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Old 03-25-2020, 11:23 PM   #1
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Norcold refrigerator stop working, will putting it upside down will help?

Hi guys,
my norcold refrigerator cooling unit stops working. Did anyone try to put it upside down to unblock blockage? There are no leak, so I suspect a blockage.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:59 PM   #2
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It doesn't hurt them to try it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:28 AM   #3
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Mention the AGE of your refer. Please put the particulars of your RV in your signature.

If the refer is new, take it in for warranty service.

The only reason to stand a absorption refer on it's head is IF you've left it running when it was tilted. And more than around 8 degrees. If you didn't, start looking for another reason. Like no 12 volts, blown fuse, out of propane. You just didn't give enough to go on.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:51 AM   #4
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Turn it upside down then throw it out the window
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:10 AM   #5
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Be aware that the crystals that form during an overheat condition and block the tubing will never go away. Turning the fridge upside down may knock them loose but you are risking them causing a blockage again and maybe an overheat and a fire.

What model fridge do you have? If it's covered by one of the recalls, have you had it done and has the recall box been installed?

I do not know if the "2000" listed in your profile is the motorhome model number or the model year.

The recalls affected multiple model numbers built from roughly 1998 through 2010.

Here is one of the recall links: https://norcold.com/recall-informati...-dec8f104-b62d

Ray
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:43 AM   #6
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Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Its no good like it is, so if your plan is to get a few more miles out of it, give it a shot.

If you plan on replacing it, You'll probably be turning it upside down to get it out of the MH.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:57 AM   #7
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In order to 'turn it upside down/flip it/roll it on it's side etc' you have to remove it....flip it and then put it back in to see if it works


IF I am going to go thru the time/effort to remove it---then that is when I am going to FIX it
*Replace cooling unit, convert it to compressor type or replace the whole dang fridge




Sodium Chromate (anti-rust inhibitor in coolant) turns to crystals when overheated. Those crystals remain (do not go back into solution)---once formed they are permanent
They plate out on inside of cooling unit tubing typically in the 'perk' tube (boiler section) and/or in area between the freezer & food compartment cooling coils (freezer gets cold but food compartment doesn't)
Flipping etc can dislodge some of the crystals and allow increased flow in coolant......might displace enough to get adequate cooling again BUT those dislodged crystals WILL plate out somewhere again.


Time/effort for 'band-aid' OR FIX it ??
Your call!
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:43 AM   #8
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If you are going to flip it, you need to leave it upside down and on each side a couple of hours in each position. Hope it will dislodge any blockage. The crystals may dissolve or may not.

But it is worth a try.

Ken
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:44 PM   #9
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You could always install an Amish cooling system in your existing refer, (if you are at all handy), they are a much better built system and from what I have heard work awesome!! They build units specifically for your model number. They do take a bit to install, you have to remove your refer to do it but it isn't that difficult. There are U-tube videos on how to do it and it's cheaper than a new refer.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:52 PM   #10
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We had a 1976 Winnebago Brave when I was a teenager. My parents bought it new. After a couple of years the fridge quit working. Local RV tech at the time said it might be airlocked. Told us to pull it out and flip it upside down for 24 hours.

Sure enough. That worked and the fridge still works to this day.

In about 1998 I bought an 88 Coachman class c. I bought it to fix up, camp in and sell. The fridge didnt work when I bought it. After some troubleshooting I pulled it out and stood it upside down for 24 hours.

Sure enough. That worked and the fridge still worked a year later when I sold the old Coachman.

So in some cases standing the fridge upside down for a day can make them work again.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:55 PM   #11
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To add to the upside down treatment try to find some vibrating massager and tape it to the coils and turn it on get a couple of stick and drum on the connections located a spots where the tubing goes from big to little.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
We had a 1976 Winnebago Brave when I was a teenager. My parents bought it new. After a couple of years the fridge quit working. Local RV tech at the time said it might be airlocked. Told us to pull it out and flip it upside down for 24 hours.

Sure enough. That worked and the fridge still works to this day.

"Air lock" was a common problem back then, but newer RV fridges use a more sophisticated cooling unit design. The good news is the air lock problem was eliminated; the bad news is that cooling units can still get clogged. In fridges built since the mid-late-80's, the sodium chromate corrosion inhibitor deteriorates a bit every time the fridge overheats a little. You aren't ware of it, but eventually it coagulates and builds up enough to block the flow of the ammonia-hydrogen coolant solution.
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Old 03-28-2020, 02:07 PM   #13
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Vibrating or tapping on the coils got a couple years out of my 1200.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:34 PM   #14
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My brother's brand new RV, a 2008, had a Norcold and after a trip he forgot to turn it off and parked on a really steep hill. A couple weeks later, he's getting ready for a 2K mile trip, parked it in his relatively flat driveway and turned it on. No cool.

About 24 hours before his trip he called me to come over and explained the no cold issue. Initially, I spent at least a half hour running a medium sized rubber mallet aggressively up and down the coils to get a vibration going. Afterwards it was just a random thing as we were loading the RV that we'd stop as we passed it and spend a couple minutes running the mallet up and down the coils.

Next day, I cautioned him to drive for 2-3 hours first, before turning it on. So road vibration could maybe help.

Late that next day he called with the good news that it was getting cold, and the freezer was pretty much down to frozen.

So vibration does work, and without pulling it out and standing it on it's head...which is what I would have done if he wasn't in such a hurry.
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