How To

Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling [What to Do]

If your Norcold refrigerator is not cooling on gas or electricity, this article is for you. You will also get to see how you can troubleshoot and fix a refrigerator that is not cooling, even though the freezer is.

NORCOLD INC 2 Way Refrigerator Flush Mount Built-in SELF Venting 2 Door,1.7 Cubic FT Freezer,5.3 Cubic FT Fridge, Black (DE0061R)

Norcold Refrigerator on But Not Cooling — Solutions

Cooling problems in Norcold refrigerators are quite different from cooling problems in other domestic refrigerators. Mainly because unlike domestic refrigerators that are built with compressors, Norcold refrigerators make use of the gas absorption principle.

The cooling unit in the Norcold refrigerator is a collection of tubing that uses the phase change of hydrogen, ammonia, sodium chromate and water to draw out and absorb the heat. However, the extent of absorption depends on how fast the coolant can flow through the condenser coils and this depends on gravity.

The cooling unit must be level to function properly, if it is not, the coolant cannot flow via the coils and this results in common Norcold refrigerators problems. Generally, newer generations of Norcold refrigerators can still function regardless, but just for a little while.

Usually, if the refrigerator has not been level for 30 minutes, the cooling unit can get damaged beyond repair. In this case, you begin to experience persistent refrigerator problems that would either require you to buy a new refrigerator or build a new cooling unit.

You can avoid these problems by getting a hydraulic automatic leveler for a ridiculously low price. Before stabilizing your refrigerator, place the leveler on a small shelf in the freezer. Once the refrigerator is stabilized, examine the level to see that the liquid is at the center of the circle.

If the liquid is not within the circle, then the refrigerator is not level. Simply make some adjustments in position and check the level.  For truck campers, you may have to resort to power jacks and leveling blocks to level the refrigerator.  You can use pieces of wood or plastic legs as levelers. More importantly, ensure to check the level of your refrigerator every time you pull up.

Also, if your refrigerator has not functioned for some time, it is likely to misbehave. When the refrigerator is off, the refrigerant is not flowing. This can result in sediment build-up and inadequacy in operation.

Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling Enough – Quick Fix

The refrigerator is built with several compartments that work hand-in-hand to ensure that the refrigerator cools properly. We have listed some components that could help you identify some cooling problems.

First off, the cooling unit of a Norcold refrigerator depends on gravity to function. In this case, the cooling unit should be level to work properly. These refrigerators are designed to work better in normal ambient temperatures. If the external temperature is too high, they can have a hard time cooling. This is because the condenser fins located atop the cooling unit need cool air to run properly.

You can gain access to the condenser fins by removing the condenser panel outside the refrigerator. Check for obstructions and ensure that your refrigerator has enough room for ventilation. For RV refrigerators without external fans, you can easily install the fan behind the cooling system.

Next, the refrigerator thermistor allows the refrigerator to stay within a range of cooling temperatures. If the temperature begins to rise, the thermistor turns on its cooling cycle. If your refrigerator begins to show faults, you can test the thermistor. The thermistor is located within the refrigerator section under a small plastic cover attached to the surface of the ceiling, back wall, or sidewall.

You can take out the thermistor from underneath the plastic cover and notice how the refrigerator cools. If it cools perfectly, then the thermistor is bad and needs a replacement.

If you have checked all the areas listed above and the refrigerator still does not cool, consider getting a high-velocity cooling fan. The fan should be placed behind the cooling unit as it will help to ensure proper airflow. You can also purchase an interior aerator fan and have it face the condenser fins in the refrigerator chamber. Check out the video below to see how you can troubleshoot the heating system of a refrigerator that is not cooling as you want it to…

Check out these other articles on refrigerators not cooling for other brands…

Why is My Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling on Electric?

If your Norcold refrigerator is not cooling in electric mode, troubleshoot the following components:

1. Refrigerator Compressor

The refrigerator compressor is responsible for compressing and pushing out refrigerant vapor into the condenser coils located behind the refrigerator. The entire process of pushing creates heat that later cools and goes back into the refrigerator.

