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Old 11-10-2017, 09:16 PM   #1
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NORCOLD 1210 quits with "OP L1" code

My 18 month old Norcold 1210 stopped running about a week ago with an "OP L1" code, which means high temp limit switch has tripped. If you search the logs on RV.NET and HEARTLANDOWNERS you find out that this is a common problem caused by heavy rain or washing the trailer. Wonderful. Let's just hope it never rains on my trailer! There is a procedure to reset the switch using a magnet. I reset the switch using this procedure. So far so good. I had contacted both NORCOLD and THETFORD support and they both said I must go to an authorized service center. Try fixing it yourself first!
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:27 AM   #2
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Its good you found a fix
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:55 AM   #3
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Pressure washing seems to be the worst. In the spring I probably see 3-4 of these a week come through the shop. I keep a step magnet in my pocket for this problem. It affects all 12xx series Norcold fridges including old stuff with the recall kit. 1200s lose power totally when tripped.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:50 AM   #4
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Any fix?

Is there a "fix" for this to avoid it happening? The reset with magnet is easy but it would be nice to avoid this from happening.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dennisewitte View Post
Is there a "fix" for this to avoid it happening? The reset with magnet is easy but it would be nice to avoid this from happening.
The best fix is not getting water inside the un-protected refrigerator compartment. Rain has yet to cause this on a rig coming through my shop. What actually happens when water is blown into the top vent is the insulation around the flue becomes wet. When the fridge is then turned on the water is heated to a point causing steam. The steam tricks the pyrometer into thinking the burner can is over 600 degrees (twice what it should be) and shuts the fridge down. Norcold did this incase of a rupture of the cooling unit at the heat source. If it cracks in a heat cycle it is possible to ignite the then leaking hydrogen gas and cause a vigorous fire that has caused more than one total loss of the vehicle.

Although not safe or recommended you can bypass the protection ability of this device taking the responsibility into your own hands. If you were to unplug and jumper together the red and blue wire at the thermal protection box it would be out of the loop and not be able to shut the fridge down in the event of water or catastrophic failure.

Bypassing this safety is never recommended due to the potential of fire. You can Google "norcold 1200 fire" if you want to see why they started installing these. It is even a retrofit to older models. I have done several hundred of these on earlier models for a few recall campaigns.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:48 PM   #6
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I am pretty sure my "OP L1" was caused by a 1.5" rainfall with winds at 20 mph gusting to 30 mph and with ambient temperatures in the 60s. The refrigerator was running on electric.

You are absolutely correct about the importance of this high temp switch and that it should not be bypassed.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisewitte View Post
I am pretty sure my "OP L1" was caused by a 1.5" rainfall with winds at 20 mph gusting to 30 mph and with ambient temperatures in the 60s. The refrigerator was running on electric.

You are absolutely correct about the importance of this high temp switch and that it should not be bypassed.
Ok, I totally understand the wind driven rain like that doing it. We don't usually see that in our season in northern California. Usually someone is careless washing.

We don't get crazy amounts of rain.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:24 PM   #8
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Still working

Two weeks later the refrigerator is still running fine with no more "OP L1" codes!
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:58 PM   #9
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My 2019 (yes not even 4 months after purchase) FR3 33DS experienced this failure. Cause, rain & wind. I did not pressure wash it, but was driving in a torrential downpour on the highway for over 6 hours with 20-30 MPH winds in CA. While i applaud the magnet trick, and is okay for some, I don't want to have my unit burn down for something I may have done.
Very frustrating however ... they should have experience with moving the units to a more protected location.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:24 AM   #10
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Another option

I was waking my 2019 FR3 up for the season after removing the cover and Dewinterizing/Sanitizing the fresh water. I ran the refrigerator to test it out and after a day I also got the error code. I read about replacing the sensor controller (but didn't see the magnet reset option) and opened the panel to find the sensor. My camper has an outlet that the refrigerator is plugged into, so I unplugged mine for a few mins. and plugged it back in. So far so good 4 days later.
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Old 05-31-2021, 10:52 AM   #11
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Norcold 12xx LiOP Fridge Shutdown

Have a 2018 Forest River Forester 3011DS that I purchased used about 7 months ago. Came back from a 3-day camping trip with everything working fine. Went back out to storage shed next day, after some heavy storms in the area to find fridge beeping and no cooling inside. Did research on the LiOP error code and found the Heartland article and found out the problem. With a heavy rain and 40 mph gusts and our storage shed open on all sides, the roof covered shed didn't stop the water from getting into the fridge back area. (No pressure washing whatsoever).



I was able to reset the switch with a magnet as described in the Heartland article, and the fridge is once again cooling nicely. When we know we'll likely have another outing withing a couple of weeks or so, we like to leave the fridge running to keep the wine and beer cold. Does this failure hurt the fridge over the long run if it keeps happening?



How can I keep this from happening again in the future when we have wind-blown rain from the starboard side?
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Old 05-31-2021, 11:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retcol99 View Post
Have a 2018 Forest River Forester 3011DS that I purchased used about 7 months ago. Came back from a 3-day camping trip with everything working fine. Went back out to storage shed next day, after some heavy storms in the area to find fridge beeping and no cooling inside. Did research on the LiOP error code and found the Heartland article and found out the problem. With a heavy rain and 40 mph gusts and our storage shed open on all sides, the roof covered shed didn't stop the water from getting into the fridge back area. (No pressure washing whatsoever).



I was able to reset the switch with a magnet as described in the Heartland article, and the fridge is once again cooling nicely. When we know we'll likely have another outing withing a couple of weeks or so, we like to leave the fridge running to keep the wine and beer cold. Does this failure hurt the fridge over the long run if it keeps happening?



How can I keep this from happening again in the future when we have wind-blown rain from the starboard side?
That is a good question, I could only state that while in storage you could makeshift a cover using a shower curtain & some other material that you should block the vent holes or wrap the cover with plastic wrap. thus allowing wind and water not to enter. (Just remember to remove the wrap before use.


Probably does not hurt if it happens, but sure is a pain to reset
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:12 PM   #13
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My 2020 did not have any cover over the recall box and during a downpour the box tripped off, The fridge was replaced a year later under warranty for a different reason and the new recall box has a clear cover over it. Do yours have the cover?

When mine tripped it was not wet at all anywhere inside.

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