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Old 04-01-2018, 05:10 PM   #1
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NORCOLD Refrigerator turns off by itself turns on with light switch

My NORCOLD refrigerator in my 2016 Columbus 340RK turns itself off after 24 hours everyday that it is turned on. It does not matter if it is running on electricity or propane. This problem has occurred on ever trip since I bought it new. It has been at the dealer for more days than I have actually used the coach. The dealer has changed two boards and it still has not fixed the problem.

The refrigerator now will only allow you to turn it back on when the light switch near the refrigerator is turned on. Please see attached video. You can also hear a fan speed change with the light on (fan has more power) and the fan has less power when the light is off. The refrigerator gave code AC RE twice out of the 6 day trip

It concerns me that the power from a light switch effects the power to the refrigerator. I spoke to NORCOLD last summer concerning this and they advised that it may be a power converter problem and not in the refrigerator at all.

On the last day of our trip while we were running the bedroom slide in, the refrigerator turned itself off and displayed the code given above.

I love the coach but we canít continue to enjoy our investment without the normal use of the refrigerator.

Has anyone ever encountered this problem???

Mark
La Quinta,Ca.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:07 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. I have not had this problem and think what I would do to find out if it is the frig or the coach. I would rig separate 12V and 110V power leads to the frig and allow it to run and see what happens. If it quits its the frig if not its the coach and you can trace the problem from there.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:33 AM   #3
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Thank you Sea Dog. The coach is going back to dealership today. I will suggest your idea. Fingers crossed....
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:45 AM   #4
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How new is your battery? Reason for asking is when you pull the slide in the fridge went off. There could be low 12 volt supply voltage. This is common to both propane and 110 VAC operation. Control is 12 volts.

Problem areas

Bad Battery
Bad Grounding, corroded or loose connection
12 volt wiring to fridge has a ohmic connection, bad connection that when the current rises causes it to partially open and drop voltage

Your service depot should have a decent Digital Meter and should able to set limits on voltage. Track lowest voltage present. An old style meter with a analogue face would show it really fast seeing it drop.

Sound to me troubleshooting from a distance voltage drop causes the fridge to turn off our too low voltage.
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Old 04-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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First thing is the refrigerator needs to be on a filtered dedicated circuit from the power distribution panel. Nothing else should be on this circuit. The RV power supply to the refrigerator is wired improperly and this issue must be resolved prior to any other trouble shooting. Must have been wired incorrectly at the factory (wouldn't be the first time). The error code you reference means that the AC relay is stuck closed and the power board must be replaced. However, I would ensure the Refrigerator wiring be corrected first, turn on the refrigerator, and see if the fault code clears. Make sure all fault codes get erased from power board memory. Let us know what fixes your problem.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thank you to all for the responses.

B and B the batteries (4 6 Volt batteries) are 2 years old. The volt meter on my leveling system read 12.4 volts at the time the slide was brought in. We were also still attached to the park 50 amp service.

RV Doctor, when I took it to the service center today, the manager advised that they will hook up the frig to their power and check to see if that is the problem. This afternoon, the manager called me back and said that they were able to duplicate the problem when my BATTERY SWITCH WAS OFF. He asked if I normally run the refrigerator with the battery switch off. I advised that the only time I turn the battery isolation switch off is to store it. When I go hookup to my truck for a trip, I power the coach up at the switch and turn on the frig so it can cool for the trip. I never dreamed that the refrigerator would even work with the battery switch off. When we took delivery we were instructed to turn the switch on anytime we power up any system. I did find out recently that my leveling system is constantly hot. Iím not sure why the coach has a battery disconnect if systems still work when itís in the off position. I drive a fire engine for a living and all systems are off when the battery isolated is off. So, not sure why an rv would be any different.

Also doc, they replaced the power board the last time it was in for this problem.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:38 AM   #7
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The refrigerator should not work if the master battery switch is in the disconnect position. Only when it is on. This prevents battery from going dead while the rv is not in use. There is still a wiring problem that needs to be corrected. Also, check for AC ripple at the DC power leads at the refrigerator. Disconnect the DC supply leads at power board and check for AC ripple at the leads with a good voltmeter with rv plugged into shore power. If AC ripple is present after ensuring the refrigerator power supply is wired to a filtered circuit on the DC distribution panel then the power converter is at fault and needs to be replaced. AC ripple can cause all sorts of problems on refrigerator control boards and definitely can cause the type of problems you are having. Google AC ripple for a full understanding and how to test for it. Norcold should be able to supply AC ripple limits. I can't remember the maximum AC ripple limits allowed.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:44 AM   #8
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The fire truck I drive operates the same as yours and you are correct that an RV operates the same way for the same reasons. That is why they call it a master disconnect.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:28 AM   #9
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Thanks Doc. I will update when I hear back from the service center.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:32 PM   #10
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I am in need of some advice.

I had a conversation with Columbus Warrenty and their shop manager on April 4 concerning this problem. Their shop manager advised, after explaining the problem, it sounded to him that it doesnít sound like the refrigerator is on its own circuit.

Today, I was informed by the dealership shop manager that they hooked up my refrigerator to their power and propane that the refrigerator worked fine. He said that they ran the refrigerator on tne fifth wheels power for 3 days and it worked fine. He spoke to Columbus and explained the problem and that Columbus will not authorize him to wire my refrigerator to its own circuit.

