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Old 21-08-2016, 13:19   #16
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Originally Posted by Anna Sail View Post
The reason you don't find a dearth of info regarding charge information is that it's a controlled substance. Trained techs have the info, plus the techs who think they're trained, unfortunately, and think they can apply what they've learned about refrigeration expansion valve systems and car air conditioning systems to a 12v capillary tube system. Three very different beasts!.
To Clarify (and this may only hold true for the USA) but R134a is on the shelf for anyone to purchase and use in every auto parts store and in most Home Depots and Walmarts I have been into around the USA.

Being in the industry myself, it is my opinion that the reason companies decline to share detailed troubleshooting and recharge instructions to their clients isn't because of R134a restrictions, but because:
A) They are protecting their dealer network who make a fine living on charging for service calls that if the clients had the proper technical information they could easily do themselves

B) The liability risk in terms of warranty in having someone not trained doing the job incorrectly and thus causing more harm to the system than when they started
and

C) Frankly it takes a LOT of customer service time and manpower to walk clients through troubleshooting and fixing refrigeration problems. I spend hours upon hours of time on the phone and on internet/email walking clients through the step-by-step details of troubleshooting and fixing things. Right now I'm walking a client in Fiji through the process of soldering out his failed compressor and installing a new one. That is taking literally hours of email time and that honestly is something most companies are just not willing to do in this sell it and forget it world.

Marine Refrigeration isn't rocket science and if someone is good at following directions and not going off on their one guesses or what their dock neighbors tell them (which is often times contrary to professional advice from the manufacturer) then I can just about walk a client through fixing anything with their system via skype, sat phone, email, or smoke signals.
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Old 21-08-2016, 14:44   #17
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

If you have access fittings, it is entirely possible to triple purge a system like yours. It is certainly wasteful of refrigerant, and not "green" but is more likely to produce a clean dry system than a poor job of evacuating it. Many of the previous suggestions are scary. Get a book. Don't follow any advice here including mine! But it sounds like it might be over charged. Check the subcooling as the only way to verify the correct charge. If you have a fixed orifice for the metering device, the superheat could be weird if overcharged. If you have a blockage, it must be corrected. A blockage in the liquid line will often make people overcharge a system, as both the low pressure side AND the high pressure side will have low pressure with the correct charge.

In any case, a decent a/c mechanic won't cost nearly as much as a new compressor. Very hard to find. Most are just crooks pretending to have a clue.
Yours is a custom system. There is no standard weight of charge. It must be charged by superheat and subcooling.
Yes, I am in that line.
Find a good tech.
if you Are dong it yourself, buy an electronic thermometer, and a set of gauges.
The simplest set is sufficient.
Did I mention find a good tech?
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Old 21-08-2016, 14:47   #18
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

Umm, is the boat in the water?
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Old 21-08-2016, 15:27   #19
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

Some older Keel cooler Frigoboat units have a design flaw that when the unit gets hot the oil gums up and can cause a blockage in the system. This blockage can result in loss of cooling or too high of pressure on the high side. The fix is to install a larger filter in the system. For this type of thing, I could call in an expert and make sure he has experience with the Frigoboat system so he doesn't "learn and train" on your dime.
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Old 21-08-2016, 16:10   #20
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Umm, is the boat in the water?
Yes, the boat is in the water. You're not supposed to run a keel cooler without it being in water or having a flow of water on it!

I think I'm going to take all the joints apart and replace the o-rings (larger ones) and retest for leaks and see where that takes me.
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Old 21-08-2016, 16:24   #21
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

I had that problem. The compressor is looked by the exterior keel cooler puck. Make sure it is clear of marine growth and not painted.
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:46   #22
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I think I'm going to take all the joints apart and replace the o-rings (larger ones) and retest for leaks and see where that takes me.
That certainly isn't a bad place to start....but if the system had a leak then the compressor would not be running hot since there would be no refrigerant gas for the compressor to "do work with" and get hot. So it will be good to eliminate any leaks at the refrigeration couplings, but unfortunately I don't think that will solve the problem of a suspected blockage or overcharge.
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Old 21-08-2016, 19:42   #23
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Right now I'm walking a client in Fiji through the process of soldering out his failed compressor and installing a new one.
Hey Rich, how about you copy-paste some of that precious information of yours in to here?

