QuiGonJohn

Norcold Problems Starting On Propane

26 posts in this topic

I have a Norcold Model N611LT.

On our trip home yesterday we noticed the gas and on lights flashing about once every second. I read the bit of a manual I have and it said that indicates the burner did not light and the unit should have shut the gas valve. I thought it was going to be a big problem. When I got home and parked, I tried again and it lit. After 5 minutes or so I shut it off. Then later in the evening I tried again and it would not light, flashing lights. Then I shut it off, waited a minute or so, turned it on, and it did light. Again, after 5 minutes or so, I shut it off.

Anyone have an idea what may be going on with my unit? We will be dry camping, w/o electric in Sept. and need to be able to rely of the refrigerator.

Thanks!

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Pull out your refrigerator owners manual and to the burner area tuneup. It is recommended preventive maintenance once a year.

No special tools and no parts are needed.

Issues that could cause this that are addressed in the tuneup are:

Debris or rust in the burner tube.

Improper ignitor gap.

Debris or rust between ignitor and ground.

Dirty propane jet causing too small a flame to trigger the thermocouple.

Only after doing each step in your book should you consider "throwing parts at it".

Brett

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My Norcold 841 would light and then go out after a couple minutes, I called the local Ford tech and he came out and cleaned the rust particles from the burner and it worked fine. However we were out this weekend and it started doing the same thing. Vacummed more out of the burner chamber and it seems to work okay again. Would have saved $75. had I cleaned it first. Live and learn.

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Hi Brett, the manual I have, (which is a section in a large manual covering most of the RV systems), mentions the PM you talk about, they tell you to do a list of things, but no instructions on how to do them or good diagrams on where to find the given parts. In fact, they say to have a dealer or Norcold Service Center do it.

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You might verify that you have the correct lp pressure. It should be 11 inches of water column or about 1/4 lb. We usually test at the stove by taking one burner off and hooking a manometer or pressure gauge to it.

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Hmm, how do I do that? Is there a tester I need to get, just for LP gas? Thing is, my Tank Levels Indicator still says I have 2/3 of a tank of LP. Same as when I bought the RV in April. We only have been out over weekends and this was our 4th camping trip.

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QuiGonJohn,

Even though your tank says it is 2/3rds full it may no bet. A quick check would be to light your Range. If it lights you have Propane, If not you may just be out of gas.

Just a thought.

Herman

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Hi Herman,

That was one of the first things I did, after the first couple relight attempts, (on the highway) did not work. And yes, I have propane as the stove lit fine.

The burner tube, propane jet and ignitor, (that I need to clean), would these be under the refrigerator or in the back access panel area. I already looked in the back, but could not make them out. However, there was at least 1 metal cover inside the back access panel area that could be removed, would they be under that?

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Hmm, how do I do that? Is there a tester I need to get, just for LP gas? Thing is, my Tank Levels Indicator still says I have 2/3 of a tank of LP. Same as when I bought the RV in April. We only have been out over weekends and this was our 4th camping trip.

Here's a link that might be usefull.

http://www.rverscorner.com/manometer.html

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Suggest you do/have done the burner area tune-up. If still an issue, check gas pressure with a manometer. BTW, you can easily build a manometer for under $5.

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Will try the burner cleanup. I guess from what you have said, it is probably under that metal cover w/screws, inside the rear panel access area.

What do you recommend to clean it with, wipe with a cloth and spray with compressed air, or something else.

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At Times a little dirt can build up in the orifice and that can restrict the flow of gas.

One can use a number drill to clean it out> BUT DO NOT increase the hole size !!!!

Use a smaller drill with your fingers or a pin vice to hold the drill bit and very carefully run it in and out about 3 times. Blow out any loose material with compressed air. Reassemble.

Then set up the air mixture for the proper flame.

Rich.

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In addition to verifying that the gas jet orifice is clean, you will need to clean the burner tube (remove and clean) and check ignitor gap.

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I found it, it was under the metal cover at the bottom of the chimney flue, (that is why I could not see anything when I first looked in the rear access panel. I think I got it cleaned out good and when I tested it, it lit right away and I kept it lit for a couple minutes, just fine. Thanks for all the help.

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I have a 400 norcold, which was 11/2 yrs old when I bought my 1990 classic toy RV. The refrigerator gave me troubles from the start and 3 dealers later and 1 1/2 yrs later the selector switch was changed and Norcold covered it.

Now I am having problems again. It lites now after after paying someone local to clean the burner. He did not check the gap, the pressures or the nozzle. When I turn down the thermostat to a lower # it goes out every time. The refrigerator works OK on electric. Norcold is worthless to call.

How do I check the pressures? The gauge in access panel reads 7. Thank you.

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I have a 2006 Norcold 400 2 way. in past lots of problems, new selector switch solved it.

Now having problems again. works OK electric, but on LP it goes off when I turn down the right hand thermostat to a lower setting. When I light it it sounds like a blow torch and will stay on at high #'s. but gobbles gas and freezes everything. Then goes off when turned down. Already had burner cleaned of rust. That is all he did. It would not lite before that.

