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Old 01-21-2019, 04:32 PM   #1
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Norcold Refridgerator, 4 door 1200 OEM Fans

Can anyone confirm that I have two factory installed fans embedded in the coils on the back of the fridge? If so, they have both failed as I have not heard any fans running for a long time. Also, the temperature in the fridge and freezer are no longer consistent. The freezer is too warm and the fridge is too cold. Any advice on best repair method?
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:53 PM   #2
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Yes, there are two fans back servicing the condenser. Take a look at the attached manuals.

NORCOLD 1211_IMT REFRIG MANUAL Serial#9596804.pdf

NORCOLD 1200XX PARTS LIST.pdf

NORCOLD THERMISTER TROUBLESHOOTING.pdf

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Old 01-23-2019, 07:55 AM   #3
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Thanks Oldchinahand. It would appear that I have to pull the fridge out to service the fans. However, might be the thermistor. I will post results if I find the problem.


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Old 02-03-2019, 08:34 PM   #4
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I have since found out that the thermal sensor #634677 LED red light is not luminating. I assume that this is the reason the fans are not working. I believe that I can reactivate the sensor using a magnet. I hope to contact Norcold tomorrow to find out whether the sensor needs replacing. In the meantime, I suspect I have no overheat protection. Replacing the sensor will not fix the other issue which is the freezer does not get sufficiently cold.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:23 AM   #5
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Just some thoughts here.

The upper fans can usually be accessed through the upper outside refer vent covers. You can apply 12v directly to the fans to test them.

If your freezer isn't getting cool enough, you may have a cooling unit problem.

If that is the case, there are lots of options to replace it, sounds daunting, but not really that difficult. I had to replace mine after 14 months, 2 months out of warranty.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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if you have a by pass switch in the back of fridge it has a red light you can reset it with a magnet look on u tube also I have a small battery op fan inside to help keep things cool.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:32 AM   #7
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I contacted Norcold through the recall number. I was advised that the thermal sensor red LED should NOT be on. If a high temperature situation occurred, the red LED lights up plus the fridge would shut down. My led light is NOT on which means that my fans should be working normally, if required and I still have overheat protection. I have access to the back of the fridge via one lower panel plus one roof vent. It is impossible to reach the fans from the lower panel but I can access the fan wires. I have also checked the thermistor on the inside of the fridge. It appears to have close to the correct resistance at all temperatures listed on the trouble shooting attachment provided by Oldchinahand. I will check my fans next and advise. Thanks to all for the input.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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Knightly, I recommend you look into buying a Fridge Defend (ARP) unit; include the optional fan with your purchase, you'll be very happy with the outcome.Be sure to read the articles on the website, they are very informative.

After I installed mine I had to back off the temperature setting, as it was freezing the milk. I did not bother with looking at the OEM fans that are attached to the top coil, no need.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:52 PM   #9
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I disconnected the fan wires from the control board and applied 12V directly to the fans with negative results. I then added a separate 12V fan which ran as soon as I connected the wires. So, either the OEM fans are both burned out or there is a thermal switch between the power source and dual fans. The high today was 60F plus the fridge side of the RV is in the shade, so I suspect that it is too cool to require the fans to run. Thanks to Ray,IN for the suggestion to buy Fridge Defend however, if my cooling unit is failing, I may be looking at a major fix or replacement. The fridge is 12 years old so replacement is a real possibility, yet to be determined. Thanks to all for the helpful hints.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:23 PM   #10
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These comments are bouncing all over the place, some have nothing to do with the problem..

The Norcold fail-safe device has nothing to do with the fans. If that device is tripped, the fridge does not power up at all. If it makes cold even a little, or there is any fridge power, its not this.

There are two fans located 1/2 way up the back of the fridge. IF, the fridge is located in a slide, you MIGHT be able to get at them, but unlikely with enough access to do anything.. if its a non-slide rooftop vent, the fridge has to come out.

Before you do that, go look at the thermistor thats located on the too of the fridge screwed to the heatsink. Easy access from the top roof vent. This is likely the problem since both fans are dead and these things quit all the time. Its a whole lot easier to replace this than pull the fridge to replace fans.

And since these do quit all the time it’d be a good idea to install a manual fan switch so when this quits it wont ruin your trip with a warm fridge.

As for the fans, I replaced mine when I installed the Helium cooling unit. I used Noctra NF-F12 fans. IP52 rated, 150,000 MBTF. Guaranteed light years better that what Norcold uses. I doubt I will ever see them again.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:36 AM   #11
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I think you misunderstand, the Fridge Defend - ARP unit does not correct a failing cooling unit, it prevents failure. My Norcold 1200LRIM is a 1999 model, and now cools better than it ever did prior to installing the Fridge Defend.
If you are planning to replace the cooling unit, look at JC Refrigeration's new compressor-type cooling unit, option #1. It turns your present absorption refrigerator into a residential unit.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCVJeff View Post
.
As for the fans, I replaced mine when I installed the Helium cooling unit. I used Noctra NF-F12 fans. IP52 rated, 150,000 MBTF. Guaranteed light years better that what Norcold uses. I doubt I will ever see them again.
I've been reading about this fan; Noctra states "Based on pure temperature measurements, the performance of the NF-F12 PWM fans is roughly equal to the performance of the stock H70 fans. However, the Noctua NF-F12 PWM was able to produce almost the exact same performance as the stock fans on the Corsair H70 with 32% less fan speed."
That to me doesn't sound encouraging enough to buy them instead of lower cost computer fans..
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:37 PM   #13
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Rather than spend useless hours researching how a fan cools a CPU (because this isn’t that and there is no comparison whatsoever), I suggest you look at the fan specs: MTBF, temperature survival, enviromental survival, current draw, CFM, etc. Use of this fan has nothing to do with PC temperature measurements blowing into a heatsink. If you want to install a cheaper fan only to be back there in a few years replacing a failed one, your choice, that fridge is a PITA to pull out only to replace cheap fans.

Yes the volume is a little less than the OEM fans, but these won’t die on me. I can keep the box at a constant 32/0 in any climate from Quartzsite to the desert at 110 degrees, and it has for the last 2.5 years.. thats all the testemony needed.

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Old 02-09-2019, 11:04 PM   #14
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Sorry for the delay in replying but our park internet has been down for a couple of days. Anyway, I removed the roof vent cover over the fridge and found the thermistor(referred to as the fan heat switch on my schematic) screwed to the heat sink on the top right hand corner facing the back as suggested by SCVjeff. In order to access the switch, I will have to remove the old sealant plus bottom portion of the vent cover assembly.I will wait for the replacement switch to arrive before starting the repair as we are living in the RV and using the fridge. The top vent is screened so I cannot get to the switch at this point but can see it quite well. It appears to have only one red wire attached. If I was to attach an on/off switch, it would have to be through the lower access panel as the top vent cover assembly, once reinstalled, would prevent any access from the roof. I will continue to update this thread as parts received, etc. Thanks again for the responses.
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