Norcold Refrigerator Troubleshooting

In this article, we will teach you the most common solutions in Norcold Refrigerator Troubleshooting. Norcold (official wbsite) is one of the leading manufacturers of RV gas/electric absorption refrigerators in the market. They produce some of the quietest refrigerators in the industry (more quietest refrigerators on But, their refrigerator, like other equipment and appliances, may have troubles or have problems that make it very difficult to get the most out of it.

Norcold Refrigerator

Norcold Refrigerator Troubleshooting

1. Norcold Refrigerator Not Cooling

Norcold refrigerator cooling issues are distinct from those experienced by other domestic refrigerators (more about Norcold refrigerator features on Norcold refrigerators use the gas absorption method (read about this method on rather than compressors, which are common in residential refrigerators.
The Norcold refrigerator’s cooling unit is a series of tubing that draws out and absorbs heat using the phase change of hydrogen, ammonia, sodium chromate, and water. However, the amount of absorption is determined by the speed at which the coolant will pass through the condenser coils, which is determined by gravity. If your Norcold refrigerator is not cooling, read the solutions below.
Most Common Solutions Alternative Solutions
1. Buy a hydraulic automatic leveler
To work correctly, the cooling unit must be level. If it is not, the coolant cannot pass through the coils, resulting in typical Norcold refrigerator problems. In most cases, newer versions of Norcold refrigerators will still work, but only for a short time.
The cooling unit will be destroyed beyond repair if the refrigerator has not been level for 30 minutes. In this situation, you continue to have recurring refrigerator issues, necessitating the purchase of a new refrigerator or the construction of a new cooling unit.
You may eliminate these problems by investing in a hydraulic automatic leveler at an absurdly low cost. Place the leveler on a small shelf in the freezer before stabilizing the refrigerator. Assess the level to ensure that the liquid is in the middle of the circle until the refrigerator has stabilized.
1. Check the thermistor
The thermistor in the refrigerator helps it to maintain a set of cooling temperatures. The thermistor activates its cooling period as the temperature starts to increase (read about the ideal temperature for refrigerator on You should check the thermistor if your refrigerator starts to malfunction. The thermistor is hidden under a small plastic cover secured to the ceiling, back wall, or sidewall of the refrigerator portion.
You may examine how the refrigerator cools by removing the thermistor from under the plastic cover. If it cools perfectly, the thermistor is defective and must be replaced.
2. Level the coil and give the condenser proper ventilation
To begin with, the cooling unit of a Norcold refrigerator is gravity-dependent. In this scenario, the cooling unit has to be level in order to function properly. These refrigerators are made to perform well in conditions that are more consistent. They may struggle to cool if the outside temperature is too hot. This is because the cooling unit’s condenser fins use cool air to function properly.
Remove the condenser panel from outside the refrigerator to allow access to the condenser fins. Test for obstructions to make sure there’s adequate space for ventilation in your refrigerator.
2. Buy a high-velocity cooling fan
If you’ve tested all of the above and your refrigerator still won’t cool, you may want to invest in a high-velocity cooling fan. The fan should be positioned behind the cooling unit to ensure sufficient ventilation. You can also buy an interior aerator fan and guide it against the refrigerator’s condenser fins.

