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Old 11-06-2018, 06:34   #1
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Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

I have an Adler Barbour ColdMachine fridge system installed on my 23 year old Catalina 42 Mk2. I believe that the ColdMachine is the orginal equipment supplied with the boat. Recently I replaced the 2 evaporator plates as they had developed internal leaks in the pipework. I now suspect that either the thermostat or the condenser unit is faulty. Sometimes the fridge cycles correctly, that is, the compressor turns on at about 5 degrees C and turns off again at about 2C. However sometimes the temperature rises to about 17C which is getting close to room temperature here in the tropics on a "cold" morning, and the compressor will run non-stop without cooling the frdge down below 17C. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can diagnose the problem?
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:05   #2
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Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Well if itís running non stop and not cooling that is not a thermostat.
If itís doing it intermittently but cooling fine other times, itís not low refrigerant.
Iíd suspect a clogged cap tube, especially as the system has been recently opened.
Odd that it clogs and unclogs, but that is my guess.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:16   #3
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by meshugah View Post
I have an Adler Barbour ColdMachine fridge system installed on my 23 year old Catalina 42 Mk2. I believe that the ColdMachine is the orginal equipment supplied with the boat. Recently I replaced the 2 evaporator plates as they had developed internal leaks in the pipework. I now suspect that either the thermostat or the condenser unit is faulty. Sometimes the fridge cycles correctly, that is, the compressor turns on at about 5 degrees C and turns off again at about 2C. However sometimes the temperature rises to about 17C which is getting close to room temperature here in the tropics on a "cold" morning, and the compressor will run non-stop without cooling the frdge down below 17C. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can diagnose the problem?
A 23 years old Cold machine the way it is acting could be one of their transition units with an off brand compressor. Is there a model number on compressor like BD2.5 or is there a model number on the electronic control module. Two evaporator plates is also not a standard Adler Barbour system.

How do you know there is refrigerant in system now? When compressor is running now do you know what amperage it is drawing?

If compressor runs the thermostat is not faulty. If you want to test thermostat disconnect its wires at module and place a jumper wire across those terminals on module. compressor and fan will run all the time now.
If there is still no cooling and amperage is less than three check refrigerant pressure.
Do you hear a steady hissing sound inside box indicating refrigerant flow is not blocked.
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Old 11-06-2018, 19:09   #4
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Hi Guys,

Overnight the cooling has stopped altogether, whereas the compressor and fan are running non-stop. It seems as though whatever may have previously been intermittently blocking the refrigerant is now blocking it completely. Does that make sense?

I cannot read a model number on the compressor. On the electronic control model I can see the numbers 101N0200 and the name Danfoss. I know that 2 plates are not standard. Before I purchased the boat 14 years ago, the previous owner had installed a second plate to make the fridge cooler. Both plates had been working well for many years until I started to get leakage problems. This was diagnosed by a local refrigeration technician. Hence I got 2 new plates made by a Waeco distributor in Brisbane and the local technician fitted them for me. Since then the unit has been intermittent but now fully non-functional.


I will need to get the technician to check the pressure again but I doubt this is the problem. I cannot hear any "hiss" near the plates.

The Adler Barbour documentation suggests this is the sign of a complete clog up. Does that make sense?
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Old 11-06-2018, 19:42   #5
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Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Iím no fridge expert, just a lowly licensed HVAC guy, but yes it makes sense to me. Iíd suspect contamination when the plates were replaced.

However doing the checks Richard asked for is easy, and cost nothing, and it may not be a clogged cap tube.
I would do the checks and report back.
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Old 11-06-2018, 20:14   #6
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

I have now checked the current while the compressor and fan are running. Its is 1.1 amp. I'm pretty sure that the thermostat is OK since it was working Ok as recently as 2 days ago.

Contamination while replacing the plates appears to been very likely. Just spoke to the technician. He suggests leaving a vacuum pump on the system all day in order to evacuate the circuit. He suggested that even a small amount of moisture may be causing the problem.

I am lolling about the anchor at Low Isles at the moment so will go back to the marina on Thursday morning so that he can do the evacuation.

If you have any further ideas, please let me know. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2018, 21:50   #7
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

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Originally Posted by meshugah View Post
I have now checked the current while the compressor and fan are running. Its is 1.1 amp. I'm pretty sure that the thermostat is OK since it was working Ok as recently as 2 days ago.

