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Old 16-05-2012, 14:53   #31
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

I have not seen a keel cooler mounted like this one. Moisture on clamp area is not from a refrigerant leak it looks to be condensation. To develop condensation would mean keel cooler was colder than seawater, Yes bizarre. What is bracket temperature when flow stops? If system frosts up evaporator at times then stops cooling but compressor keeps running it must be blockage that means it has nothing to do with keel cooler. If a cooler were to leak, refrigerant would leak out before moisture gets in.

My advice is extensive dehydration using vacuum pump free of water for 4 hours keeping system warm 100 degree F (38 degrees C) at a vacuum of 300 microns. If water is detected in pump drained after dehydration is completed you know it came from your system.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:52   #32
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

That looks like salt.
You might have a tiny weeping hull leak which may not have anything to do with your problem.
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Old 21-05-2012, 10:45   #33
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

An update.

Amazingly I ran into a cruiser here in the San Blas who is a refrigeration technician. And, had all the equipment needed to perform the work (including filter/driers, vacuum pump, torch, etc...).

Here is what was done.

There was a small filer/drier installed in the system at the compressor, as the liquid left the compressor on the way to the keel cooler. His feeling was to remove it as if it is full of moisture, it will only cause issues again.

So, he removed this filter, replaced with a new one as I needed the same length that was cut out by removing the old filter anyway.

Also added a new filter/drier on the liquid side about 10" before the capillary tube.

So now there are 2 filter/driers, basically inline. One before the keel cooler, and one after. A bit overkill maybe, but the filters are cheap, and he could do the braising onsite in a matter of minutes.

We replaced the 3 o-rings from the quick-connect fittings.

Attached vacuum pump, heated evaporator to 100F and ran vacuum for 4 hours. Based on the noise the oil in the pump made it seemed that there was moisture in the system as the pump sounded much more "regular" as it ran about 2 hours.

Filled with R134a, and has been running for 4 days so far. Was a bit overfilled at first, but seems to all be correct now after monitoring and slowly releasing a bit at a time. Only time will tell, but I am hopeful since it did seem the vacuum pump was dealing with moisture for a while, and then was not as the 4 hours reached the end.

He said a lot of the same things as stated here. Specifically around changing the o-rings about every 5 years. He suggested removing them and just braising the system together, but I declined as I like the convenience, even though I now know a bit of maintenance should be done every 5 years or so.

Once its been running for a while I will be more confident, but it seems OK so far.


As far as the Keel Cooler is concerned, I cleaned it up a bit and seems like it must be some small amount of salt weeping through. Next haul out will re-bed, but does not appear to be a big deal, or related to fridge issues.
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Old 26-05-2012, 19:49   #34
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
An update.

Amazingly I ran into a cruiser here in the San Blas who is a refrigeration technician. And, had all the equipment needed to perform the work (including filter/driers, vacuum pump, torch, etc...).

Here is what was done.

There was a small filer/drier installed in the system at the compressor, as the liquid left the compressor on the way to the keel cooler. His feeling was to remove it as if it is full of moisture, it will only cause issues again.

So, he removed this filter, replaced with a new one as I needed the same length that was cut out by removing the old filter anyway.

Also added a new filter/drier on the liquid side about 10" before the capillary tube.

So now there are 2 filter/driers, basically inline. One before the keel cooler, and one after. A bit overkill maybe, but the filters are cheap, and he could do the braising onsite in a matter of minutes.

We replaced the 3 o-rings from the quick-connect fittings.

Attached vacuum pump, heated evaporator to 100F and ran vacuum for 4 hours. Based on the noise the oil in the pump made it seemed that there was moisture in the system as the pump sounded much more "regular" as it ran about 2 hours.

Filled with R134a, and has been running for 4 days so far. Was a bit overfilled at first, but seems to all be correct now after monitoring and slowly releasing a bit at a time. Only time will tell, but I am hopeful since it did seem the vacuum pump was dealing with moisture for a while, and then was not as the 4 hours reached the end.

