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Natural explanations for your RV refrigerator not cooling/ freezing!

Posted by The Norcold Guy on

Here are some natural reasons for your RV refrigerator's cooling unit to quit working properly!

When will it NATURALLY not cool?

  • When you are parked off-level!
    Since it's a gravity operated cooling unit, if you're off-level the ammonia solution isn't able to flow down the cooling unit and it will cause the whole system to overheat.
  • Extremely low temperatures!
    When it's extremely cold outside the condensation begins in the rectifier rather than up near the condenser fins because the cooling unit is so cold. The condensation simply collects on the walls of the rectifier and fall back down to where the boiling began.
  • Extremely hot temperatures!
    In hot temperatures the condensation never occurs (or won't occur as much as it should) because the temperature difference from the vapor to the condenser fins isn't great enough. 

Don't want to have to worry about being level all of the time?! Nobody does... Make things easy on yourself and get an ARP switch to monitor safe temperatures at the cooling unit. 


When hot temperatures or ventilation are causing your refrigerator to struggle, the symptoms will typically be a freezer section that is working properly but a refrigerator section that is not. That's because your cooling unit isn't creating enough ammonia condensation to flow all the way down to the refrigerator section. In these hot temperatures your best friend is a cooling unit fan. If your refrigerator does not have a cooling unit fan, install one or two! This will help your cooling unit reach normal operating temperatures. You can also put an interior aerator fan in your refrigerator section blowing on the fins in the back to help circulate cold air.


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