RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-30-2017, 10:11 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
antarias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 11
Thumbs down SMOKE! - Replacing Norcold 1200 AC Heating Elements

Good morning folks.

I had the pleasure of replacing the cooling unit on my 1200 this weekend. What a fun time that has been. Got everything wrapped up and decided to test the AC function before breaking my back again putting it back in it hole.

No errors, no problems, cold fins in the fridge, cold ice chest and nearly immediately. Things were looking up.

Then... The smell of something smoldering... then smoke from the back of the fridge, by where the heating elements I just replaced are.

I tore off the metal sheeting, pulled back the insulation (which was sticking to the iron pipes now) and comfirmed its definitely eminating from the AC heater area.

My question is for anyone who has replaced these heating elements before.

Like when I get a new cheap toaster or electric heater, it smells and emits a smoke for a bit on first use... Are these supposed to smoke a bit on first use as well? Should I let it run and see if I can ride it out?

Thanks!
antarias is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-30-2017, 11:25 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by antarias View Post
Good morning folks.



I had the pleasure of replacing the cooling unit on my 1200 this weekend. What a fun time that has been. Got everything wrapped up and decided to test the AC function before breaking my back again putting it back in it hole.



No errors, no problems, cold fins in the fridge, cold ice chest and nearly immediately. Things were looking up.



Then... The smell of something smoldering... then smoke from the back of the fridge, by where the heating elements I just replaced are.



I tore off the metal sheeting, pulled back the insulation (which was sticking to the iron pipes now) and comfirmed its definitely eminating from the AC heater area.



My question is for anyone who has replaced these heating elements before.



Like when I get a new cheap toaster or electric heater, it smells and emits a smoke for a bit on first use... Are these supposed to smoke a bit on first use as well? Should I let it run and see if I can ride it out?



Thanks!


No idea but new furnaces electric heating strips do the same thing. Scares the hell out of customers
Sounds like a phone call to the parts supplier
Kennzz05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2017, 01:53 PM   #3
Community Moderator
 
Lt Dan's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 6,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by antarias View Post
My question is for anyone who has replaced these heating elements before.

Like when I get a new cheap toaster or electric heater, it smells and emits a smoke for a bit on first use... Are these supposed to smoke a bit on first use as well? Should I let it run and see if I can ride it out?
One of two things. The elements could be burning off some oil left during the manufacture, or the two tubes that hold the elements are burning off some of the paint from the new cooling unit. Mine did smell a bit when I replaced the original unit and elements in our Itasca with an Amish unit and new elements but I never saw any smoke. The elements do get pretty hot when it's operating. I would turn it on and keep a close watch on it to see if the smoke diminishes.
__________________
2017 Phaeton 40IH XSH Maroon Coral - Power Glide Chassis with IFS
Previously '15 Tiffin Allegro RED 38QRA and '06 Itasca Sunrise 35A
'16 Jeep JKU Wrangler Sahara or '08 Honda Goldwing
Lt Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
palehorse89's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 8,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by antarias View Post
Good morning folks.

I had the pleasure of replacing the cooling unit on my 1200 this weekend. What a fun time that has been. Got everything wrapped up and decided to test the AC function before breaking my back again putting it back in it hole.

No errors, no problems, cold fins in the fridge, cold ice chest and nearly immediately. Things were looking up.

Then... The smell of something smoldering... then smoke from the back of the fridge, by where the heating elements I just replaced are.

I tore off the metal sheeting, pulled back the insulation (which was sticking to the iron pipes now) and comfirmed its definitely eminating from the AC heater area.

My question is for anyone who has replaced these heating elements before.

Like when I get a new cheap toaster or electric heater, it smells and emits a smoke for a bit on first use... Are these supposed to smoke a bit on first use as well? Should I let it run and see if I can ride it out?

Thanks!
I replaced mine last summer, after a slight cooling issue. Called and talked to David Force as he owns/has vast experience on RV fridges.
Installed the new heating elements, super cold.......working well. No smoke or any oder's from the install.......
Monitor them, and watch it closely.......and see if it just burns off and stops..........is the any notice of a yellowish/green residue/liquid in there?
__________________
2012 Essex 4544 2011 Jeep JK, M&G Braking, 2014 MTI 27' Hog Hauler, Wireless brake control, 2006 Ultra & 1989 Springer
palehorse89 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2017, 02:58 PM   #5
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 43,870
Did you add any insulation around the heating elements? That requires a special high-temp fiberglass insulation! Fiberglass insulation that is used to insulate the attics and walls of houses is NOT that type and would probably melt!
__________________
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2017, 10:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 528
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...berglass.5040/
Kennzz05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 11:09 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
antarias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 11
Thumbs down Resolved but with Caveats

Thank you all for the responses. They were extremely helpful.

The smell dissipated as the fresh paint/coating on the cooling unit burned off. It took a few days on 110v and a bit longer when running on propane to fully burn off. It did fill the coach with a nasty smell, not sure if this is by design or I just choose a bad remanufactured unit (RV Cool).

I want to take a second to provide some feedback on RV COOL (RVCOOL.COM - Supplier of replacement Cooling Units for Norcold and Dometic RV Refrigerators since 1994. We build brand new aftermarket cooling units as well as our industry leading remanufactured cooling units for Norcold and Dometic rv refrigerators) replacement cooling units.

Rather then a lengthly wordy post I will summarize my experience in bullets:

1. Slow (and sometimes no response at all) responses via email, phone calls were answered regularly during business hours.

2. Shipped UPS Freight, RV COOL provided tracking and date of delivery, however it was actually shipped another carrier and it took several email and calls to RV Cool to get the correct carrier and number and then again to get the correct last mile freight company.

