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Old 05-12-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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Recommendations to replace 1993 vintage Cruisair 12K BTU condenser ?

Compressor kaput, all else fine. Ideal would be NOS (now old stock) Cruisair R22 condenser of similar size that is R22 can use SMX or SMXII control but can't find one.

Alternatively, any recommendations for a company other than Ocean Breeze that can make a new R22 comparable condenser w/reverse cycle in the size I need ? (both physical and BTU size, that is)
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:56 PM   #2
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Aqua air in miami
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:30 PM   #3
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Check with a local AC wholesaler.
They'll probably have the compressor and can recommend a residential or industrial guy to replace. The marine guys always just want to replace the whole system.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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Check with a local AC wholesaler.
They'll probably have the compressor and can recommend a residential or industrial guy to replace. The marine guys always just want to replace the whole system.
There are places online that have R22 compressors really cheap...I paid about $300 for one for my Cruisair 7k BTU condenser...NOS.

Problem is it didn't come with a base so had to make a base, and was fair amount of labor to solder the tubing as the inlets and outlets were in a different location than the original compressor. Plus we had some R22 leakage issues at first.

So this time on the kaput 12k unit, I figured I'd just go for a whole new condenser from Ocean Breeze for about $1,500 that was compatable with my SMX control. But it turned out their "no problem, we can do it" was far off the mark....so far anyway.

Ironically I would have been way better off to have just replaced the compressor like I did last time. I try to save time and end up wasting way more time dealing with the OB unit. Looks like a fine piece of work but with no way to actually wire it up, it has been a statue for over 3 weeks now and it's starting to really matter now...i.e. it's getting hot in that master stateroom sans A/C.

And now I can't even replace the compressor as I sent the original Cruisair electrical box and the SMX thermostat to OB weeks ago to see if they could figure out what I couldn't. Maybe they still have them...maybe they threw them in the dumpster...dunno yet.

Thus looking for alternatives in case the OB doesn't work out.
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:52 PM   #5
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Owners club members say the new Vector Turbo unit from Dometic (Marine Air, Cruiseair, etc.) are the bees knees.

I think they can use Passport, Elite, SMX, etc. controls.

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Old 05-12-2016, 06:03 PM   #6
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Golly. I replaced a cruise air 16000 btu compressor unit on an aged split system last year with one from Ocean Breeze. Gave them the model no. and had it in about a week. Installed and wired it with their new controls and had a tech come check it and charge it. Around 2 boat bucks but works great. Kudos to Ocean Breeze-I'm satisfied.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:31 PM   #7
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Golly. I replaced a cruise air 16000 btu compressor unit on an aged split system last year with one from Ocean Breeze. Gave them the model no. and had it in about a week. Installed and wired it with their new controls and had a tech come check it and charge it. Around 2 boat bucks but works great. Kudos to Ocean Breeze-I'm satisfied.
Yes...well...your sort of experience with OB is mostly what I read on the web...which is why I felt comfortable buying one.

If I had done like you and ordered it from day one with their thermostat control maybe everything would have been fine. But they were confident it could be configured to be controlled by the original SMX thermostat...supposedly done it before.

But when I picked up the unit in person (on the way to Palm Beach show) I discovered when I got home there was zero manual or instruction with it. Then when I finally got the manual, the electrical schematics were not the same as what I actually received.

Then I got new diagram drawn but still no hint of how to connect it to the original SMX thermostat (which is interfaced to a rather complex electronic board in the Cruisair...complete with at least 11 wires) So then Joe says to remove the Cruisair electrical box and the SMX thermostat, send it to him and he will wire it for me.

A week or so later, I get a box from them that has yet another OB electrical box and one of their digital thermostats. No note... no instructions..... no manual.....nothing....zero paperwork.

Did not get back my Cruisair box or SMX...they either still have it or threw it away. (which would have been fine, if the new box and thermostat came with schematics and actually interfaced with the OB condenser....but it didn't)

All I can guess is they could not figure out how to interface to my SMX, so said to heck with it and sent me their box and thermostat for free and figured I'd be so grateful for that, I would somehow magically figure out how to then interface the new box with their previous box.

(FWIW, I am not a marine HVAC expert, but I am somewhat of an electronics person, sometimes repairing CNC machine tools at the component level.....so it's not like they are dealing with someone completely devoid of needed knowledge here)

But then it turns out that latest box they sent is meant for a 115 VAC system ! Mine is a 230 volt system (they knew from the get go it was 230 volts, including photos I sent of their own nameplate on the condenser saying so !! )

In other words, not only could I not figure out how to interface their new box to the condenser, neither could they !

So now, I have to disconnect the original box wiring from the condenser, and ship yet again two electrical boxes to them to see if they can sort out their own system !!

So...it may turn out all right eventually....they seem like nice folks...but have been astounded it's like pulling teeth to get some action on this.

===============

If curious why I wanted to use the original Cruisair SMX thermostat...
1. It works fine
2. I wouldn't have to run new wires to it.
3. I wouldn't have to cut a new hole to fit the very different shape OB thermostat (not only cut but fill the blank spaces vertically)
4. It would cost less not to buy another thermostat.
5. I have a spare one that probably works, in case this one every craps out

(the spare is from when two of the Cruisair units were upgraded by previous owner and they changed to SMX II thermostats)

But apparently it's simply impossible to do it....which would have been nice to know in the beginning.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:25 PM   #8
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Ship it all back to them and tell them to fix it right or refund the money.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:38 PM   #9
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Ship it all back to them and tell them to fix it right or refund the money.
If I could find an NOS Cruisair unit of appropriate size and model I would do just that, but no luck on that. (ironicially I have a brand new in the box 48,000 BTU Cruisair condenser I bought at the last Hatteras auction, but it is obviously way too large for the 12K BTU air handler)

Otherwise, thank goodness they don't want the condenser part back as it weighs 85 lbs and is in place in the engine room now...would be a major PITA to extract it, hand carry it off the boat, hand truck it to the vehicle, find a proper box for it (remember I picked it up in person...so have no box), take to UPS and pay for that much weight to Stuart, FL....then do the reverse to re-install it !

PITA enough to disconnect the electrical box wiring and ship the two electrical boxes to them. At this point they should be paying me for my extra labor to fix their mistakes.
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