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Old 06-10-2017, 09:32 PM   #1
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Any reason to NOT run Norcold 3-way fridge on DC while plugged into shore power

New Jay Series pop-up owner. My fridge runs on propane and DC fine. I don't seem to get any cooling when on AC. I ran it on DC while connected to shore power during my initial shake down testing. Then I discovered a dusty faded label in the fridge control area that said Do Not Run Refrigerator on DC While Plugged into Shore Power.
I could not find that warning in the owners manual, Norcold website or the forums. What's the down side?


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Old 06-10-2017, 10:03 PM   #2
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Have you checked the 120 volt circuit breaker? The frig should also be connected to a gfi outlet chain. Wit that said does you outside outlet work?

If that does not fix the issue, pull the outside service panel, and you should find a small fuse check it.

The issue probably is, you need to replace the electric heating element. That is harder to troubleshoot to ensure that is the issue. But a freind had to replies last fall. 2 way frig, worked on gas not electric. New electric element and it worked great.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:22 PM   #3
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Any reason to NOT run Norcold 3-way fridge on DC while plugged into shore power

All the 120 outlets work, including the one the fridge plugs into. GCFI tests and resets good. Fuses looked good. I wasn't getting power to the 120 spade connectors in the outside service panel. So, I'm guessing it's the element. Which does look like a bigger repair job.

In the mean time, what would be the problem with running on DC while plugged into shore power? Bad for battery or converter?


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Old 06-15-2017, 11:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Have you checked the 120 volt circuit breaker? The frig should also be connected to a gfi outlet chain. Wit that said does you outside outlet work?

If that does not fix the issue, pull the outside service panel, and you should find a small fuse check it.

The issue probably is, you need to replace the electric heating element. That is harder to troubleshoot to ensure that is the issue. But a freind had to replies last fall. 2 way frig, worked on gas not electric. New electric element and it worked great.
Refrigerators in RV's are not required by the NEC (section 551.41C) to be wired to GFCI's and industry standards are to not wire a refrigerator on a GFCI circuit because the GFCI can trip and you may incur spoiled food.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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I'm not sure but I think that is a pretty high amp output for the converter on a constant basis.. I'd flip it over to gas and be done with it.. They don't use that much propane and the propane seems to cool the fridge better than power..
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to go with DC and propane for now. Investigating the 120 element replacement will be later project.


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Old 06-28-2017, 08:51 PM   #7
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I'm not sure but I think that is a pretty high amp output for the converter on a constant basis.. I'd flip it over to gas and be done with it.. They don't use that much propane and the propane seems to cool the fridge better than power..
On our prior motorhome... we had to replace the 110v heater element a couple of times (used a LOT). Ours was a 3-way 110/12/LP fridge and when it was broken on 110, we found that it worked best on Gas as an alternative. and the worst on 12v. it takes a lot of power from your converter to run it on 12v, and gas was way more efficient.

Read up on Google and some of the YouTube sites - replacing the 110v heater is not as hard as you might think, it took me about two hours on my first try. Take good pictures of the wiring on the unit before you take it apart... and MAKE SURE the AC power is OFF from the RV!

oh... and another lesson learned - test the heater element you buy - BEFORE you start to install it... make sure it is the correct wattage and is not "Open" when you test the terminals.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:39 PM   #8
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I'm not sure but I think that is a pretty high amp output for the converter on a constant basis.. I'd flip it over to gas and be done with it.. They don't use that much propane and the propane seems to cool the fridge better than power..
For a small Norcold 2.7 cu. ft. unit it's listed as 12amps when using 12vdc. A 4.5 cu. ft unit is over 14amps. We tend to run ours on propane most of the time as it does cool better than on 120vac.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:43 PM   #9
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Any reason to NOT run Norcold 3-way fridge on DC while plugged into shore power

Thanks for all the input. Since the 12v and gas work I'm not in a crunch to replace the 120 element. But good to know that it's doable in the driveway


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