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Old 08-27-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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Eutectic Issues

My refrigeration system is recycling on and off every minute or so, not good.This appears to be a low gas pressure issue. I am trying to track down the leak, via the old soapy water method, and so far no luck.

Does anyone have any suggestions, other than soapy water as to how to track the leak down.The eutectic is mains/gen only, not connected to the engine.FWIW, I have had the refrigeration guys out three times in the last two months, so I thought I would have a look myself, what harm can it do?(on rereading the post I don't believe I said that last bit)

This is now quite serious, the beer is getting warm.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:03 AM   #2
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Had my home's air conditioning system replaced recently. It was 20+years old and the coolant system was leaking. Replacement was the prudent long-future decision.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:12 AM   #3
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My refrigeration system is recycling on and off every minute.This appears to be a low gas pressure issue. I am trying to track down the leak, via the old soapy water method, and so far no luck.

Does anyone have any suggestions, other than soapy water as to how to track the leak down, I have had the refrigeration guys out three times in the last two months, so I thought I would have a look myself, what harm can it do?(on rereading the post I don't believe I said that last bit)

This is now quite serious, the beer is getting warm.
I see the urgency. Moorebank Refrigeration replaced (uh oh) my condenser and motor unit (ie the operative bits) for $2200, a leak was untraceable and the motor was suspect. A texta pen note on the receiver (?) tank said yellow dye was added to the system, different repairer. Moorebank said dye gets added when there is a leak they can`t find, so that`s a possibility, two actually, dye, and a leak you won`t find.
Maybe try another "expert",I hear there is a relaxed pony tailed good fridge guy up your way, or Northbridge ( name unknown).Moorebank were ok, their 12v under settee Danfoss fridge on my boat still works++ after 31 yrs (touch wood); they say systems are good for about 10yrs and don`t need touching except when they stop working.Good luck. BruceK
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:54 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=BruceK;,I hear there is a relaxed pony tailed good fridge guy up your way, or Northbridge ( name unknown).

Bruce that covers an approximate population of about 150,000 people. An unknown laid back, pony tailed fridge mechanic.

I really, really should NOT repeat the following, but I can't help myself, and it is NO way meant as a slur on any of our fine fellow forum members, or their hairstyles, but the following was told to me, at a young and tender age, by me old world weary boss about a business rival who was known for his informal attire and wearing his hair long in a pony tail.

He said to me"son, always remember under each pony tail there is an arse hole!
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:17 AM   #5
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Andy, I don't want to sound depressing, but once eutectic systems start playing up, there is often something terminal going on, and when my system did that, I converted to 12v via Danfoss compressor and evaporator (supplied by Waeco - called a 'cold pack'), using the same insulated frig, which was a good size and well insulated, so I just left the eutectic tanks in there full of propylene glycol, so they help hold the temp down and increase efficiency. With my solar panels, Airbreeze and engine charging I can run the frig 24/7 on or off the pick with no battery drop, so really good to have more reliable frig, which is ready from the get-go, as I leave it on with coldies in it even on the berth. On a C-Tec smart charger admittedly there, as they don't like us to run the wind gen in the marina.
Actually was cheaper to convert that an overhaul of the eutectic. However, yours might not be that bad, but from what you describe, it might have reached the end of its natural life..?
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:41 AM   #6
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Borrow a sniffer , this will find your freon leak.

Best is they are smart , so if you stick it in a space filled with freon , it learns that's the background and will still find the leak.

Most dies used require a special lamp to see the leak location.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:50 AM   #7
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Well I have arranged a meeting tomorrow to discuss the options. Your Danfoss/Waeco solution is what a mate of mine used when his eutectic went down. He absolutely swears by it, so obviously I will look seriously at this option.

Having spent over $1,200 chasing this problem so far to no avail,maybe it's time stop throwing good money after bad, bite the bullet and make the move.

Thanks for the heads up Peter,can you remember how much the changeover cost?

FF, this might be a dumb question, by sniffer do mean a dog?
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Sniffer , google "freon leak detector"

The good ones are about $200 and use a battery to pull air from a point source (every fitting) past the internal sensor.

Not much training required and they will find the leak, IF a leak is your problem.

The louder the unit screams ,the bigger the leak.

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Old 08-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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Andy,re "pony tailed fridge hotshot" I`d be more help if I remembered who used him; looks,y`know, but a whiz on fridges, such that shipwrights should know him. I`ll try a mate.Meanwhile scissors and a stealthy approach should fix the ponytail plague.
Re Waeco/Danfoss changeover,Peter is right, I`ve a portable 35L Waeco used occasionally, problem is stopping it freezing,great unit. But with the IG standard set up of 1 big multi purpose battery per engine(ie no dedicated house),are you are ok running it off batteries, instead of running the genset an hour am & pm as now.For day use I use the 12v under settee fridge mentioned previously, but I have 180watts of solar, 90 per battery,to help, (plus 25w on the genset battery); we`re on a swing mooring.BruceK
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Well, after 4 hours of testing the mechanic could not find the leak,he tried all of the detection methods discussed, and all he could say for sure was that the leak was not in the pipes. This I fear is the end for the Eutectic.

