Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-07-2015, 09:40   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Hello,
My freezer in my '06 Lagoon 410S2 has lost performance over the past year until now it takes > 2hrs to freeze the freezer plate and the compressor is getting extremely hot. Last Sept when first moving onto the boat the compressor would quickly create a lot of condensation and the plate would freeze white in < 1hr.
So after many Google searches I believe I just need a recharge. I've looked at the sighting window and do not see any conclusive evidence of anything. I do not see bubbles or streaks but do seem to see a clear liquid flowing in there.
The compressor is a danfoss and appears to be the type used in land refrigeration units as it is labeled R403 refrigerant. I have yet to find a marine or even hardware store that sells this, always only 103.
I am a part of a group of 6 "Kid Boats" who have travelled down from St. Martin to now Carriacou (destined for Grenada FWIW). Being finally near Grenada I thought I'd reach out here in hopes of finding someone, somewhere, here or Greneda who can recharge my system with R403 or put in a substitute refrigerant and get me going again. It would be really nice to stop relying on bags of ice to keep things cool as all indications are I just need a recharge.
Anyone in Grenada or recently here have any contacts?
Much appreciated
__________________

__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 10:48   #2
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,042
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

onefast-
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but...


When a pressurized refrigerant system has a leak in it, as the gas expands and then contracts when it is cooling (i.e. turned off) it will pull moist outside air into the system. That can quickly combine with some refrigerant types to form acid, which can eat the system up from the inside out. Even if it just creates moisture in the system, that can eat things up.

R403 is also "azeotropic", meaning it is actually a mixture of at least two gasses. When an azeotropic refrigerant leaks, the components often leak at different rates, altering the ratio of what is left behind, and making it impossible to "top up" unless you completely empty and refill the system with a proper new mix. Which means a hard vacuum and all the rest.


So really? The best thing is to try finding a competent repairman, who will also find the leak, seal it, put a hard vacuum on the system to test it, and flush it or any contaminants. Sadly not cheap--but just topping off these systems is just a kludge to get you home. In the long term, you will still need the repair, or annual refills, and ignoring all the other issues, the leak still needs to be fixed. Unless you plan to just get it home and then replace the entire system.


Perhaps one of the yacht clubs there can recommend someone.
__________________

__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 10:49   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 225
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Palm Tree Marine down at Le Phare Bleu Marina had a really good refrigeration tech (Stuart) last year when we were there. He lives on his boat near Hogg Island.

Give Arlene a call at 473-443-7256 and she can book him for you. Alternatively, her email is arlene@palmtreemarine.com or the website may have additional contact info (Palmtree Marine | Grenada | Palmtree Marine)

Regards,
Mark
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 10:56   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Palm Tree Marine down at Le Phare Bleu Marina had a really good refrigeration tech (Stuart) last year when we were there. He lives on his boat near Hogg Island.

Give Arlene a call at 473-443-7256 and she can book him for you. Alternatively, her email is arlene@palmtreemarine.com or the website may have additional contact info (Palmtree Marine | Grenada | Palmtree Marine)

Regards,
Mark
Hello,
Thank you, this is just what I was hoping for.
I'll lookup Stuart when we get down there next week.
Sincerly,
David
__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 11:02   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
onefast-
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but...


<snip>.
No apologies needed. I'm scratching my head that what I posted could yield such a detailed diagnosis and corrective action with so little details given but I imagine you're an HVAC professional and just know that if a danfoss using R403 stops making cold that's got to be the cause. GTK. Thank you.
__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 11:55   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 225
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Sorry, reread your post so edited this........based in the work he did for myself and some friends I think you'll find he'll be able to diagnose it for you.

It will be interesting to hear where all the kid boats end up this year. Last year a lot ended up in Prickly Bay, but a few were at Hogg and St George's. Depending on age, a lot of the teenagers liked Hogg Island and volleyball at Secret Harbour. Prickly Bay was just finishing their volleyball court though so that's another option.