Copper pipe connections for fridge / freezer / aircon

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Old 21-08-2016, 20:27   #24
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
Hey Rich, how about you copy-paste some of that precious information of yours in to here?

Copper pipe connections for fridge / freezer / aircon

Well I'm still a self described cruising Bozo...but I went over to that thread and shared a little of the little I know....
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Old 22-08-2016, 10:32   #25
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Originally Posted by charliegrau View Post
I had that problem. The compressor is looked by the exterior keel cooler puck. Make sure it is clear of marine growth and not painted.
Yep its clear of growth. I just launched a week ago and cleaned it to bright bronze before I launched! I'm in Freshwater so growth is minimal in a week. I'm going to finish hooking up my BMS this week so that I can see how many amps its using when its running.
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Old 25-08-2016, 18:51   #26
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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I have that system on my 1985 Cal 33. Based on the age, I am pretty sure the refrigerant is R-12, not R-134a. While R-134a was developed as a replacement for R-12, the oil requirements are very different. A refrigerant retrofit may be possible, it needs to include a change of the old oil to the new one.

I think you are in over your head. Time to get a pro to evacuate the system and charge it properly.

FWIW my system draws about 5 amps when running.
Bigger problem I'm having now that I'm back in Canada is no one sells R134a Apparently R12i is the replacement for R134a everywhere I've tried all I can get is R12 and told it replaces R134a so far I haven't bought a can of R12 because that contradicts what my research online tells me
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Old 26-08-2016, 05:15   #27
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Bigger problem I'm having now that I'm back in Canada is no one sells R134a Apparently R12i is the replacement for R134a everywhere I've tried all I can get is R12 and told it replaces R134a so far I haven't bought a can of R12 because that contradicts what my research online tells me
Interesting as R-134a is sold in every auto parts store here in the US. I suspect what you are seeing is not R-12 but one of the new replacements like Red Tek R12a. These are mixtures of hydocarbons (similar to butane and propane) that have similar characteristics to R-134a and R-12. Since they are mixtures, they must be charged as liquid while R-134a can be charged as either a liquid or vapor. Charging as a liquid in a small system is tricky. Very easy to overcharge.
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Old 30-08-2016, 05:35   #28
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

Update, my O-rings arrived! bloody expensive little things metric o-rings are nearly impossible to find so I ended up buying them from Frigoboat's canada distributer ($6 a piece when you factor in the shipping!!!!)

installed the replacement o-rings on all the connections and the compressor runs a lot cooler now! and the unit isn't loosing refrigerant! I thinks its time now to get it vacuumed and properly refilled instead of my getto works!
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Old 30-08-2016, 07:11   #29
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

Congrats on finding a solution.

As for O-rings in the future, try here:

http://www.applerubber.com/src/pdf/a...ze-o-rings.pdf

or here:

McMaster-Carr
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Old 30-08-2016, 07:15   #30
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Re: Frigoboat keel cooled refer runs hot

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Bigger problem I'm having now that I'm back in Canada is no one sells R134a ...
In Canada, Federal Law (& most Provinces) states you can not sell refrigerant in containers that contain less than 22 pounds (10kg).

If you are purchasing a container that has 6-12 ounces of “refrigerant” in it, this is NOT R134a (refrigerant). What you are buying is a Hydrocarbon, generally a propane and butane mixture.
The way you can tell is to look at the labeling on the container, it will show the explosive and flammable symbol.

R134a will ONLY show the compressed gas symbol on the label. R134a is not flammable or explosive.

R134a (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane) and all proper refrigerants require technicians to be Federally and Provincially certified to handle them. They are not available to be purchased without the proper certification.
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