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Old 10-23-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Norcold Fire & Possible Dometic Fires

Hi all,

Just prior to labor day we had a fire in our Norcold refer.

I caught the start of it in time to extinguish it before any significant damage was done. Probably no more than 2 or 3 minutes. Other than fire around the burner area, the air dam was somewhat charred, no other damage.

This was not a unit covered by the current recalls.It took nearly a month for Norcold to determine they would cover the replacemant cooling unit. Not all their fault. We had to delay inspection for several days so they couldn't get started and of course the labor day holiday also delayed action.

Everything is now back to normal and has been for nearly 2 weeks.

I expect another recall for newer units to be issued, be aware.

Al Sawyer
'05 MADP
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allynne View Post
...I expect another recall for newer units to be issued, be aware.
It's just a matter of time, IMO. The model & serial numbers will expand & more will need recalled. We've tried to get ours fixed BEFORE there's a fire, but Norcold won't authorize any modification because our numbers aren't in the recall series yet. Until then, we just wait.

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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What caused the fire? Was it a cooling unit leak?
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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Hi. back in July we "ALSO" had a fire in our 4 door Norcold. Unfortunatly we were gone.. coach was a total loss, luckily the fire dept. was able to save our two dogs. We have now replaced the coach and have aresidential fridge in it. This is all to common.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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Norcold Fire

Brigadoon,

Yes it was the burner of cooling unit, which of course is the only source of heat for an absorption refer, by the way it was on electric not gas.

The replacement unit has the "fix" that is installed on recalled units. It is a box around the base of the burner and also has a thermal switch, which is supposed to shut off all power to it.

We'll see. We of course were very lucky, had we been away, we would have been in the same situation that ArizoniaTony was.

I would push Norcold for the fix even before a recall.

The new units are exactly the same design as the recalled units I understand.

Al Sawyer
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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I have seen on another site (diesel RV) that Norcold has another recall on all 1200 series. Worth a call to Norcold.

Al Sawyer
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allynne View Post
I have seen on another site (diesel RV) that Norcold has another recall on all 1200 series. Worth a call to Norcold.

Al Sawyer
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It's true. ALL 1200 series are now under recall regardless of what the Norcold site or it's auto-lookup serial number pages say. They haven't updated them yet.

This is a high temp cutoff, and not really a fix according to the folks at Norcold I spoke with this morning.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:57 PM   #8
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I think the time has come: Norcold Recall

Looks like this one throws a very wide net which includes ours.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Because of this Forum, did check my Norcold's recall status and numbers from Norcold tell me that my 1200 series Fridge is on recall - Being Sunday, impossible to call their hotline - Called a Tech who worked on my MH a couple of days ago - The pieces won't be in before Dec 15 and then there are multiple installations to do.

I understand it would be prudent to shut everything up and let food rot inside the fridge and take meals at restaurants for 1 month - this is not practical for the majority of recall owners - So, we keep the Unit on electricity as we are parked in a Resort and wait for the replacement ??

We added some Fire Extinguishers, do not leave the Unit unattended, take some Xanax or Valium
All this without knowing the real dangers of this recall on our Fridge ????
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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Sorry about your fire glad everyone is safe.
The past day I have caught up on this problem and have post here the results of non inspections on some members Norcolds or improper inspections of them.
There are now 6 threads on the Norcold problem, this post is now in all 6 threads.
I last February had the first recall done at the Newmar Repair Center by a authorized Norcold tech. He explained what they were looking for as far as the electric element location break down of cooling unit pipe that allows the internal gas or fluid to escape from the faulty weld near the top of the retainer for the heating elements.
These latest fires show there is a major problem and cooling units need to be changed not just bandaid's applied.
My fridge past inspection and its 7 years old and I have been using it and have never had a problem with it the 7 years.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:25 PM   #11
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Thanks 007 - your post does not modify my attitude towards this recall - Will call Norcold tomorrow, Monday - Have already ordered the recall part though I do not understand very well the problemo - but will not shut off my unit for 1 month as parts come in because of this surge of calls to Tech people in South West Florida - I have prepared my Emergency Kit and all of my sensors are working well and my insurance is in Canada and active and wish I could put a normal fridge in my 2006 DSDP instead of the Norcold-Thetford crap I have bought last Summer.

By the way I did not have a recall last Summer when I checked from Wells, Maine - this new outstanding recall must have started for my 1200 Unit aftgerwards and I was not informed - until I read Newmar's Owners Forum and did the checking through Norcold's Website etc.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:52 AM   #12
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BTW- With the exception of the latest fire in a Monaco (because it wasn't posted), all of the fires that I have seen covered in the forums have been on electric when they fail.

Has anyone seen differently?
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:03 AM   #13
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Jeff thats correct if you look at the first recall TSB when they remove the installation canister they inspect the junction point of where the heating elements enter the retaining tubes for them.
There are some pictures after of a fire where the picture shows this junction point and a hole through the heat pipe where internals of cooling coil escaped and caused the fire.
I have not been able to find as yet.
If you look at TSB page two figure 3 it will with arrow pointed to heating elements.
This is the point of a weak spot for the fires.
The first recall required this inspection to look for any yellow residue present at this location.
My contention is people are getting now the second recall done and this inspection is being over looked because in order to do this inspection the refrigerator has to be removed.
They say their 2nd recall only took them 3/4 to 1 hour to do without pulling the fridge.
As far as I'm concerned they may have this weak spot without the inspection and the inedible is going to happen, a fire.
All the TSB's I have posted have come from our, "NEWMAR" component make up of our coach's that I have linked to in Quick Tips & Mod's.
Have not seen the 2nd recall TSB posted for my coach as yet at this location where it would explain exactly what tech requirements are to complete the 2nd recall.
From what I have seen through comments on posts by people for their 2nd recall it doesn't look good.
When I was at the Newmar factory in February the Norcold tech showed me what they looked for when they pulled my fridge and replaced a defective heating element I had. This is what I already explained.
They did the first recall and also placed a firmer canister insulation wrap around heat pipe which came with the recall kit.

I'm not a welder but when the retainer for heat elements was placed on heat pipe the welt was over heated weakening the heat pipe at this spot.

Looking for picture of weak spot did a SEARCH on "Norcold Fire's" will make for interest reading.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:09 PM   #14
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I had the recall installed in my 1200 at Newmar last week. Took 1/2 hr and all it is is a cutout switch tied on the back.
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