Good luck,
Mark
Amel Super Maramu
Currently cruising: South Pacific with our 15 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 12:07   #7
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Yesterday I noticed in the hardware store next to the tunnel at st George's on the care age side, canisters of refrigerant gas (about 10lb bottles) not sure what variety they were.
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2015, 17:20   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 36
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

just out of curiosity, what model compressor are you running ?
__________________
sfnz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2015, 10:49   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: SW Florida
Boat: Hunter 30
Posts: 83
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

FWIW Sunsail and Mooring have a base you might call and see who they recommend or who does their work.
__________________
sailm8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-07-2015, 15:42   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sydney
Boat: Farr 1020
Posts: 223
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

As an HVAC professional.... (designer, not installer, so no axe to grind)
Most refrigerant work needs an EPA license nowadays, for ozone layer and global warming protection as much as anything else.
First up - if it has leaked, any top-up is only a temporary thing, the leak will still happen. If you are after a fix, then find the leak first. It could be a leak in (on the low pressure side) or a leak out (high pressure side), but either could be a joint, a hose, or a seal - all being just as likely as a fractured pipe due to continued flexion with vibration or similar.
Yes the Techie will reclaim the refrigerant then pressure test with dry nitrogen. Find and fix the leak, draw a vacuum, break it with dry nitrogen, draw another vacuum and then insert the correct amount of gas.
Most refrigerants ARE NOT interchangeable. Some use different oils, all operate at different pressures and thus temperatures. The refrigerant you have is based on the performance needed, so they can not be simply mixed.

Many of the modern refrigerants are indeed blends and yes, they evaporate at differing rates, but we have tested some common ones where we drop the pressure, then top-up, drop the pressure, top-up etc etc many times - net result was only a couple of percent change in performance. Since you are not worried about meeting maximum specs on performance (presumably) then you can re-use and top-up an existing refrigerant that has lost some charge.
Moisture is the biggest killer of the systems and we fit filter/drier units in line to handle most issues. Systems that are opened-up in the tropics on a humid day almost certainly need to be evacuated and dried (say 2 days at the extreme vacuum) if you want years of trouble free life.

So forget the hardware store top-up and see the man with the gear to do it properly and fix the issue.
Roger
__________________
Djarraluda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2015, 08:04   #11
Registered User
 
jheldatksuedu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: On my boat, Manhattan, Kansas or LaBelle, Florida
Boat: 45 custom steel ketch-Steelin Time
Posts: 396
Images: 6
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

You might try straight propane, R290, 403 has propane in it. Refineries typically use propane for their refrigeration and AC needs. It is a great refrigerant, but refrigerant companies have lobbied to make it illegal in automotive applications, citing the dangerousness due to flammability and the fact it is in the interior of a vehicle, there is one pound of refrigerant in a typical auto system and many refrigerants are flammable, they don't bother to mention that. I have used propane in my cars for years, not legal, but more legal if I label it R290. In a car designed for r12 it is too cold, it freezes the coils, you turn off the system leave the fan blowing and it still blows cold till it De-ices the coils, then you turn the system back on and repeat. I suspect it will get you going again since 403 is part propane.

The lawyers who worry about the flammability obvious never have tried to light a propane torch, vs a puddle of gasoline, and cars have 200 lbs of gas in a very thin steel tank. It's our legal system at its best.....




A blend of R-22 and R-218 with hydrocarbon R-290 (propane) added to improve oil return. Though this product was originally developed as a replacement for R-502, it can only be used as an alternative for R-13B1 in single-stage, low-temperature systems.
__________________
A bad day sailing is 100 times better than a good day at work. www.jheld.mysite.com
jheldatksuedu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2015, 10:13   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Sorry, reread your post so edited this........based in the work he did for myself and some friends I think you'll find he'll be able to diagnose it for you.

It will be interesting to hear where all the kid boats end up this year. Last year a lot ended up in Prickly Bay, but a few were at Hogg and St George's. Depending on age, a lot of the teenagers liked Hogg Island and volleyball at Secret Harbour. Prickly Bay was just finishing their volleyball court though so that's another option.

