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My Norcold frig is displaying LoDc whenever more than one…

My Norcold frig is...

My Norcold frig is displaying LoDc whenever more than one 12v circuit is in use. I've replaced the batteries to no effect. Do I need a new converter (inverted)?

Mechanic's Assistant: Have you tested the battery with a voltmeter? And can you see if it's leaking or not?

Alas I don't have a voltmeter. But, again, the batteries are new. Do they need to be charged up or do they come charged?

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the make/model/year of your RV?

Caravan/Cameo/2010

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your RV yourself? What have you tried so far?

Replaced the 5yo batteries, monitored which circuits need to be on.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the Mechanic to know before I connect you?

Uh.. the Norcold has gotten al of the recalls uodated.

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Answered in 4 minutes by:
12/2/2020
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,323
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Hi, I'm Robert. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply momentarily.

Please allow me a few mins to type a response.

Thanks, Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok thx
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

The fridge does need DC power to work and if the voltage gets under 11.5 volts or so then you can get that fault code you are seeing.

I would get a volt meter and check the voltage at the battery, if you are plugged into power the voltage should be around 13.5 volts DC. If you are unplugged the voltage should stay around 12.5 volts DC but will go down as you are using items inside the RV.

I would plug in if you can and check the voltage at the battery to make sure the converter is working properly.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I believe I can get a voltage reading with my solid state recharger. Can you give me 10 minutes?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Yes, that is fine take your time.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
12.7v with shore powerMore info.. I do have a neighbor and may be able to borrow their 50amp circuit to do an A/B test.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

That should be enough to run the fridge, so right now you are getting that fault with 12.7 volts at the battery?

Can you try and duplicate the problem and take a voltage reading? You mentioned the problem happens when you turn something on.

What is the model of the fridge?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Norcold 121Ok. Let me turn on a few 12v items. Standby.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Must be a 1210...

10-4

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Same reading w/ or w/o the LoDc displayed.Lemme ask a newbie question... Do these deep draw batteries need to be charged up before using? (I didn't do that - assuming they would come from the store fully charged.)
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

OK

Next I would go to the back of the fridge and located the power and ground going into the circuit board, the board has a plastic cover on it. The board will be marked GND for negative and 12 VDC for positive. You need a volt meter and see what the voltage is coming into the fridge. Check the connectors as well for the supply wires make sure the wires are not corroded or have come loose, check all the connections on the circuit board as well. When checking unplug the fridge from the outlet.

12.7 VDC should be plenty to turn the fridge on and work everything.

Sometimes a power converter can put out AC ripple or dirty voltage. To test for this you can get a battery and stick it right near the outside of the fridge and get some wires and run power and ground to the board and see what happens. You should have close to 0 AC volts on the DC supply. So check the DC voltage then set the meter to the AC scale and you should have close to 0 AC volts.

IF you can confirm this is a 1210 I can send you a service manual that shows where the DC supply goes to the board.
Robert

I have seen bad batteries new, you should have a series 27 or 31 deep cycle battery. I doubt it is the issue as you have 12.7 volts DC.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I'm gonna turn on more 12v things. Stand by.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Sounds good.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
That's non trivial. :-)New info: I have lots of 12v things turned in and the meter says "charged/maintaining" but the frig still displays LoDc.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

I replied what to do next, I will repost that.

Next I would go to the back of the fridge and located the power and ground going into the circuit board, the board has a plastic cover on it. The board will be marked GND for negative and 12 VDC for positive. You need a volt meter and see what the voltage is coming into the fridge. Check the connectors as well for the supply wires make sure the wires are not corroded or have come loose, check all the connections on the circuit board as well. When checking unplug the fridge from the outlet.

12.7 VDC should be plenty to turn the fridge on and work everything.

Sometimes a power converter can put out AC ripple or dirty voltage. To test for this you can get a battery and stick it right near the outside of the fridge and get some wires and run power and ground to the board and see what happens. You should have close to 0 AC volts on the DC supply. So check the DC voltage then set the meter to the AC scale and you should have close to 0 AC volts.

