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Old 11-24-2020, 10:24 PM   #1
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Norcold fridge inop on battery power

I have a Norcold 3100 fridge that works fine on AC and on LPG, but does not work on 12v battery. It gives me a code 6 which is no battery power. I think it is an absorption type fridge so I'm thinking the AC power goes thru the converter and is changed to 12v correct?

There must be a fuse between the house battery and the fridge? Anyone know where to look for it?

Any ideas?
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:50 PM   #2
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Your 3-way fridge can operate on:
120VAC Power via fridge power cord plugged into outlet
*4A AC Fuse on circuit board
12VDC Power via Battery --- Engine has to be running
*DC from battery with 30A fuse near battery. Also has 20A DC fuse on circuit board
LP via propane supply from LP Tank
*Fridge requires 12VDC Power for controls/display/functions of AC, DC, LP (1.1A DC fuse on circuit board)

See Pg 24/25 for 120VAC and 12VDC Connections
https://www.thetford.com/wp-content/...ers-Manual.pdf

More info about DC Element not working and checks to determine if circuit board is issue. Includes a 'work around' for DIY
https://www.arprv.com/n3104-n3150-no-12-volt-heater.php
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for your post Biscuit. After doing some additional diagnosis, I found I have power to the LC connections that provides power for the display only, but no power for the HC connections that provide power for the heating element. Also, there is no power at the engine run connection.

I have not been able to find a fuse that I know should be located between the fridge and the battery. I was a little surprised to determine that the fridge runs off the chassis battery and not the house battery when the RV is running. Therefore, I would think the fuse would be in one of the chassis fuse panels, but I could not find it there either.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay in TX View Post
Thanks for your post Biscuit. After doing some additional diagnosis, I found I have power to the LC connections that provides power for the display only, but no power for the HC connections that provide power for the heating element. Also, there is no power at the engine run connection.

I have not been able to find a fuse that I know should be located between the fridge and the battery. I was a little surprised to determine that the fridge runs off the chassis battery and not the house battery when the RV is running. Therefore, I would think the fuse would be in one of the chassis fuse panels, but I could not find it there either.
Possibly an 'interlock relay' is used??

Fleetwood is NOT very forth coming with 'chassis' manual ...
Do you have one??


Do you have a chassis fuse panel under drivers seat?
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:01 PM   #5
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I had the same symptom of not operating on 12 volts and error code 6. In my case the 20 amp fuse on the control circuit board was blown and showed evidence of overheating. The fuse connectors in my case had high resistance in the solder connection to the circuit board apparently causing the fuse to overheat. I was luckily able to resolver the connectors and it has been trouble free for a couple of years. There is more information on the 3100 series refrigerator on the web for an ARP kit to prevent overheating that covers this problem and solutions.

Good luck
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Possibly an 'interlock relay' is used??

Fleetwood is NOT very forth coming with 'chassis' manual ...
Do you have one??


Do you have a chassis fuse panel under drivers seat?
Yes, there is a fuse panel under the driver seat and one in the driver's footwell but all the fuses looked good.

I called Fleetwood and they sent me tons of schematics, but none of them are for the fridge wiring.

I'm really wondering now if my RV runs on battery power because I don't see that those circuits are connected to anything.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellback2 View Post
I had the same symptom of not operating on 12 volts and error code 6. In my case the 20 amp fuse on the control circuit board was blown and showed evidence of overheating. The fuse connectors in my case had high resistance in the solder connection to the circuit board apparently causing the fuse to overheat. I was luckily able to resolver the connectors and it has been trouble free for a couple of years. There is more information on the 3100 series refrigerator on the web for an ARP kit to prevent overheating that covers this problem and solutions.

Good luck
Thanks Shelllback. I may need to remove that circuit board and see if it looks burned and check for a fuse there. What model and year RV do you have?
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:48 AM   #8
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Jay,
I have a 2015 Navion.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:56 AM   #9
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Jay ,
I should have noted that Old Bisquets post includes a link to the ARP modification that helped me find a solution that worked for me.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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Jay ,
I should have noted that Old Bisquets post includes a link to the ARP modification that helped me find a solution that worked for me.
I did see the link that Biscuit left me and that should be very helpful in removing that circuit board.

It sounds like your Navion works on 12 volts now. Does it utilize 12 volts from the chassis battery or the coach battery?
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:49 AM   #11
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If your fridge IS a 3-way (AC, DC, LP) you will have:
*A 'battery' symbol on Display/control panel
*20A DC Fuse on circuit board for the DC Heater Element
*A DC Heater Element installed on burner stack Next to the AC Heater Element
*a 'high current' DC connection on lower circuit board...POS would be to the 20A Fuse & Neg wire would be for one lead of DC Element
(**a Low Current DC connection for controls/fan ---1.1A DC Fuse)
*Also should be an 'Engine Run' + connection to circuit board


Looking at fuses doesn't verify they are good/bad UNLESS Burnt/charred
Bad fuse can LOOK OK....need to verify that voltage is passing thru fuse with it still installed...bad fuse/bad clips = no voltage
Use voltmeter to check vs looking
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:07 PM   #12
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Jay,
I believe that my system runs on house batteries and has a connection to the chassis circuit for the engine run signal. Mine operates on 12 volts only when the engine is running. It automatically switches to gas when the engine stops. It also switches back to 12 volt operation when the engine is started.
Old Biscuit is giving you a lot of good information. I wish I had help like that when I was trying to figure out how to fix it.
I donít know how accessible the circuit board is on your rig. Mine was blocked by the air duct and required removing the electrical unit from the back of the refrigerator to get to the circuit board.
I hope you are as lucky as I was in having it work by resoldering the connections and replacing the fuse

John
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
If your fridge IS a 3-way (AC, DC, LP) you will have:
*A 'battery' symbol on Display/control panel
*20A DC Fuse on circuit board for the DC Heater Element
*A DC Heater Element installed on burner stack Next to the AC Heater Element
*a 'high current' DC connection on lower circuit board...POS would be to the 20A Fuse & Neg wire would be for one lead of DC Element
(**a Low Current DC connection for controls/fan ---1.1A DC Fuse)
*Also should be an 'Engine Run' + connection to circuit board


Looking at fuses doesn't verify they are good/bad UNLESS Burnt/charred
Bad fuse can LOOK OK....need to verify that voltage is passing thru fuse with it still installed...bad fuse/bad clips = no voltage
Use voltmeter to check vs looking
The fridge is a 3 way and works fine on AC and LP. When I manually put it on battery, the display just flashes (which I think means it's not working).

I checked for voltage at the five pins on the circuit board (engine run, LC+, LC-, HC+, HC-) and the only voltage I find is at the LC terminals. The LC terminals only provide voltage for the display, so I don't see how it would get voltage for the engine run wire or for the DC heater which is powered by HC+ and HC-. I just do not see the wiring going to the HC terminals and the engine run terminal.

I know just looking at the fuses is not 100% effective, but I have not found anything labeled as a fridge fuse so I just looked at each fuse I found over 15 amps.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:13 PM   #14
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I know just looking at the fuses is not 100% effective, but I have not found anything labeled as a fridge fuse so I just looked at each fuse I found over 15 amps.

The High Current feed for the fridge DC Element should be a 30A or higher depending on wire size/length of run


Here is a Troubleshooting Guide I found for the N3000 Series
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/17...page=21#manual
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