He said a lot of the same things as stated here. Specifically around changing the o-rings about every 5 years. He suggested removing them and just braising the system together, but I declined as I like the convenience, even though I now know a bit of maintenance should be done every 5 years or so.

Once its been running for a while I will be more confident, but it seems OK so far.


As far as the Keel Cooler is concerned, I cleaned it up a bit and seems like it must be some small amount of salt weeping through. Next haul out will re-bed, but does not appear to be a big deal, or related to fridge issues.
welding out the refrigerant line connectors is the way to go for no probs and face it, the only maintenance you'd need after 5 years is to change the drier which entails...........welding...... with frigoboat gear you need to be carefull re using flare fittings as what appears as 1/4" tubing is in fact 6mm which is a gnats tooth smaller and pretty hard to both get flare fittings for as well as use a std flaring tool.....short lengths of welded !/4" tube prior to flare works well particularly for the keel cooler, however apart from an acknowledged need to remove the condensor (keel cooler) due to a small weep/ leak this should also be welded up and also replace the schraeder valve cap with a 1/4" flare nut and flare bonnet and you won't be needing to touch the system for years, hope you're running a small compressor electrics cooling fan as they are pretty much essential
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Old 27-05-2012, 08:30   #35
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfnz View Post
welding out the refrigerant line connectors is the way to go for no probs and face it, the only maintenance you'd need after 5 years is to change the drier which entails...........welding...... with frigoboat gear you need to be carefull re using flare fittings as what appears as 1/4" tubing is in fact 6mm which is a gnats tooth smaller and pretty hard to both get flare fittings for as well as use a std flaring tool.....short lengths of welded !/4" tube prior to flare works well particularly for the keel cooler, however apart from an acknowledged need to remove the condensor (keel cooler) due to a small weep/ leak this should also be welded up and also replace the schraeder valve cap with a 1/4" flare nut and flare bonnet and you won't be needing to touch the system for years, hope you're running a small compressor electrics cooling fan as they are pretty much essential
To give Frigoboat a bit of acknowledgement:

The system has run fine for 6 years without any issues. This is the first time we ever had a blip in the system. I installed the keel cooler with no issues myself (well, I guess the bedding had a hiccup but I can only blame me for that, boggles my mind however since I have bedded many thru-hulls with no issues. They do provide an o-ring on the keel-cooler which is a bit suspicious. Not sure its really needed since it is sealed with caulk anyway), including no loss or changing of refrigerant, which was nice as I hate hiring unknown resources to do anything on my boat.

So, I won't argue with your that welding would eliminate the potential o-ring issue, but, their system has been pretty bullet-proof to date and were also helpful and responsive in providing as much info to me as they could.

Assuming the issue is solved, which so far continues to be, I would have no hesitation recommending their stuff to a cruiser.
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Old 26-10-2012, 18:50   #36
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Re: Bizarre FrigoBoat Behaviour !

Hi Guys.
John here. I have the frigoboat K50F with keel cooler. I have been keenly reading your posts about your systems and have learned a lot. My problem is somewhat different, mine started with a ?low charge? and before I know what I now know, I recharged with a 134a substitute that contaminated the system. I have had the system evacuated and recharged but the same problem persists. Playing with the charge I beleive I have the optimum charge as I have spilled small amounts of refridgerant until the frost crept back from the compressor into the insulated tube. The frost never reached the compressor. So it seems everything is operating fine, except I cannot get the box temp down under 20 fahrenheit. My shut off temperture for the freezer is 0 fahrenheit. The whole plate frosts very quickly to that temperature (30) and then creeps one degree every hour or two. At a certain point it will even climb a few degrees. I have left it run for 24+ hours without reaching below maybe 20 degrees. At no time, even when the temperature is climbing, does the frost leave the evaporator. Now the box is almost empty from the initial problem. I can't see that having a great affect. I am presently in Nanaimo Britsh Columbia with a water temp of 55 degrees. Left to my own devises I was planning on evacuating the system, washing it out with nitrogen, possibly replacing the dryer with something larger. Through your conversations I am led to believe you can install a dryer on the liquid line?
Can someone continue my education and save my ass?
Thanks John
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