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Old 07-17-2019, 09:08 AM   #1
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Question Repair or Replace Norcold Refrigerator?

We have a Norcold 12 cubic foot, 2-way, 4-door RV refrigerator in our 40' diesel pusher. We took it in years ago for the recall, in which they installed the "little black box". Well, apparently, the little black box has gone "bad", since we've had to bypass it now in order for the refrigerator to work. We used to be able to reset it using a magnet.......especially if it got wet during a big storm or being washed, but this time it didn't work.

Question.....should we just replace the little black box (and where do we purchase one??) and go on our merry way? Or might this be a good time to replace the refrigerator, since we're retired now and spend about 5 months out of the year in the motorhome? If we replace it, do you replace it with another 2-way.....or with a residential? Will a residential refrigerator run off our inverter? We have an ice machine in our 2-way, and really use it. I'm assuming that a residential refrigerator with an ice maker will also run in a motorhome?? We'd love your advice!!! Thank you in advance!!

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Old 07-17-2019, 11:02 AM   #2
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Given your situation I would look at one of the new DC or AC compressor conversion kits for your existing refrigerator box, assuming it is still in good shape. If your recall safety box has been tripping it may be due to overheat at the boiler, which is its job to help prevent fires. See this video

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Old 07-17-2019, 11:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Born2RV View Post
...especially if it got wet during a big storm or being washed, but this time it didn't work.
When our little black box (LBB) failed after a wash, I found out that Norcold only replaces them through an authorized dealer. Then I found out about the ARP box which operates to prevent the fatal overheating that the LBB detects! Our Norcold worked well, so we got the ARP 3 years ago and are happy with it. It has activated twice. Only recall the details of one case, where we were parked under trees and falling leaves blocked the vent.

So, if your fridge is still working well, and you are handy with connections, this is something to consider.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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Recall Box uses a HIGH-HIGH Temp sensor on boiler section of stack and trips if temps go above 700*F (on propane or electric)

Bypassing should ONLY be done AFTER verifying 3 conditions:
a) Did it trip cause of a REAL overheating event......off level operation/leak in cooling unit tubing/yellowish residue down around burner area etc
b) Did it trip after recent heavy rain event or a rig washing.....reset using a strong magnet placed on face of recall box near top and slowly move magnet back/forth
c) Is Recall Box 'version' printed on circuit board visible thru opening any other version then an 'E'

Recall Box is a 'safety device' as a result of compliance with NHTSA case therefore Norcold nor Dometic can send replacement parts directly to consumers.
Only an 'authorized' repair facility or mobile repair can replace

The Recall can be a problem but best to not bypass UNLESS one is positively sure it isn't doing what it was intended to do.....trip on HIGH-HIGH overheat condition
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #5
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If the Norcold has enough capacity for your needs then I would replace the cooling unit with one of the compressor-type units from JC Refrigeration!
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:05 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Thank you!

We took your advice, and the hubby is on his way home from Indiana as we speak after having the new conversion installed in our Norcold. I pray it lasts as many years as this has. We've now owned our 2003 for almost 11 years.

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ace, air, norcold, refrigerator, repair, replace

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