Contamination while replacing the plates appears to been very likely. Just spoke to the technician. He suggests leaving a vacuum pump on the system all day in order to evacuate the circuit. He suggested that even a small amount of moisture may be causing the problem.

I am lolling about the anchor at Low Isles at the moment so will go back to the marina on Thursday morning so that he can do the evacuation.

If you have any further ideas, please let me know. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
And ask tech to have the oil replaced as it is likely the system was badly contaminated when the evaps leaked, then fit a *proper type C 050 flared filter dryer preferably a Sporlan brand before evacuating and re-charging. (*Those spun copper types are next to useless).

Cheers OzePete Ozefridge | 12 Volt Refrigeration Systems
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:40   #8
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

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Originally Posted by meshugah View Post
I have now checked the current while the compressor and fan are running. Its is 1.1 amp. I'm pretty sure that the thermostat is OK since it was working Ok as recently as 2 days ago.

Contamination while replacing the plates appears to been very likely. Just spoke to the technician. He suggests leaving a vacuum pump on the system all day in order to evacuate the circuit. He suggested that even a small amount of moisture may be causing the problem.

I am lolling about the anchor at Low Isles at the moment so will go back to the marina on Thursday morning so that he can do the evacuation.

If you have any further ideas, please let me know. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
I believe in only non destructive process of trouble shooting before bring in a tech person who may make things worse. Always avoid advice that sounds destructive and counter productive.

An adler Barbour with a 101N0210 control module confirms you have a Dandoss BD50 compressor. Compressor runs continuous and no cooling.

When you say no cooling are you saying the evaporator does not have cold condensation on it? If there was moisture frozen in refrigerant flow it would freeze and thaw causing cold condensation at just above freezing temperature. And hissing sound will be interrupted of and on.

With refrigerant in system and a completely blocked capillary tube current draw will be no lower than 3 amps on that system. You are reporting 1.1 amp with compressor running.

Your reporting indicates complete loss of refrigerant. My advice is do not put vacuum pump on system and possibly fill system with air. Connect a gauge to system and read static pressure without compressor running it should be above 50 psi. If gauge is connected to low side start compressor and see if it drops the pressure.

Without pressure in system it is time to add pressure and find and fix the leak

It is probably true there is moisture in oil and the solution is super dehydration is needed. Changing oil is not recommended.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:08   #9
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

This is from a certified HVAC person.....

Step 1. Verify refrigerant is in the system. A technician should install a manifold gauge and check initial pressure against a Temperature/pressure chart for the type of refrigerant used.
Step 2. If refrigerant is present, then verify the correct charge of refrigeration. On these systems without accumulators, the system is critically charged. Correct operation is confirmed by a combination of compressor amps, pressure readings on the gauges and a superheat temperature measurement at the outlet of the holding plate.

Moisture in the oil will result in an acid formation and cause the windings in the compressor to short circuit over time but would not have a direct impact on cooling.
The most obvious root cause would be failure to evacuate air from the system when the new holding plates were installed. Of course if you have air in the system you also have moisture in the system.

Step 3. If no refrigerant is in the system, then it should be either charged with nitrogen and the joints bubble tested for leaks or charged with refrigerant if using electronic leak detection. Any leak should be repaired.

After determining if air is present in the system or if there was a leak which was repaired then the system should be evacuated using a vacuum pump. and a MICRON GAUGE. Most techs don't use the micron gauge and just guess .... The micron gauge tells you the system is not only purged of air but dehydrated also. Moisture in the oil will boil off under a deep vacuum but you need the micron gauge to know when it is all out. This could take hours to achieve depending on the level of contamination. Recharge and restore the system after evacuating and recharging.

Based on your description your unit was short cycling, running without cooling then stopped altogether. I think you will either find you have no refrigerant or you have air contamination in the system.

Please post what the solution was.....
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:33   #10
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

I have not had luck with electronic leak detection with R-134a.
I donít bother anymore, I go to the soap myself.
Being a poor guy and rarely ever having to do it, I donít own a micron Gauge, I just default to excessive vacuum times, Iíll leave on one overnight as I donít think you can vacuum too long.
If your having a tech vacuum it down, ask him to leave it on overnight and come back tomorrow.
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Old 12-06-2018, 16:40   #11
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazu View Post
This is from a certified HVAC person.....