What I am thinking of doing is replacing the fridge completely with the largest Waeco unit I can get in,a 12/240 volt unit.The large under seat fridge/freezer will be left as is, after removing the eutectic plates, and revert to an ice box.

I am sorry to lose the under bench refrigeration, however we don't use it that much and I can't justiy another $2,200 on top of the new Waeco.The only downside is that the melting ice in the ice box will drain into the bilge. Not really that big an issue though.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:40 PM   #11
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Bruce just saw your post. You are right we have the standard IG battery set up , 2x 200 wet cell batteries. We do use a lot of power on board ,so the battery issue will need some careful consideration. Maybe we will need to add another battery, or maybe some solar panels.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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Well, after 4 hours of testing the mechanic could not find the leak,he tried all of the detection methods discussed, and all he could say for sure was that the leak was not in the pipes. This I fear is the end for the Eutectic.

What I am thinking of doing is replacing the fridge completely with the largest Waeco unit I can get in,a 12/240 volt unit.The large under seat fridge/freezer will be left as is, after removing the eutectic plates, and revert to an ice box.

I am sorry to lose the under bench refrigeration, however we don't use it that much and I can't justiy another $2,200 on top of the new Waeco.The only downside is that the melting ice in the ice box will drain into the bilge. Not really that big an issue though.
Simultaneous posts!
Sounds like the leak is in the condenser/main unit,and it`s the end.I should have checked on your set up to compare,my eutectics are a under bench fridge about 200L, and a freezer on the aft deck, around 180L, Moorebank said my motor/condenser unit gets used in supermarkets,if no freezer you should need less power=less $.My 12v fridge drains to the bilge and is ok. Can you buy a Danfoss 12/240 non eutectic power unit and fit it to the existing cabinet? BruceK
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:38 PM   #13
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Maybe we will need to add another battery, or maybe some solar panels.
If the end result is assuring cold beer adding 2 batteries and a back up generator would not be overdoing it.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
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Andy, these modern danfoss compressors are very frugal on power, and although I have 3 batts, one (sealed, low maint) truck starter 150AH for the engine, I only have 2 x 100AH AGMs in parallel for the house, and yet can run the frig 24/7 out on the pick with just the Airbreeze, engine when motoring, and the solar panels, so you might not need much more than you have if prepared to run the genny a bit. I don't have a genny at all, everything is 12v.
PS, we also have a large insulated extra 200+L unit in the cockpit which used to run off the eutectic, which we kept as an extra icebox if needed. We hardly ever use it.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:42 AM   #15
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If the end result is assuring cold beer adding 2 batteries and a back up generator would not be overdoing it.
Actually, a nuclear propulsion system wouldn't be overdoing it. As my old dad used to say , it's all about priorities.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:58 AM   #16
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Depending on the internal size of the box , keeping the eutetic plate could be a great option.

The plate takes up room and offers no particular advantage if cooled with a tiny AC or DC unit.

The Eutetic advantage is a 5-10hp mechanical unit can bring a large plate set down in a modest time.

When you are mostly dockside the std DC charger will handle the load from a DC unit easily. I much prefer the pure DC over the combination units.

So the choice becomes more room in the box , with extra batterys replacing the eutetic plate , or simply replacing the cooling unit to feed the eutetic.

Either way you should be able to maintain the box for at least 24 hours with no added power input.

IF you chose the more battery choice I strongly recommend a SOC meter FIRST!
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:17 AM   #17
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IF you chose the more battery choice I strongly recommend a SOC meter FIRST!
I know I should know the answer to this....what is an SOC meter?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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I know I should know the answer to this....what is an SOC meter?
Just guessing, SOC = State of Charge?
Andy, re "long-haired pony tailed fridge mechanic", the pony tail was a figment of my imagination (leaves 149,999 of them in your area), my mate says it`s Martin( no pony-tail),0418260548, of "Sammit" (sic), probably Summit whose stickers were on my old fridge power unit, service people at Pittwater you may have used already.
If you go down the 12v road, maybe with some solar which is very cheap on ebay, and quality ok, the genset should get you out of strife if you over draw batteries. Although the IG set up has no dedicated "house",you could alternate batteries overnight. According to the IG Manual, the system automatically parallels the batteries when you hit start.Don`t switch to "Both" early or the good one will drain into the drained one and may lose its ability to start the FL.BruceK
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:25 AM   #19
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SOC state of charge.

Tons of Mfg , here is one,

TriMetric Battery System | Bogart Engineering
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