How to Repair Norcold Cooling Units

If you are the owner of a norcold refrigerator parts or Dometic RV refrigerator, it is important to know how to identify and repair problems with your cooling unit. This will help you save money, because a repair can be less expensive than a replacement, and will keep your fridge operating as long as possible.

Identifying the Problem

First, turn off your RV and disconnect 120VAC (shore power) and 12VDC at the battery bank or disconnect the 12V fuse that supplies 12VDC to your refrigerator. This will stop the refrigerator from using electricity, and will prevent it from getting too hot, which can cause a fire.

Next, open the freezer and refrigerated cabinet doors. This will make it easier to get access to the rear of the refrigerator. It is also a good idea to remove the vent door from the front of the refrigerator, and to check the seals on the sides of the freezer and refrigerated cabinets to ensure there are no leaks.

Removing the Refrigerator

Once you have all the screws removed, it is time to start removing the refrigerator. It is a good idea to put a piece of plywood on the floor, or to use blocks, on which to slide the refrigerator. This will make it easier to move the refrigerator around without damaging it.

The Cooling Unit

To begin removing the cooling unit, you will need to unplug the electrical connectors from the back of the refrigerator, and then loosen the screws that are securing the evaporator to the back of the refrigerator. Depending on your model, you will need to use a flathead screwdriver and a socket wrench for this job. Once the screws are removed, it is a good idea to remove the evaporator foam pack from the bottom of the cooling unit. If the foam pack is stuck inside the evaporator pocket, try prying it out by inserting a section of 2×4 into the absorber coils and lifting it up.

Removing the Heating Elements and Electric Heaters

If your Norcold or Dometic RV refrigerator is heated with an electric heater, it is important to transfer these parts to the new cooling unit. The electric heaters have a connector on them that will need to be transferred to the new unit, as well.

Changing the Boiler Temperature

To maintain the proper temperature in the boiler of your Norcold or Dometic RV refrigerator, you will need to adjust the thermostat. This is the only way to ensure that the water does not boil in the boiler and contaminate the cooling unit fluids.

When installing the cooling unit, it is a good idea to run the new unit for about a week to allow the fluids to fully mix together. During this break-in period, the ARP Control (see page 69) will turn off the unit if it detects a problem. This will prevent the unit from overheating and destroying the rust preventer.