It wouldn't be a problem other then having to sign for this massive palleted unit and be there for delivery. Coordinating with work and delivery was an issue. Would have been nice to have the correct shipping date/schedule from the get go so requesting and wasting time off from work didn't happen. Also the last mile company didn't make an attempt to schedule delivery, they just showed up and left a notice. On the 3rd attempt I finally caught up with them.

3. Part of my order didnt arrive at all. Specifically heating elements they up sold me. I had to ask for a refund several times and weeks later it finally was credited.

4. Absolutely zero instructions or documentation was provided.

5. When asked about the smell I received no response from RV Cool.

6. IMPORTANT! The unit itself did not fit on my 2001 Norcold 1200LRIM. The entire project took 4 days of shaving, shimmying, ratchet straps, spray foam, caulk, 2x4's, etc to get the cooling unit to make contact with the fins and plates. It was nothing short of a nightmare. It was an equal struggle between getting it to contact the plates and getting it to fit back into the cabinet as the new cooling unit also protruded out from the sides too far.

After presenting this problem to them they had no response. They replied to that email but instead of offering any kind of advice or customer service, they requested that I ship them back the core (which they scheduled NEXT DAY) and provided a BOL. And yes, UPS arrived next day to get it. I left it outside and said its all yours, wasn't taking another day off work for these people.

RV Cool seems more concerned about getting the core back then actually supporting their own products.

All in all the cooling unit works as expected. But it was not without great struggle.

Side Note: I spoke with a couple local RV mechanics and they said I should have gone with an Amish unit and that it would have been a few hundred dollars installation.

Never again will I attempt to do this and never again would I ever consider using RV Cool.

Hope this helps someone making this decision.
antarias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 01:24 PM   #8
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 43,870
Yup, sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way! I would always choose David Force at RV Cooling Unit Warehouse and the Dutch Aire Amish cooling unit from J.C. Refrigeration! Unbeatable combination!
__________________
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 01:37 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: On the Road
Posts: 39
I had a similar experience with RV Cool a few months ago. Had a Norcold 1210 model that I replaced the cooling unit on. I actually went to his facility and had him show me what needed to be done. It looked straightforward enough. Mine also did not fit properly. It took two long days to get the old one out and put the new one back together.

I went with RV Cool based on their description of the root cause of the failures with these absorption units; tubing wall thickness. The factory units tubing wall thickness is too thin for the heat generated and soon corrode and fail. The Amish units are just a tiny bit thicker wall but not much. RV Cool boasts a much thicker tubing wall in the burner tubes. Sounded good to me.

Mine is in and working just fine but it was a struggle to make the foam block fit. RV Cool did respond to my emails saying all previous customers have had no problems. Obviously that wasn't true. I also would not tackle this job again. I'll switch to a residential fridge if I ever have to pull it out again.

BTW, my new heating elements didn't smoke as far as I could tell.
__________________
2019 Grand Design Solitude 344GK
2018 Chevy Silverado 3500 LTZ Duramax
www.roadtripimages.com
Roadtrip Images is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 02:19 PM   #10
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
Dutch Star Don's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 16,330
Not to burst your bubble, but I would carefully fil out all warranty information and keep track of it, if you have to mail a card back in. I looked at adding the Amish unit, years ago, to a Norcold in my Diplomat. I waited and watched as many added the rebuilt units and claimed they worked great. It took about 9 months to year, before those new units started to fail, just like the old ones. Not to be a downer, but keep track of your warranty stuff.
__________________
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor
Dutch Star Don is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 02:28 PM   #11
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 43,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Not to burst your bubble, but I would carefully fil out all warranty information and keep track of it, if you have to mail a card back in. I looked at adding the Amish unit, years ago, to a Norcold in my Diplomat. I waited and watched as many added the rebuilt units and claimed they worked great. It took about 9 months to year, before those new units started to fail, just like the old ones. Not to be a downer, but keep track of your warranty stuff.

Don, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you confusing the rebuilt Norcold units with the Amish units? I thought all the Amish units were brand new, with beefed-up tubing. I think the failure rate on them has to be very low.
__________________
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2017, 06:16 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Dale70's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Palm Beach Gardens FL
Posts: 583
My understanding also is that the Amish cooling units use heavier tubing.
I have had mine for almost two years with no issues.

I also installed the higher wattage heating elements and never had any smoke/odor or anything like that.

thx Dale
Dale70 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2017, 07:48 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: On the Road
Posts: 39
I'm certainly not a big fan of RV Cool after the install but from what he shows on his website, the Amish units wall thickness is only a few thousandths of an inch thicker than factory. 0.063" vs. 0.057" from Norcold. The RV Cool burner tubes are 0.083". Quite a bit thicker. That's the only reason I went with his unit.
__________________
2019 Grand Design Solitude 344GK
2018 Chevy Silverado 3500 LTZ Duramax
www.roadtripimages.com
Roadtrip Images is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
element, heat, heating, norcold



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nor cold 1200 heating elements get orange high temp? Tonykeys RV Systems & Appliances 5 11-26-2015 07:52 PM
Norcold 1200 heating elements countrypair RV Systems & Appliances 3 09-05-2015 02:07 PM
Poor preforming fridge and heating elements. bobrw9 RV Systems & Appliances 3 09-10-2014 11:23 AM
Replacing Norcold 1200 cooling unit wagonmaster2 RV Systems & Appliances 18 08-04-2013 07:53 PM
After market electric water heating elements behmke RV Systems & Appliances 9 04-11-2013 09:33 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.