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EmPeg

Norcold N611 only working on LP

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Our Norcold N611 works fine on LP.  

However, when plugged into AC and we turn the switch to automatic,  the fridge switched to LP and won't go to electric.

Can anyone be of help please?

Thanks

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Start by making sure that there is 120V power to the refrigerator's outlet. If you don't have a meter, take a lamp or some other appliance outside and open the refrigerator access panel and look for the power plug the refrigerator is connected to. Pull out the cord from the refrigerator and connect your lamp and see if it turns on. If it does you have power there so next go to the main circuit board and look for two fuses there. Make sure the refrigerator is turned off and then make sure that each of the two fuses is good. Looking at them may not be sufficient so it would not hurt to replace both of them. The 3a fuse is for the 12V power and the 5a fuse supplies the electric heating element. 

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As a 47 consecutive year RV user and past dealer, I came across bad/open 120 VAC heating elements that caused the problem you're experiencing.  That's easy to check using an ohm meter.  It may well also be what Kirk mentioned, no 120 VAC power   TO  the fridge or a blown fuse or some other simple problem. You gotta have 120 VAC power  TO  the fridge (check wiring and 120 VAC distribution panel and circuit breakers etc) ,,,,,,,,,,,Then a good closed fuse for the 120 VAC circuit,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Then a good continuous heating element.

PS You stated "the fridge switched to LP and won't go to electric"

If the automatic switch over sensing circuit DOES NOT SEE the presence of 120 VAC, it will choose LP gas. Since that's the case, I would FIRST suspect there's no 120 VAC available over the other possible problem I spoke of above (heating element is bad)      orrrrrrrrrrrrr      the small fuse is blown. EITHER can cause it to cool on LP Gas but NOT on 120 VAC. A simple volt meter or a test light or an 120 VAC device plugged into the fridge outlet (if so wired) to see if voltage is present is the first thing to look at. If NOT look at the 120 VAC distribution panel (tripped breaker). Even if there's power to the outlet, however, the fuse still needs to be good !!!!! 

Let us know what you find      These manuals may help

https://www.manualslib.com/products/Norcold-N611-2649946.html

http://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Norcold-Service-N61x-N81x

John T  

Edited by oldjohnt

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Thanks for your help and suggestions!

I knew I had power before as the light came on in the fridge when door opened.  I also tried plugging the fridge directly to my house via ext cord.

I took the circuit board cover off today and found the glass fuse was blown.  After replacing it, the auto switch now stays on w/o switching to the gas mode.

Now I wait and see if it actually cools the box down.  I'm in a waiting pattern!

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EmPeg, CONGRATULATIONS thanks for the feedback...........Hopefully there's still no lingering problem (heating element perhaps) that caused the fuse to blow in the first place ?????????????????

Best wishes

John T

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She's cooling nicely.

It didn't work on AC from the time we bought it used a few months ago.

I don't know why the fuse was blown, but assume it had been for some time, seeing it was a challenge pulling it from it's holder.

I do thank you for your input and all that try and help each other out. 

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12 hours ago, EmPeg said:

I don't know why the fuse was blown, but assume it had been for some time, seeing it was a challenge pulling it from it's holder.

After 40+ years as an electrical service tech, I assure you that a blown fuse does not always mean there is a problem. Fuses are in some ways similar to a lightbulb as the element must pass all of the current for the circuit all of the time and like the light bulb that element creates some unwanted heat which will eventually damage and weaken it. Fuses do sometimes fail just from age or even from vibrations. It is wise to always have a selection of them available when you travel and always try replacing a blown one first before you spend a lot of time trying to figure out why it failed. If it opens again in a short time that is an indication of some problem. 

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"I assure you that a blown fuse does not always mean there is a problem"

 EXACTLY they are manufactured relatively cheap and may still open/blow if there's NO problem with the device, as well as open/blow if excess current due to a device problem or a short or excess initial inrush current causes such. Hey what can a person expect from such a cheap piece of *&^%$

  Despite that, in motor control circuits and many industrial applications a good old fashion fuse is still quite reliable as compared to a mechanical circuit breaker with its springs, arms and cam action and all that other "stuff" lol 

 Yall take care

 John T

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Thank you Kirk and Old John for your comments.

I do agree that the fuse filament is just like an incandescent light bulb.  They weaken over time and at some point will fail.  And my RV is 14 yrs old, even though relatively new to me.   

