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Old 07-28-2016, 10:58 AM   #1
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New in Colorado

Hello,
New here from Colorado. I appreciate this forum and peoples' time that is given to help others. Usually, I try to read all posts to try to figure out solutions by myself, but now, Im in a different situation and on a time crunch so somewhat in panic mode.
I cant get fridge to cool at all. Just discovered that because rig is from 1987, none of the repair places will touch my MH, so Im on my own, except for you wonderful folks. Its upsetting, repair shop is interested until I mention how old it is, then I get that, "youre crazy" and told they cant help me. Anybody have time to walk me through this?
Fridge is Norcold model # 878EG2. Dont have manual and its too old for youtube videos. If not mistaken, this unit cools by heating gases in tubes, draws heat out of unit. yes? I realize by this system, its very slow to cool, that ambient temp matters, putting cool things in it at night and running overnight is good, that fridge full but not jammed packed is important, a fan running inside cuts cooling approx half, that rig MUST be level side-side, etc. even with this, no cooling.

-Which will be best to use to try to troubleshoot? shore line or propane?
-If I use the propane, the pilot light works. Now what do I check? Then what?
-If I use the shoreline, where do I start?
thanks for any tips
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:40 AM   #2
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Hi! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

First, I would look behind the fridge for any yellow residue that would indicate a leaking cooling system. If you see any, don't do anything else except replace the cooling unit or buy a new fridge.

If there's no yellow residue, then bypass the control board by disconnecting the 120VAC heating elements and using an old extension cord, connect them directly to a 120VAC outlet and let them heat for several hours to see it the fridge starts cooling. If it does, you may have a defective control board. If it still doesn't cool, you've probably got a bad cooling unit. You must have a fan of some type blowing air up through the coils of the cooling unit while you do this test!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Have you tried thenorcoldguy.com? Phone 1-888-810-2366. I see that they do sell parts for your model Norcold. Just a thought; I've never dealt with them.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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Glad you joined us here in the forum.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I mistakenly called it a "pilot light", not burner. Now burner will fire for about 20 minutes. Occasionally, during this time the igniter will try to light, (clicking noise) even though it has flame, then shut off and I get the red light under fridge. Haven't had a chance to dig into the electrical yet but was wondering about the igniter doing this.
While burner is fired up, the tube coming out from burner is getting hot. I'm going to be dry camping. No electrical.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:09 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear about your issue.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:37 AM   #7
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Update: so I bypassed the control board and connected to 120 with ext cord and old lamp cord. Freezer started cooling off. Took fridge hours longer but I only had a lil fan. I tried contacting "TheNorcoldGuy", which btw, 'Me for Maine", thanks for that contact, but left message. I found the circuit board listed for my fridge on his website. I was thrilled. But, before I take the plunge and spend the $150, is there anything else I should check? If it's a circuit board issues, would my propane burner still kick on after I switch it over? Just wanna try make sure I'm checking everything first.
Plus, I'm having an issue with the propane igniter trying to light even tho the burner is already burning, and then it eventually, shuts off. Are the 2 issues related? That is, if it has a bad circuit board, is it affecting the igniter lighting attempts. I've been you-tubing trying to get answers but no success so far. Until I can get this straightened out, can I leave the bypass wiring connected and plugged in to keep fridge cool and just keep unplugging it occasionally? I mostly need it to run on propane but I do have generator option for pluggin in the bypass wiring, if that's the only way. My preference is to get the propane to cool it, not electric.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:22 AM   #8
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Ditr,

Your issues with the stove burner may be caused by oil in the LP lines, and this could affect the operation of the fridge on LP as well. Oil in the lines can be the result of overfilling the LP tank or the result of the system not being used for an extended period of time, so I am told.

You might want to check your LP regulator and lines.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:35 PM   #9
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ok, I havent tried my stove yet but I've never had any issue with it, its all about this Norcold refrigerator. The fridge ignitkr keeps trying to light, even though the fridge burner is burning. If it is oil in the lines, how do I diagnose that and fix it. Thanks
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:08 PM   #10
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My mistake! I read burner and jumped to the wrong conclusion. To diagnose if the LP supply is the problem, I'd first try all of the other appliances on LP. Do the stove, heat, generator (if LP) all function properly? If so, then the LP supply isn't likely to be your problem.

If the other appliances don't function on LP, then I'd start troubleshooting the LP supply. You might search YouTube for videos on how to replace your LP regulator. On the other hand, I could be leading you down a proverbial rabbit trail as I try to diagnose a problem without a good grasp of all the facts. For that, I apologize!
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