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Old 07-06-2015, 03:46   #16
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Here's a picture of the Frigiboat unit with the two compressors, only one of which is coming on, along with the replacement relay in the bag. Each compressor has its own relay with the yellow stickers on top. So as soon as I'm in the water, I'll be able to determine which one does not warm up and replace it.

Keeping my fingers crossed. It will be so nice if this solves the problem. I was wrong about having a fan cooling unit. The fan is attached to a third compressor which services the freezer when it's being used as a fridge.

The rep said, that even if it doesn't fix the problem, it's always good to have a spare relay control unit onboard. It's the part most likely to fail.

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Old 07-06-2015, 04:09   #17
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Of course it could be many things but I had a similiar problem (ran but didn't freeze, then worked fine after being off a few hours). Mine was prone to this after a period of larger than normal heel angles.
That does sound like our problem... thanks CarlF I will try the troubleshooting suggestions when we get in to Horta tomorrow!


Paul & Sheryl Shard - SV Distant Shores II
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:45   #18
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

The control boxes are prone to failure so yes that could be it. If it is intermittent and when it works it ices the plates it's not likely to be freon related. The control boxes also have a low voltage shut down. I have seen corroded connectors cause extra resistance and voltage drops that as the batteries run down it puts the voltage at the control box below the limit. Use a multi meter to check the actual voltage at the control box while the compressor is running. The compressor can cause a two to thee tenths of a volt drop at start up. If you are already running close to the limit that can cause them to shut down and or short cycle.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:59   #19
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Ken, have you cleaned out the cooling water passages in your system? You may have a clogged or partially clogged heat exchanger. Check the internet for methods of cleaning air conditioner water passages and then circulate the cleaning agent through the system from a pail using a small pump. You can do that before you are in the water. Also make sure the water inlets are not all jammed up with shell fish or the like. Do each system separately as they are probably using just one pump.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:16   #20
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Thanks for the suggestion, but they have always been clear with water flowing just fine complete with a filter I need to clean out every couple of days. The second unit simply doesn't power up, with its mate struggling to do all the work. But I will double check.

If the heat exchanger was plugged, I would assume the unit would heat up, unable to cool itself.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:20   #21
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Hope you are able to resolve the issue yourself, but if you do need help with the problem while in Horta, Duncan at Mid Atlantic Yacht Services (MAYS) is an excellent source. He is an American ex pat who has been in
Horta about 30 years now and can do all things yacht related, or bring in the right local guy.

When we sailed Persistent Lady to the Azores last year, we needed work on our electrics (lost ALL power about 300 miles out from Bermuda). We hooked up with Duncan, who checked for obvious things (as had we) then got two Portugese electricians and one interpreter on our boat at 8PM WHO WORKED TILL MIDNIGHT, but finally found that our battery selector switch was faulty, allowing us to draw from the batteries but not charge them. I had a spare on board and it resolved the problem. We were amazed at how inexpensive the repair was. He also ran interference for us when we ordered solar panels from Defender. He told us it is tricky to get packages and we should just have it shipped to him at MAYS. The package came in, he brought it over to us, helped us remove the Bimini, then drove us over to the sailmaker who charged us 20 euros to add attachment tabs, then drove us back. No charge for any of that. Whatever you need, Duncan is your man.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:37   #22
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Best advice was from Deepfrz. Get ahold of Kollmann. He knows what he is talking about. Put together as much data as you can so he knows exactly what's going on. In my book he is the go to man.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:10   #23
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Originally Posted by Distant Shores View Post
Our unit actually has an air cooler option as well as the keel cooler. I wonder if I can convert to use that instead of the keel cooler. We also have a freezer with the same air cooler and perhaps it can be converted to save it before it dies too!?!
If you have the option of air or keel cooled, then simply plug in your fan and see if the air-cooler does the job - the refrigerant will pass through that condenser first before it flows to the keel cooler. If it doesn't do the job, if your box still doesn't get cold enough, then you know it's not about the keel cooler.

There's further troubleshooting information at the Frigoboat's U.S. importer's website that may help you further with diagnostics:
May I suggest looking at "R134a Charge Guidelines for Frigoboat systems" & "Capillary tube troubleshooting guide"
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:59   #24
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Assuming you get the system going for the rest of the passage, you might want to add the filter/dryer.

You might also want to replace the connector "O" rings at the same time. I believe these are recommended for replacement at five years. My Frigoboat even had spares included with the new unit taped to the control. I think I remember Jedi had some posts about replacing these O rings.

And as to the keel cooler, I've had no trouble with corrosion but am careful about grounding. I once spotted that a keel cooler ground screw had loosened from vibration. While I cleaned and tightened it, I now also use the keel cooler zincs as an "early warning system" of a corrosion problem.

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Old 07-06-2015, 14:31   #25
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

I lost my system to a bad keel kooler in the Caribbean. The dealer down there said don't waste your money replacing the keel kooler as the water is so warm down there that it hardly works. Replaced the unit with a Frigoboat 35 that was just air cooled. it worked great. I had a freezer frig spillover setup that had a large freezer. it worked as good as when I haad the keel kooler and didn't not notice any increase in amps used. For get the keel kooler.
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Old 07-06-2015, 17:02   #26
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

My problem was controller board. Sometimes best to replace whole unit with pre-charged system. $1,000 US where I am.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:55   #27
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"


My family and I love your show.. Distant Shores We are great land lubber fans. We sail when we can$$. If Distant Shores has a keel cooler then the question is how much exposure is the refrigeration circuit to salt water? If you ever decide to cruise the Gulf of Mexico look us up... we are in Tampa.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:26   #28
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Contact the company, they have fantastic technical support !
Who could diagnose a problem better than the people who designed the system.

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Old 08-06-2015, 07:27   #29
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Hi Paul. glad to here about your smooth passage , we were following you as I'm sure many were . Sorry to hear about your Frigo problems. To bad Rick Moore didn't head that way with you .
There have been a lot of threads here about your exact problem, those Keel cooled systems were trouble some to say the least . Richard Kollmann has a great site with lots of information and many people on his blog with your same system. If you read all that is there , you will be the pro
Kollmann Marine
`Richard may chime in at some point, he is the man .
Hope you get it fixed soon

Fair winds
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:03   #30
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Hi Paul,

We've struggled with both our Frigiboat freezer and refrigerator but, once properly vacuumed, completely filled and an O ring replaced, they both work fine. They are over 8 years old. If you have a Speed Controller it will give you fault codes and Frigiboat has an algorithm that helps you track down these problems. There's a couple O rings that can cause a loss of coolant but, I would think a bad keel cooler is rare. You were in Simpson Bay Lagoon for awhile, did you clean off the keel cooler? Reefco in St Thomas (great folks), emptied our refrigerator and filled the compressor until the cold plate was completely frosted, took about 2 hours. The Frigiboat tubes are small and take patience to fill properly. We also learned the best method of vacuuming the system is to have the pump hooked upon in the afternoon and run all night, no need for an expensive tech to watch it for several hours. Coastal Climate Control in Annapolis is the N American distributor and they have a great site: Frigoboat refrigeration - Climma air conditioning with lots of information. I hope there is a tidbit in here that helps.

Take care, Bill Yorde
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