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Old 09-04-2013, 11:43 PM   #1
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Fridge is dead, help please my beer is warm!

2010 Norcold N81X model.

We just started a 2 week trip and fridge green light is on, In auto mode but fridge is warm and no sound of anything running, stays warm for hours the plates don't get cold. So I tried the propane, it goes thru the 30 second ignition and it burns with a blue flame for 15 seconds or so, still clicking then dies. Tried this 5 or 6 times to purge air but after igniting it goes out then both green and orange lights flash at 1 second intervals.

The 2 fuses in the control box are still good. No fuses blown in main panel. There is propane at the stove. Everything worked fine 6 weeks ago when we last used our rig.

Any ideas what I can check and how do I check, this is going to be a miserable two weeks with warm beer!
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Only thing I can say is are you sure you have full propane tanks? Do you possibly have a leaky hose that has allowed the propane to escape?
Hope you figure it out because warm beer is no good at all!
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:01 AM   #3
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Only thing I can say is are you sure you have full propane tanks? Do you possibly have a leaky hose that has allowed the propane to escape?
Hope you figure it out because warm beer is no good at all!
Full tanks, propane at stove, fridge burner burns blue, but fridge will not work on AC either.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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The owners manual------------

It shows a 5 amp AC fuse on the circuit board for your model, Did you check it? The manual says if AC voltage is lost, both lights will blink at 1 sec intervals.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:58 AM   #5
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This sounds like a critical situation - first move the beer to a portable cooler with ice ... once the beer has returned to a chilled state you may want to review the Norcold document for fault codes and reset options
http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/ncoldnnewnseries.pdf
Good luck
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nigels View Post
2010 Norcold N81X model.

We just started a 2 week trip and fridge green light is on, In auto mode but fridge is warm and no sound of anything running, stays warm for hours the plates don't get cold. So I tried the propane, it goes thru the 30 second ignition and it burns with a blue flame for 15 seconds or so, still clicking then dies. Tried this 5 or 6 times to purge air but after igniting it goes out then both green and orange lights flash at 1 second intervals.

The 2 fuses in the control box are still good. No fuses blown in main panel. There is propane at the stove. Everything worked fine 6 weeks ago when we last used our rig.

Any ideas what I can check and how do I check, this is going to be a miserable two weeks with warm beer!
Fear no beer, whether cold or warm. It is all good out in the wild.......

http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/reset.pdf
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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So not a propane problem because the burner lights and burns well. From what you describe about that, it sounds like the spark-electrode/flame-sensor is either not in the flame where it needs to be or the burner assembly (below the flame-sensor) is not properly grounded. You should also try taking sandpaper to the electrode to remove any surface corrosion. The other possibly is a bad control board that is just not sensing the flame.

Of course none of that explains why it won't work on AC.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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It shows a 5 amp AC fuse on the circuit board for your model, Did you check it? The manual says if AC voltage is lost, both lights will blink at 1 sec intervals.
Hi Sid, fuse tested okay. By the way FR sent me new countertops for the kitchen, no charge and 18 months out of warranty, I'll post this later!
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Schultz View Post
This sounds like a critical situation - first move the beer to a portable cooler with ice ... once the beer has returned to a chilled state you may want to review the Norcold document for fault codes and reset options
http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/ncoldnnewnseries.pdf
Good luck
Thanks Sgt. this is the best advice, got the ice done the move, now that I have had a cold beer and my head is straight again I can get into this pdf. Wow, I must be able to diagnose the problem with this, thanks, if it will stop raining I'll get started.

I will post what I find.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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Update

Update.

First mistake was thinking that both the AC and Propane were not working, I misunderstood the fault codes, the AC does work and our fridge is cold. Phew!

The propane side of things does not work and with the aid of the pdf I am getting to know the system. I have two questions that the pdf does not explain, maybe I can find answers here.

When I shut off the AC or put the switch over to Gas, the burner lights and burns with a good blue flame but after 20/30 seconds it cuts the 12 volts to the solenoid gas valve and the burner shuts down. This is the problem, it will not stay lit.

