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Old 02-19-2018, 07:21 PM   #1
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Nova Kool to replace VF?

I've been fighting my 3 yr old Vitrifrigo DP2600 since summer. The control board failed, the condenser fan failed, I've re-calibrated the thermostat, checked the charge, added a speed control to the board, adjusted the expansion valve and had numerous conversations with VF US technical. I have an auxiliary fan providing heat removal from the cabinet, I placed a 2nd temporary fan to direct more air into the condenser section. I'm monitoring the fridge/freezer with a wireless digital thermometer.

It's maintaining temps, but ambient temps have been cool except for a few days in the 80's last week during which the box temp started climbing. After defrosting it last week, it took 36 hrs to recover box temps below 40. Although the evap is fully frosted, it's running almost constantly. I've about exhausted my DX repertoire along with my patience and my confidence in the fridge is about zero.

With our plan to cross to the Bahamas within a week or so, and I'm loathe to travel with refrigeration that's exhibiting symptoms of a capacity problem; I'm ready to replace the fridge. Since this fridge is a replacement for a VF installed in 2010, and has only been in service since 2015, I have no desire to test the 3rd time's a charm corollary with another VF!

A NovaKool RFU9000 is a drop-in replacement, it's spec'd as the same cu ft capacity, and has a front air discharge and compressor access. We'll be in Lauderdale for a week, replacing the fridge here will be a matter of some phone calls and hit to the checkbook. Having it fail in the Bahamas is an adventure best avoided.

I'm looking for feedback for any forum members with experience with the Nova Kool.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:27 PM   #2
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Our Nova Kool has been running 24/7/365 since 2004 with no problems......Knock on wood...
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:25 PM   #3
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I've had 2 in two different boats. No problems with either. One thing to do to help the freezer and refrigerator work better is to get some of the aluminum bubble wrap insulation and put two layers on the bottom of the refrigerator. This allows the freezer to freeze and not freeze things in the bottom of the refrigerator. Simple and cheap modification.

When you do the installation, if you have the room add some more insulation on the outside (same bubble wrap will work). The more insulation the better.

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Old 02-20-2018, 12:56 AM   #4
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Steve,

I really like this design, with the freezer on the bottom and venting below that.

Please give a follow up on the new install, especially use in the warmer climate. We are not happy with our fridge at all (Norcold) and looking to upgrade ourselves, again.
We have even considered removing the storage cabinet above our current fridge for a larger one that maybe Shure Marine in Seattle could supply.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:30 AM   #5
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We have two NovaKool DC/AC units, both original to the boat so approx 16 years old... both work fine (knock wood).

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Old 02-20-2018, 08:00 AM   #6
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I have a RFU9000. Recently when the cooling stopped I called the factory in BC and received excellent customer service. They told me it was one of three things...a bad fan, a bad thermostat or a bad electronic control module

Since all the working parts are accessible from the front they told me to pull the grate and first check the fan, which I did and it was extremely had to turn. I called back and they said to pull a wire labeled "F" for fan and if the compressor started that as the problem. It started. I called back and they said I could get away with running the unit for a few days while a fan was on the way from the distributor in Dania, FL It was easy to replace and all has been well for the last three weeks.

I would definitely buy another Nova Kool.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:08 AM   #7
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Nova Kool is good. After 18 years it stopped working. I got on their website and following their instructions, determined that the problem was a failed electronic control board. I called them and they determined that my troubleshooting was correct.

$240 and a few minutes work and it's back to working fine. You won't find a modern residential refrigerator that will last that long.

I would be pretty upset with Vitrifrigo for a refrigerator that had to be replaced after three years and I would tell them about it. Maybe they will replace it.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aboatman View Post
I would be pretty upset with Vitrifrigo for a refrigerator that had to be replaced after three years and I would tell them about it. Maybe they will replace it.
That dog won't hunt. VF has no interest in my experience with their product, there's a 1 yr warranty. Beyond that, 2 yrs on parts, and if they would do anything, I'd still have a VF. My confidence in their product is blown, I'm weary of wondering if this week will bring more 'fridge problems and finding stinky milk. There are many VF owners who have had great experience with their product, wish I belonged to that club!!
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerin View Post
That dog won't hunt. VF has no interest in my experience with their product, there's a 1 yr warranty. Beyond that, 2 yrs on parts, and if they would do anything, I'd still have a VF. My confidence in their product is blown, I'm weary of wondering if this week will bring more 'fridge problems and finding stinky milk. There are many VF owners who have had great experience with their product, wish I belonged to that club!!
Based on others' VF working fine, make sure there is nothing about the rest of your system (electrical supply, venting, etc.) that would make the NK work poorly as well!

Just a thought.....
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:01 AM   #10
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Nova Kool to replace VF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aboatman View Post
Nova Kool is good. After 18 years it stopped working. I got on their website and following their instructions, determined that the problem was a failed electronic control board. I called them and they determined that my troubleshooting was correct.

$240 and a few minutes work and it's back to working fine. You won't find a modern residential refrigerator that will last that long.

I would be pretty upset with Vitrifrigo for a refrigerator that had to be replaced after three years and I would tell them about it. Maybe they will replace it.


A workaround.... When the cooling fan on a Tundra frig went out during a Bahamas trip I took one of the Hella fans, of which there were several on the boat, temporarily mounted it blowing underneath the frig. Wired it to the fan voltage supply on the frig. Worked perfectly for a couple of months.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:52 AM   #11
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My Nova Kool RFU900 has been working perfectly for about 3 summers. Glad I bought a Nova Kool. My previous fridges were Dometic and Norcold.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:53 AM   #12
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Oops, meant to say RFU9000
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:26 PM   #13
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They are a little spending, but in my opinion Isotherm is the best. We bit the bullet and replaced our old never cool with an Isotherm. Love it.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:27 PM   #14
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I'm another with a Nova Cool, a R4500, for about 5-6 years. Been good for us.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:53 PM   #15
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My Nova cool. Has been Flawless since I installed it 3 years ago. It is way better than the norcold I replaced.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:42 PM   #16
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Our Vitrifrigo was utterly useless in the heat of SW Florida. Really bad. Bought a new Nova Kool and itís been perfect. VF was also twice the price. Only problem with the NovaKool was slow delivery/shipping.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:23 PM   #17
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My RS 7600 side by side is 21 years old and still operating perfectly. I remove it from the housing every 5 years and vacuum out the cabinet. if it ever goes down it will get another one the same.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:59 AM   #18
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The concept of venting the fridge operating heat into the cabin is excellent as it lowers the outside temperature of a reefer trapped in a vented closet.

Power used is caused by the difference between the interior and exterior temperatures.

A lower temperature on the box and the cooling machinery makes less work to cool.
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