If the cooling fan is running but the refrigerator compartment is not cooling, then the compressor or compressor start relay may have a fault. To troubleshoot this problem, follow the guidelines below:

First off, you can find the compressor in a small cavity behind the refrigerator. It is a small, black, cylindrical container with cords connected to it. You can find the start relay in the compressor and plug it into the back of the compressor. To access both parts, you need to turn off the power source and pull the refrigerator away from the wall.

You can run a physical test on the start relay to ascertain the working condition. Simply unplug the start relay from the compressor and shake it a bit. If it gives off a rattling sound from the inside, then the start relay is bad and needs a replacement. If there is no rattling sound, then the start relay is good and the actual problem may be from the compressor itself.

Replacing compressors can be time consuming and expensive. To replace the compressor, first, turn off the power source, pull the refrigerator away from the wall, and then unscrew the back panel. If metal guards protect the compressor, you need to take off the metal guard. Next, disconnect the compressor from the capacitor, and also disconnect it from the compressor discharge and suction line.

2. Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are responsible for carrying the hot gas that is given off by the compressor to the evaporator coils. As the coolant pushes through the coils, it condenses to a liquid. If the condenser coils are clogged, the refrigerant finds it difficult to circulate through the coils which can further restrict the refrigerator’s ability to get cold.

To fix clogged coils, locate the condenser coils. The coils are small black interwoven tubes present behind the refrigerator. They have a passage leading from the compressor compartment down to the freezer itself.

Next, you want to clean the coils to ensure proper airflow. Remember to turn off the power source before cleaning or doing anything else on the refrigerator. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and use a vacuum brush to remove accumulated dirt. If it is still not clean enough, use a clean rag and some water to wipe the surface of the coils.

3. Condenser Fan

The condenser fan functions as a cooling tool for the condenser coils and compressor. The fan is designed to work each time the compressor is working. If the fan does not run while the compressor is working, the compressor experiences overheating which can lead to serious and costly damage.

To troubleshoot condenser fan issues, unplug the refrigerator from the power source. Pull it away from the wall and locate the fan. The fan is usually located in a small cavity beside the condenser coils and the compressor.

Next, notice how the fan spins. If there is an obstruction preventing the fan from spinning normally, remove the obstruction and notice how it works. If there is no obstruction and the fan spins below normal speed, check for gummed-up dirt and try to run the fan with your fingers. You can salvage the situation by spraying penetrating oil on the motor’s shaft.

If this fails, then there is a need for replacement. To change the fan, unfasten the screws supporting the fan and gently remove it from the cavity. Remove the old motor from the mounting bracket and replace it with the new one. You can get a replacement fan from a local appliance part store.

4. Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is responsible for drawing air from the refrigerator and blowing it over the evaporator coil. The air later becomes cool and flows out through the vents. If the fan does not run while the compressor is running, the cooling unit may find it hard to generate cool air. Follow the procedure below to carry out a condenser fan replacement.

Unplug your refrigerator from the socket and empty it of the contents. Remove the storage baskets, shelving pins, and freezer shelves. Afterward, unscrew the rear wall from the freezer and pull out the evaporator panel.

Once you see the fan exposed, take out all the wire connectors or harness from the fan motor to release the fan from the freezer. Also, ensure you take out the fan blade and mounting clip. Connect the new motor with the wire connectors and insert it into the shroud. Cover the fan motor properly, mount the fan blades and screw in the mounting bracket or clip.

Finally, return the evaporator fan into the freezer and secure the freezer wall with previously removed pins.

Why is My Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling on Gas?

If a Norcold refrigerator does not run on propane, check that the refrigerator has a 12-volts DC supply voltage. The Panel circuit board (PC board) needs a 12-volts DC supply and a 120-volts AC supply to function properly.

Put on the propane stove and check that the flame burns steady. Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s manual on burner area tune-up. It entails cleaning the burner tube, the propane jet and setting the igniter gap.

If the refrigerator still does not cool, take out the PC board, clean it with DeOxit and inspect the electrical connections. This way, you can get insight on the issue.

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Why is My Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling But Freezer is?

If the freezer chamber of your refrigerator gets cool before the refrigerator compartment, the refrigerator could be experiencing airflow problems. Most times, the freezer uses a diffuser to transfer cold air into the refrigerator. If ice blocks the diffuser duct, there is little or no movement of cool air. You can check to know if the evaporator fan is working.

If there is no noise, you should check later. If the fan works properly, you might have to call an experienced technician.