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Old 11-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #15
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Perhaps this is worth mentioning as well:

The average RV’er doesn’t dwell on the Rv fridge’s vital signs. It’s a leave-alone appliance that gets attention primarily at winterizing and mid-summer; but trusted, otherwise, to do it’s job relentlessly day-in & day-out. Far too many of the reported fires are simply a result of lack of diligent maintenance by the Owner.

Also is the fact that postings here assume that flammability equals fire. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mere presence of a material that can potentially catch fire does not automatically constitute a “Fire Hazard”. For example: Gary noted the hydrogen from a crack in the coil is flammable. But, hydrogen is lighter that air, it rises and dissipates quickly. And the burner box is at the very bottom corner. [ Every non-metallic item in the MH is flammable to some degree; but not a death trap]. Rusty correctly points out that the “vapor concentrations” count tremendously; as well as the requirement for a “strong” ignition source. Richard is also current with the electrical short “burning” into the sealed loop system. A sequence of stringed-together incidents need to fall neatly into place for a catastrophic fire to occur.

The “panic-from-the numbers” mentality is illogical. A numerical count of recalls does not directly correlate to the “hazard” factor. The simple kit takes more labor than the mere $10 worth of parts involved. This is a bean-counter’s no-brainer as opposed to potential lawsuits in these litigation-happy times if the mfgr. did nothing to mitigate.

Yes, we can put in a Halon system for insurance-of-mind; but I’d rather open the outside panel before I switch to LP and visually check the flame start-up is blue. I can place a fire detector outside if it would do any peacekeeping. But DW and I have confidence in our proper care via thorough time-to-time inspection of coil, connections, smell, traces of leak, etc. and supplemental annual tech checkups.

These Dometic and Norcold repair campaigns are good to see; but somehow a "Toyota panic" is not warrantied from my point of view. I'm not making light of the postings above; but
too many, use too little info. to jump to conclusions.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:56 AM   #16
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Folks,

I would totally agree with 62Morgan's statement that "most" Rver's would probably not be concerned with the possibility of their frig having a fire as the frequency of use is limited to a vacation or two and some weekend trips. From what I can tell by the RV storage lots that I drive by every day, it would appear to me that people buy these things and then let them sit in a storage area more than they get used.

For people like me that use their RV as their primary "Home", they have to think differently about the possibility of a fire destroying their home, contents and possibly taking their life too. There have been two documented cases where a Norcold fire caused two deaths, both in litigation or have been settled. There have been so many Norcold frig fires documented over the past few years that I personally do not want to take ANY chances at all. I do most of my own maintenance, repairs and modifications but when it comes to fires, sorry, it doesn't tell you when you are going to have one, it just happens.

If you check with RV insurance companies as to what type of claims are the top three turned in, #1 is tire blow outs, #2 is refrigerator fires/propane leaks and #3 is hitting gas station and bridge overhangs.

I keep my tires maintained with proper inflation and MCD covers, use a TPMS and record my DOT codes. For the frig, I use a fire suppression system and maintain the rear access compartment monthly. For me, the $150 spent for the Halon SS-30 is very cheap as compared to what it would cost me to replace my home and contents, and as for my life, well that's priceless.

For those that want to believe that it won't happen to you, well each of you have the right to believe whatever you want until it does. Then, what I've been hearing is, "I wish that I had listen to what people were saying and spent the money for a fire suppression system."

Just so everyone knows, I do NOT have any personal financial interest in any of the fire suppression systems offered nor do I recommend any specific one, however recently I do know that a recent coach owner recived a phone call while they were away on an emergency trip that their coach was totaled from a frig fire. They had a fire suppression system, not a Halon, and it didn't go off. Possibly it had a leak and the owner didn't check it regularly to make sure it was pressurized correctly, not sure what the circumstances were but with any system, you cannot just set it and forget it. Everything needs to be maintained and especially your RV refrigerator regardless of how often you use it.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:41 AM   #17
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First it was the Thermal Switch, now it’s a fast acting High Temp Sensor. Isn’t this latest “fix” just another band-aid? If the fires are caused because a cooling unit fails, shouldn’t the “fix” address the cooling unit itself? Assuming the High Temp Sensor does its job, the cooling unit still needs to be replaced.
Yes, it’s nice to know the Sensor should activate before a fire starts but I’m more comforted by the Halon SS-30 I have installed.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #18
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I understand that the biggest danger of fire with the Norcolds is when they are running on AC. I understand that they are not much of a problem when they are running on propane.

