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Old 22-09-2020, 16:54   #1
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Question Replacing fridge piping

My frigoboat compressor has broken and I need to replace it. That also means replacing the condenser installed in the coolerbox and the piping between the compressor and condenser. The former is installed on the opposite side of galley range. There are two fixed (glued to hull) bulkheads between the compressor and the back of the fridge box. Currently the pipes run through holes in the bulkheads. However, these are too small for me manually push the pipe all the way to where it needs to enter the fridge box. How does one install the pipes needed to connect the compressor and the condenser? Do I need to demolish and rebuild much of the galley interior? This is on a Benneteau 46. On the diagram 1 is the compressor, 2 the condenser, blue are the bulkheads. The photo shows top of the fridge box and piping running behind the range. The condenser pipe enters the fridge box in its bottom-left corner.
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Old 23-09-2020, 05:54   #2
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

I would first need to asked the question what indicates to you that the compressor has failed? #1 in picture would seam to be an air cooled condensing unit and #2 is the evaporator.The common reasons for frigoboat water cooled condenser system failures are exposure to extended operation with poor compressor cooling causing extensive system contamination. Next is this a pumped water cooled system or a keel cooler? Also knowing model number and age of compressor. Describe what happens when system is turned on.
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Old 23-09-2020, 06:11   #3
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Yes, I shorted the thermostat and both the compressor and fan came on fine. I can hear faint gurgling from the condenser. It worked 2 weeks ago and suddenly stopped now. No condensation on the condenser at all. It is Frigoboat BD37. Air cooled.
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Old 23-09-2020, 07:41   #4
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

The part in the box is the evaporator.
The condenser and the compressor are in the same place on an air cooled unit.
When you say stopped, do you mean its not running at all?
Or do you mean its running but not cooling?
Voltage is good, wiring is good?
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Old 23-09-2020, 08:36   #5
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Running but not cooling. Makes a faint noise in the evaporator (sorry, not condenser) but that's it. Wiring and voltage look good.
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Old 23-09-2020, 08:42   #6
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Have you tried the Refrigeration Troubleshooting section on Coastal Climate Control's website? There is much more you can do to diagnosed and understand the problem.



FYI: the copper tubes (or pipes) are attached to the evaporator.
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Old 23-09-2020, 09:56   #7
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

I think I have done all that. Will try again though. Assuming I do need to replace the lot, is there a way to relay the tubes without dis-assembling the boat (can't do of course)? Or, could I leave the existing tubes, block them off and drill new holes in the box, this time closer to the bulkhead and place the new condenser there? Attached is the view of my compressor - looks old and rusted so probably time to replace.
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Old 23-09-2020, 15:29   #8
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

If you buy a new system it will come pre charged with refrigerant from the factory, the lines are connected with quick disconnect fittings.
The compressor and evaporator are a matched set.
I would find an experienced marine refer tech and pay him to install it if you don't think you can do it.
Each boat is different, but I've done lots of these and it isn't hard if your careful not to kink the tubing or damage the evaporator.
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Old 23-09-2020, 15:56   #9
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Quote:
Originally Posted by suiramor View Post
I think I have done all that. Will try again though. Assuming I do need to replace the lot, is there a way to relay the tubes without dis-assembling the boat (can't do of course)? Or, could I leave the existing tubes, block them off and drill new holes in the box, this time closer to the bulkhead and place the new condenser there? Attached is the view of my compressor - looks old and rusted so probably time to replace.
If you decide to replace the system, you can cut the copper pipes between the condenser and the evaporator and pull them out.

Then you make the holes bigger with a hole saw, one inch is probably enough.

To push the new pipes take a stiff wire, such as a straightened metal clothes hanger, and feed it thought the two holes. You can attach the new pipes to the wire and pull them back through.
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Old 23-09-2020, 18:29   #10
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
To push the new pipes take a stiff wire, such as a straightened metal clothes hanger, and feed it thought the two holes. You can attach the new pipes to the wire and pull them back through.

Thanks. I will try the trick with the wires. If that does not work, I will sail around to find a pro - I do not believe there are any where I moor.

Thanks all for your advice.
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Old 28-09-2020, 21:58   #11
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Turns out that both leading the pipes behind the box AND fitting a new compressor unit will be a major job. Since the current compressor seems to be working (vibrates when touched) would it be practical to try replacing just the evaporator and re-charging the unit in the hope that that fixes the problem? The evaporators seem to come with pipes pre-attached so perhaps I will still need to face the piping issue then.
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Old 28-09-2020, 22:34   #12
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Why not just find where the leak is & fix it & regas?
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Old 28-09-2020, 23:39   #13
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Quote:
Originally Posted by suiramor View Post
Turns out that both leading the pipes behind the box AND fitting a new compressor unit will be a major job. Since the current compressor seems to be working (vibrates when touched) would it be practical to try replacing just the evaporator and re-charging the unit in the hope that that fixes the problem? The evaporators seem to come with pipes pre-attached so perhaps I will still need to face the piping issue then.
DeBe's answer (above) was a good one.

The evaporators with pipes will need to be matched with the fittings on the existing compressor and chances are they won't match, and some of those fittings can't be re-used anyhow, finally, the evaporators with pipes are meant to be attached at the compressor, so they still have to be re-led.
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Old 29-09-2020, 01:01   #14
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Re: Replacing fridge piping

Hi, if Dick cant provide any advice may I suggest that you contact an actual manufacturer of this type of system, there are a couple in America and one in Australia (ozefridge) that may be able to assist with practicable experienced knowledge, who knows it may be able to be fixed relatively inexpensively.
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