On the canister that wraps around the flue just above the burner there is a temperature sensor for overheating protection, if this has been triggered will it prevent the propane operation as described above whilst not affecting AC operation?

Am I correct in thinking that the Igniter electrode not only lights the gas but also acts as a flame sensor? It certainly lights the gas but could be malfunctioning as a flame sensor and thus cutting the gas flow via the solenoid valve?

Nothing in the pdf about these 2 issues. Any ideas?

Thanks guys.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
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Not familiar with the fridge but I experienced this with a gas water heater. There is a thermocoupler that will shut off the gas supply if it does not detect heat. This may be the same situation, it does not believe that the burner has lite and shutting off the gas.

Good luck
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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Update.
...
On the canister that wraps around the flue just above the burner there is a temperature sensor for overheating protection, if this has been triggered will it prevent the propane operation as described above whilst not affecting AC operation?

Am I correct in thinking that the Igniter electrode not only lights the gas but also acts as a flame sensor? It certainly lights the gas but could be malfunctioning as a flame sensor and thus cutting the gas flow via the solenoid valve?

Nothing in the pdf about these 2 issues. Any ideas?

Thanks guys.
If the sensor on the flue trips it has to be manually reset so it's not that.

Yes on the other questions. Please see my post #7 above.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
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If the sensor on the flue trips it has to be manually reset so it's not that.

Yes on the other questions. Please see my post #7 above.
Thanks Barry.

Sounds like this igniter/sensor could be the problem, I'll remove it, sand it, etc, is there a way to test it, it sparks but how can I test if it sends a flame present signal back to the board?
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #14
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From what I've read, it's very difficult to test since there is (very) high voltage on it at one point and then you need to measure a very low current a few seconds later.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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From what I've read, it's very difficult to test since there is (very) high voltage on it at one point and then you need to measure a very low current a few seconds later.

I will do the cleaning put it back and see if it works, if not I will replace it with new one, if that doesn't work then it has to be the board, not so
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:23 PM   #16
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Cleaning it didn't help so after driving a zillion miles I bought a new one which didn't help either

I've ordered a new board so we will see how that works out.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:26 AM   #17
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Cleaning it didn't help so after driving a zillion miles I bought a new one which didn't help either

I've ordered a new board so we will see how that works out.
I would check to see if the termal couple is working. Sounds like it isn't.
When you have ignition it heats up the tube and puts pressure back to the regulator and says keep valve open.
If this doesn't work the regulator valve shuts down and doesn't allow propane to flow.

It is like the oven. You light it and it heats the thermocouple and allows the propane to ignite the full burner. If it doesn't work it shuts everyhting back down.

Let us know what you find out at the dealer.
Feep the beer an wine cool Nigel...
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:20 AM   #18
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I can't really help, but I have a funny story for you ~ We used to have a fifth wheel with a fussy fridge. For whatever reason, after we were on the road a bit it would start working but only after jostling a bit. Over time we learned that shaking the trailer would also work. One time we had left the camper at a park for a month, so of course, the fridge quit cooling. One Saturday morning when we arrived to discover this I sent DH, DD, and DS out to stand on the bumper and jump for a while, You can imagine people's reactions. Finally this guy comes over and says "What are you doing?????" I'm sure it looked crazy to him but hey, it worked.

Good luck with the fridge ~ I know how frustrating that can be!
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:03 AM   #19
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Your sensor probe that produces the spark will ground out with the heat when the pilot lights, that is what stops the clicking sequence. Try to jumper out the limit in the stack and see if the burner will stay on. If it will stay on, then it is the limit if not then it is either the solenoid, or the board. The solenoid is held open by 12v off the board you could test that to see if you are getting 12v. You can not test the board. Also check to make sure your flew tube is not blocked.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:48 AM   #20
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Check the position of the thermocouple. Ensure the tip is in the pilot light flame.
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