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Old 06-15-2018, 07:07 PM   #1
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Fridge Replacement

Our old Norcold hinges fell victim to rough seas last weekend. It's a discontinued model de0751bb, 2.7 cu. Can't find a replacement hinge and she's pretty rusty. Still cools though.

The replacement has bad reviews on Amazon, so I'm looking at other options. Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #2
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If you have an inverter, convert to straight 110. On shore power you are normal, underway the inverter provides. The difference in cost is overwhelming. Other wise you are still looking for a solution.
We did this by purchasing from Wal-mart, an apartment size fridge. It works well. As we are in a different temperment zone, we operate the fridge under power with the inverter. If we are anchoring and not using either shore or gen set power, we just turn off the fridge (Inverter) over night. As we do not travel with frozen requirements, our purpose is met. May well be that your demands are different. Not knowing those I can only give you oues. Good luck.

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Old 06-15-2018, 08:15 PM   #3
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Al that is an interesting point. Might work for us too. Great idea.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:37 PM   #4
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My replacement fridge will be an apartment model.

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Old 06-15-2018, 08:54 PM   #5
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Ted: I consider your boat as the test bed for everything I want in the future. I even abandoned the idea of the Lehr in favor of the noisey Honda outboard. Please expound on your reasoning for the Apartment fridge.

Jorgan: I think a sailor amigo still has his old working 2.7 sitting on the deck I’ll ask him about it.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:12 PM   #6
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My 2nd fridge is an apartment model on a small inverter. It needs air circulation around its sides so cabinet mounts without proper ventilation can cause overheating and cooling issues. My other fridge is a NovaKool that fits in the size of a NorCold 3.8cf. This new one is 5.8cf and uses 50% less power than the old NorCold. There's probably a model that fits in your space.

The difference is cost. The AC/DC NovaKool cost about $1500. The apt size was $99 at Costco and runs on a $100 inverter. They both do the same thing but the apt fridge uses MUCH more power. It's the first thing I ditch when budgeting power.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:02 AM   #7
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We have a Vitrifrigo that works ok. I added a 12 volt fan over the winter to help it cool. Don’t know how much of an improvement it will make or not. We also have a chest freezer we run through a 12 volt outlet through a plug in inverter. It works great. Not sure just how efficient it is or not.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:45 AM   #8
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Apt fridges can be easier to live with if the freezer section is filled with containers that can take freezing .

Water is a great eutetic fluid , ice takes lots of energy to melt , so make ice while power is available and melt it later.

Gluing on extra insulation on the outside of the box is also a help.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:09 AM   #9
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Thanks folks. At this point it looks like an investment in a "real" marine fridge is in the cards. Now the question is what brand? The direct replacment for my Norcold has some really bad reviews online. Typical situation, the old solid American-made products just outlast the newer Chinese made ones. This old Norcold is still cooling fine, just can't find parts and it's quite rusty.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Ted: I consider your boat as the test bed for everything I want in the future. I even abandoned the idea of the Lehr in favor of the noisey Honda outboard. Please expound on your reasoning for the Apartment fridge.


I've spent a fair amount of time researching apartment refrigerators. There are a number of different manufacturers offering a wide selection of sizes and features. My Norcold has a replacement cost of around $1,500. For $700 to $1,000, I can get a same capacity refrigerator that is energy efficient, has a thermostat that doesn't have to be adjusted based on quantity of food, is frost free, has real shelves and compartments, and doesn't look like junk. My cruising doesn't require a fridge designed to handle 30 degree healing. I will have to add a door lock for underway security. As for power, my Magnum Energy inverter strays on all the time, switching from inverting to charging depending on availability of generator or shore power electricity. So the only change will be to switch the refrigerator circuit to an inverter circuit breaker.

Looking forward to a modern refrigerator.

Ted
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:40 AM   #11
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I probably would have gone apartment style if it fit in the custom space.

Redoing the whole galley just to accomodate the fridge was notgoing to happen.

As it was, the "replacement" fridges were still a 1/2 inch different and I spent 4 or so hours trimming and moving cabinet shelves to shoehorn it in.

So was it worth the extra $1000? Hard to say as sometines the alternative are easy to live with for the first 6 months or so...but then over time the small compromises annoy you to the point you wish you had made the othe choice.