I understand that from the moment the fridge fire starts, it takes only 15 minutes to fill the entire coach with smoke and fire, and another 15 minutes to totally destroy the coach.

That doesn't leave any time to get out alive, especially if you are sleeping at the back, and the kids or grandkids are sleeping up front on the other side of the fridge.

We really like our old Norcold fridge, and we really don't want to lose the ability to use the fridge on propane, but we're beginning to wonder if we should just switch to a residential for the sake of our lives.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:51 AM   #19
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How? install ss-30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
Folks,

I would totally agree with 62Morgan's statement that "most" Rver's would probably not be concerned with the possibility of their frig having a fire as the frequency of use is limited to a vacation or two and some weekend trips. From what I can tell by the RV storage lots that I drive by every day, it would appear to me that people buy these things and then let them sit in a storage area more than they get used.

For people like me that use their RV as their primary "Home", they have to think differently about the possibility of a fire destroying their home, contents and possibly taking their life too. There have been two documented cases where a Norcold fire caused two deaths, both in litigation or have been settled. There have been so many Norcold frig fires documented over the past few years that I personally do not want to take ANY chances at all. I do most of my own maintenance, repairs and modifications but when it comes to fires, sorry, it doesn't tell you when you are going to have one, it just happens.

If you check with RV insurance companies as to what type of claims are the top three turned in, #1 is tire blow outs, #2 is refrigerator fires/propane leaks and #3 is hitting gas station and bridge overhangs.

I keep my tires maintained with proper inflation and MCD covers, use a TPMS and record my DOT codes. For the frig, I use a fire suppression system and maintain the rear access compartment monthly. For me, the $150 spent for the Halon SS-30 is very cheap as compared to what it would cost me to replace my home and contents, and as for my life, well that's priceless.

For those that want to believe that it won't happen to you, well each of you have the right to believe whatever you want until it does. Then, what I've been hearing is, "I wish that I had listen to what people were saying and spent the money for a fire suppression system."

Just so everyone knows, I do NOT have any personal financial interest in any of the fire suppression systems offered nor do I recommend any specific one, however recently I do know that a recent coach owner recived a phone call while they were away on an emergency trip that their coach was totaled from a frig fire. They had a fire suppression system, not a Halon, and it didn't go off. Possibly it had a leak and the owner didn't check it regularly to make sure it was pressurized correctly, not sure what the circumstances were but with any system, you cannot just set it and forget it. Everything needs to be maintained and especially your RV refrigerator regardless of how often you use it.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
Hi;
How did you install the ss-30 in the unit.for the fridge..did you just lay it down? set it so it does not bounce and roll around?
I do want to get protection. Thank you
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamGadget View Post
Hi;
How did you install the ss-30 in the unit.for the fridge..did you just lay it down? set it so it does not bounce and roll around?
I do want to get protection. Thank you
A simple installation. Less than 2 minutes to install. Before ordering decide where you are going to place it. The nozzle needs to be upright and you need to be able to read the pressure gauge without removing the unit. I did not realize that before ordering mine so to read the gauge I have to remove the unit. My gauge is on the back side of the tank head.

Mine was simply screwed down with two sheet metal screws and I placed it as close to the burner stack as possible. See photo attached. It does not move around as it is a very tight fit especially with the access cover attached. I have it just sitting there now so I can remove it easily to read the gauge. I do that once a month when I am in the compartment doing maintenance.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
A simple installation. Less than 2 minutes to install. Before ordering decide where you are going to place it. The nozzle needs to be upright and you need to be able to read the pressure gauge without removing the unit. I did not realize that before ordering mine so to read the gauge I have to remove the unit. My gauge is on the back side of the tank head.

Mine was simply screwed down with two sheet metal screws and I placed it as close to the burner stack as possible. See photo attached. It does not move around as it is a very tight fit especially with the access cover attached. I have it just sitting there now so I can remove it easily to read the gauge. I do that once a month when I am in the compartment doing maintenance.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
thank you...what kind of maint. do you do in fridge compartment?
also is this the one pounder that is 165.00 is this from Mac the fire guy or Ewax? did it include shipping? thanks again...now that this is on my mind i do not want to wait
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:11 PM   #22
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I recently posted pixs on the forum of a recent Dometic fire in Florida. After reading a lot of post on this subject I decided to call Norcold for tech advice.

