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Old 06-12-2021, 08:40 AM   #1
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Norcold Heating But Not Cooling

Hi,

Norcold 6162 in a 1995 Shasta Class C.

Two years ago I replaced the main board and igniter to solve a not cooling issue. It solved the problem and everything was fine the last two seasons.

This year when I took it out of storage it ignites on gas and gets hot on both AC and gas but the unit doesn't cool at all on either gas or AC. I've let it run 24 hours. In the past within 12 hours I could see some cooling. I do not see any evidence of anything leaking.

I'm thinking about replacing the cooling unit with one of those Amish units but I wanted to be sure there wasn't something else I should be checking before pulling the unit.

Thanks for any input on this.
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:44 AM   #2
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First thing to do is carefully inspect backside of fridge for signs of leakage...Yellowish Residue especially around burner area
Find Some....cooling unit is DEAD...leaked
CAUTION: that yellowish powder is dried rust inhibitor---sodium chromate and is TOXIC. Hand WET!


No apparent signs of leak

TWO tests to check cooling unit capabilities

1) Unplug thermistor and let fridge run on electric for 12hrs
If Freezer & Food compartment cool down...replace thermistor
If they don't then

2) Force Cool
Unplug electric element leads from lower circuit board
Plug leads into the 120VAC Outlet (unplug the Fridge cord and use that outlet)
Run fridge with element continuously energized for 12hrs
Freezer & Food compartment get cold.....replace circuit board
Freezer/Food Don't------cooling unit is Dead


Here is a Repair Manual that covers the 600 & 6000 Series
It has ALL Kinds of Testing Procedures
It has 'Abnormal Conditions' troubleshooting based on upper panel indications
It is VERY comprehensive



The two tests I posted are down/dirty and direct
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

Testing the thermistor was next on my list but that brings up a question.

The fridge has been running for more than 24 hours on AC, all the tubes in the back are hot.

Doesn't that mean the fridge is doing what it's supposed to or would everything still get hot but still not cool if the thermistor were bad?

In other words if the flame and AC element are staying hot doesn't that point to the circuit board/thermistor doing what it's supposed to do?

Or is there some other process even though the element is getting hot?

I'm usually pretty good at troubleshooting and I will be testing the two things you suggested I'm just trying to understand the heating process.

Not sure how to disconnect the thermistor because the wires run right into the back of the fridge and, I assume, to the control panel at the top of the fridge. The internet says snip the wires but I'm hesitant to do that.

Your post said something about a repair manual but there was nothing attached.

Thank again.
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:00 PM   #4
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Sorry ....forgot to include the Link
https://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/08/Norcold-Service-600-6100.pdf


On your model the thermistor leads do go to upper panel
You can just remove it form the FIN and let it dangle



....all the tubes in the back are hot.

Boiler tube should be HOT
Tubing from Condenser should be WARM
Tubing thru absorber tube bundle/absorber tank should be Warm

HOT indicates lack of sufficient draft.....not removing the heat therefore heat can not be absorbed and cool the fridge
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Sorry ....forgot to include the Link
https://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/08/Norcold-Service-600-6100.pdf


On your model the thermistor leads do go to upper panel
You can just remove it form the FIN and let it dangle



....all the tubes in the back are hot.

Boiler tube should be HOT
Tubing from Condenser should be WARM
Tubing thru absorber tube bundle/absorber tank should be Warm

HOT indicates lack of sufficient draft.....not removing the heat therefore heat can not be absorbed and cool the fridge
That pdf is nice, thanks.

I found the wire in the upper panel after my post. I've disconnected it and will see what happens. I had turned it off for a bit while I poked around in the back so the tubes have cooled off. Once it's been running I'll pay closer attention to which tubes are warm vs hot. I'll take their temp when things do warm up again. I knew that infrared thermometer I bought for my pizza oven would come in handy sooner or later.

I would love for this to be something simple but if I have to replace the cooling unit so be it.

I'm not against a new fridge but that would involve a window removal which is why I'm leaning towards the cooling unit.

Thanks for the help I'll post when I learn more.
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Old 06-12-2021, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quick additional info.

When I disconnected the thermistor the AC element does not get hot and the ignitor does not spark. When I plug the thermistor back in the AC element gets hot and the burner ignites.

I'll see what happens in the next few hours but right now the AC element is getting hot along with the bottom tube and tank. There is air flow to the top, I pulled the top vent to make sure all was clear, it looks exactly like it does every year when I inspect.

Wait and see for now.

