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Norcold Refrigerator Won't Turn On! | Norcold Guy Checklist

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Is your Norcold refrigerator not turning on?! No problem! We'll give you a list of things to check to get it back on as soon as possible.

To be clear, what we're talking about here is the refrigerator acting as if it has no power at all. No display on the front board and no cooling inside the unit. It's also important to note that this article is for gas absorption Norcold model refrigerators, not AC/ DC models. Gas absorption models are found in RVs while AC/ DC models are found in trucks and boats.

Norcold gas absorption refrigerators operate off of 12V DC power (battery power). The AC plug that you see in the back is only powering your AC Heater/s that will cool the refrigerator when running it on AC or Auto Mode. The 12V DC powers the rear power board, the front control board, and the interior light. 

What to check!

  • Check the input 12V DC reading on the inbound power lines coming to the refrigerator board. If you aren't sure which they are, remove the power board cover so that you can see where everything connects. The inbound DC connections are labeled on the board and usually located at the bottom right hand side of the board.


    If there is no power at the board, look to the right of the power board. If you have a 1200 or 1210 you should have a high temperature safety switch (a small black board). If it has a red light illuminated, the temperature at the boiler has exceeded safe levels and has cut power to the refrigerator. If you have an N611, N621, N641, NX641, NXA641, N811, N821, N822, N841, NX841, NXA841, or N1095, you may have a thermal switch located at the flu. Simply follow the two lines coming from your 12V DC + and - terminals on the board to the right. You may have a push button switch that has gone off. For either one of these situations, it's important to take the proper safety precautions. Make sure there is no yellow powder or residue on or near the cooling unit or any smell of ammonia. If either exist, your cooling unit has leaked ammonia and needs to be replaced. If the switch simply went off because you were in a lightning storm, then a simple reset should solve this issue. If a reset doesn't work, we recommend installing the ARPrv Control. It can take the place of your existing thermal switch although Norcold recommend you keep your existing high temperature switch connected. The ARP control, however, will not only shut the power off if it exceeds safe levels for the refrigerator that could result in a fire, it will also cut power before any dangers can occur to the refrigerator, lengthening the lifespan of your cooling unit.

    If there is no power to the board and it's not caused by a high temperature switch, the issue isn't related to the refrigerator and you'll need to figure out the cause of this. It's possible you have a battery switch that has been turned off or maybe that you have blown a fuse at your converter. 

    If there is power coming into the board, check to see if you get the same DC reading past your 5amp DC fuse located on the rear power board. If not, you have a bad power board. If so, the issue could be with either board. In this situation we recommend replacing a board kit (both boards) if one exists for your model refrigerator. 

Have another question regarding this topic? Feel free to ask below!

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