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Old 09-01-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
djmarchand's Avatar
City: Essex, Ct
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,997
AC/DC Nova Kool fridge on a Pilot 34

Kevin posted a question over on the Yahoo forum about how to deal with his Nova Kool fridge on his 2007 Pilot 34. I have a Nova Kool in my Pilot 34 and I suspect it is the same fridge.

So, here is an answer. I hope that he reads it.

There are two ways to power that fridge. If the DC panel breaker labeled refrigeration is off then the fridge will operate on AC power if it is available. You have to turn on the main AC breaker (duh!) and the outlet sub breaker. The fridge is plugged into a wall outlet behind the fridge so that is why that breaker must be on.

Then the fridge will work fine on AC, either generator or shore power and you can leave it on 24/7 if you are connected to shore power.

But you should know that you can do the same thing on DC. Even if the outlet breaker is off, as long as the DC refrigerator breaker is on it will run on DC and the batteries will maintain their charge with the shore power charger.

This operation is a little risky because if any dock rat unplugs your shore power cable it will quickly run down the battery. So I recommend AC.

Also FWIW the thermostat has an off switch position if you turn it past low cool. My thermostat failed and the switch was stuck on and the thermostat was always made. I replaced it with an RParts unit for about $40.


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Old 09-01-2015, 05:24 PM   #2
Heron's Avatar
City: Washington NC Waterfront
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Heron (2)
Vessel Model: '88 Cape Dory 28 Flybridge #115
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 874
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post

So, here is an answer. I hope that he reads it.
yada yada....Exactly how mine works. I leave it on AC when away. If someone unplugs me or trips the post breaker, all I lose is some relish, ketchup and chilled beer.....Not a battery bank.
I had his issue just the other week, as a charter sailboat is moored right next door and shares my power pole...They shut me down (accidentally). After having the coversation, and carefully labeling the power outlets I expect no further problems. Just a mistake by a new crew member..

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Old 09-02-2015, 10:23 AM   #3
ranger42c's Avatar
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,099
Our two NK fridges, ditto. We usually run them on AC shorepower or genset but also sometimes have the DC breakers on, too. (As when I know the cleaning crew might be aboard, and might accidentally trip our on-board whole-boat AC breaker in the cockpit.)

NovaKool says their fridges will "choose" AC first when available, then fall back to DC if AC goes away or otherwise isn't present.

For completeness: they also say their fridges are always running on DC, anyway. The AC feed, when present, is immediately converted to DC and that's what powers the compressor, lights, etc.

South River, Chesapeake Bay
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:39 PM   #4
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City: San Antonio
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Betsy Lee
Vessel Model: 37 Atlantic Double Cabin
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 71
We have same fridge and appears to be same setup - thanks for info. We leave ours on AC when away and hadn't thought about what happens to batteries if we lose power.

Interesting that I just spoke to NK today - trying to isolate an air leak that is causing major ice build up. Door gasket appears to seal fine with the dollar test (if I am doing it correctly). They suggested I pull hinge pins and set door in place for good seal with tape to test if possible small alignment issue at hinge.

Curious if anyone else has had similar problem with these?
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