After finding (thanks to responses) the fuses under the circuit board cover, I replaced the blown fuse.  The Norcold manual didn't point it out but said to have a repair technician remove the cover. CYA.

As of this writing, I have had the fridge on electric and it has worked fine, heat on the back and cold inside!   Hopefully the 5A fuse just reached it's end of life!

 

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5 hours ago, EmPeg said:

Hopefully the 5A fuse just reached it's end of life!

While it is possible, it is very likely that the fuse was not original. I have known them to last as long as 14 years but it would be pretty rare if the refrigerator spent much time on 120V power. Since you were there I'll also point out the other fuse, probably a 3a one and it is for the 12V power that the control systems need. If it should blow you will have no operation of any type and no lights on the display or the interior. All of those are powered by your 12v-dc circuitry no matter what energy source the refrigerator is using. The propane or the 120V-ac power only supply heating for the boiler that makes the entire system work. 

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2 hours ago, bigjim said:

Sometimes see through fuses can look perfectly good and be bad so always test it or just replace it.

 EXACTLY I've experienced that several times over the years. Even if to the eye they appear complete a continuity check or an ohm meter can still show an open circuit. I used to restore antique cars and tractors and saw a ton of those old glass fuses that were well over 30 years old all ratty lookin STILL WORKING FINE as mere age alone didn't degrade them. As long as they remain sealed against the elements and aren't stressed from over current they can last years and years, and that's more then I can say for some circuit breakers I encountered !!! 

Take care yall

John T

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9 hours ago, EmPeg said:

Thank you Kirk and Old John for your comments.

9 hours ago, EmPeg said:

I do agree that the fuse filament is just like an incandescent light bulb. 

 

 EmPeg FYI while there may be similarities, what you call a fuse filament isn't EXACTLY "just like" an incandescent light bulb. The delicate filament used in an incandescent light bulb operating in a vacuum is designed and manufactured to produce light (and heat by default) when current flows through it, while the thin metallic conductor inside a fuse produces no light but is sized with precision and has the proper mechanical, metallurgical and thermodynamic properties so it melts open upon x amps of current flow over x time. In all my years I've never seen a light bulb last typically as long as a glass encased fuse (years and years) PROVIDED THAT the fuse isn't operated at its rating for too long too often. SURE they can degrade but not so much due to age versus too many amps too long...............HOWEVER I agree with you it may be called "just like" in that too much current too long too often might mechanically/physically stress it to the point it eventually fails, as would a light bulb due in part to the initial inrush current and its temperature changing resistance properties ............

 Regardless of the reason your old one was blown or how old it was, if that new one is working fine and continues to do so for some time, your heating element and other electronics is likely okay YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

   Good luck and best wishes

    John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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Yo Darryl, Oldddddddddddddddd Edison looking light bulbs sure are  neat. When I attended a Lighting Seminar at GE's NELA Park in Cleveland Ohio I saw some real antique bulbs................  While I didn't restore any antique trucks or tractors that were 116 years old,  I saw some maybe half that with working original glass fuses !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gotta love antique electrical stuff (To at least look at lol)  

Fun chatting with yall

John T

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22 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

116 year old light bulb

Wonder what the longest useful life for a fuse might be? I have a feeling that the new style will outlast the old glass ones. 

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12 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

Wonder what the longest useful life for a fuse might be? I have a feeling that the new style will outlast the old glass ones. 

FWIW I agree. The later blade style fuses have the element better encased inside plastic versus those old glass units with the metal ends over the fragile glass tube. I believe plugging and unplugging them was their worst abuse. The ones I saw still working fine even if 50+ years old looked like they had NEVER been removed.

I'm sure you're  still warm down there in Texas. I came back to Indiana too darn early lol still full timing in the RV.

Best wishes

John T

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38 minutes ago, oldjohnt said:

I believe plugging and unplugging them was their worst abuse. The ones I saw still working fine even if 50+ years old looked like they had NEVER been removed.

I'm sure you're  still warm down there in Texas. I came back to Indiana too darn early lol still full timing in the RV.

The frequent vibration of travel with an RV can't be good for the glass type either since the element is suspended, unlike the newer style. 

Our weather has been very unstable here too with a high above normal one day then sliding back to well below and back up again. Things are green and spring flowers are starting to bloom but most things are quite late this year. 

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