IF you can confirm this is a 1210 I can send you a service manual that shows where the DC supply goes to the board.
Robert

I have seen bad batteries new, you should have a series 27 or 31 deep cycle battery. I doubt it is the issue as you have 12.7 volts DC.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thanks, Robert. I'll get a voltmeter 2mo and pick up this thread again. Have a good evening.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Sounds like a good plan, let me know if you need more help.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
13.9
13.8
13.7
...with low draw. Sounds like a leak?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

That is fine. When plugged in the voltage can range from 14.5 volts to 12.2 volts.

The fridge requires over 12 volts or it can throw the code, the next step is to check the supply wires that plug into the circuit board. I have see some cases where the connectors bend on the wire where they plug in and that can cause voltage loss, so the next step is to check voltage at that point.

Robert

Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,323
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I bought a 'multimeters today but did not have a chance to start poking around. And I have a certain trepidation about getting shocked or creating a mess. BTW The model of Norcold is 1210. More info... one circuit - the one over the range - often dims for a few seconds. Could rodents have damaged a wire?Also... we are using lots of AC: one or two space heaters, a lamp with two LED bulbs, one or two TVs, Xmas lights, and an assortment of computers, phones, and sound systems.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Sorry for the delay, I been feeling under the weather the past few days.

IF you are plugging the RV in direct to power meaning no adapters or extension cords the electrical system should be working. IF you are plugging the RV into a 110 house outlet you can easily overload the circuits.

It is possible the rodent theory and that is the worst condition to have. What you could do is bypass the wiring in the RV and hook up power and ground with a 12 volt battery and see what happens.

DC voltage will not hurt you.... You may want to see if a mobile RV tech is in your area, I used to do mobile RV repair in OR and would cover a 100 mile radius, normally if you do an online search "RV mobile repair" and the zip code you are at you should see a listing of techs in your area.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Delay? No problem... I just got a voltmeter that I can understand yesterday. Be well, Robert.The main power is 50amp, from the power stand - no extensions or adapters. (I did have the 110 cord plugged into an external outlet on the RV ... until a few minutes ago. Now it too is plugged into the power stand and the voltage is 12.9... now it is at "charged/maintaining".)One more thing... when I moved here a month ago from Cottonwood Canyon, I had left ON one of the 12v light circuits in the RV. Those lights were quite dim when I reached Coos Bay but the batteries apparently recharged when it was plugged into the shore power. But that was the first time the LoDc code appeared.My bet is the mice are the problem. But I want your opinion about systematically checking the frig circuits, otherwise I will find a local RV repair joint.Again, be well.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

Small world, I am in Oregon as well and been to Coos Bay a few times.

What I would do is get a battery, make you two 10 or 12 gauge wires stripped back and go from the battery to the circuit board on the fridge. This will tell you if a wioring problem is with the RV, below is a service manual see page 15 lower right on the board is 12 VDC and to the left of that is the negative so you would hook up positive from the battery to the very right and to left of that negative, you should be able to pick up at a local auto parts store the connectors which are spade to crimp onto the wires. This is probably the best test you can do to isolate the problem.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Is it ok for the frig to be running on LP when I test the voltage? Or is that a bad test?(Small world indeed. I've been an Oregon State Park host for five years - learning more about my home state.)
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 years ago

We did a camping trip this past summer in Reedsport, it was a good trip and nice campground. Try to do one every year, I personally like the coast camping vs Bend or Redmond.

I would shut the fridge off when checking. You can also unplug the fridge from the outlet while doing the checks, check the wires going into the board I forgot to post a link for a manual so that is below for you see page 15 lower right of the board is where you are checking, remove the wires from the board and with your meter set to the DC scale see what the voltage is.

Robert

https://rvrefrigeratorrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Norcold-Service-1210.pdf

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