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Old 10-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Newberg, Oregon, USA
Posts: 9
I have a 1996 Minnie Winnie with a Norcold
Refrigerator that seems to now have a problem.
It stopped cooling. I checked the Electrical
AC and it is fine, Switching to Gas is fine the
burner lights and it works just like the electric. I suspect a Thermostat problem or a
problem on the DC Board controller, but can not figure out how to get to the board to test it
the controls are above the Freezing compartment.
Here is what happens, If I leave it in auto and
switch off the power it switches to Gas, if I move the control to gas it does not activate the gas when the AC is on. I also am thinking
that one of the fuses might have blown, I have
checked at our converter and all the buss fuses
are good. I'd like to check the board if I can
get access to it if anyone has Ideas please let
me know. Thank you Pete
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Newberg, Oregon, USA
Posts: 9
I have a 1996 Minnie Winnie with a Norcold
Refrigerator that seems to now have a problem.
It stopped cooling. I checked the Electrical
AC and it is fine, Switching to Gas is fine the
burner lights and it works just like the electric. I suspect a Thermostat problem or a
problem on the DC Board controller, but can not figure out how to get to the board to test it
the controls are above the Freezing compartment.
Here is what happens, If I leave it in auto and
switch off the power it switches to Gas, if I move the control to gas it does not activate the gas when the AC is on. I also am thinking
that one of the fuses might have blown, I have
checked at our converter and all the buss fuses
are good. I'd like to check the board if I can
get access to it if anyone has Ideas please let
me know. Thank you Pete
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:07 AM   #3
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On the back side of your Norcold (accessed from outside the coach) you'll have a black plastic box about 4" x 6" with the "brain". Four screws remove the box cover; inside are one 120vac and one 12vdc fuse. Check them. There is a good place called Dinosaur Electronics that rebuilds the brain circuit boards; give them a call (they help w/ troubleshooting too).

Dinosaur Electronics

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Old 10-14-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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Thank you for your help I will definately check it out.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
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Just an update and another question on my earlier post. Found that the Brain appears okay
fuses both good both gas and electric work. The problem appears to be with the cooling unit. There has been no leakage. I took the Refigerator out and turned it on its side for an hour as suggested by the manual Reconnected it and still no cooling I suspect the cooling unit is bad Heater works can the chemical combination just deteriorate over time or am I
missing something? I have it out for testing
Maybe time for the recycle place? Thanks Pete
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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Hello cubman,

The working fluid for these refrigerators is Ammonia, water, and either Sodium Chromate or Bromine. The Sodium Chromate or Bromine is there to counteract the erosive properties of the strong Ammonia solution. Problem is that if the refrigerator is run (read: electric heater or propane heater applied) for ˜any' length of time with the unit out of level, the liquid collects in the coil loops and the level of the liquid in the burner decreases uncovering the burner or electric element just a little or a lot depending on how un-level it is. When that happens, the Sodium Chromate or Bromine is boiled to a gas which condenses as solid crystals in the coils causing a blockage which can not be removed. At that point, the refrigerator checks out okay but won't cool.

The only solution is to have a replacement evaporator unit installed. We stopped for less than 15 minutes out of level to run in to buy German sausages and that was enough to kill the refrigerator. We used ice for 3 months until we made a trip back east and stopped in Plumerville Ar. off I40 to have it repaired. Cost $600.00 but the alternative would have been to replace it with a new Norcold unit for $1,800.00 plus labor. They did all the work, removed the refrigerator, pulled out the old evaporator, installed the remanufactured evaporator, and re-installed the refrigerator. Took about 5 hours as I recall. Good old boys!

I now turn the refrigerator off if parked out of level for any time period. Then turn it back on as soon as we are moving again.

Good luck.

Postal address (* hard to find, ask for directions)
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Plumerville, AR. 72127

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Electronic mail
General Information: greg@rvfridge.com
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Wholesale Accounts: greg@rvfridge.com
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:31 AM   #7
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I have heard that newer, modern refrigerators can handle a full 1/2 bubble off level with no problem. We never park with more than ~1/10th bubble off level.
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