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Refrigerator not getting cold

Old 05-21-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default Refrigerator not getting cold

Hey all, got me a new boat. 1991 Wellcraft Coastal just got it to the marina this past weekend and plugged in. The refrigerator shows a green light inside and I have it the highest cold setting. but 4 days later still warm inside. Any ideas on this? I am not sure how these boat fridges work so not sure what I can do to troubleshoot.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Jeff
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:28 PM
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Providing a make and model number will get you an informative answer because there are different types. It could be a 12 volt or a dual voltage 120V/12V,
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:03 PM
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In addition to the above info, do you know if it ever got cold before? Seriously, our fridge would never seem to get cold, it worked, the frost plate was cold, but that was it. I installed a $3.00 computer fan inside to circulate the cold air..HOLY CRAP!!! I have to keep it on setting 1 or 2 or things begin to freeze. It also may need to be recharged, but most likely if it's a '91, it will be outdated on the recharge by law. You may need to replace it....Good Luck...
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:35 PM
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Apologies Mud Runner The brand of the Fridge is a Norcold TEK II.
D.M.D - I have to assumed it work at some point but I just bought this so not sure when it last worked.. I will look up what a replacement will cost. Do you know if I need to look for the same make and model?

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:08 PM
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Harpoon, no apologies necessary. You have a dual voltage fridge. Check for proper power being supplied. Make sure that the ac and dc breakers are on. Some units have an automatic module that switches power sources according to whether or notyou're on shore power or not. The link below has the owner's manual. Read it and follow the suggestions in it.

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0ge...S8FEmenkVOiEI-
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:32 AM
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it is not uncommon for the coils on these type of refrigerators to rust and then leak, losing their absorption gas (I believe it ammonia). Especially considering they are in an often damp environment and do not run often. Running them keeps the compression coils warm and dry. The last one we replaced was in my fathers RV quite a few years back. All indicators where that it should be working but the gas leaked out and no longer functioned.

After checking and verifying it has power (considering the light is lit I suspect it does) you may need to remove it to see the condition of the coils. If the coils near the heater are warm then it has power and is heating the absorption compressor but wont produce any cooling without the gas. It may be pretty obvious if the coils are visibly very rusty.

Often you can replace the refrigerator guts if the fridge is otherwise in good shape. not a hell of a lot cheaper if I recall correctly but it may save you from having to make modifications for a different unit if your original unit is no longer made.

This is based on my knowledge of some RV refrigerators. I don't know your unit specifically.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:48 AM
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BACKTOTHESEA has a very valid point. I had forgotten about a fridge I worked on for a friend. It was on a 30' Grady. After removing it, I found the condenser coil totally rusted.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:59 AM
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Easiest would be to replace it with same fridge if need be. However, there may be some fridges that are of better efficiency that you may want to research before deciding on a direct replacement. Many of the fridge manuals are available for download from their websites enabling you to determine size and power requirements.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:21 AM
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Thank you Mud Runner, D.M.D and Backtothesea, really appreciate the help. I will take it our this weekend and check out the coils. If the coils are rusted does that mean it is over or can I try to clean them off? I don't plan on putting a ton of work into trying to fix it as I believe this is the original fridge I am ok with getting a new one accept I see these are not cheap....

I will keep you posted.
thanks again
Jeff
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:12 AM
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If the coils are rusted, you will definitely know if it's toast or not. They're very thin and are gone. The cost of replacement depends on your use. If you use it underway, then you want to replace it with the same type. If you only use it at the dock, you can get away with a cheap 110 volt unit like they sell for college dorms as long as it has similar dimensions. Making one fit isn't too complicated. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:05 PM
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Hey Guys, so I went down on Sunday and noticed something. the green light in the fridge only lights up when on 12V. if I shut 12v breaker off and only have on the 110v no green light. I also noticed a hint of coldness so it is not completely dead. but definitely couldn't enjoy a beer out of it. so I took it out and brought it home hoping the maybe the plug in the boat was bad but Nope. plugged in my garage and no green light.
Here is a pic of the back of it. looks pretty darn clean. What is the big black tube. I kind of feel it does get a little cold unless it just feels cold because it is metal. Anyways I am open for more ideas..

Thanks
Jeff

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Old 06-03-2019, 06:28 PM
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Sorry wrong manual. The one I posted was for a portable.

Last edited by Mud Runner; 06-03-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:51 PM
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The big black cylinder is your compressor. There are two tubes coming from it. The larger is the suction side coming from the coils inside the fridge. The thinner tube is the discharge line that pumps the coolant to the condenser coil that you are looking at. When it works properly the thin line gets hot and the bigger line should be cold and sweating. Make sure it's properly connected to both power sources and the the batteries are on.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:25 AM
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You may need to get the gas level checked. Low gas will cause a loss of cooling.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:39 AM
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The back looks pretty good......And yes, it may need just a charge. BUT, not sure it can be charges as they have changed the type of refrigerant they now use. To find out, you may want to call a marine refrigerator company or e-mail NorCold with your pic and questions. At least you will know if this can repaired or get some direction.
The website can give you a good start for contacts and info.......

https://norcold.com
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:06 PM
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With it on 12 volt check the continuity at the plugs on the bottom of the condenser. Do the same on 110. Transformer may be toast. Not sure how it all plays out at the condenser. The wiring diagram may help you diagnose. This link may help

ncoldtekII.pdf
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:54 PM
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You guys are amazing. thank for all the help..
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