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:30 PM   #7
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If that is the original unit and you determine that it's dead, I would just replace the entire refer. Putting a cooling unit in a 26 year old refer is a waste of money.
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:10 PM   #8
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If that is the original unit and you determine that it's dead, I would just replace the entire refer. Putting a cooling unit in a 26 year old refer is a waste of money.
I'm considering that but 620 bucks (includes shipping) vs 1400 - 1700 for an exact fit replacement depending on who has one and shipping charges. I'm not against it but...

If I already replaced the main board and igniter and the box is like new on the inside then what else could go bad? Plus there's the whole get it out of the rig problem, doable but a lot more hassle.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcg View Post
I'm considering that but 620 bucks (includes shipping) vs 1400 - 1700 for an exact fit replacement depending on who has one and shipping charges. I'm not against it but...

If I already replaced the main board and igniter and the box is like new on the inside then what else could go bad? Plus there's the whole get it out of the rig problem, doable but a lot more hassle.

Decisions, decisions.
I understand the difference in cost, but one of the issues is that the door seals get old and if they're like the Norcold 1200, you have to buy the entre door to get new seals. Even though absorption design is still the same, technology has added improvements in 25 years.

I don't buy anything from Camping World anymore, but they're having an appliance sale right now. Sometimes their sale prices can be pretty good. I would never let them install it though.
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tcg View Post
Quick additional info.

When I disconnected the thermistor the AC element does not get hot and the ignitor does not spark. When I plug the thermistor back in the AC element gets hot and the burner ignites.

I'll see what happens in the next few hours but right now the AC element is getting hot along with the bottom tube and tank. There is air flow to the top, I pulled the top vent to make sure all was clear, it looks exactly like it does every year when I inspect.

Wait and see for now.

Thanks
Sorry I forgot....unplugging the thermistor on eyebrow shuts down DC on the 600/6100 Series

Need to just let it dangle so it has no temp feedback of FIN temp
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Old 06-12-2021, 07:15 PM   #11
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Sorry I forgot....unplugging the thermistor on eyebrow shuts down DC on the 600/6100 Series

Need to just let it dangle so it has no temp feedback of FIN temp
I was just researching that, getting ready to bang my head on the desk.

The fins have yet to be anything but room temperature but I did just detach the thermistor from the fin.

I just checked the temps of the tubes and such. The tube next to the heating element reaches 234 F. The tank gets to around 130 - 140. The tubes above the tank range from 140 - 100 getting less hot towards the top.

If I'm understanding your post and my research it's looking like the cooling unit.

I even tried a fan blowing from the bottom up, that reduced the tube temp above the tank significantly but the temp on the back wall of the freezer never got lower than 67. It stayed at 67 with or without the fan.

If it doesn't resolve by magic overnight I'm pulling the unit to do some measuring to see how hard it is to remove from the rig.

This fun deciding how much money to spend to solve the problem.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:11 AM   #12
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Well, we got it out. Not the hardest thing I've ever done but it took some finagling to get it out. I always plan to take pictures of the process but I always forget.

I built a platform so we could slide it out right at the same height. From there we slid it over to the living room and got it on the floor.

The wife and I got it rotated and ready to get it out the door but it required lifting the entire unit over a kitchen counter. My wife is a real trooper and wanted to do it but I benched her and got the neighbor.

The fridge is exactly 24" and the door is exactly 24", we got it out with zero damage to anything.

I contacted the guy over at RV Cooling Warehouse and described the problem, he said it was definitely the cooling unit and he has a reman for $620 or a new Amish for $770, both prices include shipping. I think I'll go with the Amish.

We went back and forth last night about a new one for $1400 - $1700 and decided on the cooling unit. I can remove the old cooling unit, put the fridge back inside and install the new unit on the back. It will be a lot easier getting it through the door without the cooling unit on the back.

I can also have it all back together way before the 4th so our 5 day holiday can still happen.

It was unclear if anyone had a new one in stock and how long it would take to ship.

I do have it plugged in in the garage because I'm curious if all the twisting and turning freed up any blockage but so far it's behaving the same bottoming out at about 67 degrees on the back wall of the freezer.

I'm also going to replace the thermistor while I can route the wire from the back.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:56 AM   #13
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It will NOT cool sitting in the open
Has to be confined to an enclosure with narrow clearances so Draft can happen.....cooler air coming in at bottom and warmed/hotter air flowing out the top vents.

Just unplug it...turn it off...not accomplishing anything but more overheating which could lead to tube failure (ammonia.hydrogen)
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:05 PM   #14
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It's all apart, old cooling unit removed all the old caulk removed just waiting for FedEx to show up in a couple days with the new unit.
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