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Old 19-06-2017, 02:00   #1
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Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

One of my Norcold firdges is dead. Means- compressor working,but couldn't pump through the frion. Frion was recharge to a proper pressure. Got advise to change the compressor. But, seems like almost no one at the market. The model is Sawafuji SK 511N...Seen one ad - in Italy -asking about 400 euro for the used one! Is it time to look for a new fridge ? Or, could find/replace the compressor ?
Thanks for advise
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Old 19-06-2017, 09:45   #2
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Is compressor connected to AC and DC? Does it pump on either AC or DC?

This Compressor runs on 22 or 26 volts AC. But when on DC power compressor runs on 22 or 26 pulsating to create a sign wave of 50 or 60 cycles.

A technician will test compressor by powering it from a transformer that produces a secondary current of 22 volts AC.

Reservice to proper pressure what does that mean? If compressor is not running the correct pressure cannot be determined.

Does compressor vibrate? or just hum? Does it get warm?

If this is an electrical problem that in most cases it is a new compressor will not fix it. I would first want to disconnect both wires from compressor and find a test transformer that voltage matches available AC power and a low voltage output of 22 to 26 volts.
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Old 19-06-2017, 10:52   #3
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
Is compressor connected to AC and DC? Does it pump on either AC or DC?

This Compressor runs on 22 or 26 volts AC. But when on DC power compressor runs on 22 or 26 pulsating to create a sign wave of 50 or 60 cycles.

A technician will test compressor by powering it from a transformer that produces a secondary current of 22 volts AC.

Reservice to proper pressure what does that mean? If compressor is not running the correct pressure cannot be determined.

Does compressor vibrate? or just hum? Does it get warm?

If this is an electrical problem that in most cases it is a new compressor will not fix it. I would first want to disconnect both wires from compressor and find a test transformer that voltage matches available AC power and a low voltage output of 22 to 26 volts.
Richard,

This compressor runs on 12V DC. It could be switched to AC (not sure if it's 110V,or 22-26V , as you've mentioned. Compressor makes a lot of noise-vibrates itself and the boat. Much stronger,than his cousin (I have anothe Norcold fridge+freezer which works well,hopefully,and,much quiter). When we've noticed,that it not cooling,I stopped it and,arrived to home port disassembled from the cabinet. Local electrician,serving as a Figaro as plumber,aircon and fridge repair,came with his bomb,loaded with frion and a pressure gauge. There was no frion,almost. He pumped it in,to nominal level and,I started the fridge. After a dozen minutes,as he explained,the pressure inside the compressor should lower (if frion will flow to the grid) and,it will become hot. In my case: vibrates and make noise,keep the same pressure,warms a bit,but not hot. That's why the advise was:"look for replacement. He can't pump it through". I did. But no luck - almost nothing,at the market - just found a used one in Italy for over 400 euros. Factory not answering either. Should I try to reanimate my compressor .
Or.lookf for a replacment fridge ?
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Old 19-06-2017, 11:47   #4
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

A replacement compressor (not the same brand/type) should be fairly easy to source. It needs to be selected to match the supply voltage (12 VDC), refrigerant type (134a), and capacity. However, the most important item to source is a refrigeration expert (not the person you have used so far). You need to determine whether or not something is wrong with the rest of the system.

A small, brand new AC compressor, combined with a pure sine wave inverter, sized to fit the power draw of the compressor, could be had for less than 200 Euro. For a bit more, you could have a nice Danfoss DC unit, such as the BD35F. Both would require a knowledgeable refrigeration person to properly drain the current system, make the new connections, re-charge, and test.