But again, if less expensive with better features come along....nothing wrong with that....

Until you get bashed for "getting away with somethin"
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:20 AM   #12
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I went with a 10 cu foot frost free with top freezer and has an ice maker for $400 from Home Depot. Got it in black. I had to modify the space 1/2" wider only at the rear of the space, front ws ok, depth was ok and 2 inches taller and took a while to make it look like oem.

It was so close, why they could not have made it wider originally! Making it taller was easy, just remove the header top and trim. The width, I had to slip over the plywood opposite the stairs.

Fridge uses very little power when running about 1.2 amps.

It was perfect fit including the design of the fridge doors just aligned perfectly with the head door handle.

I modified the freezer shelf from my old GE fridge to work in this fridge, bent and reworked and welded and painted. And used a different ice bucket which is a heavy duty food storage container from Target. and had to change which way the doors open. Doors swing open enough to use all the bins.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post


I've spent a fair amount of time researching apartment refrigerators. There are a number of different manufacturers offering a wide selection of sizes and features. My Norcold has a replacement cost of around $1,500. For $700 to $1,000, I can get a same capacity refrigerator that is energy efficient, has a thermostat that doesn't have to be adjusted based on quantity of food, is frost free, has real shelves and compartments, and doesn't look like junk. My cruising doesn't require a fridge designed to handle 30 degree healing. I will have to add a door lock for underway security. As for power, my Magnum Energy inverter strays on all the time, switching from inverting to charging depending on availability of generator or shore power electricity. So the only change will be to switch the refrigerator circuit to an inverter circuit breaker.

Looking forward to a modern refrigerator.

Ted

Smart move Ted! I also have an apartment fridge that is well into its 10th year of fine, quite performance. Mine is also powered by either a 3KW Ebay true sine wave inverter which operates 24/7 or via dock/genny power when available. My 8.3cuft Summit cost only $550 delivered. Ice cream stored in the freezer is alway hard with -15 F temperature.

My solar ....just shy of 1200 watts along 860 AHs battery storage and a 7.5KW genny is more than adequate for our electrical load. The benefits of an apartment fridge was discussed in the past here on the forum. There are those who prefer to stick with the marine label which is just fine.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I probably would have gone apartment style if it fit in the custom space.

Redoing the whole galley just to accomodate the fridge was notgoing to happen.

As it was, the "replacement" fridges were still a 1/2 inch different and I spent 4 or so hours trimming and moving cabinet shelves to shoehorn it in.

So was it worth the extra $1000? Hard to say as sometines the alternative are easy to live with for the first 6 months or so...but then over time the small compromises annoy you to the point you wish you had made the othe choice.

But again, if less expensive with better features come along....nothing wrong with that....

Until you get bashed for "getting away with somethin"


You make a good point pertaining to dimensions! For example, my Summit fit almost exactly into the space once occupied by a Norcold. Today that particular fridge isn’t made any longer! I would be hard pressed to find an equal in today’s market.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #15
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I went with a 10 cu foot frost free with top freezer and has an ice maker for $400 from Home Depot. Got it in black. I had to modify the space 1/2" wider only at the rear of the space, front ws ok, depth was ok and 2 inches taller and took a while to make it look like oem.

It was so close, why they could not have made it wider originally! Making it taller was easy, just remove the header top and trim. The width, I had to slip over the plywood opposite the stairs.

Fridge uses very little power when running about 1.2 amps.

It was perfect fit including the design of the fridge doors just aligned perfectly with the head door handle.

I modified the freezer shelf from my old GE fridge to work in this fridge, bent and reworked and welded and painted. And used a different ice bucket which is a heavy duty food storage container from Target. and had to change which way the doors open. Doors swing open enough to use all the bins.


