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Old 11-26-2022, 08:14 PM   #1
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ShakeDown cruise from hell

I really didnít want to officially call it that in fear that Neptune is listening, and I know things can always get worse, but we continue to experience issues. I havenít been able to determine a reason why our SubZero Freezer is only at 60F yet the same make likely same year Refrigerator maintains a temp of 32F?
We hope to start the Great Loop in 2/3 weeks but the list of issues keeps growing. We see this as a ď must fixĒ before we resume the trip after this 3 day shakedown. We currently are in Florence AL. Is it possible there are repair people skilled and able to work on both Home AND marine freezers? What path should I pursue?
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:17 PM   #2
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Good luck finding someone to come to the boat and work on it. I tried about 20 authorized repair. Shops last summer and none would come out. I finally just replaced the refer. An easy thing to try is to see if it is a ventilation problem. Just pull the unit out of the cabinet and see if it works with a fan blowing on the compressor. If it does get more ventilation in the cabinet. Some manufacturers have troubleshooting guides online.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:49 PM   #3
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I agree with Comodave. Pull it out a bit and look where the airflow goes. There's a non-zero chance you'll find a nest of lint on the coolant coils somewhere. Look underneath, wherever the vents are.

Fact that it's getting to 60 is a relatively good sign.

Good luck.

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Old 11-27-2022, 07:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Capt. Rodbone View Post
I really didn’t want to officially call it that in fear that Neptune is listening, and I know things can always get worse, but we continue to experience issues. I haven’t been able to determine a reason why our SubZero Freezer is only at 60F yet the same make likely same year Refrigerator maintains a temp of 32F?
We hope to start the Great Loop in 2/3 weeks but the list of issues keeps growing. We see this as a “ must fix” before we resume the trip after this 3 day shakedown. We currently are in Florence AL. Is it possible there are repair people skilled and able to work on both Home AND marine freezers? What path should I pursue?
Could be partial compressor failure, could be compressor fan failure, could be a boatload of other stuff...

Go to the Sub-Zero site and download the manual for your models. There's a troubleshooting guide in there... If it's something you can fix yourself, you can order parts from one of their distributors (e.g., Mid-Atlantic Parts Distributors). You'll need freezer model number and serial number.

While there, look up closest Sub-Zero repair persons. One or some of those may come to boats. Given your cruise plans, you could maybe expand that search to places where you will be sometime along the route.

We just had our S-Z freezer rehabbed; sure enough at least one semi-local repair company services both household and marine installations. Didn't have to wait too long before they could schedule a visit. The actual guy who came was very familiar with boat installs. One downside was that he had to come twice; first to diagnose, estimate, then order parts... second to actually do the several fixes. In our case, several parts were required, though, so if it had been something as simple as a compressor fan (for example), he might have had one on his truck.

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Old 11-27-2022, 07:30 AM   #5
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If the easy pull out looks for blocked ventilation don't help :

There is nothing magical about the Sub Zero brand other than their exclusivity. To get it fixed "right" you may spend the same $ for repair as locating a new one of lesser exclusivity that fits the opening.

Home Depot, Lowe's, the traditional marine on line sources or Amazon any or all may have what you need plus the opportunity to avoid some aggravation. As a side note, capable repair guys don't always like crawling around boats, taking the easy wide open kitchens first.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:54 AM   #6
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Is the freezer freezing . Could be ice buildup on freezer coil and not defrosting . Defrost heating element , timer , or defrost termator . If freezing, blocked vent going from freezer to refrig . Setting not correct. Over heating coil under frig. Just a few things that might be problem .
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:00 AM   #7
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Pull it out and take it somewhere to get it fixed. A lot cheaper and quicker than having them come to you.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:40 AM   #8
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If you label your experience as a "Shakedown cruise from Hell" because the freezer doesn't work, you will not enjoy the Loop. In fact, you probably won't make it.

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Old 11-27-2022, 10:03 AM   #9
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Strongly suggest keep moving south. Old man winter will get you otherwise.
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Old 11-27-2022, 12:46 PM   #10
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Pay attention to the suggestions to pull the freezer out of the cabinet. Then let it run on the saloon floor. Use a thermometer inside to monitor the temperature.

We have seen all kinds of problem reports like this and often, not always, it comes down to a lack of ventilation. If the unit and the cavity it resides in cannot get rid of the heat it collects from the freezer inside then the cooling cannot work. Without proper venting the cavity will simply heat up stalling any cooling effect..

THe fix is to examine the cabinet and look for places to make an intake opening at the bottom of the cabinet and an outlet opening at the top of the cabinet.

Then use a fan to force the heated air out of the top vent. The fan is controlled by the actual compressor so it needs to run only when the freezer compressor is running.

Once the run on the saloon floor test has been done then tell us what the result was. Post some photos of the fridge back AND the cavity showing enough that we can see the configuration. Good, clear photos. If they are muddy, too dark or not focussed they are not helpfull.