I have called and emailed Columbus and have not been able to speak to anyone.

Does anyone have any ideas what I should do next? I am worried now that the coach may not be safe from an electrical fire.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:56 PM   #11
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If you can show a history of repair attempts I would ask the dealer that sold you the unit to repair if factory doesn't want to stand behind their product. Any reputable dealer should take care of it themselves if the factory refuses to do so. If that fails the only other thing I see is to have the problem repaired and bring a small claims lawsuit naming the dealer and manufacturer. I don't see an unsafe condition only that the refrigerator has to have the light switch turned on. I still think there may be an AC ripple problem if the refrigerator works only 24 hours at a time if you are connected to shore power. Some LED and Fluorescent lights can cause the circuit board to go haywire do to the circuitry within the lighting circuit. Hence, that is why a dedicated circuit is required for refrigerators. Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:18 PM   #12
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Thanks Doc.

I am supposed to hear back from the dealershipís service manager Monday. He advised that he has contacts within the manufacturer to hash this out.

I will update the info when I receive a response. I guess if this doesnít work I will be seeking counsel concerning California lemon law.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:21 PM   #13
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Update: after a long conversation with the manufacturer, it appears that the dealership is not forthcoming with all of the information. They simply requested that I want the refrigerator rewired and failed to explain the specifics of the problem.

RV Doc, the dealership is stating that it is common for a refrigerator to work on shore power with the battery isolator switch turned off. In your experience is this true?

This is is email to me. ďWith the batteries turned to the off position & your plugged into shore power the converter will continue to supply 12volt power to the coach.
This is why your slide out & light & refer continue to come on its not enough power to run them all at the same time. This is why the lights flicker when the refer turns on & off the refer draws way more amps then the lights do.Ē
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:50 PM   #14
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So it sounds like we will be picking up our coach as soon as a sliding window is replaced. The dealership has done nothing to the coach because they cannot duplicate the issue with the coach on shore power. They can duplicate the problem when the BATTERY ISOLATOR OFF and the coach is attached to shore power. The dealership stands by the fact that the refrigerator, slides, and lights will work in this situation and will cause our described problem. Please see my previous post concerning the dealership explanation.

The manufacturer will send a mobile repair technician to us in our camping location to remedy the problem. I donít think a mobile tech will be able to repair the problem in the field but at least I will have a documented tech describe my problem.

I would love to email a couple of my videos to anyone on this forum. I donít think the video that I posted here is working. I would like some talking points based on the videos so I can once and for all get this problem resolved without legal action.

Thanks to all. Very frustrating
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:08 AM   #15
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True, that the refrigerator will work with battery disconnect off. Your lights should not flicker when turning on your refrigerator. The typical refrigerator draws very little amperage. I have never seen lights flicker when plugged into shore power, battery off when turning on refrigerator. Your fridge manual should have the dc amp draw listed on the specification page. Most converters are usually in the 50 amperage range. Something is still wrong.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:43 PM   #16
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Thanks Doc. I will update the status as things play out.



I will be taking it to a local RV Park and get it to do it again. As the manufacturer requested, I will call a local mobile tech before I turn it back on. I will then show him or her how it will turn itself back on. I hope the tech will document all of his findings.

Stay tuned.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:39 PM   #17
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Update- had an appointment today to pick up my coach. The trailer was parked in the dealership pick up location that has a 50 amp service. The unit was not plugged in. After a conversation with the shop foreman that got a little heated after I requested a list of specific testing that was done, I plugged in my coach to shore power, tuned on the battery switch, and attempted to turn on my refrigerator with a sales manager that I requested to assist in mediating with the shop foreman. The refrigerator dId not turn on. I requested that the shop foreman come out so I could show him the problem. He tried numerous times to turn on the refrigerator with no luck. I flipped the light switch on and bingo, the refrigerator turned on! By turning the light on and off, the refrigerator light dimmed and the fan motor power sped up with the light was on and slowed when the light went off. We even discovered that the light switch on the other end of the slide effects the power to the refrigerator. I am very happy that the dealer was able to witness the problem while I was there. Now I hope they are able to describe the problem to Columbus so they can assist in a trouble shoot.

Very frustrating that after the coach was in the dealership’s possession since April 3 that it takes me on June 2 to prove there is a problem. A month and a half away from my annual trip to the eastern Sierras and hoping we can once and for all enjoy our investment.

Stay tuned.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:40 PM   #18
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This is definitely an odd issue. Please let us know what they find, if you can get it out of the shop people.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:21 PM   #19
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Update- revived a brief email this morning for the shop foreman that they are running new lead wires and they are replacing the converter. I sent him an email back requesting what specifically they found when they traced the wires.

Although I am happy that something is being done now, I cannot believe that it has taken this long to trace the wiring. I had a discussion with the dealer this exact time last year that Norcold had a feeling that the converter is bad. I hope to get a detailed email what was wrong.

Question for all, do you think I will have any luck requesting Palomimo to extend my original warrenty 10 months? The unit has been in service for 10 months since I have had the coach new (February 2016).
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:08 PM   #20
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I'd definitely ask them. All they can say is no, and they just might say yes.
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