor




Your fridge doesn't need external fan......quite capable of cooling effectively with natural draft
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:17 AM   #11
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BOS is likely.
My Frig needs a fan, of course it's hotter in AZ. Lots of mods to be found on forum for adding fans. I removed the small noisy OEM 120mm and replaced it with two 140mm industrial IP67 weather proof ones. I used a PWM fan and a PWM controller with temp sensor. Higher Speeds = Higher Noise. Constant speed fan is simpler but noisy above 1500 rpm.
https://noctua.at/en/products/fan
OEM: Dometic Power Ventilator Assembly, Part No. 3108705.751 for Single Door Absorption Refrigerators.
https://myrvworks.com/wp-content/upl...ingle-Door.pdf
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:25 AM   #12
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Pappion, not familiar with the dead pie fans??? Is this a small fan placed at the back of the frig?
Most likely. Many places it could be. Often it's at the exhaust vent, or vent pipe (Pulls). Some times it Pushes from below. Maybe both push and pull. Could be up to 3 lined up in a row.

No fan will help if you have a squirrel nest in there

Did not see your rig in your signature. Anyway explore your documents.
This is top tier brand of quiet fans:
https://noctua.at/en/products/fan
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:05 AM   #13
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Don't get side-tracked on Fans


With freezer temps -12 to -15 deg F, temp inside the refrigerator is 35 to 38 deg F. No frost build up and the door seals appear to be OK. you do NOT have a Fan issue


Thermistor.........temp sensing device attached to 10th FIN from right INSIDE the food compartment.
Plugs into Light Assembly connection


Buy new one and replace.
Then Temp Control will be based on FIN temp vs time
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:10 PM   #14
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Right, Don't get sidetracked on fans, do it later.
Do check your vents. Are they clear or clogged? It's important at all temps.
At 50-70s fans are not needed. Over 90F definitely needed. In the 80s, I bet it helps efficiency.
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