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Cleaning the gas orifice on a Norcold 1200LRIM fridge .


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Our fridge would not cool on propane .  Always check the easiest first . ;)

That would be the burner , which happens to also house the gas line orifice . Our burner was sputtering and putting out a very anemic flame .

The pros say to remove the propane orifice/burner and soak it in alcohol over night . Then blow through it to be sure it's clear . 

Well , that's all fine and dandy , IF you can get the darn thing out . 

I couldn't get the mounting screw to budge . The one that holds the orifice/burner in place .

Nor could I get the feed tube nut loose .

It seems that the engineers placed the burner such that it was as hard to get to as possible . I know , amazing , right ? 

Anyway , I did have the feed tube from the propane shutoff disconnected to see if there was good pressure that far , which there was . 

Hmm , how to get this functioning without major problems .

 I shot brake cleaner through the feed tube until I saw it coming out of the burner . 

NOTE : Always be very careful when 'experimenting' with unconventional ways ...

The brake cleaner soaked the bottom of the burn chamber and being extremely flammable , I waited a while for the 'leftovers' to evaporate .

I guess I should have waited a little longer as when I turned the fridge on there erupted a small open fire in the burn chamber . The fire was small enough that I blew it out with my mouth .

Guess what happened next . The burner fired off and a nice strong blue flame became prominent , just like it should . 

Within minutes , the temp in the fridge began to drop . 

My problem for the day came with a happy ending , so far . :)
 

 

 

Edited by Pat & Pete
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We discovered that the burner wasn't producing enough heat after the one month old Dinosaur control board went on the fritz . The new board decided the electric elements didn't need any juice . :( 

I'll wait until the board gets replaced before I call it 'good to go' .  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update :

Even with a good heater flame , we found that the cooling unit wasn't cooling the fridge very good , only the freezer . 

So , unless there's a fairly simple solution to that problem , we'll replace the Norcold with a residential unit . 

I'm really looking forward to that project . :( LOL

We've been scouring sources for a residential unit that will fit , but , anything close seems to be the wrong color or NLA or out of stock or maybe available sometime in November . There's a shortage of appliances in the USA due to the pandemic , according to Google .

 

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3 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

So , unless there's a fairly simple solution to that problem , we'll replace the Norcold with a residential unit

My suspicion is that there is really big problem as that symptom usually means the cooling unit is failing. 

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6 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

So , unless there's a fairly simple solution to that problem , we'll replace the Norcold with a residential unit .

Pat & Pete, In the event my LP/Elec fridge ever crapped out (works fine) Id consider replacing it with a 12 Volt (versus 120 via an Inverter) RV size compressor unit as they are getting very efficient nowadays plus I already have adequate Solar and Battery to run it no problem. In 50 years of using RV LP/Elec fridges Ive learned keeping the burner assemblies, ignitor, chimney and venting all clean PLUS operating them level can make them run seems like indefinitely.........  

 If the flames now adequate and the chimney and venting is all fine plus any thermostat control is correct, I question the cooling unit or it has leaked ??

John T

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3 hours ago, Kirk W said:

My suspicion is that there is really big problem as that symptom usually means the cooling unit is failing. 

 

32 minutes ago, oldjohnt said:

Pat & Pete, In the event my LP/Elec fridge ever crapped out (works fine) Id consider replacing it with a 12 Volt (versus 120 via an Inverter) RV size compressor unit as they are getting very efficient nowadays plus I already have adequate Solar and Battery to run it no problem. In 50 years of using RV LP/Elec fridges Ive learned keeping the burner assemblies, ignitor, chimney and venting all clean PLUS operating them level can make them run seems like indefinitely.........  

 If the flames now adequate and the chimney and venting is all fine plus any thermostat control is correct, I question the cooling unit or it has leaked ??

John T

Thanks for your responses .

I haven't noticed any 'strange' odors of ammonia or seen anything off color to the yellowish side . 

This morning my wife heard a noise she described as a louver closing or opening . 

We came back from errands and found the fridge at supposedly 32° . Hmmm ...

We'll watch this pretty close for changes . 

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1 hour ago, Pat & Pete said:

I haven't noticed any 'strange' odors of ammonia or seen anything off color to the yellowish side . 

While loss of refrigerant is the most obvious cause of cooling unit failure, it is not the only one. If the compounds in the refrigerant solidify they will in time block some of the more narrow parts of the system and so stop the movement of refrigerant. There are probably a few other possible failures, but I'm sure that those two are the most common. 

If the chill box is at 32° then I would set the cooling to a bit warmer setting as 36-40° is generally recommended. Check the freezer as well. It should be colder than 0°.  

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

While loss of refrigerant is the most obvious cause of cooling unit failure, it is not the only one. If the compounds in the refrigerant solidify they will in time block some of the more narrow parts of the system and so stop the movement of refrigerant. There are probably a few other possible failures, but I'm sure that those two are the most common. 

If the chill box is at 32° then I would set the cooling to a bit warmer setting as 36-40° is generally recommended. Check the freezer as well. It should be colder than 0°.  

The freezer section has been steady at 10° , prior to this morning . 

We have a thermometer in the freezer now to see where it settles .

We have raised the fridge setting a touch to see how that reacts , as well . 

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4 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

Thanks for your responses .

I haven't noticed any 'strange' odors of ammonia or seen anything off color to the yellowish side . 

This morning my wife heard a noise she described as a louver closing or opening . 

We came back from errands and found the fridge at supposedly 32° . Hmmm ...

We'll watch this pretty close for changes . 

I cant say what the noise was but keep it running and play with the settings you may luck out !!!

Thanks for the feedback

John T

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9 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

You may download the service manual for your refrigerator at bryantrv.com  The burner chimney should be cleaned too, however it requires removal of the fridge from the opening.

I have the manual , thanks anyway . :)

I checked that the stack was clear by pulling the baffle 'diffuser' , which is clean and pulls out and drops back in without any resistance .

attachment.php?attachmentid=25385&d=1584

Edited by Pat & Pete
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29 minutes ago, Pat & Pete said:

I checked that the stack was clear by pulling the baffle 'diffuser' , which is clean and pulls out and drops back in without any resistance .

That one looks really good. Are things still working right?

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11 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

That one looks really good. Are things still working right?

Maybe because of constant use ?
 

The fridge seems to be working , but , whether it's working exactly right is still to be determined . 

I just checked the old thermometer indicates about 28° .

We also have a 'new' thermometer . It indicates about 10° warmer , 38° ish . 

Which to believe ???  Maybe a happy medium ? ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Ray,IN said:

To assist with  cooling ability install a blower-type 12V fan just above the collection tank at the bottom of the  cooling loop. When I did I then had to back off the cooling setting to prevent frozen milk. My fan was part of a ARP/Fridge Defend protection unit.

Maybe not as effective as the Defend unit , but , we've had a 4" computer tower fan running under the cooling loop for a years . 

Possibly why the fridge has lasted as long as it has . 

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Being as the Norcold is 21 years old and having problems one after the other , we decided to replace it with a residential unit .

Now comes the big fun of removal and disposal of the old unit . Then preparation and installation for the new , which will include a bit of redesign of the space available . 

I might start a new thread to somewhat document the change over . 

We're on our site for the summer , so that might help alleviate a bit of 'pressure' . ;)

 

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