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I have a Norcold N682 in my 5th wheel..smell..degrees

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I have a Norcold N682...
I have a Norcold N682 in my 5th wheel. It stopped cooling for some unknown reason, and I thought that it needed a new cooling unit, as about 2 months ago I noticed an odor, not sure if it was an ammonia smell, or not. The refrigerator kept on working and the freezer stayed at about 0 degrees or so and food section stayed at under 40. This weekend May 21, I noticed that the freezer climbed up to 25 degrees, and food section went over 40 to 50. I seemed to stop cooling, but fuse was ok. So we bought a small fridge and freezer to save our food and started shopping for a replacement, or repair. Today Mon the freezer is now down to 5 degrees and food compartment between 30 and 40. What could be wrong and who should I contact???
Submitted: 12 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
5/24/2010
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 28,727
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
Verified
Hi: Thanks for coming to Just Answer with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I believe I can assist you with this. Are you operating this on AC or LP mode all the time? I am understanding this is on AC mode? Does the side with the refer get the afternoon sun? Is the coach level? Get back to me with this and I will also grab a manual for this unit so you can have that as well. I will watch for your post. R.J.
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RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Go HERE for a copy of the Service Manual which covers this unit. I would check the fuse on the control board and be sure it isn't loose and I believe this model has a recall out on it so be sure you have had that done. It involves the control board. Be sure that is no debris on top of the condenser coils. You will have to take the cover off the vent to see down in there with a flashlight. Sometimes some insulation will fall over them and I have seen debris from the construction do this as well from moving the unit. Get back to me and I can give you some more things to check. Once the cooling unit starts leaking ammonia it will usually quit cooling altogether. Sometimes a cooling unit will begin to plug up but then come loose again. It forms a scab like material in there from being out of level usually. I will watch for your post. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
I live in the rv full time and have since October 2009. The rig is a 1994 37' King of the road, and is level. The fridge runs on AC 99% of the time, I only tried to use propane this weekend it lit and ran but didn't cool. It started cooling on its own without my having to clean anything, and at this time Mon AM the freezer is at 5 degrees, the food compartment is between 30 and 40, it is almost empty though.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
I would still check the fuse and see if it is corroded at all or loose in the holder. Check the leads on the board. Did you notice any difference in the power available to you coach? A good thing to have is a voltage minder like those made by Electra Check which you leave plugged into an outlet so you can see it all the time. Power spikes happen all the time and some areas have "brown outs" which can affect a refer which is very sensitive to power fluctuations due to the heating element having less heat on lower voltage. Other than that you should just use it and observe it carefully. Intermittent problems are usually the hardest to find, especially if this was a partial plug up in the cooling unit. Please get back to me if you need more help with this. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
The power supply to our area (Portland, Or) is very stable and hasn't changed lately. My computer is very sensitive to fluctuation and has shown no problems and is on most of the time. I will check and replace the fuse in the power supply area, as well as other system checks. Note: if this problem persists, rather than buy a new RV fridg at between 1200 and 1800 dollars I will replace this Norcold with an Avanti 110 volt compact 10 cu ft ref that will fit in the same spot and give or sell the Norcold to a rebuilder?
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
You can have a rebuilt cooling unit put in. There is an excellent rebuilder just out of Eugene that I recommend for units. One of our techs here lives in Portland and could maybe do it for you at home. He is off work right now and might be able to cut you some slack. This may be just a passing thing. Loose connection or partial plug that came loose. You might be having a thermistor going bad but they usually go all at once. The manual give you the way to test them as I recall. Those aren't expensive. Get back to me if you need more help with this. You can Bookmark it and come back to it in the future that way. R.J.
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 28,727
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Just a reminder if you haven't had the recall done you can get a new control board for free and have this safe as well. Norcold still pays for this. Any RV shop that is signed up with Norcold can do the work for you or a mobile tech. R.J.
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