Good luck,
Mark
Amel Super Maramu
Currently cruising: South Pacific with our 15 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter

Hello,
We are at anchor in Hartman ATM (Secret Harbor). Just got a working SIM so I can give Stuart a call.
Funny how people who post here think we have infinite funds and resources when a quick fix maybe all you need to get by until returning to civilization.
I need to make cold ASAP if it lasts another 6mo I'm good with that. I will be in US waters by then.
Yes, lots of kids ashore last night at the marina area. Good turnout this year.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2015, 12:43   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

Hello everyone,
Thank you for the replies, all very helpful and full of good information. I appreciate all of them.
My situation requires I just get this thing making cold at the lowest cost for now. Buying bags of ice is not possible in some places and finding a competent professional to do a full gamut inspection and repair is just not feasible where I am right now. I am in Grenada for the first time on a boat, with a family, that needs it to work ASAP. I just do not have the time or resources (my car is a dinghy, my boat is at anchor) to search the island. The referral for a specific person nearby was perfect for my immediate needs.
I understand this whole thing could require a complete re-engineering etc in the future which I'm ok with in the future back in the states or somewhere that has competent professionals with references of past good performance on similar issues. There maybe one on a boat in this harbor but I do not know that yet. ;] so Stuart it is for now.
Now it would be nice to hear from others who have used Stuart as it would be nice to get some local knowledge on the person who will be working on my boat.
There is a Moorings base here, I would be interested to hear their recommendation. In Tortola they were unable to get the fridge to work with their professional. They could get the freezer to freeze however which is how we left it.
I read there's some experts on this thread. Excellent, thank you for your inputs. Can I try and map out what's installed for some learning? It is quite a mix.
The batteries power 12v to a 230v inverter which then outputs to a 230v to 24v transformer that powers the water pump to the heat exchanger on the compressor (or next to it). The compressor is a Danfoss 230v and has lots of numbers. I'll just list what I see:
FR8,5CL
220-240
50hz
Danfoss 103u
2890
R404A, R507

Off the compressor one of the small tubes has a Y on it that then branches to the fridge and freezer plates. A return seems to coil around next to the raw water to heat exchange. There's two dials up on the counter that are to control the fridge and freezer but the dials are missing so I have to use needle nose pliers to turn them. If you go all the way anti-clockwise it will click as if that's "off" and then click "on" and turn to the right to vary the cold I assume but there are no numbers on it. I assume all the way right is full cold. However this unit blows my breakers as well if they are not in the right positions. Currently the right one is "off" and the left one is on about 1/2 way. I have played with different settings and got the fridge to get cold and the freezer to not get cold. meaning in the current setup it's either or it seems.
Here's a photo taken just now.
__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2015, 16:20   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 410 S2 2006
Posts: 185
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

For the experts, a photo of the compressor end.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1437517218.316532.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	101.8 KB
ID:	105787


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
onefastdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2015, 22:27   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 225
Re: Need a recharge in Grenada - R403 refrigerant

He replaced the evaporator in my fridge/freezer, including vacuuming the system and recharging. He also got one of my AC units that hadn't been operational in years working.

When I was hauled, I also had him go through my grounding system as it had been modified and I wanted a couple things checked and confirmed OK as his Jeanneau had some of the same mods.

He also did some work for a few friends on their refrig systems. When I checked around last summer there was only one other guy working on boat systems, but wasn't as well recommended and I don't have any contact details. If you call a boat called 'Silver Heels III' on CH 66 (I think that's the island wide repeater station?), if they're around he'll probably have his contact details,

Regards,
Mark
__________________

__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Grenada

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Refrigerant Problems for Boaters Richard Kollmann Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 15 03-03-2017 10:17
For Sale: R-12 Freon / Refrigerant, 30-lb Jug MermaidLil Classifieds Archive 0 14-12-2009 13:28
Water in refrigerant line phorvati Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 14 07-06-2007 14:36
Refrigerant Alan Wheeler Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 25 23-11-2006 17:27



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:45.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.