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Old 09-12-2019, 09:06 PM   #1
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Norcold fridge cooling capacity?

I have a 1989 vintage Norcold fridge/freezer unit. I am currently living in the RV as I build a house. The fridge freezes properly (ice cubes, ice cream, etc.) but the fridge part won't get down below 40 degrees F. I live in the SoCal desert and it has been over 100 degrees for weeks. My question: If the freezer is working properly but the fridge isn't getting cold enough, is this just a symptom of an old fridge not keeping cool due to the insane outside temps? Second question: If the freezer is working properly does that mean that the fridge is too? I guess that's just two ways to ask the same question...
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:26 AM   #2
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I am far from a Norcold expert, I will however point out a couple things. Where is the thermistor positioned in the frig? The thermistor is the thing attached to the 2nd or 3rd fin in the frig. Lower on the fin higher temp, higher on the fin colder temp. Some times lack of air movement will also keep the temp. higher. Folks have added a small fan to help move the frig air around.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:06 AM   #3
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Seems on our norcold it struggles to cool on very hot days works best on cooler days
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:30 PM   #4
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That is why they call them a "Nevercold" , at 100 they need some serious airflow over the coils on the back, and it helps it you have some micro fan blowing air over the fins in the refer part when it is in cooling mode.


Get the ARP with fan option. Only it needs more than 2 fans for the interior fins. 3 oir 4 is better.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:17 PM   #5
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Desert

I also live in the High desert of California. Our Norcold fridge has a similar problem. I have had the fridge checked out by a couple of service centers including a Norcold center. It seems that the system was not built to cool more 50 degrees than the ambient temperature. I found that a small battery fan placed in the fridge to circulate the air helps, also we had a milk jug of frozen water to the fridge. The fan & frozen jug really seem to work pretty well. I have read about adding fans to blow over the backside condenser coils. I have the fans but need to figure how to connect them to the existing wiring.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:26 PM   #6
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Get a home frig.
Move the sensor from the third fin to the tenth, cold goes right to left. Check the door height, I added 2 washers to get the door back up to the height it would not leak out any more. Add 12v computer 4” fans, connect with zip ties and z car clips, need power, run speaker wire down the drain tube and connect it through a 5 amp fuse to the 12v power at the board. Put a tent over the RV. Add 8” computer fans to the outside vent to assist in cooling the outside fins, the fans come in colors, I choose blue.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:12 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with my 12 year old Norcold 1200 series fridge last year. I tried moving the thermister to a different fin but no joy. I checked the resistance of the thermister as per instructions found on line. I ended up ordering a new thermister harness which is powered from the door light. It was not too expensive and easy to install. There is also a thermal switch mounted high up on the back of the fridge. It is accessible through the roof vent. I suspected it was faulty as I had not heard the two external fans running for quite some time. I decided to complete both jobs. The improvement was excellent!

Confirm whether you can hear the built in fans running during hot weather. If not, change your thermal switch. If fans are running, replace thermister harness as described. At minimum, replace thermister harness as it is the least expensive fix.

Good Luck
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericb760 View Post
I have a 1989 vintage Norcold fridge/freezer unit. I am currently living in the RV as I build a house. The fridge freezes properly (ice cubes, ice cream, etc.) but the fridge part won't get down below 40 degrees F. I live in the SoCal desert and it has been over 100 degrees for weeks. My question: If the freezer is working properly but the fridge isn't getting cold enough, is this just a symptom of an old fridge not keeping cool due to the insane outside temps? Second question: If the freezer is working properly does that mean that the fridge is too? I guess that's just two ways to ask the same question...
Have you considered upgrading to a residential refrigerator? They have more usable storage and the freezer works great. And, you don't have to worry about fires or the coil failing. Many folks have gone this route and are not looking back. I understand that many will work off a MSW inverter too. I know there is more information on this topic on the forum.
Hope your stick and brick build goes smoothly.
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