Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2008, 12:18   #16
Senior Cruiser
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Hi Scott, the compressor should be OK to use with the new R134a. It is the oil that is the important part. The oil is different to the oil used with R12.
The fault in the system could be one of several things. If the compressor is sealed (totaly electric) then it will be a gas loss due to possibly a leak in a copper tube or plate. If it is engine driven, it could be the same, but with the added possible of a seal failure around the compressor drive shaft. It doesn't have to be bad enough to see oil leaking, the gas can still escape. This is most common in situations where the unit does not get used regularly.
Another possible is the Drier. Once again due to the shaft seal, moisture can also get in. It only takes a little over time and enough eventually builds up to overcome the drier and then the Ice will block the system up.
Trying to find a leak is difficult. The first thing someone needs to find out is, does the system have gas. If it doesn't, then the second step is to introduce gas with a special dye. This is because finding a leak is not always simple and a refrigerant gas detector sometimes will not detect the tiny amount leaking. The dye leaves a mark at the leak that is seen with a UV light.
If a major overhaul is required, then you have to have a new drier installed, new gas, new oil and so on.
It is good to get to learn this stuff. It is probably the most common of breakdowns among a sailign community and the one leaset likely to find a knowledgable person on. Have that knowledge can help with making many friends. And maybe even a replenishment of the cruising kitty. I am still learning, but have gained a lot of knowledge from just a short time ago when I asked could I put LPG into my AC unit :-0
Thanks, Alan. This is very informative. It's electric only, so most probably a leak. Thanks to plais, too. I have been wondering about a full replacement, but don't really want to drop $1k or more right now. I have a dorm-sized refrigerator that I've been using, but wanted to get rid of it for space reasons. Maybe I'll use the cold plate box as an ice chest until I can figure out whether I should fix or replace.

Voyage of Symbiosis:
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2008, 12:44   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
have been wondering about a full replacement, but don't really want to drop $1k or more right now. I
I can understand that. I did it 2 years ago, but sold the boat, now I'm looking at it again. Boy I hate seeing the same movie twice. At least this boat has a drain for the ice until I can get to it. If it is a basic cold machine the new ones are easier to install. if you want I would go see Richard Kollerman's site. He shows up around here once in a while too. Richard is pretty much it when it comes to 12 volt fridges.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2008, 13:03   #18
Registered User
ozskip's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: gippsland/australia
Posts: 133
Images: 4
90% of leaks are at the tx valve if the system has one,caused by the cooling and cooling and heating of the pipe connections (expand and contract).The main differance with with compressors is r12 has mineral oil and r134a has sinthetic oil,tx valves are all so different as r134a reaches freezing at a lower back pressure and has a differant temp/pressure curve,controling the flow of refrigerant thus cooling and temps.If you use r134a in the r12 compressor all that will happen will it will adventurely fail one day and you will need to replace it .Greg
ozskip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2008, 15:19   #19
Senior Cruiser
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 6,104
If you have lost the refrigerant charge and it's a water cooled condenser, make sure it isn't the culprit. That happened to our system. All the refrigerant went out with the cooling water. The leak detector went nuts at the thruhull.

Steve B.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2008, 23:06   #20
Senior Cruiser
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
Boy I hate seeing the same movie twice.
Especially when the tickets cost 1K or more.


For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote

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
Member Map is Kaput! RaptorDance Forum Tech Support & Site Help 6 25-01-2008 09:55
Cold plate trouble shooting? Janny Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 10 26-12-2007 21:22
My engine is kaput... Boracay Engines and Propulsion Systems 53 03-10-2007 11:36
cold plate systems Greg B Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 04-01-2005 04:49
It could be cold tonight, but we are going to do it! irwinsailor Great Lakes 8 06-04-2003 05:48

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:31.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.