Possible Dometic Fire

What they said was that the welds in the boiler area was different on the recalled Fridges. When heated they could develope a pinhole and leak the hydrogen which turns into a small blowtorch. They also said that the boiler temperature may get too high causing the welds to fail and help ignite the hydrogen. The recent Dometic fire was started while on AC power.

I also asked if I could order a kit on mine to insure the boiler temp stayed within acceptable limits. Mine was not a recalled unit. He stated on my model the boiler could not reach the high temps of the recalled units so it is not necessary to install a controller.

After reading about the Halon I was excited about it but Norcold said it may stop the fire but is extremely toxic and could leak into the MH. they don't recommend it.

The Dometic that I previously posted about had the recall fix last December.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #23
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Over the years, Halon has evolved. The product that was toxic a few years ago is no longer available, AFIK, so it is unlikely any extinuisher you buy today would contain it.

The Norcold persons info is likely no longer true.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #24
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Thanks for that info about Halon. I will check that out.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:47 AM   #25
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Not due to THIS recall, but just a global insurance policy in general I recently installed an auto-release 3L AFFF in the engine, auto-release Halon in the fridge, a Handheld Halon in the kitchen (I was told to), a small AFFF handheld in the rear, and replaced the factory powder with AFFF by the door.

The SS-30 is a tight fit, and my only option was to install it about 12" from the burner, but it's better then none at all. They also make a smaller unit that I might try and install closer to the burner up top.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfa38User View Post
Over the years, Halon has evolved. The product that was toxic a few years ago is no longer available, AFIK, so it is unlikely any extinuisher you buy today would contain it.

The Norcold persons info is likely no longer true.
This is incorrect.

While it's true that Halon is no longer manufactured, it is now and will remain for sale, and is still the only agent accepted by the FAA. There are companies that recycle Halon from large commercial systems that are upgrading and must upgrade to FM-200 or equivalent. The Halon is repackaged and resold in the units we all are talking about here.

As far as being toxic, so is fire and smoke, and in that circumstance wouldn't lose 1 sec of sleep over dumping the manual can or the auto having been released.

Greystroke: I find it ironic that a Norcold employee is rendering an opinion about not using a life-saving device while HIS product is the cause of all the concern about how to survive a fire. And apparently as with his own product has no clue what he's talking about. I'll take my chances of having a proven fire extinguishing agent NOT leak through a valve used by the 10's of millions across the planet over his fridge catching fire.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:11 AM   #27
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With regards to Halon, they aren't making any more. However, the supply of the existing stuff is enormous. WRT its use within the small area of the outside frig compartment, it's purpose is to remove oxygen from the fire, thereby snuffing out the fire. In the typical 1 liter Halon tank, there is enough to put out 20 fires or more as you only need about 5%-10% of the tank to snuff out any fire. It will never be enough to saturate the area inside the coach thereby remove the oxygen for humans to breathe. Again, it is NOT toxic, it simply replaces the oxygen with Halon.

SCVJeff, have you checked to make sure that mounting the tank vertically with the nozzle pointed horizontally is correct with Mac The Fire Guy or Ralph from Fire-Fight or from wherever you purchased your tank? I think I was told that the nozzle had to be vertical and pointing upwards, I may be wrong and confusing it with my 3 liter AFFF tank and remote nozzle I have in my engine compartment. Doesn't hurt to double check.

Also, when I purchased my system, I purchased an additional package from Mac that included three small portable extinguishers, Fireaide 2000's and one medium Cold Fire which is next to the front door. I believe all of these are AFFF type. I put one small one in the kitchen, one next to my side of the bed, and one in my Toad. I put the old chemical extinguishers that came with the coach in my cargo trailer for possible BBQ fires or anything else that may need to be extinguished.

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Old 11-07-2010, 09:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCVJeff View Post
Greystroke: I find it ironic that a Norcold employee is rendering an opinion about not using a life-saving device while HIS product is the cause of all the concern about how to survive a fire. And apparently as with his own product has no clue what he's talking about. I'll take my chances of having a proven fire extinguishing agent NOT leak through a valve used by the 10's of millions across the planet over his fridge catching fire.
The Tech I spoke to was just trying to help me understand and probably overstated the Halon issue.
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