Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-10-2015, 18:22   #1
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Water in Bottom of Fridge

Hi all,
Seems I need to learn about refrigeration now, the list never ends.

We have a chest type fridge aboard and always seem to have water gathering in the bottom. Ice seems to build up around the bottom of the white control unit thingy (technical term) inside the fridge. This melts and collects on the bottom. If we don't keep on top of removing this water it gets a little like a primordial soup after a while.

So firstly, is this normal or is there an actual refrigeration problem at the root of the problem? We have no real issue with the cooling performance of the fridge, it seems to do the job fine. In more southern climes it actually used to get too cold and freeze up lower storage areas. So far it seems to be handling the tropics satisfactorily.

If this is not a refrigeration issue and just happens, what do others do to deal with this water? I thought about adding a drain of some kind at the bottom or even building up the bottom and creating a sump but figured I'm probably not the first to have this issue.

Any assistance appreciated.

Winf
__________________

__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 18:33   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

I expect this thread to go to several pages in a short time.

You will get lots of help !
__________________

__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 18:49   #3
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

I have a small hand pump that allows me to pump out the very bottom melt water. Try adding some type of false bottom to keep your food from getting wet, and pump it out periodically.
__________________
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 19:08   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

I'd assume it's defrost water? Was this a converted icebox? If so, it should have a drain (often to the bilge). If it does, it's plugged. Unplug it and run the line as a P trap (to avoid cooling losses)
__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 19:12   #5
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I'd assume it's defrost water? Was this a converted icebox? If so, it should have a drain (often to the bilge). If it does, it's plugged. Unplug it and run the line as a P trap (to avoid cooling losses)
No existing drain that I can see. What's a P trap?

Winf
__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 19:15   #6
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by pesarsten View Post
I have a small hand pump that allows me to pump out the very bottom melt water. Try adding some type of false bottom to keep your food from getting wet, and pump it out periodically.
That's sort of what we are doing but unless we get in there to get it completely dry it gets slimy and manky over time. False bottom a good tip though. May do for a work around for a while.

Winf
__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2015, 22:13   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winf View Post
No existing drain that I can see. What's a P trap?

Winf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trap_%28plumbing%29

Just a down/up loop in the drain line to hold a bit of water in it to prevent cold air to drain to the bilge.

It's a moot point if you don't have a drain. I'd think a little bit about putting a drain in. That all depends on the layout of your fridge. Otherwise you're gonna have to pump it out often.
__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 03:50   #8
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,947
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

There was a drain in mine as built... long since sealed off.

I keep all my stuff in three squarish plastic bucket thingos that fit nicely in the fridge, meat in one, milk sort of stuff in the other, any opened stuff is kept in those little clear plastic containers. Saves any defrosted blood , spilt milk, etc from getting to the bottom.

I get a small amount of 'meltwater' in the bottom... I sponge it out i every few weeks.

Sounds like you are in a humid climate , opening often, and letting 'wet' air in.

Mine is a poorly insulated top loader ( designed to keep pommy beer warm in winter ) with a plate ( fabricated and fitted in Ushuaia some years ago... who would have thunk you could make a living as a fridge engineer in Ushuaia) against the 'back wall'.

Standard issue Danfoss compressor.

Hope this helps.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0002_2.jpg
Views:	89
Size:	157.8 KB
ID:	111503  
El Pinguino is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 09:14   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
seasick's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bend, OR
Boat: Brewer designed Pacific 43 in fiberglass. Center cockpit set up for long-distance single handing.
Posts: 428
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

I too have a drain fitted that plugged up so often with the primordial soup that we leave it plugged and sponge the goop up weekly. In the freezer side of our top loaders we lightly grease the bottom so the frozen melt water lifts out as a whole... Mostly.

We are so stoked at having refrigeration after so many decades of dealing with ice melt, that the little water we get seems a minor annoyance. Big bailer sponges work well followed by a spray of chlorine.
__________________
seasick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 09:52   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lake Ontario
Boat: Douglas 32 Mk II
Posts: 1,921
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winf View Post
Hi all,
Seems I need to learn about refrigeration now, the list never ends.

We have a chest type fridge aboard and always seem to have water gathering in the bottom. Ice seems to build up around the bottom of the white control unit thingy (technical term) inside the fridge. This melts and collects on the bottom. If we don't keep on top of removing this water it gets a little like a primordial soup after a while.

So firstly, is this normal or is there an actual refrigeration problem at the root of the problem? We have no real issue with the cooling performance of the fridge, it seems to do the job fine. In more southern climes it actually used to get too cold and freeze up lower storage areas. So far it seems to be handling the tropics satisfactorily.

If this is not a refrigeration issue and just happens, what do others do to deal with this water? I thought about adding a drain of some kind at the bottom or even building up the bottom and creating a sump but figured I'm probably not the first to have this issue.

Any assistance appreciated.

Winf
For a standard ice box conversion, I prefer the following.