GREAT INSTALLATION, well done
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:59 AM   #16
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Try this guy for parts:
Norcold DE-0751 Refrigerator Parts For Sale - Norcold Parts
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #17
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NovaKool has a number of models that from a size perspective will perfectly replace Norcold units.
We went that route about three years ago when our Norcold was getting tired.
The NovaKool is barely adequate in our experience. Keeping ice cream hard does not work even when you lower the temp to the point where items in the fridge above the freezer start to freeze.
When I called NovaKool about it, a rather disgruntled person informed me that I shouldn't be able to freeze ice cream in the freezer.
The Norcold always froze ice cream.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:45 PM   #18
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NovaKool has a number of models that from a size perspective will perfectly replace Norcold units.
We went that route about three years ago when our Norcold was getting tired.
The NovaKool is barely adequate in our experience. Keeping ice cream hard does not work even when you lower the temp to the point where items in the fridge above the freezer start to freeze.
When I called NovaKool about it, a rather disgruntled person informed me that I shouldn't be able to freeze ice cream in the freezer.
The Norcold always froze ice cream.

I hope this isn't an example of Alberta Folks dissing products made in BC because of the pipeline.....
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:06 PM   #19
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Apologies for the long post, it's a long-running situation... I hope this epistle from the perspective of a full-time cruiser is helpful to someone who may be on the fence about a fridge decision.



I've had 2 Vitrifrigo DP2600's. The 1st, installed in 2010 at $1200, dropped a control module the day before we were crossing to the Bahamas in 2015. Probably not the most cost effective move, but I replaced it with a new one vs. a repair, not wanting to risk further problems in the Bahamas.
That one started to lose ground during the summer of 2017 as we were cruising in Canada. I replaced the control module on it in Oct; 2 weeks later the condenser fan failed, and even though that was replaced, I had trouble keeping it under 45F. Stinky milk, slimy lunchmeat, limp lettuce and celery. Per VF support, adjusted the constant pressure valve, calibrated the thermostat, still had trouble keeping it below 40F. Took 36 hrs to recover from a defrost, and still wouldn't maintain a consistent temperature. Repair required removing the fridge from the cabinet to gain access to the rear of the machine, a wonderful design. /sarc


After worrying with it for several months, I replaced it this February before we left for 2 months in the Bahamas. This time I went to a Nova Kool. Slightly larger capacity, freezer on bottom, service access from front, front fan so no worry about trapped heat & extra ventilation (which I had provided for both VF's). Also $2600! Wow! It maintains 37F, much more even temps in the box, and the bottom freezer is really nice. OK, if it works, it's worth the price tag.


We were in the Bahamas 5 weeks and it started getting warm. Really???!! Called Nova Kool, the control module software, per NK support, "can be moody". Tripping out on compresser start fail, low voltage, had a new updated module flown in from Lauderdale. In the interim, just to eliminate any potential of voltage problem, I ran a new 12V supply in #8 since I had it on hand. It was marginal at #14.The new module worked, but was still plagued with compressor start faults. I checked the thermostat, it had flakey resistance, tapping on the housing sent it skittering all over the scale. Still in the Bahamas, I wired in a spare digital stat (W1209) and it has been maintaining 36-38F in the fridge, 17-20 in the freezer. Huzzah! It's working! It still needs to be defrosted frequently in real humid weather, maybe every 2 weeks, and I have not replaced the OEM thermostat yet. What a PITA. To its credit, it is somewhat easy on the batteries, but I am DONE with "marine" refrigerators. Pay a premium for the ability to run on 12V, and suffer a HUGE penalty in performance- and still be obliged to defrost the damned thing every couple weeks. So that's my experience with Vitrifrigo et al. Sorry you asked?


If I had it to do over, despite my aversion to 24 hr inverter operation (it eats up about 70AH/day in standby/parasitic loads), I would gladly endure the additional daily AH to have refrigeration that is not an attention whore, and maintains an appropriate temperature. Frost free?? on a boat??? Nirvana! Even a point of use inverter would be better. I saw an 11 cu. ft. fridge at a home center, $345. Frost-free! Geez, I could buy one a year and be ahead of the game with the VF's.


My recommendation would strongly be to buy a standard domestic, non-marine apartment fridge and perhaps its own dedicated inverter if you don't have a large inverter installed. So it may require some cabinet work, a small price to pay for the reliability gained!
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:21 PM   #20
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A number of TFers have come to the conclusion of a domestic fridge in lieu of a marine labelled one. But have you considered the eutectic cold plate route? You`ll spend some $ getting set up, but cruising, genset time will maintain it cold, and 10 years without issues is not unusual. You can power an electric mains type compressor unit off the genset, or use an engine driven compressor(faster++), or both.
And, it gets the ever hungry fridge/freezer off reliance on batteries.
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