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Old 28-01-2020, 08:11   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 1,422
Boat Refrigeration Technology Overload

Today’s pleasure boat refrigeration industry companies with so many variations of refrigerators are creating a technology overload for local repair persons around the world. Contributing to this overload are the different confusing unnecessary added gadgets. Local refrigeration repair persons sometimes referred to as technician or service engineer have limited knowledge of different manufacturer’s designs. In the past general knowledge of refrigeration from years of experience was qualification enough. If today you call a boat refrigerator repair person only one in twenty five will have knowledge of how to correct your refrigerator problem on the first service call. And in many cases you will be worse off than before for calling a repairperson. Boat owner or captain or even galley attendants generally will have information on a refrigeration problem needed by repair person to fix refrigerator. The more information provided such as Temperatures, Current draw, Compressor cycle times, Past performance, Repair history, System manufacture and Compressor model will speed up the service call and reduce the cost of repair.

Finding a boat refrigeration person who has back ground in repairing your maybe one of a kind refrigerator is difficult. Manufacturers are not likely to post answers to question on these forums although they read postings here without identifying them self. Most companies selling marine refrigeration in the US answer all question by phone and Email. Some like Frigoboat US have excellent web sites with typical repair advice. Unless the question you post on a refrigerator forum is complete with quantifying details the renounces will take a shotgun approach drifting from your original questions. Thirty years ago it was easy to locate a hermetically sealed compressor refrigeration repair person because there was little difference between a home refrigerator and a boat’s hermetically seal compressor system. The big difference now is there is little similarity in small boat refrigeration units. Also difference now is in electronic gadgets and training of technicians. Technical overload is not unique in just boat refrigeration. A completely industry was developed to market extended warrantee on most every thing except pleasure boat refrigeration. I should mention that Electric Iceman thirty years ago did offer a great extended warrantee on parts for 12 volt ice box conversion refrigeration at a one time cost of $25.


Thirty years ago Adler Barbour had 27 designated repair persons around the US while today I do not know of any. I was criticized by a reader when I recommend a boater first investigate with non destructive means possible problems with their refrigerator before calling or relying on a repair person who may not have knowledge of a particular brand of refrigerator. Years of experience today has nothing to do with being competent in repairing many new Tec knowledge refrigeration, exposure and training material is needed. The most difficult problem is to find a repair person to work on a unit where parts and engineering is proprietary and only available from manufacturer.


In conclusion when in contact with a repair person be prepared to describe present operating condition of refrigerator like I confirmed compressor is running not just the fan and there was no cooling inside box. Avoid your and others conclusions when contacting a repair person. Watch out for uninformed persons suggesting design changes on a system that performed well for months and years in the past. Repairing these small refrigerators is profitable for many repairmen so watch out for suggestions that might improve your system claims like: wrong compressor, you need a more efficient electronic thermostat, filter/dryer is too small, system needs an oil change, or you could get better box temperature control with a eutectic evaporator plate. There are design changes that can improve performance but they are mostly in units installation and controlling condensing units heat disposal.
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