1. Drain in lowest point of ice box.

2. Insulated tubing to (and beyond) a drain shut-off valve (as near the icebox as practical).

3. Manual foot pump to dishwasher drain connection into galley sink drain.

4. Daily open valve, pump water out, close valve.

As you know if you leave water in, it will get soupy and smelly. If you drain or pump it into the bilge, the boat will get soupy and smelly.

If you do not insulate the drain pipe and valve, a lot of "cold" (actually absence of heat) will be lost, and you will consume more energy to maintain a given temp.

RE: Freezing stuff you don't want frozen.

Slide a vertical partition between the evapourator box and rest of the compartment. Leave a bout a 1" gap between the top of the partition and ice box lid. This is referred to as a "spillover plate"

This will make the entire area on the evapourator box side a freezer, and the other side a fridge.

For the partition, you can use almost anything. A white Formica sandwich, is a great solution. Starboard, or even corrugated plastic will work.

To improve temperature stability, one can install a low power circ fan in the spillover plate (rather than the gap) with a thermostat in the fridge side, such that when the temp goes below setpoint, some more cold is moved in from the freezer side. (This may be a little overkill for some.)

Unlike your home fridge, most marine refrigeration systems are not "Frost Free". This function takes up real estate and electrical power.

Instead, when you reprovision, choose pre-frozen when possible (except for those delicacies that must be eaten fresh).

Fill your large collapsible cooly bags (that you bring your provisions to boat with) half full of colds stuff. Place the not so cold perishables on top. Seal them up and throw some blankets or clothes under and over them. If you have an insulated cooler, with drain (which doubles as a great washing machine on deck, use it.)

Shut-off the fridge, open it up, open the drain valves and let the fridge defrost. Pump out the water when complete, close the valve, and turn the unit on. When it has cooled down again, transfer the stuff from the cooly bags to the fridge.

It is best to do all this on a marina day when you are connected to shore power, so you don't deplete batteries cooling the fridge (and contents) back down.

Note that in any case, the space under the evapourator box will most likely freeze things. The further the lateral distance from the box, and the higher in the fridge, the warmer the area (without circulation). Place contents in the fridge accordingly, frozen items in and under the box, delicate items (like lettuce), furthest away and highest.

We too use plastic bins inside the fridge, dedicated to certain foods. This keeps everything organized, so it is easier to find, and avoids everything falling in, when one is trying to get to something at the bottom. Just lift out the bin (and all its contents) to get the stuff underneath. This also helps to reduce "open" time and energy consumption.

Ramblin Rod
www.sheenmarine.com
__________________
ramblinrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 11:08   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

You might want to check to see if you are getting melt from the condenser feed line to the reefer. If it frosts over when it is running it may be melting on the outside of the reefer and then running in to it as it melts. That would mean you have a very bad seal and you would want to fix that anyway. Like someone else said above, you want to insulate the feed lines from the condenser to the reefer and that will help too as well as making it more efficient (some).

Drains are a plus/minus thing. They plug up easily with the primordial soup that you get and cold air will drain out of the reefer if they are open. A P trap will help with the loss of cold air but make it much easier to plug. I would seal it off and put some spacers on the bottom to keep your stuff out of the soup if you can't get rid of it.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 11:09   #12
Registered User
 
Terra Nova's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Marina del Rey, California
Boat: Freya 39 cutter- Terra Nova
Posts: 3,645
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

OP--your door gaskets are likely letting in moist air.
__________________
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
"whatever spare parts you bring, you'll never need"--goboatingnow
"Id rather drown than have computers take over my life."--d design
Terra Nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 13:10   #13
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I'd assume it's defrost water? Was this a converted icebox? If so, it should have a drain (often to the bilge). If it does, it's plugged. Unplug it and run the line as a P trap (to avoid cooling losses)
Spot ON. Ours drains to the shower sump. No P trap but the hose has a rise to make sure there is always a slug of water to prevent air flow.

If you have no drain - put one in.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 13:11   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area (Boat in La Paz)
Boat: Valiant V40
Posts: 432
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
OP--your door gaskets are likely letting in moist air.
If so, try putting a yoga mat on top of the refer. Cuts down on air infiltration, adds a bit of insulation and makes the counter non-skid. Easy to fold/roll out of the way to open refer.
__________________
jamhass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2015, 13:11   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
Boat: Alberg 35 Yawl eventide
Posts: 24
Re: Water in Bottom of Fridge

Get a turkey baster. Removes water in a flash
__________________

__________________
blakeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water

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
To Bottom Paint, or Not to Bottom Paint (or Just a Touch-Up) OrangeCrush Monohull Sailboats 40 28-03-2016 05:56
Re: Bottom Blasting and Bottom Painting, New Jersey, NY, CT, PA, DE and MD. AtlanticGreenPro Vendor Spotlight - Great Deals for CF Members! 3 28-12-2013 08:13
Bottom Blasting and Bottom Painting, New Jersey, PA, DE and MD. AtlanticGreenPro Vendor Spotlight - Great Deals for CF Members! 22 27-08-2013 15:13
Bottom Paint For Textured Bottom chas5131 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 29-08-2012 01:07



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:48.


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.