If you purchase a brand new, modular, system, they are configured so that a normally handy person can self-install. More money, but you have a brand new system that should work well for the next decade.
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Old 25-06-2017, 15:33   #5
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

All these compressors have two situations that cause them to get abnormally hot quickly: One is if has a lot of air in the system or two there is a broken discharge pipe or discharge chamber gasket leaking internally.
Air in the system causes overheating and very high power consumption rate whereas a broken discharge causes overheating but no increase of consumption rate.
You most likely have a broken discharge pipe inside the compressor case so change the compressor, or the condensing unit to one with a proper recipricating compressor like the Secop.
Cheers, OzePete Ozefridge
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Old 26-06-2017, 04:23   #6
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Thanks. This Danfoss BD35F 101Z0200 R134A Secop refrigeration 12/24V DC
Is easy to chase and, think will be possible to locate in my fridge.
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Old 26-06-2017, 06:38   #7
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

I would strongly suggest you not try to change a Swing compressor system over to a Danfoss BD35 compressor as the remaining system components and even the oils are not compatible.
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Old 26-06-2017, 08:08   #8
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

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I would strongly suggest you not try to change a Swing compressor system over to a Danfoss BD35 compressor as the remaining system components and even the oils are not compatible.
Richard, I'm sure you've covered lots of questions like these before, but it would be really helpful if you listed the incompatibilities, and then how to get around them. I realize the OP has been informed that it's necessary to get someone highly knowledgeable, like you, to assist locally, but for people like me it would be great to learn more about the issues of replacing just one component of an existing system.
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Old 26-06-2017, 10:53   #9
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

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Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I would strongly suggest you not try to change a Swing compressor system over to a Danfoss BD35 compressor as the remaining system components and even the oils are not compatible.
Richard,thanks,understood,that swing compressor isn't compatible with rotary. But,where all those high-end Sawafuji compressors gone? Web search leads only to drawings and engel website,but no replacement. Ebay.it - one "undamaged,but not tested" for $450!! Is it
Seems like the only alternative is a fridge replacement ?
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Old 28-06-2017, 15:07   #10
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

For refrigeration system to perform well over time it must meet basic design perimeters. Each component in a system must react correctly to balance refrigerant flow. Compressor size will be determined by size of area to be cooled and desired evaporator operating temperature. Compressor manufactures make the task of selecting the right compressor easy by producing a application engineering specification form for each refrigerant compressor they sell. The typical question asked is can a 12/24 volt Danfoss variable speed BD 35 compressor be a replacement for a failed Norcold Swing refrigerant compressor? Visually the BD35 is much larger than the Swing so it needs to be located remote from Norcold condensing unit. A visual look at the refrigerant line connections on a compressor will identify its normal design refrigerant flow capacity. The refrigerant lines on Norcold condensing unit are much smaller this will alter refrigerant flow throughout this system. Even at minimum BD35 compressor speed it would overpower the Norcold condensing unit and change the differential pressure across capillary tube refrigerant expansion device. Another problem is the BD compressor’s increased volume of oil released into a very small condenser high pressure line. Another very important factor is possible lack of liquid refrigerant and oil accumulator traps as liquid leaves evaporator. Hermetically sealed compressor like the BD35 receive 80 to 90% of their cooling from cool refrigerant vapor flow leaving evaporator, reduced refrigerant flow can cause excessive compressor heat?

One thing I have learned about mobile refrigeration is those who experiment with unproven practices and designs generally end up with disappointing results. Over the last thirty years we have seen many so call innovative refrigeration ideas fail. Hear are just a few examples of boat refrigeration units that failed to meet their boat show creative promises:
• Brush type compressor’s service life were in some cases limited to less than 5 years in warm climates.
Diaphragm oil less compressor companies now out of business.
• Company built a good system but had repeated seawater condenser failures do to electrolyses hole in copra-nickel tube permitting seawater to enter refrigerant. Company out of business.
• Compressor shaft driven by large 12 volt motor lacked popularity do to weight, noise and vibration. Company out of business.
• Manufacturer designed and sold pleasure boat refrigeration with holding plates made from fiberglass. Company out of business.
Award winning new design creation designed to meet the slightly larger pleasure boat ice box conversion refrigeration needs. This large company changed engineering staff and dropped this product line.
• In the late 1980s a new compressor was on display at Annapolis Sail boat show claming to be Designed by an aviation engineer. The only other time I saw these compressor’s was in the scrap pile of a refrigeration mechanic in the Florida Keyes.

