Norcold refrigerator gets warm. What’s the problem?

Norcold refrigerator gets warm. What’s the problem?

Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a question he received from one of our readers.

Dear Chris,
We have a 4-door model Norcold refrigerator. It takes a long time for it to get cold and in warm/hot weather, I have to keep it set at ’9′ for it to stay at or near 40 degrees (using a refrigerator thermometer). Meanwhile, the freezer section gets overly cold. Also, the drip pan at the back of the top shelf of the refrigerator collects an excessive amount of water and icicles form on the mechanism above the drip tray. I do reset to a lower numerical setting when the refrigerator’s interior temp has reached 40 degrees. There was a recall on the Norcold Refigerator kit, and that was replaced about nine months ago. Is there something we don’t know or are not doing right? —Betty

Dear Betty,
I would almost guarantee that the problem you’re experiencing is with the door seals, not the cooling system. The symptoms point to the interior of the fresh food section getting really warm, but the freezer is getting ‘overly cold.’

The excessive water and icicles in the rear point to excessive moisture or humidity in the compartment. The fins are trying to cool, but really warm air is being circulated over them. I don’t know how old your refrigerator is, but Norcold does make replacement seals for that unit, and you’re not the first person I’ve heard from who has had the same complaint.

I would check the seals first visually to look for any obvious damage or failure. I would also check the door hinges to see if their bent and check the fitment of the doors. There have been issues with the hinges bending with heavily loaded doors with oak panels on them, so its conceivable that they might bend for another reason.

Check also for gaps around the doors. Some folks suggest using a piece of paper closed in the door and trying to move it around to see if the seals can hold it. A bright battery powered light at night placed inside might ‘illuminate’ a gap. I would see if the door is ‘positional.’ In other words, does it close properly sometimes and not at others.

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