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Old 07-07-2014, 12:09   #16
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
If I had a dollar for every time I danced this dance...it goes something like this during a phone call:

Client: Hi Rich, the unit tries to start but trips off and I get 3 error lights so I need to buy a new controller.

Rich: Hold on a bit, what tests have you done to know the controller need to be replaced?

Client: A friend came by and looked at the unit and told me the controller is dead.

Rich: Did your friend do any tests or does he have any refrigeration experience?

Client: No, but he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night…

Rich: Ok, well before we throw money at the problem in a WAG (Wild Ass Guess) approach, let’s do a few easy tests to make sure you really need a new controller. Run a temporary Positive and Negative wire directly to the refrigeration unit to the positive and negative battery terminals and tell me what happens.

Client: That’s hard for me to do and besides I’ve checked the voltage with my harbor freight volt meter and I have 12.5v at the refrigeration unit so voltage can’t be the problem.

Rich: The electronic controller is more sensitive than your volt meter and voltage issues that don’t appear on your meter can still cause the controller to trip off and go into the famous 3-flash error mode.

Client: Are just BS-ing me Rich and trying to blame the problem on my boat rather than your system? This boat’s electrical system passed the survey and is Cherry, I mean like eat out of the Bilge Cherry. I can’t believe there is a voltage problem on my boat.

Rich: Well I can sell you a new controller and ship it out today, but until we do some simple tests you could be wasting your money and it may not solve the problem, so what do you want to do?

Client: Well it sounds crazy to me but I’ll try it and get back to you.

Rich: Just give me a call with the test results and we can take it from there.

Client the next day: Hey Rich, I can’t believe it. I ran the wires and it worked and pulled down the ice box last night. I now have ice cold beer, thanks for you help.

I go through this dance almost weekly and no one wants to believe the voltage issue/problem but iit is FAR MORE common for the 3 flash light error signal to be a voltage problem rather than a dead controller. While working with a boat in Spain that was recovering from a lightning strike the system would run from their starting bank but NOT from their house bank. After some testing the client determined that one of his batteries had a damaged cell and once that battery was taken out of the bank the system ran great. The only way we figured this out is that he had two complete systems (fridge and freezer) and they were wired to the different battery bank one was working and one wasn't. Lose grounds, corrosion, we have seen it all. With a 5 year warranty on the system we have pretty darn good records on the controllers going back years and years and there are plenty of good controllers tossed in the trash every year by people and “refrigeration tech” playing part-swap out troubleshooting with the clients money.
Hilarious. Best laugh I have had in a week. And as much as I hate to confess it, there was more that a little of me in your description of the customer. Even worse, not only did I stay at a Holiday Inn, I are a lectricul injuneer, so don't try tell me something about lectricidy.

Plus I had a genuine Fluke meter so I knew my voltage reading was good, but I did at least have enough sense to know that even good digital meter, unless it has recording max/min or similar will not show a transient low voltage. One reason I keep an analog meter around. It may not show the exact voltage but you can watch the needle bounce if the transient isn't too fast.

So after advice from the experts I, with great reluctance and skepticism, put in a jumper and TADAA, instant fix. So ran a brand new, tinned, marine wire (forget if it was 8 or 10 gauge) with nice, Ancor heat shrink crimps direct from its own breaker on the panel and works like a charm.
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:03   #17
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

The problematic compressor is on the fridge. The freezer compressor is in the same locker, so I disconnected the power leads from the freezer and connected them to the fridge compressor and still have the same problem - it starts for about 1 second before cutting out.

Just to be sure, I connected the power leads from the fridge compressor (troublesome compressor) to the freezer compressor and it started perfectly, so I suspect that a drop in voltage may not be the culprit?
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:20   #18
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
The problematic compressor is on the fridge. The freezer compressor is in the same locker, so I disconnected the power leads from the freezer and connected them to the fridge compressor and still have the same problem - it starts for about 1 second before cutting out.

Just to be sure, I connected the power leads from the fridge compressor (troublesome compressor) to the freezer compressor and it started perfectly, so I suspect that a drop in voltage may not be the culprit?
The next step was to disconnect wire From F terminal on Danfoss module. if that does not work try another module. Question is this a water cooled unit?
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:30   #19
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
The next step was to disconnect wire From F terminal on Danfoss module. if that does not work try another module. Question is this a water cooled unit?
Yes, the unit is water cooled. By the way, I don't have the LED kit and unfortunately, am not in the USA, but in Grenada, in the south eastern Caribbean.

Hope I am not being dim here, but I cannot find the part in this thread where I was meant to disconnect the wire from the F terminal?
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:43   #20
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Hope I am not being dim here, but I cannot find the part in this thread where I was meant to disconnect the wire from the F terminal?
I think this bit,
"4. Disconnect black fan wire from electronic module, Compressor runs, replace fan. Compressor still does not run after fan ground wire is disconnected, go to next step. "
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:53   #21
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Originally Posted by Outwest34au View Post
I think this bit,
"4. Disconnect black fan wire from electronic module, Compressor runs, replace fan. Compressor still does not run after fan ground wire is disconnected, go to next step. "
There is no fan as the unit is water cooled.
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Old 07-07-2014, 15:16   #22
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Re: Fridoboat Won't Start

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Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
Yes, the unit is water cooled. By the way, I don't have the LED kit and unfortunately, am not in the USA, but in Grenada, in the south eastern Caribbean.

Hope I am not being dim here, but I cannot find the part in this thread where I was meant to disconnect the wire from the F terminal?
If Water pump cooled the pump will not run with wire removed so remove wire and see if compressor will run without pump.

If this is a through hull water condenser there will be no wire on F terminal as there is no pump. This would now start to indicate a compressor overload has anyone tampered with refrigerant? If not you need to try another control module on this unit.

Trouble LED is a plain small LED connected backwards, ask around and some boater will have one to give away.
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