How to Convert Norcold Cooling Units

Unlike residential refrigerators that use mechanical compressors that are subject to vibration, norcold cooling units, manufactured by Thetford Corporation, use gas absorption technology to make cold. This eliminates noise and jarring vibration that can cause premature wear to the compressor, says the company. Norcold refrigerators also are designed to use LP gas (the fridge automatically switches over to LP when electricity is unavailable) as the primary energy source, adding another dimension of independence from power interruptions.

When converting to a new cooling unit, it is important that the installation process be done correctly. A poor installation can result in the freezer failing to reach the proper temperature, or even worse a fire.

The first step is to remove the old cooling unit. It is recommended that you lay it down on a flat surface such as blocks or plywood. This allows the back of the cooling unit to be removed and the sheet metal wind baffle and flue tube to be accessed for removal. The old controls should be removed as well, and all wires carefully marked for their location and function. It is highly recommended that a service-manual wiring diagram be available to help with this process.

Next the evaporator foam pack pocket must be removed. The evaporator can be jiggled and lifted to remove, but it is possible that the foam pack can become stuck in the pocket, in which case it must be cut away with a razor blade. Once the evaporator is removed, low-expansion spray foam must be used to seal the new insulated pocket. norcold cooling units