Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-24-2016, 09:31 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Marblehead,Oh
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Castoff
Vessel Model: 77 Heritage West Indian 36
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 52
Air conditioning

Hi Folks, Well, we're one step closer to owning a trawler. Unfortunately the only way we can do it is thru a LOT of sweat equity and DIYing.
MY question today is air conditioning. The good news is the boat has air. The bad news is it doesn't work

I was wondering if it is possible to recharge a small air conditioning unit?
I've heard that they are too sensitive due to their size to be able to recharge them. Has anyone had any luck recharging an an air conditioning system?
__________________
Advertisement

tedted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2016, 09:53 AM   #2
Veteran Member
 
Panacea's Avatar
 
City: Islamorada, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Panacea
Vessel Model: Marine Builders, Voyager 70
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by tedted View Post
Hi Folks, Well, we're one step closer to owning a trawler. Unfortunately the only way we can do it is thru a LOT of sweat equity and DIYing.
MY question today is air conditioning. The good news is the boat has air. The bad news is it doesn't work

I was wondering if it is possible to recharge a small air conditioning unit?
I've heard that they are too sensitive due to their size to be able to recharge them. Has anyone had any luck recharging an an air conditioning system?

Yes, they can be recharged, but the refrigerant "got out" somehow. This indicates there is a refrigerant leak. You may top it off and only a week later its not blowing cold anymore.

You need an EPA license to buy refrigerant. I heard it s pretty cheap and you can get it online. The older gasses are expensive.

A proper refrigerant guy down here charges $80/$100 hr. They will want to fix the leak which is an involved proce$$ instead of being the "refrigerant delivery boy".

My recommendation: Get a refer guy that will charge your unit and apply a leak-stop product. I have a 20+ year old unit that was leaking and on it's way to the bone yard. My refer guy put a stop-leak product in with the gas charge as a "hail Mary" attempt and it has been running strong for almost 2 years now. This should only cost one hour labor plus the small amount of refrigerant gas and the cheap stop-leak.
__________________

Panacea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2016, 10:09 AM   #3
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,877
Yes, you do have to find and fix the leak. But getting the refrigerant charge right on a boat A/C system is difficult. You can't just squirt some refrigerant in and hope for the best.


The right way is to drain all refrigerant and then weigh the refrigerant as you fill so you meet the manufacturer's specified weight. If you don't do this, it may not work.


David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 207
Here I go again with my motorhome analogy.
My Newell had basement a/c's. The proper way to recharge them was to a certain amp draw. This worked well with the smaller amount of refrigerant needed.
Ask your a/c guy if he is familiar doing it this way. The manufacturer should have an amp table for this.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2016, 10:33 AM   #5
Veteran Member
 
Panacea's Avatar
 
City: Islamorada, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Panacea
Vessel Model: Marine Builders, Voyager 70
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 88
For reference, here is a youtube video of the process on a residential mini-split unit:

Although refrigeration is refrigeration...I'd get a refer guy that is familiar with marine systems.
Panacea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2016, 07:38 PM   #6
Veteran Member
 
City: Marblehead,Oh
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Castoff
Vessel Model: 77 Heritage West Indian 36
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 52
Hey Thanks guys, I feel a little better about taking a chance on having it serviced.
tedted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 10:36 AM   #7
Guru
 
Shoalwaters's Avatar
 
City: Rodney Bay Lagoon
Country: St. Lucia, West Indies
Vessel Name: "Dragon Lady"
Vessel Model: DeFever 41
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 681
Ted: It sounds like your boat may have a few years on it, so the a/c unit(s) probably do too. When you have the refrigerant issue solved, it is worthwhile checking to see if the fan(s) are blowing as hard as they should. Cleaning the dirt from the "'valley" of the fan blades can result in a remarkable increase in the fans’ performance. There may be filter screens behind the louvers and on the inlet side of the evaporator. Check that they are clear of fug.
__________________
Mike
If all else fails, read the instructions
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Shoalwaters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
Veteran Member
 
kody's Avatar
 
City: Key Largo
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: 450 Ocean Alexander Classico
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 27
Stop leak

What ever you do, don't use stop leak. The previous owner of my last boat did instead of properly finding the leak and correcting. It only ended up costing
9k to replace two units. Sigh...
kody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 12:59 PM   #9
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,157
Some of the newer units are said to be so much more efficient and quieter than even our existing 14-year-old systems (which work pretty well, actually, knocking on wood)... that I'd be inclined to give it about one shot at a fix... and if that didn't work easily /cheaply... I'd bag the old and replace with new anyway.


In our case, replacing a whole unit would probably be slightly easier than troubleshooting minor bits and pieces of an old one -- while in place -- anyway.


Well, except for writing the big check, of course.


-Chris
__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 01:37 PM   #10
Veteran Member
 
Panacea's Avatar
 
City: Islamorada, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Panacea
Vessel Model: Marine Builders, Voyager 70
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by kody View Post
What ever you do, don't use stop leak. The previous owner of my last boat did instead of properly finding the leak and correcting. It only ended up costing
9k to replace two units. Sigh...
How old were your two units? $4500/unit? If you were just replacing existing units labor should have been minimal. Must have been two 36,000BTU split system units or chilled water system for that price.

