View Full Version : Assistance with Northland refrigerator/freezer units

19-11-2016, 04:38 AM
Hi, I am not a pro. Not lacking some understanding; but not a pro.

What I am trying to understand/do is replace the compressors in a Northland freezer and refrigerator. I don't know if these are sold in any of the regions covered by members. This is their name in the US. I believe they may be known as Marvell in other areas.

These units were my wife's fondest desire for the new (retirement) house. The other item was a Bluestar range that has now caught fire internally twice. But it cooks good!

The units are a moderately unusual design. Aside from mediocre insulation and horrible noise, they are very nice. SS everywhere. They are essentially built-ins. A lot of storage space for their size. The reason for this is that all the mechanical systems are in an easily removable (if you are not as old and weak as I am now) module on the top of the units.

Last year, the refrigerator module failed. Naturally it was on the hottest time of the year. I found out that the only place they keep spares is in the NE corner of the US. I am in the NW corner. For several days I spent $30 a day for dry ice. Shipping was $500. The unit itself was over $2000. The dealer in the area does not do repairs. The compressors have no manufacturer name or part number that I have found; just the Northland info. The units are >10 years old. From what I have gathered, this is longer than they are expected to work. So the freezer is running on borrowed time and the new refrigerator module is making odd noises.

Both of the mechanical modules are very noisy. We hear them throughout the house. If there were not doors between the bedroom and the kitchen, it would be difficult to sleep. Very very annoying.

For better or worse, I am an engineer. My wife is seriously divided on that being good or bad. It tends to vary by the day (or smaller time intervals, based on circumstances). I designed the house and all the systems; with reasonable success.

I have no interest in trying to accumulate the equipment to deal with a compressor replacement. I am trying to locate a contractor.

OK; that sets the scene.

What I want to do:

1 - Replace the compressors in both units (each are different), preferably with something that has a much lower noise level.

2 - If I can get new compressors, repair the old refrigerator module (they did not want it back) as a spare. This would also allow a contractor to familiarize themselves with the unit when not under time pressure to get it done.

3 - Also buy parts for the freezer module

4 - Schedule a refurb of the Freezer module to be done in one or two days max (to avoid driving into town for dry ice as much as possible).

Finding a contractor has been a bit of a pain as well.

What I need.

1 - Identification of the parts in the existing units. I have not been able to find any documentation for the actual OEM parts.

2 - Identify replacement compressors and ancillary parts (preferable with something quieter and/or more efficient).

3 - I am not adverse to adding some VF motor controllers if there are significant advantages.

I would welcome any conversation on these issues. Even if you are not familiar with the Northland (Marvell) units, general input on better compressors, VFD, etc. would be a real help.

13-02-2017, 02:45 PM
With greater device - greater noise.
If there is a refrigerator inverter, there may be some noise and frequency. One way to reduce the noise level, is to set the thermostat at a temperature optimal ps. +9 -19 & Celsious grade. Inverter compressor never stops and when the temperature reaches, but reduces speed. So if you put it on the optimal conditions, when working with a small force, he will do and less noise.

monkey spanners
13-02-2017, 04:04 PM
Has they always been noisy or got worse over time? A lot of noise can be generated by worn bearings in the condenser fan motor, i suspect the fan blade amplifies the sound. The rubber mounting feet on compressor often sag and get harder with age, a new set of rubber feet may make the world of difference if its a noise thats got worse over time.

Where abouts in the US are you?

13-02-2017, 07:55 PM
They have been noisy from day 1. Noise is not the primary issue. nice if I can get it.

What I need is replacement compressors. The freezer is beyond what their support person said I can expect, and the fridge is a dead compressor.

The key here is to deal with failing compressors. It is close to $2500 or more to get a replacement unit. And it takes a day or two to get it. They only stock them at the factory in the upper right of the US. I am in the upper left. Just below the new refuge for US citizens.