Water cooled 12/24 volt systems that use Danfoss compressors although are in most cases repairable are far less reliable than air cooled systems. The selling gimmick is seawater is more efficient in removing heat than air. What is missing in this statement is system performance depends on controlling condenser cooling mediums temperature to produce the most efficient high pressure liquid to refrigerant expansion device.

Boat shows give the buyer a chance to see the refrigeration options available. Boating flea markers let you see what happens with systems that did satisfy the previous owner.

When buying refrigeration system or cabinet refrigerator for your boat consider its reliability and after market support from the company you bought it from. My rule for evaluating reliability is simple, don’t buy it if the aggregate total hours in service have not exceed 80,000 hours, or ten systems exactly the same operating in live aboard boats for more than two years. Basic systems without all the gingerbread add of electronics are recommended for blue water boats. Basic standard refrigeration designs cost less and can always be repaired without support from the manufacturer.

The reason replacement Swing compressors are not available for sale is after 30 years they just do not fail.
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Old 28-06-2017, 20:16   #11
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Richard, all we could get is to learn...hopefully,not on own mistakes. I do not hurry to by a replacement. Mayby,it could be repaired,? Once again: it starts and,vibrates like a locomotive. Just don t cool the fridge and donot heat well itself... Once on the boat,I shall check frion pressure once again. If it not leaking,mayby an air blocks the pipe? So,vacuming may help?
Thanks for exelent article. Should my boat still stood at Ft.Lauderdale,I would called you for help. But,we left 2 years ago(than both fridges performed well) and,now based in Spain.
Vladimir
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Old 28-06-2017, 21:14   #12
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Hi Yargesol, let me give you a short version! That 'swing' compressor does have failures. (Yours is typical) It's function internally is like a solenoid with rotor (piston) jumpin up and down driven by an electro-magnetic coil. It is a rough pumping action so internally top and bottom there are springs that dampen this movement and those springs can break. Another issue with them is breaking the internal discharge tube. Often these two faults are contingent, spring fails and contributes to discharge pipe breaking. Your symptoms indicate this.
Here in Oz they only like to sell complete systems so many failed compressors get cut open and repaired. This may be an option for you.
Cheers.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:25   #13
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OzePete View Post
Hi Yargesol, let me give you a short version! That 'swing' compressor does have failures. (Yours is typical) It's function internally is like a solenoid with rotor (piston) jumpin up and down driven by an electro-magnetic coil. It is a rough pumping action so internally top and bottom there are springs that dampen this movement and those springs can break. Another issue with them is breaking the internal discharge tube. Often these two faults are contingent, spring fails and contributes to discharge pipe breaking. Your symptoms indicate this.
Here in Oz they only like to sell complete systems so many failed compressors get cut open and repaired. This may be an option for you.
Cheers.
Thank you. I shall start with vacuming the system and recharge. If this won't help,will go inside the compressor to check the springs and discharge pipe.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:04   #14
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I would strongly suggest you not try to change a Swing compressor system over to a Danfoss BD35 compressor as the remaining system components and even the oils are not compatible
Richard, I have a question:
- when we (me and technician) shall vacuume the system,than,we should fill it with R134 refrigirant. What about the OIL ? Should it be added ? How to justify viscosity and quantity ?
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:12   #15
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Re: Norcold Sawafuji compressor could be find , or not?

Vargesol, What information do you have that your unit is designed for 134a refrigerant, it may have been manufactured prior to 1996 when Freon R12 was used by Norcold. As far as refrigerant oil No I would not add oil. Your decision to vacuum I assume is because refrigerant was lost and last technician over filled refrigerant. I would suggest when at maximum vacuum gauge valve be closed for 15 minutes to see if a leak is present. This type leak test at 14.7 psi is not the best but it will show up a bad leak.

Because of this units small size getting the correct volume of refrigerant in it is tricky. After running for 10 minutes to no more than 20 minutes Low suction pressure will be 6 to 9 psi.
I would use an ammeter to check refrigerant charge to between 3.5 and 2.5 amps depending on box temperature. The correct refrigerant charge will visually show frost covering most of evaporator's surface area and no frost on line near compressor.
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