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Old 07-03-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

I have a 2000 Sportsmobile that came with the standard 2 way Norcold and it refuses to run off my 110 connection. My lights and microwave run just fine off the 110, but my fridge continues to only be powered by my aux. battery and I end up with a drained battery and the annoying beeping sound reminding me my battery is dying in the morning. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Things to check if you have not already

Fridge pugged in to 120v power?
Does 120v receptacle have power to it?
Breaker tripped?
Have you tried plugging the fridge into a working 120v source?
Run an extension cord from the house and see if it works.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Thank you for the reply. From what I can tell it looks like the fridge is directly hard wired into the 12volt distribution panel. I do not see any power cable that goes from the fridge into a 110 outlet so don't appear to have the option to plug an extension cord directly into the fridge.
I'm not the most fix it guy in the world so maybe there is something fundamental I am missing on how the fridge works with the 110?

Perhaps it is because the inverter was unplugged? I plugged it into an AC outlet in the van, but am more confused now as I thought the inverter fan would start spinning once I hooked it up to a 110 outlet. Am I getting my electrical verbiage correct? Is it a 110 or 120 outlet that we typically plug things into at our homes?
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Are you sure you have a 120V capable refrig?

What is the Model Number?

I'm also a little confused because the Standard SMB will charge the 12V system when plugged into 120V shore power. So why would your battery go down?

Mike
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

OK so I'm a bit of a nob and missed the obvious. I plugged my 12 volt inverter into an AC outlet in the van and that resolved my issue. I guess the fridge won't switch to AC unless the inverter is powered up. Doh!
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

People designed their electrical systems in different configurations. Some builds only use the inverter to supply AC to the outlets. Others might have one or several inside shore power supplied outlets.
On my van, SMB placed one dedicated AC outlet for the refrigerator. The reason is that when I turn on the inverter in the field, the outlets (including the refrigerator outlet) are energized and the fridge cuts off the 12 volt mode and runs off the inverter. The inverter has losses and there is no reason to add more losses by supplying the refrigerator so I shut off that dedicated outlet and let it run off DC.
Most of the higher end inverters automatically pass through AC power to the outlets w/o the inverter needing to be turned on so when plugged into shore power all the AC outlets are energized using shore power only, not inverted DC.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Yeah I don't really understand my 110v set up. I bought my van used so wasn't involved with the electrical set up. It appears all my AC outlets as well as my microwave work fine with the inverter turned off when plugged into shore power. However, this does not seem to be the case with the fridge. My 12 volt DC/AC inverter or do I call it a converter has to be plugged into an outlet for my fridge to run off the 110v hook up.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Its sounds like you have a power converter/charger and not a inverter. Most of the standard SMB builds of that time came with that or a Inverter/charger as a option. The difference being that a converter/charger will convert "110 AC " to "12 Volt DC " power, and provide battery charging. The inverter/charger will do that but it will also invert "12 Volt DC" power into "110 AC". The standard Inverters were hardwired into 110 AC electrical system, The converter can and in my 2004 manual shows it plugging into a 110 outlet. Mine came with the Inverter option, so I can not say first hand how it was done.

So I suspect that your Fridge is only a standard 12 volt only module and you only have the converter/charger. Since there are many ways customize this, it would be impossible to know with out looking at your exact system. You should have the converter plugged in all the time, as it is what charges your battery and supplies 12 volts for your system while plugged in. Otherwise you are only charging your battery while driving.

The annoying beeping that you are hearing is probably the Carbon Monoxide Detector which does this at low battery voltage. I also suspect that if you hear that beep often that you have been seriously compromising your battery.

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:03 AM   #9
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

If you do have a converter, I'd suggest replacing it with a good multi-stage charge/inverter. Most old converters are poor bulk type chargers and although they do make better models these days, a good inverter is really the way to go. Of course you can always add solar and to run the fridge you should add about 100w of panel(s) to run the refrigerator.
You'll know if you have an converter... in the sticks you don't have AC power!

Unfortunately it all costs money but so do batteries.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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Re: Fridge is not working on 110 AC hook up

Thank you for all the helpful information. This forum is a godsend for people like me. Right now my van is packed full of gear, but when I can more easily get to my inverter or converter or whatever I got again I'll snap a pic and figure out what I got.

One thing is true is that none of my AC outlets nor my microwave work unless I'm plugged in. My fridge is a Norcold DC0051 and that thing just keeps on going even in Phoenix's 115 degree days.

Love the idea of solar panels for the fridge or was debating getting a Honda 2000 generator to run things when I'm boondocked. This is off topic, but is there an aux. rooftop AC unit that is small enough to be powered by a Honda2000 that is still strong enough to cool my van when it's 115 out.

Jason
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