Video: Norcold 1200 fridge not cooling properly – Donald McAdams

2. Norcold RV Refrigerator Not Cooling

This is a more common problem than you would imagine, and one of the solutions might not be what you expect. You would want to relocate your RV before calling a specialist or spending a lot of money on future repairs, but ultimately, here are the solutions to your Norcold RV refrigerator that is not cooling.
Most Common Solutions Alternative Solutions
1. Place a fan behind the RV’s opening room
In warm environments, insufficient air circulation is a natural occurrence. The refrigerator would not be able to produce the cooling it should if the rate at which ammonia and hydrogen burn is slower than the rate at which the ambient air generates heat.
The first thing you could do is install a fan. Position the fan with a higher PRM behind the RV refrigerator’s opening room.
This would increase the volume of air in the refrigerator’s chamber, resulting in a temperature equilibrium between both the RV refrigerator and its environment.
1. Make sure that the temperature sensor is properly attached to the fin
The temperature sensor is another source of RV refrigerator issues. They can move, slide, and even fall out of place if they are poorly connected. Ascertain that the sensor is properly attached to the fin. You can change the temperature of the refrigerator by rotating the sensor to and from until it has been properly mounted.
2. Check the sparker
The thermistor is an important part of the RV refrigerator. The thermistor has a negative temperature coefficient, which affects the cooling time of your RV refrigerator.
The cooling potential of these thermistors is hindered as the surrounding temperature rises. As a result, the warm mixture flows higher, resulting in additional cooling inside the freezer and a decrease in refrigerator cooling. The most straightforward solution is to unplug the thermistor and substitute it with a new one. This will allow the refrigerator to operate effectively and without any temperature control issues.
But, using a refrigerator without a thermistor for an extended period of time can be harmful to the refrigerator. Only in an emergency should the thermistor be replaced.
2. Clean the RV’s exhaust
It’s possible that the hot air trapped within the RV refrigerator would not be able to escape. This normally occurs when your RV refrigerator’s exhaust is blocked up. The RV refrigerator’s ventilator is located on the backside. It exits the recreational vehicle through the vent shield, which is located on the roof.
To fix the problem, begin by removing the vent cover from the RV’s roof. Remove the vent cover and look for any obstructions that are preventing the hot air from escaping.
As previously said, dust is the primary cause of a blocked vent cover and a major contributor to the RV refrigerator’s insufficient cooling.


3. Norcold Refrigerator Not Working On Propane

If your Norcold refrigerator is not working on propane, here are the possible problems and the solutions you can do.
Most Common Solutions Alternative Solutions
1. Clean the dirty burner/orifice
A dirty burner/orifice is perhaps the most common cause of this. The burner is contained inside a burner case, which is just a small square metal box. When using LP, this box has a sliding door that allows you to see the blaze. If there are some rust flakes or dirt on the burner, it will often ground out and not operate in gas mode.
Steel wool on the burner and air on the orifice are advised for cleaning the burner and orifice. Poking something into the orifice will raise the size of the blaze and create a fire hazard. Reinstall it after cleaning it to see if it has fixed your problem. If not, the burner/orifice may need to be replaced.
The power board, gas valve, spark sense electrode, the gas pressure in the line, or even only the distance between the electrode and the burner may all be to blame.
1. Test if the refrigerator has the proper voltage supply
Test if a Norcold refrigerator has a 12-volt DC supply voltage if it does not operate on propane. A 12-volt DC supply and a 120-volt AC supply are needed for the Panel circuit board (PC board) to operate properly.
Switch on the propane stove and make sure the flame is stable. Follow the burner area tune-up instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. Cleaning the burner hose, the propane jet, and adjusting the igniter distance are all part of the process.
Remove the PC frame, clean it with DeOxit, and check the electrical connections if the refrigerator still won’t cool. You’ll get a better understanding of the problem this way.
2. Check the sparker
Another fairly common problem is the sparker continuing to click/spark after the flame is ignited, and then the flame going out until the sparking loop is completed. This issue is caused by either a faulty power board or a spark sense electrode that isn’t near enough to the blaze. To figure out what’s going on, have someone physically track the burner during the ignition period.
If you’re alone, set the refrigerator to the Auto mode when it’s plugged into the AC, then go to the back of the fridge and unplug it from the wall socket when examining the burner through the narrow sliding access panel.

