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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In need of some help. I have an inherited Norcold 12/110 volt refrigeration unit on my boat. The 12 volt side of the system no longer works while the 110 volt still functions just fine. Any suggestions as to what to look for in determining the source of the problem. As a clue, one day my master 110 breaker was tripped and the battery charger was not working for about 3 days and my batteries were badly depleted to the point they would not turn over the engine. Could the refrigeration unit be drawing down the batteries through a short of some sort?
Thanks
 

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Sounds like the frig was running off the batteries for 3 days without any battery charging. That could very well explain the low battery voltage. Even the smallest compressor draws 2.5amps; over a 3-day period that draw on the batteries is substantial.

Bill
 

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Memory tells me that old Norcolds steped up 12v and step down 110 to an intermediate voltage. 12v had a vibrator to work the transformer. May be the points are toast. If not fixable maybe a cheap inverter till you get a new fridge. (they're much better in every way)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. By chance I was measuring space for a replacement unit and saw a splice on the 12 volt side. Jiggeled it a bit, turned off the 110 master breaker and low and behold the fridge kept running on 12 volt power. Will redo splice with solder and heat shrink. Must have drawn down the batteries while not able to power up the fridge. I can't say I like the unit all that well and will replace it in the spring and sell off the old unit. which is rather noisy and not all that well designed. Had to fix a leak and had to add a nipple to ad outdated freon which I had a source for. Also there is no fan to cool the unit Thanks again.
 

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Glad you found the problem! It's often something very simple and overlooked.

My new Norcold is nearly silent and the ease for how well they switch from 120 to 24 or 12 volt is nothing short of amazing. If you added a service port and freon and did not use an electronic scale you most likely overcharged it, and that could be making it noisy. Did you check to see what refrigerant was used when it was manufactured?

Not well designed? ALL these little 12/24 volt units are amazing! 30 - 40 years ago it was inconceivable! (I'm not really sure when 12 compressors were invented)
 
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