Step 1. Verify refrigerant is in the system. A technician should install a manifold gauge and check initial pressure against a Temperature/pressure chart for the type of refrigerant used.
Step 2. If refrigerant is present, then verify the correct charge of refrigeration. On these systems without accumulators, the system is critically charged. Correct operation is confirmed by a combination of compressor amps, pressure readings on the gauges and a superheat temperature measurement at the outlet of the holding plate.

Moisture in the oil will result in an acid formation and cause the windings in the compressor to short circuit over time but would not have a direct impact on cooling.
The most obvious root cause would be failure to evacuate air from the system when the new holding plates were installed. Of course if you have air in the system you also have moisture in the system.


Step 3. If no refrigerant is in the system, then it should be either charged with nitrogen and the joints bubble tested for leaks or charged with refrigerant if using electronic leak detection. Any leak should be repaired.

After determining if air is present in the system or if there was a leak which was repaired then the system should be evacuated using a vacuum pump. and a MICRON GAUGE. Most techs don't use the micron gauge and just guess .... The micron gauge tells you the system is not only purged of air but dehydrated also. Moisture in the oil will boil off under a deep vacuum but you need the micron gauge to know when it is all out. This could take hours to achieve depending on the level of contamination. Recharge and restore the system after evacuating and recharging.

Based on your description your unit was short cycling, running without cooling then stopped altogether. I think you will either find you have no refrigerant or you have air contamination in the system.

Please post what the solution was.....
Exactly, simply evacuating and adding R134a (especially after replacing leaking evaporators) without replacing the filter dryer and compressor oil is simply a recipe for greater damage / failure to follow.

Polyolester oil absorbs moisture far worse than earlier mineral oils and removing that moisture totally from the polyolester oil is near impossible. It is so easy to replace the oil and at a cost of about $10 why risk it?

Again... Leak test and repair any leak. Change the oil, fit a proper filter dryer (Type C 050), evacuate and recharge to gauge. Easy, and done right the first time will always give the best result.

Cheers OzePete Ozefridge | 12 Volt Refrigeration Systems
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Old 12-06-2018, 16:53   #12
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

Hi Guys,

Many thanks for all of your input. I very much appreciated that you are prepared to share your knowledge and advice. Its not been much fun having a warm fridge! I will discuss your posts with the technician when I get back to port tomorrow and post the results.

Thank you again.
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Old 13-06-2018, 04:44   #13
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

In the first place it has not been confirmed there is moisture in this system. The only way to change oil in this Adler Barbour BD50 compressor is to remove it from the condensing unit and flush clean old oil from condenser and evaporator. There is no drain valve on compressor and all oil will not come out even with refrigerant lines removed. The real cost to change oil could be around $500 with future reliability of system at risk.

The facts are that moisture can be dehydrated from Ester oil with Super dehydration down to 200 micron pressure while maintaining complete system warm at near 100 degrees F.
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Old 13-06-2018, 08:05   #14
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

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Cheers OzePete

Pete I do read what you post and one thing I am sure that your fake description oil change you have never tried yourself. Have I receive Danfoss BD compressor units in my shop with oil contamination Yes, and No it is not possible to drain enough oil to make an oil change worth while. If I am concerned about moisture I remove compressor dome and scrap the hole refrigeration system if I find rust inside. Of the 12 ounces of oil in one of these compressors even upside down with gas pressure injected inside only a small amount of oil can be removed.

As to your continuing insult attitude I have never claimed to be an expert when asked by lawyers in a number of technical law suite and one federal public investigation involving casualties, caused by a poorly heat treated part. Based on your resent uninformed statements I will now consider myself an Expert on pleasure boat Refrigeration.




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Old 13-06-2018, 08:53   #15
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Re: Adler Barbour Cold Machine Problems

I have never removed a system to change the oil in a unit . Sometimes these units are so well hidden I can barely even get my hands on them . I came to the conclusion that some boats are built around the refrigeration condensing unit .

If I suspect major moisture intrusion into a system I will usually quickly make the repair and leave a vacuum pump on board over night running and come back the next day.

This technique has worked for me .

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