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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fridge Fix For 25 Cents?

It’s already been a busy week here in South Carolina visiting with the grandsons.  We were lucky to be able to watch Andrew play football.  His team so far this year has won 3 and lost just 1.  Many NFL teams would love to have that kind of a record.  Here is Andrew with his two biggest fans, he looks a little bit tired after playing Center on a hot afternoon.


Along with the fun side of RV life, there is always some little maintenance item cropping up that has to be taken care of.  Our Norcold 1200 refrigerator works on both 110V and propane and recently, the propane mode stopped working.  Time to investigate.

Using a quarter, I opened up the panel to get access to the backside of the fridge. 


The burner is located behind this panel, which is held in place by a screw.


On my model fridge, I also had to remove the plastic drip tray to be able to remove the burner cover panel.


With the panel removed, what did I find clogging up the burner tube?

                                    Stink bugs!

All nicely roasted and in a pile.


I used three items to clean out the mess, my vacuum,


a can of compressed air that you use on computer keyboards,


and a plastic wire tie that I used to clean out the burner tube via a round hole.  Just push the wire tie in to loosen debris in the tube.


Then vacuum and blow out the vents slots in the tube with the compressed air.  I lightened up this picture to hopefully show better the vent slots in the (silver) burner tube.


Then it’s just reversing the order of the removed parts to complete the repair.


A test of the fridge on propane showed everything now worked properly.

Button up the panel with that quarter and put it in your pocket.  How many repairs give you your money back?  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. With those investigative skills, no wonder you were a cop. Nice fix!!!

  2. If Andrew keeps it up he might have a career in sports coming his way.
    It's a good thing you got your quarter back and not just a bunch of loose change.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Yup, simple fix. Of course the idea is to clean the burner tube as part of regular maintenance every three to six months so that you don't wait until it stops working to fix it. :-)

    Also, you don't say if you actually removed the burner tube, but I'm hoping that you did. It would be the only way to properly get all of the crap out of the tube itself, and it's only an extra five minutes work when you've got the rest of it all apart anyhow.

    1. Yes you can remove the burner tube if necessary, this time I did not because after reviewing several videos on this fix by certified RV techs, the wire tie trick was a preferred way to clean the tube.

      Also, my maintenance manual calls for an annual cleaning, which I've done for the last seven years without any problems until the stink bug invasion of the NE U.S.

      I completely understand and agree with you that if you use the propane often, it won't hurt anything to clean the burner more often. The old ounce of prevention. ;c)

  4. Does Kevin really clean his burner every 3 to 6 months? Hmmmm. I'll pass that message on to David. Wish our fridge thing had been that easy. No stink bugs to be found. But it does seem to be working at the moment. Fingers crossed. Boy 25 cents is a bargain compared to a new refrig. Nicely done.

    1. Yes, I do Sherry. Closer to the 3 month mark in fact, because we use our fridge on propane most of the time.

  5. Those dang stinkbugs!! I don't think we've seen any (dead or alive) in quite awhile. Good fix!

  6. 2 bits for a bunch of stink bugs?? A bargain! :)

  7. Ah, yes, the old Norcold fridge. I remember those. LOL
    Good catch Paul.

  8. A tip that has worked for me. Half a dog's flea collar (the other half for the water heater) has kept me bug free for 8 years. I change it about every six months.

    1. Great idea, John. I'll be doing that post haste. These sitnkbugs have caused enough trouble, so anything I can do to ward them off is worth it!

  9. Why does everything you have always need fixing? Do you tinker with things beforehand so you can fix them later? Glad those things aren't happening to us. We'd be spending most of our time off the road instead of on it.

  10. Good job, insects just seem to love RVs.

  11. Thanks for another great maintenance post!! Bill's list isn't quite long enough yet and this stuff keeps him busy and out of trouble ;o))

  12. Another easy fix, that should be done on a regular basis.

  13. Those stink bugs look like they were roasted to perfection- did you taste one :P.

    1. No, actually I put them in a baggie and stuck them in the freezer. Don't want to come empty handed when we come to visit you! :cD

  14. Now it's clean just in time for the Asian beetle infestation! ;)