Any suggestions?

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Patsy,

The burner should light to heat the ammonia tank. Once it is active and the set temperature inside the refrigerator is reached, the flame should go out and relight when the thermostat calls for cooling.

Have you cleaned all the board(s) contacts? use an eraser to clean the contacts. The other item(s) that comes to mind is the temperature control board or a thermocouple issue.

Edit 11:18 PM

Your model has a Thermocouple interrupter on the gas valve, is should turn off the gas supply when the set temperature is reached inside the refrigerator. This item my be the problem, the thermocouple inside the fridge directly controls this valve !!!!

I will review some of my notes to see what I'm overlooking.

Rich.

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HI, the first round of problems included replacing the gas safety value. but that was not the issue as the selector switch proved to be the problem.

No, I have not cleaned the board. Do I just snap the cover off to get to the controls?

I did not realize that the flame could go off and on. I assume the unit is working when the indicator panel is in the green area. Also, if I leave the thermostat # in a hi position, it will freeze everything and does not go out.

Waiting to hear more.

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This is a link to the owners manual for your unit. It covers 4 to 5 different units and is not one of there best written manuals.

http://www.google.co...iw=1366&bih=548

Page 14 shows the part numbers for your 400 unit Wiring Diagram

(N400 models only) and page 18 has the wiring information. Item number 7 is the Thermocouple interrupter.

although not pictured well, there should be a control board on the back of the refrigerator where the 12 volts supply power to change over from AC power to LP.

It sounds like the fridge works fine on AC and not on LP, that is what leads me to suspect the thermocouple interrupter circuit as this should control the gas flow that in turn controls the temperature when on LP.

Things get muddy here because the information does not clearly indicate how the AC temp setting and LP settings are interconnected.

Just found this link, It might be of more help it shown the wiring in better detail.

http://www.thetford....75/Default.aspx

The link has 2 files, one is operators manual and the other is a parts list. What is interesting is there is a possibility the parts could be bought through Sears on this unit.

Link--

http://www.searspart...00/0761/0413140

Sears Phone number 888-213-5824

I hope that the manual(s) will help some.

Norcold Customer Service Dept. 800-543-1219

Edited 2:33 PM 12-13-12. OK This looks like the best manual for service information on this model refrigerator. pictures a capillary tube to control the gas valve and looks to be behind the control panel for the unit.

Link--http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/n400.pdf This link needs to be copied and pasted into Google search or other engine to get to the manual

If you can get to the manual this is the information you will see regarding the way the temperature setting controls the LP burner flame.

Note:

The combination control does

not have an "OFF" position on the

thermostat dial. To check the gas

pressure for low fire, set the

thermostat to the warmest posi-

tion, and cool the thermostat capil-

lary tube by use of a component

coolant or by placing it in a glass

of ice water. This forces the control

to low fire. To check for the high

fire pressure set the thermostat to

the coldest position and allow the

capillary tube to get warm.

In the normal gas mode, the

combination control modulates the

gas pressure to the burner. It

modulates between high fire and

low fire pressures in response to

the cabinet temperature sensed by the thermostat capillary tube. This

modulating burner pressure controls the burner efficiency and in turn, the

cooling in the cabinet.

In the normal electric mode, the thermostat opens and closes the microswitch

in response to the cabinet temperature sensed by the same capillary tube. The

switch contacts will always be closed when the capillary tube temperature is

above 50°F. An open switch at this temperature would indicate a broken capil-

lary tube, defective switch or themode indicator shaft is depressed or hung up.

Section 3, Page 7 (3-7)

Rich.

P.S. First Link goes to Google page, the manual is the 6th. item listed. A PDF file listing the 400 series. Thought this might be the case when I posted the link, some just work better then others.

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11-29-13 Hi finally I found this -- not good at finding this info.

The refrigerator worked for awhile on lp, it sounded like a jet plane.

I would turn the thermostat down to about #3-4 and then the sound changed to more quiet. However, it would go out completely within maybe 2 hrs or so. Now, it goes out the second I take my finger off the red button.

Bottom line is I have to take the frig out or at least bring it into the unit to get to the controls which are located at the top. I need warm weather.

Thank you.

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Patsy,

If you have trouble finding a post you made, just go do any of your posts. "Click" on your name (patsy613).

On the right top of the page that brings up is "Find Content". That will show you all the posts you have made.

Brett

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This Norcold is N400 2 way totally manual. I doubt it goes on and off. But flame decreases in size. I have to remove the frig in order to get to the controls. That is my next step. Gas pressures on gauge in back of refig is 7. I do not use the factory installed tiny lp tank. I smell gas when I turn this tank on so I keep it turned off. i put a 20lb. tank on back of RV in a storage container. Has worked well. Tied into the line going to appliances.

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Patsy, did you read post number 21 on this thread and download the manuals, that should cover you model refrigerator.

From your information, it sounds like the burner area needs to be cleaned and / or adjusted.

Rich.

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