Refrigerator thermocouple problem?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by gknuth, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Hi All,

    We bought our first travel trailer about a month ago (2000 Jayco Kiwi 17a), and I've spent the nice weekends getting familiar with everything. Today, I tried to fire up the fridge in propane mode, and couldn't get it to work.

    It's a Norcold N300, if that helps. For LP mode, you need to hold in a safety valve while pushing the ignitor. As long as I'm holding in the safety valve, I get a flame and it looks ok, but as soon as I let go of the valve, the flame goes out.

    So, knowing nothing about RV's of course, I'm inclined to think it's a thermocouple or something filling that role that isn't keeping the gas on after ignition. Can anyone offer any advice? The owners manual isn't all the forthcoming with information - they're very proud of their authorized service centers :)

  2. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Refrigerator thermocouple problem?

    Take off the sheet metal around the flame area. Vacuum all the rust out and bang lightly on the vertical "heat chamber" this will knock out more rust. Now clean the flame thermal couple area and make sure the thermal couple is in the flame. Then see if it will stay lite. If not the thermal couple is EZ to replace.

  3. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    RE: Refrigerator thermocouple problem?

    Do you have a thermocouple or a capillary tube. If you do have a thermocouple, check to make sure no wire have come loose. If you have a capillary tube, you might have to hold the red button for a while. I have had to hold the red button in for more than a couple of minutes.

    To trouble shoot the thermocouple disconnect the two wires. With an Ohm meter, put one lead on one TC wire and the other lead on the other TC wire. You should see 0.00 ohms or some type of resistance. This is good. If you see no ohms or O/L this is bad. Next, take one lead to a ground with the other lead still touching a TC wire. Do this with both TC wires. You should see no ohms or O/L. If you see 0.00 ohms or some type of resistance that is bad.

    Capillary tube has fluid in the tube. If this fluid leaks out then the sensor is no longer good. Look for a break or crack in the line.

    Hope this helps. Hope you can make sense of my direction. Good Luck.
  4. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: Refrigerator thermocouple problem?

    Hmm, does a capillary tube look different than a thermocouple? The flame indicator works, so I assume if it is capillary that it's working all right, but that could be a different system altogether.

    And for LEN, when it stops raining and tornadoing here in NE, I'll give that a shot, too.

  5. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Refrigerator thermocouple problem?

    TC is a probe with two wires coming out of one end. Capillary is a solid tube with a bulb on one end and a diaphragm housing on the other end, no wires.

    When you press in on the red button, you are by-passing the gas controller enabling gas to flow to the pilot light. When you start the flame at the pilot light, that will heat up the TC or the CAP. telling the gas controller that there is a flame and to open the gas valve. This is when you can release the red button. The valve will remain open until the flame goes out.

    As Len stated above, make sure that the end of the probe or bulb is in the flame of the pilot light.

    Hope this helps.

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