Wednesday-Friday August 26-28, 2015 Most Recent Post:
Lewis Mountain Campground Visits from Friends
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Today starts out pretty fine. We both go down to Charlottesville where David does his regular Cancer Center visit. When he gets the results back from his last round of blood tests and they show that his two important myeloma numbers both went down a tad. In the past few months there has been a mixed response. One up, one down. It isn’t much of drop but both of them going in the same direction is very good. If it weren’t for the effect of these drugs on his heart we’d be thrilled.
I have my final visit to the ophthalmologist and it seems what I have is as good as it gets. 20/40 or 50 in the eye that is supposed to be corrected for distance vision. This is at least as bad as my vision was going in. To say I’m not happy is an understatement. She says things may change some more over the next two weeks and sends me back to my optometrist for glasses. GREAT! I make the appointment with him for two weeks from today.
David gets Good news. I get bad news or at least not the best news.
Today David decides to tackle a few problems. Two years ago he replaced Winnona’s original (we think) water pump. It’s about 3 weeks out of warranty of course when it fails. He calls the company. They do not choose to be gracious. So he orders a new water pump yet again and today is the day for the install. Everything goes perfectly.
While this is happening, I decide to give my hair a trim to keep it out of my eyes. .I set up all the tools on the picnic table.
In about 15 minutes it’s all taken care of.
Not a big change but enough. It can’t fall in my eyes.
But that’s where today’s good news stops.
You may remember our on going refrigerator problems. If not you can find a refresher here. That episode followed a similar one in North Dakota where the burner was cleaned and things seemed fine.
In the post referenced above, I explained that we were unable to get any help from Norcold who arrogantly will only talk with their certified technicians over the phone. So we drove 60 miles to the closest of those certified technicians, who said everything looked fine including the burner. But the refrig still wouldn’t keep things cool. I told David that it was just time to start replacing the parts he can replace before throwing in the towel. The burner still seemed the most likely thing wrong given our symptoms. I drove back the 60 miles to the dealer, got the burner and that fixed the warming problems. See the referenced post for details. I’m not very trusting so I order the igniter in case this burner problem shows back up. That was several weeks ago.
Sure enough, now we are getting an F code saying that the burner is failing to reignite. It seems to show up every morning which means the refrig is off overnight and the food warming, when it cannot reignite. Time for the new igniter install. You can see the difference between the old one and the new one.
After the straight forward water pump swap, David decides he’ll make it two for two today and put on the new igniter. Looks like a simple job. Disconnect the old, connect the new.
Of course nothing is ever that simple. In attempting to get the old igniter off, he has to use considerable force and damages the connection to the circuit board. Has our $20 igniter led to a $300 circuit board replacement?
It is late on a Thursday afternoon. David tries calling Norcold to see if there is any fix short of a new board. Again they refuse to talk with him. This alone might make me refuse future Norcold products. But I understand Dometic is worse.
Meanwhile, I have previously found a copy of the parts list so I use it to find the board’s part number and am looking on line for the board. I find it in two different places but no one can get it to us overnight. Monday is the earliest they say.
David calls the local Norcold Service RV center. They have one in stock but we can’t get there before they close. They open at 8am tomorrow. It’s been 3 hours with no cooling.
David calls the technician who looked at it previously. He graciously gave David his cell phone number. He is the lifesaver. He may not have recognized that the burner flame wasn’t right but he knows about this problem right away. He says it is very common in removing the igniter for the board pins to need resoldering and explains how to do it.
There’s sure not much room to work in there.
David removes the board, uses his soldering gun to resolder the pins, puts the new igniter on and we’re back in business. He doesn’t put the board cover on since it is late and we need to eat some dinner. After dinner, he goes out to put the cover on and somehow one of the pins again comes loose.
By now it’s dark and the refrigerator won’t stay on or reignite itself.. We have a refrigerator full of food. Carrie and Matthew are coming for the week-end. Now what?
He ignites the refrigerator by hand, takes off the thermistor, turns the refrig up to the highest setting so that it is unlikely to turn off. We go to bed. I won’t do a cliff hanger here but that’s pretty much how we feel. What’s going to happen over night?
Happily when we wake up, the refrig is still cooling but things are getting too cool. He takes the board out AGAIN, resolders the pins AGAIN, puts the new igniter back on, puts the cover back on and now the new igniter doesn’t work.
What? It was working yesterday just fine until he tried to put the cover back on. You can imagine how frustrated he is.
At this point, we decide it is better if I go for a hike literally. So I head to the farthest northern section of the AT to hike out of the park. That will be in the next post.
Back at the rig David painstakingly takes the board out AGAIN, checks the connections, replaces the new igniter with the old igniter.
When I return and after two nearly full days we are back in business and in exactly the same spot we were in before he changed the igniter. What a PIA.
Will we see the dreaded F code again? Only time will tell. Was the new igniter faulty? I don’t think so, it was working when he first put it in.
We’ll post an update on this after a few weeks or as soon as it fails again.
Keep your fingers crossed, we certainly are. Although it seems inevitable since all he did with the old igniter is take it out, clean it with steel wool and put it back in. Could that fix it? Or maybe one of those pins was loose to begin with and resoldering fixed it? That’s a good thought. But why would the new one fail? Too many questions. Too many unknowns. Guess all we can do is wait to see if the other shoe drops.