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Old 09-29-2016, 10:08 PM   #1
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Unhappy Insulation for a Norcold Refrigerator Pipes

I have a 2007 American Tradition with a Norcold refrigerator and it is not getting as cold as it should. I looked in the outside compartment and the insulation has been pulled from around the pipes. When I put the insulation back around the pipes the refrigerator got cold again. These pipes are very hot and I need to get the right kind of insulation so that the pipes do not burn or melt it. Need help on where to buy the proper insulation.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:26 PM   #2
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Norcold fridges have a reputation for catching on fire. I'd be very hesitant to put any more insulation on the 'pipes.' Since there's no compressor in an absorption refrigerator, the cooling process is created by evaporation of ammonia and other chemicals in the boiler at the bottom and condensation as it cools and travels through the pipes.

Most folks increase cooling power of the refrigerator by increasing ventilation by adding fans to remove heat, not seal it in.

Check with an RV refrigeration tech to see if insulation is needed or whether the insulation belongs against the refrigerator box.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:29 PM   #3
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The ONLY thing on a RV Fridge that is insulated pipe is the 'burner stack'
Gas burner on bottom and electric element in tube welded to side.
Heat (350*F gas flame/330*F electric heat) ....liquid ammonia rises being heated

The Flue/burner stack/perc tube are wraped in insulation and then covered by sheet metal.

Any other 'insulation' falling down would be insulation used in side walls/roof of fridge enclosure cabinet.

This is a new cooling unit .......not installed..........burner stack is on right side


Not sure what insulation you are having to put back on??????
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:41 AM   #4
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If both freezer and refrigerator compartments don't cool well, on shore power, one of the two electric heating elements may not be working. Or check for obstruction in vent stack, assuming ventilation fans are operating. Air flow up the back of cooling unit is critical.

If the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, time to check your thermistor.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:50 AM   #5
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Thanks, Old-Biscuit, for the photo.

harrell1, is the refrigerator in a slide? A number of folks report cooling issues with fridges in slides since the top vent has to come out the side instead of the roof. Addition of 12v cooling fans usually helps.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:15 PM   #6
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The RV is in storage now but I will get some pictures and post them here. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:37 PM   #7
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Any fiberglass insulation is OK. It must be fiberglass so it won't catch fire!
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:00 PM   #8
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Sorry, but "any fiberglass" is NOT OK. The stuff made for residential use is nowhere near resistant enough for those temperatures. The burner tube operates at around 350 degrees, so you need pipe insulation designed for boilers. Grainger Supply has it, good for up to around 850 degrees.

Listen to Old Biscuit: Do NOT insulate anything other than the boiler tube.

Here are some:
https://www.grainger.com/product/JOH...198132/_/N-r6b
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:30 AM   #9
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Gary, thanks for correcting me! I didn't know there was any difference in fiberglass insulation!
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