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Old 21-02-2019, 17:26   #1
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Cruisair not cooling

Hello everyone, Im here in Guatemala where I had left my sailboat for the past 9 months. I just got back 2 days ago and started to work on the boat and fixing stuff to get ready to go and I notice a trouble with my Cruisair AC unit. Last may when I left it was working perfectly.and I started it today and I noticed it wasnt cooling as it should. It would shoot cool air but not cold. Basically doing the same exact thing either on fan or cooling mode. I cleaned the raw water strainer and the air filter but nothing as changed. Water is coming out just like it ever did. I also noticed a hot metal smell when I went on the engine room where the compressor is. I touched it and it was very hot. I know it is supposed to be hot but I cant compare with before cause it always worked just fine so I never had to go and look for something wrong.

So if anybody have some idea about what could be wrong it would be really appreciated .
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:52   #2
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

I thought I'd resurrect this thread instead of starting my own. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you.

We've been running our air conditioner for about a month now and it's been working perfectly. Today it started blowing a smell that we can't quite describe. Chemical, or melting rubber or plastic ... it doesn't smell like electrical burn or mildew. We only smell it when the compressor is running. It continues to blow cold air, but with a pretty strong odor.

I've switched it to fan only and the smell dissipates pretty quickly. Is my compressor burning out? It's about an 8 year old Dometic.
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:42   #3
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Cruisair not cooling

Compressors are inside of a sealed can, so if it were “burning out” you wouldn’t smell it. I’d suspect some kind of wiring issue, my guess would be the run capacitor, they can sometimes stink when they are going bad.
Open the electric box portion of the AC unit and look for something that looks like a big D cell battery, it may be silver metal or or may be black plastic, but look to see it it looks swollen and maybe if you get that smell when you open the box.
Cap replacement is real easy, but they do come in many different sizes, look for the uf rating on the cap itself.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:07   #4
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

Do not touch the contacts on the capacitor!!!!

If it is running, it is likely not the capacitor. Its only job is to start the compressor. Might need a recharge.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:13   #5
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

Might need a recharge.



I agree, probably a sslsoooww leak.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:28   #6
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
Might need a recharge.



I agree, probably a sslsoooww leak.
Seems likely. That would be where I would start. Have an a/c technician with a set of gauges check the pressures. Probably low.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:54   #7
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Cruisair not cooling

Why would low refrigerant not cause a decrease in cooling, but would cause a burning smell?

There are start caps and there are run caps, many systems use both.
Also I believe it’s sort of unusual for newer AC systems to have refrigerant service ports, it’s not as easy as connecting a set of gauges for many.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:45   #8
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

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I believe it’s sort of unusual for newer AC systems to have refrigerant service ports, it’s not as easy as connecting a set of gauges for many.
Less than two months ago, I installed a new, standalone MarineAire unit in our master stateroom and it had a service port on it. Maybe it was an unusual one.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:13   #9
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

Thanks for all the suggestions! I've run it some more and tried to track down the smell. Nothing burny in the control box - cap looks good. Wires look good.

The smell is only present when the compressor is running. I only smell it coming from the vents. I do not smell it inside the settee where the unit is running. I do not smell it when the fan is running but not the compressor.

I'm now going to say it smells like some kind of high power adhesive. The kind that makes your nose wrinkle.

We have three air cons on board and this is the biggest and blows the coldest even now with the stink going on.

EDIT: If it was a slow coolant leak would I smell it around the unit inside the settee even when it's not running?
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:15   #10
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Cruisair not cooling

You don’t smell 134a not really, but you can smell the oil, but that’s a massive leak, one that it would stop cooling pretty much immediately.
I still think you have a cap going out, I can’t think of anything else that would make that smell.
I wouldn’t run it if I weren’t on board though.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:18   #11
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
Less than two months ago, I installed a new, standalone MarineAire unit in our master stateroom and it had a service port on it. Maybe it was an unusual one.


Or maybe they are one brand that hasn’t as of yet gone the sealed route.
I think most are considered throw away‘s, your supposed to buy a new one as opposed to repair I guess.
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Old 13-07-2019, 05:39   #12
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Re: Cruisair not cooling

Description of smell suggests a pinhole leak allowing refrigerant into the duct work. I.e. at the evaporator. That's somewhat unusual but not impossible I suppose. Eventually unit will cease cooling due to low refrigerant...

Find someone with a leak sniffer and see if it gives you confirmation.
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