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Got issues: How can I fix my Norcold RV fridge? — 16 Comments

  1. Turn it off, unplug the 12 volt fuse (so the door light doesn’t come on), leave the doors open, throw some beach towels in there, and go walkabout for a 2 hours, come back and remove some ice that is now melted enough to just toss out. Then go walk about for 2 more hours, come back and shop-vac or wipe up all the water. I know no fun.
    They just have to be defrosted from time to time to work right.
    All that ice is bad for your fridge. and your auto defrost modes will work better once you defrost.
    You can toss your food in a little portable cooler with some ice.

    Sorry not the solution ya wanted.
    travelfables’s last post ..Board, Floored, and Cabled.

    • Thanks, TravelFables! I appreciate the help. Yes, I had hoped to avoid that messy process. Unfortunately, it may be my only option.

  2. You may also try lowering your setting a notch for 24hrs. Check if the fridge drip pan stops freezing. Also, try taking care of the ice in the freezer before it becomes a literal ice box. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Scooter! I accidentally forgot to turn it back from #1 to #3 during the last overnight switch in temps. The little tray in the back did thaw, but the large block of ice may have only gotten bigger. :/

  3. hot/extra warm water in a tray of some sort and put in the freezer (change out as the water cools) might take a while but it will melt your iceberg. A large towel (beach towel maybe) placed in the bottom of the fridge will help to catch the drainage, you might want to have two or three on hand.

    Clean out your drain tube..lol. Happy defrosting.

    • Thank you, Carmen! In the end, that’s the solution I used. I boiled a pan of water and placed it in the fridge. I added chipping away with a butter knife, and hot water sponge on ice. It didn’t take nearly as long as I suspected.

      • In the future, be careful about using the butter knife trick as you could accidentally poke a hole in the freezer, if you’re like me, the cost of replacing it would be a serious hit to the bank account, once a month or so, do the water thing and it will help to keep your freezer glacier free. I will have to admit to having done the butter knife trick myself as i got tired of heating and reheating the water..lol, of course this was in a up right full sized freezer.

        • Yeah, I was a bit worried about using the butter knife, but for two things: I have a vague memory of seeing my mom use one to defrost our fridge when I was little. And, because I have no patience for such loooong things as watching a freezer defrost. I tried reading a book, but kept putting it down to chip away.

  4. Unless it’s a much newer model than mine (1999), it will not have an auto defrost cycle. You will need to keep up with the manual defrost cycle. Also, some have been able to boost the overall efficiency by mounting a fan or two behind the fridge. And yes, keep the drain tube clear.

    • Thanks, Andy! It’s a 2004/5 (RV is 2005, chassis and some parts are 2004), so I’d have assumed it had some sort of self-defrost cycle. Of course, I could’ve pulled out the manual (which I may or may not have).

      That drain tube in the bane of my existence. I wish I could get the weep-valve off to clean it.

  5. Reader Guy S. posted the following tips to my Facebook page. I re-posted them here so other glacier-freezer sufferers could benefit from the tips:

    First get two thermometers. The freezer should be 32 degrees or less. Ideally around 28. The food section should be below 40 degrees. Ideally around 36. If you have your temp setting lower than needed it will cause your fins to build up with ice.

    Next, make sure your door(s) or sealed by passing a dollar bill between the seal and the fridge. Air entering creates moisture that will collect and freeze.

    Next, make sure you have not over stuffed your fridge. Air need to circulate in the unit.

    Also, remember that your fridge is a heat absorption unit that works entirely different than a home fridge. On really hot days the heat that collects at the rear of the fridge must be vented to the outside. A fan that helps cool down those coils can be affixed to help that process out.

    Finally, the fridge has a circuit board that tells it when the fridge should shut off to keep it from over cooling. This could be failing.

    Plus, these are not frost free fridges. Some ice build up should be expected. Hope this helps.

    Thanks, Guy! -Kernut

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