Video: RV Refrigerator Repair – Not Working on Propane – Troubleshooting – Josh’s Garage

Norcold Refrigerator Error Codes

Norcold manufactures dependable refrigerators for families and is the industry pioneer in the manufacturing of RV gas and electric absorption refrigerators in the market. Their refrigerators are designed to last for several years. Any piece of machinery, however, can break down. A table of Norcold refrigerator error codes can be found below.
Code Meaning Advice
1. “dr” with alarm The door was open for more than 2 minutes Close the door correctly
2. “no“ “FL“ with alarm The burner did not ignite or re-ignite Make sure the manual shut-off valve on the refrigerator is open. Make sure the propane gas tank valve is opened and the gas is at the proper pressure. Additionally, ensure that the gas supply line is free of air.
3. rE or AC with alarm If you see this error code, it means something is incorrect with the refrigerator’s controls To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician
4. no, AC with alarm No AC voltage available to the control panel of the refrigerator Make sure the wall socket where the refrigerator is plugged in is functioning properly. Then, inspect the refrigerator’s power cord for any harm. You should also double-check that the circuit breaker or fuse is in good working order.
5. Sr or HE There is a problem with the controls of the refrigerator To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician
6. Temperature Setting Flashing If you press the Set Temp key and the refrigerator’s temperature continues to show on the screen, the refrigerator is running on the Back Up Operating System. To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician
7. dc or LO If you see this error code, the DC voltage supply to the refrigerator’s control panel is too low Check that the system for charging the battery is working properly
8. L1 or oP The limit switch that controls the high temperature in the refrigerator is open To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician
9. No display The absence of a display on the refrigerator’s control panel indicates that the refrigerator is not receiving power. Check to see that the power cord is still in good working order and if it is properly plugged in if it is. And, make sure the circuit breaker for that area of the house is turned on.
10. d The refrigerator door has been open for more than 2 minutes, according to this error message Simply close the refrigerator door correctly to clear the code.
11. F Make sure the manual shut-off valve on the refrigerator is open when you see this error message.
12. A This code indicates that the refrigerator’s control panel is not getting AC voltage Be sure the wall outlet is operational
13. C When you see this error code, it means that the DC voltage supply to the refrigerator’s control panel is very low To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician
14. S, H, r Any of these error codes indicate that there is a fault in the controls of the refrigerator To repair the issue, contact a Norcold service center or a trained technician

Video: Norcold RV Fridge L1 Op – Quick DIY Fix

Norcold Refrigerator Troubleshooting: FAQ

Where is the reset button on a Norcold RV refrigerator?

The location of the reset button on your Norcold RV Refrigerator is determined by the model. The reset button on most Norcold refrigerators, however, is located on the control panel. And, in most cases, the control panel is found within the refrigerator.

Does an RV refrigerator work better on gas or electricity?

The difference varies depending on the model and the height of the refrigerator. It’s not a huge difference, but if anything else is equal, the gas engine produces more heat than the electric system.
Ultimately, with gas, hot water heats up quicker and recovers faster after use, but electricity is the easiest way to keep the water warm. The same holds true for your refrigerator: gas power is best for keeping all of your liquids cold, but electric power keeps it cold.

How long does it take for a Norcold RV refrigerator to get cold?

It takes 12 to 24 hours for an absorption refrigerator to cool down. They are also slow to recover, so the amount of time they are allowed to open the door should be kept to a minimum.

Should I leave my RV plugged in all the time?

The easy answer is no, but the reality is more complicated than that.
When in use or for short-term rentals, you can keep your RV plugged in all the time.
However, storing an RV for an extended period of time or staying in it once plugged in is a different matter. Long-term storage and use are only feasible with an RV battery tender or a newer RV converter with a smart charging device that maintains maximum voltage. This is about how, when, and at what temperature a lead-acid battery loses power over time is determined by how, where, and at what temperature it is stored.

Does the RV fridge cool faster on propane?

Yes, an RV fridge cools quicker on propane than on electricity because propane easily heats the water and completes the evaporation cycle to provide a cold atmosphere in the fridge.
The use of an electric element takes a little longer which necessitates the use of an electrical link. There is no waiting period to cool the fridge with a propane unit, which is perfect for a busy work or home setting.
Propane gas for RV refrigerators is an excellent alternative for those seeking environmentally sustainable and cost-effective refrigerators and other kitchen appliances. The advantages of using this gas are many, making it a viable alternative to electric appliances.