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Old 18-11-2006, 07:14   #1
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Mystery Fluid in ice box?

We have an engine driven SeaFrost system that is in fine working order. We don't have the "shoreassist" option so we empty the box completely after each use.

The last time I returned to the boat after a week away, I noticed a bright yellow, odorless liquid in the bottom of the ice box. Only a tablespoon or so that was easily cleaned up with a paper towel. I don't think it was refrigerant/lubricant because it really didn't feel oily at all and the unit continues to work fine.

I'm assuming that it is the coolant liquid that fills the holding plate. Safe assumption? Is it likely a craked plate? Very difficult to diagonse because of lack of access to the back of the plate.

If it is this liquid, what is it and how do we refill? Are leaks common?

Curtis
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Old 18-11-2006, 08:14   #2
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Curtis, this could very well be the solution from the holding plate. If it is, USE EXTREME CAUTION! Many of the solutions are made with propylene glycol, which is deadly, even in the amount you have said you found. Do not store food next to this leaking plate (if it is indeed leaking).

On the other hand, it might be a sauce or some butter. See if it leaks again, but be very careful about not getting any food anywhere near the stuff in case it is propylene glycol solution.

I bought a used system that had a cracked and leaking holding plate. I was able to weld the plate back together and order new solution from the manufacturer. Typically, there is a fill hole on the plate somewhere. Mine had to be drilled out and refit with a new cap since it wasn't designed to be removed.

Often, the plate will corrode (from the inside out), rather than crack. Look for a failure around a weld or seam. This is where mine had failed prior to purchase. I also doubt the liquid was refrigeration lubricant since, as you said it didn't feel oily. Plus... if that much lubricant made it out, you probably wouldn't have a working refrigeration system, since all your refrigerant would have exited the system as well.
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Old 18-11-2006, 12:40   #3
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Sean, Propylene Glycol is non-toxic. It's Ethylene Glycol that is poisonous. I don't know which it will be though.
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Old 18-11-2006, 15:24   #4
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curtis why don'tyou just seafrost @seafrost.com put question to dr. ice or call them direct @800-4357608 or 603-868-5720 very freindly people to deal with they will be able to tell you right off what you are dealing with if it is their stuff good luck mike i also have their sys on our boat
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Old 18-11-2006, 15:34   #5
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D'oh! Sorry! Wheels is right. I meant to say "ethelyne glycol" is used in many refrigeration systems (mine included). That is indeed the highly toxic substance. Propylene glycol is the stuff in the non-toxic antifreeze.
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Old 19-11-2006, 07:32   #6
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Thanks for the guidance/info. I'll drop the friendly folks at SeaFrost a call to see what is what.
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