Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-10-2010, 12:40   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Refrigerator Water Cooled to Fresh Water Tank

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has ever plumbed their water cooled fridge to their water tank">fresh water tank instead of using sea water.

We have been using ours with seawater for the past 3 years as full time live-aboards, but the maintenance and hassle of the pump is almost enough to spend lots of money on a new system (filter needs to be cleaned every week and the pump itself needs to be torn down and cleaned about every other month).

I spoke to a Frigoboat reseller and we are unable to install a keel cooler since the compressor is more than 5ft from where we can put the keel cooler thru-hull (we are on a cat and the compressor is in the bridgedeck, not in a hull).

So, he suggested using our water tank for the cooling, instead of the sea water. We have a 55 gallon aluminum tank (also located in the bridgedeck area, not in a hull), and he said the heat will dissipate rapidly enough to not really effect the water temperature in the tank.

It sounds interesting, but wondering if anyone has actually done it. The closest I found is someone who ran the copper lines into the water tank like a keel cooler, but I did not find any info on people that used a normal water cooled system with their tank.

We drink the tank water so we can't afford the water to be "hot", but its already pretty warm since we are in the Caribbean year round.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Mark
__________________

__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 13:50   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Your Frigoboat reseller may be full of it.
All of the heat from the fridge (+ some) would have to dissipated into your water tank.
The Fridge heat exchanger is almost certainly not designed for potable water.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 14:37   #3
Registered User
 
Steve_C's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Boat: Soon to be a Cat
Posts: 212
I agree that it would have to heat the water, perhaps you could have a separate tank for hot water and plumb it so that you have a free hot water heater!
__________________
_________________
_____________
Steve
Steve_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 14:55   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Yes, the heat would go into the water, thats sort of the idea.

The question is will the heat in a 55 gallon tank of water then dissipate effectively so that the water temp doesn't just continue to rise and rise...

The dealer stated to me he has done this on other boats as well, and it has worked fine. He seems reputable and honest. He is not making any money off me by suggesting this, where if he sold me a new setup or keel cooler, he would.

Conceptually, it all makes sense, its just practically, will the tank be able to absorb the heat from the fridge, and dissipate it at a reasonable rate. I don't think it would make "hot water". I have run the fridge off a 5 gallon plastic jerry can while on the hard. Yes, the water got warm, but far from hot.
__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 14:58   #5
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The Fridge heat exchanger is almost certainly not designed for potable water.
I'm not sure what you mean by this? The heat exchanger is designed to be water cooled, why would it care if its fresh or salt water?

As in, it will contaminate the water? That's not really a big worry to me. The water is traveling through a small tube on the compressor, and we have a very good filter for anything we drink. We fill out tanks with rainwater often so we have to clean the water a bit anyway before drinking it.
__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 15:24   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 124
Go with Technautics

I would not try that with a 55 Gal tank. Drinking that water would not be a good idea.

If you are looking at a new system, look at Technautics.
__________________
wingover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 15:53   #7
Registered User
 
YOGAO's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: St. Augustine, FL - an unwilling C.L.O.D.
Boat: Maine Cat 41
Posts: 519
The immediate reaction I have is how much water is actually in your 55 gallon tank on average?

If you are drinking it, then it is frequently going to be less than 55 gallons, and couldn't it actually go dry?

Fair Winds,
Mike
__________________
YOGAO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:05   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 27
My buddy did it on his boat and he is happy with it. Much better than running salt water through your system and one less hole in the boat. I always thought it was a good idea but I wish I had a nickel for every time I had a good idea that didn't pan out.
Cheers
Larry
__________________
Larry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:14   #9
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by YOGAO View Post
The immediate reaction I have is how much water is actually in your 55 gallon tank on average?

If you are drinking it, then it is frequently going to be less than 55 gallons, and couldn't it actually go dry?

Fair Winds,
Mike
Since we live on the boat, we don't ever run out of water. I figure at the very least we need 5 gallons in the tank, and the fridge will turn off automatically if it overheats because of lack of water (if we really do run out, which in 3 years we never have). So, for this discussion, lets assume there is always enough water in the tank for the pump/fridge to run. But yes, it wont have 55 gallons on average in it, probably more like 25-30 since we fill it, then consume it, then fill it, etc...
__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:16   #10
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingover View Post
I would not try that with a 55 Gal tank. Drinking that water would not be a good idea.
Why would drinking the water be a bad idea? All the water is doing is circulating (through water hoses suitable for drinking).

Am I missing something?
__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:22   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Why would drinking the water be a bad idea? All the water is doing is circulating (through water hoses suitable for drinking).

Am I missing something?
I don't think so, the hoses are drinking water hoses, the pump is just a plastic impeller type, the heat exchanger is copper nikel, none of this is too different from what we run in our houses all the time!!
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:26   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Double wall heat exchangers, usually consisting of a tube within a tube with an air space in between, are used to prevent cross-contamination of potable water by a (possibly) toxic heating substance.
These, or similar strategies, are usually required in plumbing codes.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 16:32   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 27
Might get a coil of soft plumbing copper place it in the bottom of the fresh water tank - presto freshwater heatexchanger with no cross contamination.
Cheers
Larry
__________________
Larry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 17:22   #14
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry View Post
Might get a coil of soft plumbing copper place it in the bottom of the fresh water tank - presto freshwater heatexchanger with no cross contamination.
Cheers
Larry
This is true, but it entails a bunch of other issues, like cutting a hole in the tank, somehow attaching it so it doesnt move around in the tank, length of copper tubing that the refrigerant can move through, etc, etc. There have been other threads and people that have done this as well.

Using the water is easy. Two tee fittings from the already existing hoses.... Thats why I am curious about it. There has been some talk, but no people that have real experience with how it works.
__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2010, 17:25   #15
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the U.S.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 [sold]
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Double wall heat exchangers, usually consisting of a tube within a tube with an air space in between, are used to prevent cross-contamination of potable water by a (possibly) toxic heating substance.
I guess there is a possibility of the refrigerant getting into the water supply, but its a gas and would expect it go out the vent in the water tank, not cause us too much concern. But, again, I am no expert which is why I am asking for opinions.....
__________________

__________________
kiltym is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fresh water tank, refrigerator

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
Fresh Water Tank Cleaning Dougfuller Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 76 23-07-2014 09:00
Fresh water tank treatment irwinsailor Construction, Maintenance & Refit 10 23-03-2011 12:19
Fresh water tank - white crystals Seabound Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 15 05-01-2009 17:02
Fresh or raw water cooled?? Donny_D Engines and Propulsion Systems 17 13-05-2008 07:15
Fresh water tank leak lannen Construction, Maintenance & Refit 4 09-10-2003 18:55



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:34.


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.