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Old 07-01-2022, 10:02 AM   #1
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Stupid Norcold...

Norcold 3cf standard SMB installation in 2014 and it's not working correctly but not sure what to replace.

Got the van used last fall and had thermostat problems so I got and installed another thermostat. Worked well for about 10k in driving on trips to Baja and Florida. Went out for a couple of nights and noticed that it did not cycle on and off as normal. Just kept running and kept fridge at about 35* but again, never shot off. Took out the fuse for the first night and put it back in next day. Same issue.

Next night, turned it way down temp wise and it shut off for quite a while then came back on and didn't cycle off. Turned it off at the thermostat and then on the next morning. Ran the whole time driving home. Seems to be pulling .3 or .4 amps so that seems normal.

Compressor shot or get another thermostat OR just get a new fridge? Whachuthink?
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:07 AM   #2
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When I had problems with my Norcold, the culprit was a poor power connection.


Herb
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:16 AM   #3
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You changed the thermostat or thermister or both?

Looks like the plate is getting cold if holding 35F. Cold enough to ice over?

Anything blocking the air vents that supply/exhaust the air across the back of the fridge?
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:23 AM   #4
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Thanks Herb and Ray. I think I will pull it out and take a look at the connections and cleanliness. We have ice in the freezer so that works fine. Not sure what the plate is though but have not noticed any icing outside the freezer. We did change the thermistor and thermostat as it came in one unit. Now that we are back home again, I'll get that box pulled and see if I find anything. Could be dog hair or sawdust or who knows behind the unit. It is a Sportsmobile after all.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:49 AM   #5
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Is the gasket around the door seating properly? To test; turn on the fridge, then with something like a cigarette (or candle) light it and slowly pass it around the outer edge of the door to see if you have any air interacting with the smoke or flame.

EDIT: I replaced my Norcold about 5 or 6 years ago. It too was running longer than I thought it should, I found the latch side gasket wasn't seating well at all with this method. Replaced the fridge based on this issue AND it was already 12 years old to begin with - figured the new systems would be much more efficient anyway.
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Old 07-01-2022, 04:17 PM   #6
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Ours seemed to be running too much also. I found that the gasket wasn't sealing completely when the door was loaded with soft drinks and/or beer and condiments and we needed to shove in at the bottom to get it to seal. A nudge with a knee does the trick. I was reading the paperwork on the unit and found that SMB hadn't put enough venting on the exhaust side. When I took it back in and explained the problem, they quickly doubled the vents. It seems to have helped, but that's just my gut feeling. I never did any ambient temperature/run time tests.
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Old 07-27-2022, 09:42 AM   #7
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Update time finally. Thanks for all the suggestions. I pulled out the fridge and checked connections and they were good. The space for the fridge was really pretty clean but I vacuumed it out and then found my missing favorite hat so there's the good news.

Ventilation is adequate as there is a gap of about 3 inches between the back of the cabinet and the wall. Everything looked good and I want to replace the gasket but none to be found. Looks like parts are minimal out there and nobody has the gasket that Norcold lists as the correct part.

I got some really thin silicone weatherstripping and stuck that to the existing gasket to see how that works. Gotta make sure to close the door firmly so it latches. So far so good and the fridge is cycling at least in the garage. I did note that the floor from the doghouse back to over the transmission was really warm when this happened so that could come into play with the extra heat.
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