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Old 15-06-2017, 09:16   #1
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Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Any Danfoss whisperers out there? I have the same intermittent and persistent problem with my fridge and a fridge I installed on friends boat. Both Frigoboat Capri 35, flat plate evaporators and the Coastal Climate's Guardian digital thermostats, used as fridges only. The wiring is robust and carefully done. The error code LED flashes three times, which means the compressor has stopped or failed to start. Listening to my condensing unit, usually I hear the compressor spool up, run anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes and stop. Three flashes. The cooling fan runs on for a while, then stops, quickly followed by an compressor attempting to restart. Sometimes it does and cools the box down the required two degrees, but often it stops again after a random interval. The little yellow icon on the Guardian, indicating compressor on stays lit. No click from the relay. This may go on for a while (up to an hour), but the fridge eventually recovers, and keeps cool for days. It started to happen when the weather was cool, and haven't changed now that it is hot down here in Florida. Often I notice after such event that the water, milk or juice gets partially frozen, yet the digital display says 40 degrees.
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Old 15-06-2017, 09:52   #2
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

I had trouble with a water cooled isotherm system in the winter in New Bern NC. I believe 3 flashes is the code for the compressor failure to achieve proper RPM. I my case it was the cold temps causing the oil in the compressor not allowing the compressor to spool up fast enough. If it still persists to flash this code in warm temps and there is proper input voltage to the unit, look for possible high side pressures caused by blockage of the cap tube or possible compressor motor failure. Frank
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Old 15-06-2017, 10:25   #3
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Thanks Frank, I appreciate your reply and your pointing out about the too slow rev up of the compressor, the blockage angle (had problem with that before and was hoping it was solved) and the low ambient temperature. My friends fridge worked fine for four months but did the three flashes first time when he loaded the fridge with ice and gro for the race to Habana.
I have also noticed that the hissing at the expansion orfice, which used to start few seconds after the compressor kicked in at first, is now delayed on my unit.
My Frigoboat worked well for 5 years, until the freon leaked out and it sucked in air and moisture due to loose coupler and leaky O-ring. The moisture then froze at the expansion point, the hissing got strangled out, the compressor ran on but drew very little current (which confused me). I evacuated, dried out and refilled the system according to the advice found here on CF as best as I could. The experts did not sound encouraging but all was well for a year. And with few hiccups, all is well now.
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Old 15-06-2017, 10:54   #4
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Excellent timing on your question. I had my freezer stop operating 2 days ago and it exhibited exactly the same problem (Sea Frost with BD50F and 101N0210 module. Bought a new module (new p/n 101N0212 for $199 from go2marine.com) and swapped out yesterday. Bingo, problem solved. Be aware the module plugs in with three horizontal pins on the compressor, not intuitive you need to pull it off sideways, not up. Good luck. Alan
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:19   #5
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Thanks Alan, I'll try that if/when it starts giving me trouble again, may try that on friend's boat first. He's got more money.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:22   #6
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sv.antea View Post
Any Danfoss whisperers out there? I have the same intermittent and persistent problem with my fridge and a fridge I installed on friends boat. Both Frigoboat Capri 35, flat plate evaporators and the Coastal Climate's Guardian digital thermostats, used as fridges only. The wiring is robust and carefully done. The error code LED flashes three times, which means the compressor has stopped or failed to start. Listening to my condensing unit, usually I hear the compressor spool up, run anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes and stop. Three flashes. The cooling fan runs on for a while, then stops, quickly followed by an compressor attempting to restart. Sometimes it does and cools the box down the required two degrees, but often it stops again after a random interval. The little yellow icon on the Guardian, indicating compressor on stays lit. No click from the relay. This may go on for a while (up to an hour), but the fridge eventually recovers, and keeps cool for days. It started to happen when the weather was cool, and haven't changed now that it is hot down here in Florida. Often I notice after such event that the water, milk or juice gets partially frozen, yet the digital display says 40 degrees.

Are you using the controller in the automatic mode ? And do you have the Merlin board installed ?

Regards John.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:27   #7
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sv.antea View Post
Thanks Frank, I appreciate your reply and your pointing out about the too slow rev up of the compressor, the blockage angle (had problem with that before and was hoping it was solved) and the low ambient temperature. My friends fridge worked fine for four months but did the three flashes first time when he loaded the fridge with ice and gro for the race to Habana.
I have also noticed that the hissing at the expansion orfice, which used to start few seconds after the compressor kicked in at first, is now delayed on my unit.
My Frigoboat worked well for 5 years, until the freon leaked out and it sucked in air and moisture due to loose coupler and leaky O-ring. The moisture then froze at the expansion point, the hissing got strangled out, the compressor ran on but drew very little current (which confused me). I evacuated, dried out and refilled the system according to the advice found here on CF as best as I could. The experts did not sound encouraging but all was well for a year. And with few hiccups, all is well now.

O ring failure on systems that use them as a final seal to refrigerant is a common occurrence . . Just seems to happen when you are furthest away from help.

Regards John.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:27   #8
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

3 flashes = compressor non-start. This can happen if you just recharged and there is too much refrigerant in the system. I've had that happen on mine when first recharging the system due to a leak.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:35   #9
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

ColdEhMarine, thanks, no Merlin, problem seems to be independent of compressor speed selected by the Guardian pot.
PCMM, my unit has worked fine for a year since filled last, friends for 4 months since new before the problem started.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:44   #10
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

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Originally Posted by sv.antea View Post
ColdEhMarine, thanks, no Merlin, problem seems to be independent of compressor speed selected by the Guardian pot.
PCMM, my unit has worked fine for a year, friends for 4 months before the problem started.
Check the O-rings in the connectors! I had similar problems with my unit until I figured out that the O-rings in the connectors had crumbled away! Man those little O-rings were expensive too.
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:45   #11
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Before you replace the controller unit , replace the fan . When a fan starts to go bad it can upset the signal processing in the Danfoss control module . It is a cheap and easy fix .

If it does not help you will have a spare fan on board for when you will need it .

Regards John
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Old 15-06-2017, 12:51   #12
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

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Originally Posted by ColdEh Marine View Post
Before you replace the controller unit , replace the fan . When a fan starts to go bad it can upset the signal processing in the Danfoss control module . It is a cheap and easy fix .

If it does not help you will have a spare fan on board for when you will need it .

Regards John

Can't you just remove the fan's connection and see if it works? Does the control module require a load on the fan circuit to run?

Matt
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Old 15-06-2017, 13:39   #13
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Yes you can just disconnect the fan ,

Regards John
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Old 15-06-2017, 14:54   #14
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

It might be worth another run through the electrics looking for a slightly loose connection etc. I had the identical prob and tore out much hair b4 finding the prob. All good now.
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Old 16-06-2017, 04:19   #15
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Re: Frigoboat fridge Danfoss 35 three flashes

Have you tried the Troubleshooting section under Refrigeration at CoastalClimateControl.com? It is explained there about the different solutions for the 3-flash error code. There is also a "Recharge Guidelines" for your Frigoboat system. Best to ensure your system's charge is balanced before continuing with other troubleshooting endeavors
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