IMHO if you are replacing compressors and brazing copper piping and installing new driers and reversing valves *on 10+ year old smaller stand-alone units* you are usually throwing good money after bad. If you get 10 years out of an air conditioner you are ahead of the game (at least down here on South Florida where they are running practically 24 hours a day 365 days a year). If its leaking, stop-leak that thing and when if it doesn't hold rip it out and throw in a new one!
Panacea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 02:51 PM   #11
Guru
 
City: Venice Louisiana
Country: United States
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,097
Give Joe a call at Ocean Breeze. Tell him what you have, and send a pic. He will build an exact replacement for it. With modern components. If you want to keep your old controll system he can do that to. I have purchased several smaller units from them, 6000s, 9000s, and 16,000 btu units and none were even close to $4500. He built my house unit, a 6 ton compressor/condensor that uses pool water for cooling for $1850. Great customer service. I highly reccomend them.
kulas44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 05:38 PM   #12
Guru
 
BobH's Avatar
 
City: Montgomery, TX
Country: USA
Vessel Model: None, but looking
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 778
I added Freon (R22) to two units on our '84 sailboat in early 2000. They both still ran great when we sold the boat after living aboard for 6 years. Only took that one time top off. Fortunately I knew a guy who had a license and could get me the R22.

On our current boat I replaced both units, 12000 and a 16000 BTU, for I think around $1400 to $1600 each.
BobH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 06:47 PM   #13
Veteran Member
 
City: Portsmouth, VA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Nickel Plate
Vessel Model: Jeanneau Velasco 43
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 34
Yep, agree with the other posts, "call the man" as Aunt Bea found out in the Andy Griffith freezer episode
fletch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 07:12 PM   #14
Veteran Member
 
Panacea's Avatar
 
City: Islamorada, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Panacea
Vessel Model: Marine Builders, Voyager 70
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
Give Joe a call at Ocean Breeze. Tell him what you have, and send a pic. He will build an exact replacement for it. With modern components. If you want to keep your old controll system he can do that to. I have purchased several smaller units from them, 6000s, 9000s, and 16,000 btu units and none were even close to $4500. He built my house unit, a 6 ton compressor/condensor that uses pool water for cooling for $1850. Great customer service. I highly reccomend them.
I have to chime in again and agree 100% with Ocean Breeze. I installed the 7 Ocean Breeze units on my boat I just finished installing the 3 units on my son's Gulfstar 36. If you run into issues Joe or Alex will walk you through it. Good local business made in the USA. Also, the electronics are all non-proprietary, so no $800 thermostat when a PCB goes bad!
Panacea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 11:03 PM   #15
Guru
 
hmason's Avatar
 
City: Westport, CT
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 46 Europa
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,895
One more 👍 For Joe at Ocean Breeze. His company custom fabricated a compressor for our refrigeration unit that was no longer supported.
__________________
Howard
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
hmason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2016, 06:42 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
ddalme's Avatar
 
City: LAFAYETTE,LA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Relenti
Vessel Model: Atlantic 30, 1983
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
Give Joe a call at Ocean Breeze. Tell him what you have, and send a pic. He will build an exact replacement for it. With modern components. If you want to keep your old controll system he can do that to. I have purchased several smaller units from them, 6000s, 9000s, and 16,000 btu units and none were even close to $4500. He built my house unit, a 6 ton compressor/condensor that uses pool water for cooling for $1850. Great customer service. I highly reccomend them.
ddalme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2016, 05:23 PM   #17
Veteran Member
 
City: Marblehead,Oh
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Castoff
Vessel Model: 77 Heritage West Indian 36
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 52
Thanks for the input. Like BobH, I have a buddy that is licensed and has all the goodies. He was reluctant mainly on account of the relatively small charge and the sensitivity of these air conditioners to charge volume. With the cost of a new unit, I'd really like to take a chance on getting this one up. If it pukes, well nothing lost. Then I'll get ahold of Ocean Breeze. Especially as our previous boat is still for sale......
tedted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2016, 07:18 AM   #18
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,518
You may find recharge kits at Auto Zone.

Just be sure its compatible with F 22 (if thats the charge now) and go slowly.

The Car Store refrigerant will not be freon , most likely propane 80% and Butane 20% , which happens to be more efficient than even the old standby R12.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2016, 08:36 AM   #19
Guru
 
motion30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 740
with a proper set of gauges and the correct freon servicing these units is no more difficult Then the air-conditioning's you have at home. The service valves are often a common point of leakage
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2016, 09:09 AM   #20
Veteran Member
 
kody's Avatar
 
City: Key Largo
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: 450 Ocean Alexander Classico
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 27
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
How old were your two units? $4500/unit? If you were just replacing existing units labor should have been minimal. Must have been two 36,000BTU split system units or chilled water system for that price.

IMHO if you are replacing compressors and brazing copper piping and installing new driers and reversing valves *on 10+ year old smaller stand-alone units* you are usually throwing good money after bad. If you get 10 years out of an air conditioner you are ahead of the game (at least down here on South Florida where they are running practically 24 hours a day 365 days a year). If its leaking, stop-leak that thing and when if it doesn't hold rip it out and throw in a new one!
I replaced/ repaired most of two spit units. I chose to go with direct name brand units instead of after market because I was selling the boat and wanted to have a good warranty to pass on. I didn't want to be accused of putting a bs bandaid on the system. The shop told me that the premature failure of the system that only spent two of it's ten year life in Florida, was a direct result of using stop leak instead of properly repairing the system. Reminds me of a dock mate that advised another to put JB Weld on a leaking genset exhaust elbow. Sheesh!
At least my repair $ wasn't like a friends $ on his Westport's chilled water system. His was 17k. You probably wouldn't believe that either.
The good advice given in this thread imho, is to get advice from a factory trained technician from a reputable company.
__________________

kody is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012