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Old 05-08-2018, 12:47 PM   #1
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Norcold - Old Better Than New

Just wanted to let everyone know what Iíve found out as I was trying to replace my old, but working fine, Norcold fridge.

My ten year old one is a DC751B and just thot Iíd upgrade it to the newer NR751BB Danfoss powered unit. Same size, but a little different interior setup.

First off, the new one is about 1/8Ē higher. Would have to trim some stuff to make it fit. Not really a biggie. Thatís the good news.

Now my complaints:
1) Interior light (who needs one?) is always on unless the door is shut. That means that when the unit is not in use and you want to leave the door open to air it out, the light is on unless you tape the door switch down. Dumb!

2) The rheostat cold control is in the back of the fridge. To adjust it you have to pull out the food thatís on the right side of the shelf, make the adjustment and put the food back. Whatís wrong with having the control on the front of the unit as with the old one? The ownerís manual even says youíll probably have to adjust the control as the ambient air temp changes. Dumber!!

3) The new one uses twice (yup, 2x) as much power as the old one. I ran several tests and they all came out the same. This is with the units sitting on the floor, not in an enclosure if that makes a difference. Ran them full with pre cooled drinks and also empty. Basically same results. Old one used 18 Ah in 24 hours. New one 39 Ah in 24 hours. This is not acceptable. Old one pulled 2.5 amps when running and new one 4.5 amps. WTF???

4) New one is NOISY! 95% of the noise is from the cooling fan which runs whenever the compressor is running. Pull the plug on the fan and it is very quiet. Old one is much quieter but a little noisier then the new one with fan disconnected. Maybe get a quieter aftermarket fan?

Bottom line, new one is being returned and Iíll continue on with whatís been working for the past ten years.

Sometimes I just hate progress....
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:18 PM   #2
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Having never experienced the previous version, I was finding it odd that the fridge was as loud as our furnace whenever it cycled on in the middle of the night, and we've certainly been annoyed by the interior light. I didn't realize the power usage was so bad, although that finally explains why we go from ~12.9V to ~12.4V overnight with virtually no other electric usage.

We recently decided that, if we can possibly remember to follow through, we plan to set the control to max cold whenever power is plentiful (driving or fully charged + ample solar), then drop it to medium or low afterwards, in an attempt to use our chilled food supply as a buffer. Probably more hassle than it's worth, but worth a try.

Given that ours is brand new, I doubt we'd replace it, but if it just happens to break right after warranty coverage, anyone know a drop-in replacement that's better?
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter View Post
3) The new one uses twice (yup, 2x) as much power as the old one. I ran several tests and they all came out the same. This is with the units sitting on the floor, not in an enclosure if that makes a difference. Ran them full with pre cooled drinks and also empty. Basically same results. Old one used 18 Ah in 24 hours. New one 39 Ah in 24 hours. This is not acceptable. Old one pulled 2.5 amps when running and new one 4.5 amps. WTF???
I was surprised when I learned of this too. I was just fooling around one day and looked up what it would cost to replace my fridge if it broke. Then I went looking at amp draw. My DE0251T only draws 2.4.

Interesting that the NR751 is the only AC/DC fridge that they don't list amp draw for. Hmm.

NR751 | Products | Thetford
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:39 PM   #4
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Engel makes one that looks to be the exact same as my old one. Problem is that it uses a swing type compressor which are notorious for having a lot of vibration. I experienced that but did some more insulation of the compressor mounts and find it's mostly vibration free and very quiet.
I'm not getting one as it's the same as my working fridge so why....
Seems as if all the Danfoss compressors have a very noisy cooling fan.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:43 PM   #5
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SMB replaced 4cf and I thought I had a bad unit. The amps were 2x more than the original installed in 2006. So they replaced it with a second new model. Same high amperage as the replacement. I wasn't happy and a new make/model is on my list, just a ways down on that list. I mean it's working OK plus not only is it a pricey job to replace it, I do like the style/layout of the Norcold. Can't comment on your model Scatter but do know that compressor is faster at making it reach the operating temp faster compared to the old model. I wish I had made some side by side comparisons. I was hoping the limited run times would off set the extra amp hours used...in other words the compressor runs at higher amps but for shorter periods of time ending up with similar overall usage. Doesn't sound so by what you're calculating. Now you made me push it up a little further on my to do list.
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter View Post
Just wanted to let everyone know what Iíve found out as I was trying to replace my old, but working fine, Norcold fridge.

My ten year old one is a DC751B and just thot Iíd upgrade it to the newer NR751BB Danfoss powered unit. Same size, but a little different interior setup.

First off, the new one is about 1/8Ē higher. Would have to trim some stuff to make it fit. Not really a biggie. Thatís the good news.

Now my complaints:
1) Interior light (who needs one?) is always on unless the door is shut. That means that when the unit is not in use and you want to leave the door open to air it out, the light is on unless you tape the door switch down. Dumb!

2) The rheostat cold control is in the back of the fridge. To adjust it you have to pull out the food thatís on the right side of the shelf, make the adjustment and put the food back. Whatís wrong with having the control on the front of the unit as with the old one? The ownerís manual even says youíll probably have to adjust the control as the ambient air temp changes. Dumber!!

3) The new one uses twice (yup, 2x) as much power as the old one. I ran several tests and they all came out the same. This is with the units sitting on the floor, not in an enclosure if that makes a difference. Ran them full with pre cooled drinks and also empty. Basically same results. Old one used 18 Ah in 24 hours. New one 39 Ah in 24 hours. This is not acceptable. Old one pulled 2.5 amps when running and new one 4.5 amps. WTF???

4) New one is NOISY! 95% of the noise is from the cooling fan which runs whenever the compressor is running. Pull the plug on the fan and it is very quiet. Old one is much quieter but a little noisier then the new one with fan disconnected. Maybe get a quieter aftermarket fan?

Bottom line, new one is being returned and Iíll continue on with whatís been working for the past ten years.

Sometimes I just hate progress....
Now Ya know what's gonna happen. Murphy's Law! It will quit.
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