Norcold Cooling Units
As America’s leading manufacturer of refrigerators for RV, Marine and Truck markets, norcold refrigerator is renowned for bold product innovations that have helped to make the recreational industry one of the world’s most dynamic. Their refrigerators are known for performance, quality and reliability.
Replacements for Norcold Refrigerators
Replacing your Norcold refrigerator’s cooling unit can be an easy and inexpensive project for the do-it-yourselfer. However, it’s important to have an understanding of how the cooling unit works in order to ensure you don’t cause further damage by improperly installing your replacement.
A Norcold or Dometic Refrigerator’s cooling system uses ammonia to cool the water inside the boiler assemble. The ammonia boils at a lower temperature than the water, and heat (either electric heating elements or LP gas flame) drives a distillation process that separates the two fluids.
When the ammonia is separated, it becomes a gas that’s trapped in the boiler tube. The gas can escape from the tube if the boiler overheats. This can destroy the walls of the cooling unit and result in a costly repair or replacement.
To avoid this, the cooling unit must be designed to prevent air from entering the evaporator coils. This can be done by using low-expansion spray-foam insulation on the evaporator foam pack and on the tubes that connect to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator foam pack is insulated, the evaporator is ready to install into the refrigerator. Before inserting the evaporator, we recommend doing a dry run. This way, the foam pack can be trimmed if necessary to fit the cabinet properly. It’s also a good time to check that the evaporator is seated all the way into the pocket so that it doesn’t stick out of the cabinet.
After the evaporator is inserted into the cabinet, we recommend running sealing tape around the outer perimeter of the evaporator foam pack and on all of the evaporator tubes to help prevent air from entering the evaporator. If there are frame members that block the tape from being applied, we recommend doing this before inserting the evaporator so that the tape can be properly installed when it’s time to reinstall the unit into the refrigerator.
Removing the Cooling Unit
Once the rear mounting screws are removed, the cooling unit can be jiggled and lifted out of the evaporator foam pack pocket. If the cooling unit is stuck, you can use a section of 2×4 to push it out.
Getting the fluids where they belong in the cooling unit tubing is important to ensure that the weak solution cavity within the boiler assemble doesn’t drain out with all the twisting and turning of the cooling unit during transit and installation. After the evaporator is back in place and reinstalled, lay down the refrigerator on the boiler side.