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Old 06-14-2018, 07:12 PM   #1
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Refrigerator Propane Ignition Altitude Limit - Resolved

Just an FYI to anyone who, like me, has been having problems with Norcold fridge not lighting, or re-lighting when on propane gas at higher altitudes. I was having to go outside and relight with a hand held butane stick lighter every time when at higher altitudes. Also, even when back at home at about 5000 feet elevation, it would frequently take several tries turning switch off and on, failed ignition blinking lights, etc., hearing a "whump" noise as it would try to light, and then it would usually light and work. Took it to the dealer to check out but that was of no use because they got it to work OK at 5000 feet elevation and could not test it up higher.

I searched online forums for a resolution and found one thread over at the iRV site in which a lady camper finally called Norcold and talked to a technician there who advised setting the gap between the igniter and the burner to 3/16", after which she said she increased hers from 1/8" to 3/16" and then it worked fine at 9000 feet elevation. So, after the last frustrating trip where I was at 8000 feet and having to relight it by hand every time, I made the adjustment myself (was a little tricky, but doable), changing the gap from what indeed appeared to be 1/8" to 3/16", and, lo and behold, it appears to have worked perfectly. Lights up first time every time now, relights without fail, even back up at 8000 feet (did a quick overnighter to check it out). Hard to believe that was all that was needed, and maybe she and I have been just plain lucky somehow, but, anyway, I'm sharing this here just in case anyone else finds the information of use. Will be interested to hear if anyone else is successful with it.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:03 AM   #2
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Good info - thanks for posting!
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thanks GL243. We mostly camp at 6000 plus feet and have had some of those lighting issues you mentioned. We live at 6500 feet and have trouble in our driveway having to switch the attempts off and on several times before it lights.
I'll spread the gap to 3/16" as suggested and hopefully that will fix it.

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Old 06-15-2018, 07:18 PM   #4
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Fingers crossed for you that it works, please let us know. Again, it's hard to imagine how a 1/16" adjustment like this could make that much difference.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:50 PM   #5
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I've had that same conversation with Norcold in the past. I have never done the mod because I have never needed to. While I light my Norcold 811 at home (5500') I have never had it go out at altitude. We camped at 9100' this last weekend. Sometimes we camp higher though.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdhealy4 View Post
I've had that same conversation with Norcold in the past. I have never done the mod because I have never needed to. While I light my Norcold 811 at home (5500') I have never had it go out at altitude. We camped at 9100' this last weekend. Sometimes we camp higher though.
Thanks, that is interesting. So your automatic electronic igniter won't work at the lower elevation but works way up higher? How old is that model of fridge if I might ask?
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