Also tell us what the compressor is and its model. Usually it is a Danfoss, either a BD 35 or a BD 50. THere are however some other mfgrs.



EDIT: After studying the photo I see one vent at the R.H . side above the counter when facing the unit. I suspect the actual freezer case partly blocks the vent-BAD.
It should also have been mounted higher, as high in the cavity as possible.
Hot air will NOT go down unless forced.

What is directly behind the cavity? Is that the cabin side wall and the outside is on the other side of the wall?
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Old 11-27-2022, 02:35 PM   #11
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Numerous potential causes. Temp sensor or thermostat defective. Defective defrost sensor or iced over coils. Motherboard not reading sensor inputs correctly. Low on refrigerant. Freezer has to be removed in any case so get out the toolbag and remove the trim. A borescope is handy to look behind fridge from adjoining drawer to determine how power is connected.
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Old 11-27-2022, 02:46 PM   #12
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Yes, it may be a ventilation problem. Took me a while to find my problem. The fridge is powered by either propane or 120 vac. But the ventilator that exhausts the heat from the rear of the fridge into the aft deck locker vents is powered by 12 VDC. If the fridge is not getting both it shuts down.

Could be a failed vent blower.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:34 PM   #13
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The reason I suggested moving the refer out of the cabinet in post #2 was that is is a likely problem and it is simple to pull the refer out to find out if it is the problem or not. If it still doesnít work outside the cabinet then start troubleshooting the tougher problems. Always KISS. Donít jump into the difficult problems without eliminating the simple stuff first.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Delta Riverat View Post
Yes, it may be a ventilation problem. Took me a while to find my problem. The fridge is powered by either propane or 120 vac. But the ventilator that exhausts the heat from the rear of the fridge into the aft deck locker vents is powered by 12 VDC. If the fridge is not getting both it shuts down.

Could be a failed vent blower.
You actually have a propane refrigerator on a boat in California?
Puts my being afraid of a CO2 automatic fire extinguishing system into perspective.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:56 PM   #15
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Propane refer on a boat, no thanks.
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Old 11-27-2022, 04:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Riverat View Post
Yes, it may be a ventilation problem. Took me a while to find my problem. The fridge is powered by either propane or 120 vac. But the ventilator that exhausts the heat from the rear of the fridge into the aft deck locker vents is powered by 12 VDC. If the fridge is not getting both it shuts down.

Could be a failed vent blower.
Propane fridge on a boat? Does your insurer know about this?
I know of a surveyor telling the insurer about a propane "hot water on demand", resulting in the insurer requiring that it be removed. I would expect the same for a propane fridge.
Might be OK if mounted up top in a location that would ensure that no leak of propane could find its way inside the boat, like restrictions on where your tanks can be located.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:46 PM   #17
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Sorry Pete

Pete I guess I made a mistake assuming since I posted within an hour three problems we had on our trip, that most people who would have seen them all. Given my likely naivety let me explain.

Three day two night trip. Plan was and still is to work on solving the issues here in Florence Alabama if I can, and if not we will be moving to Aqua Harbor in Iuka Mississippi. Iím told that anything I find I canít do myself here in a reasonable amount of time I can get done there. Iíll just write a bigger check.

So Pete here are the other issues We had in this short time. Some as I mentioned I posted. Some I didnít bother to post since I feel I have a handle on them.
In addition to the freezer we are dealing with.
A generator exhaust elbow pouring water.

The raw water thru hull for the generator leaking when water supply is on. We wonít sink, but Iím in search of the proper gasket.

Both Vaccuflush heads cycling constantly.

A thru hull Heat AC raw water pump/strainer that is so tight Iím afraid Iíll break it. The first night no issue, but the next night no heat. Given the exhaust elbow had turned into a fountain however, the pump strainer issue was secondary. Iíll tackle it tomorrow employing the positive and encouraging information I got and am accustomed to getting from 99% of the the replies.
Some cabin lights shorting out, that didnít do it before the trip.

Pete this is why you do shake downs. I get it. Granted, I vented some with the subject line. I canít help but notice however how helpful the other many replies were to this same post, yet you took the route to the response you sent. Maybe someone had just pissed in your corn flakes moments before you replied. Anyway thanks for taking the time to do so.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:48 PM   #18
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Yes, it is a propane/120 vac dual but not connected to propane only 120 vac. And 12 VDC of course because if the fridge can't turn the blower on it shuts off.

The tank is located in the aft deck storage locker which is vented to outside air.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:07 PM   #19
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Yes, it is a propane/120 vac dual but not connected to propane only 120 vac. And 12 VDC of course because if the fridge can't turn the blower on it shuts off.

The tank is located in the aft deck storage locker which is vented to outside air.
What is the make and model of the refer? I didnít know there were approved propane refers for boats.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:08 PM   #20
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Pete I guess I made a mistake assuming since I posted within an hour three problems we had on our trip, that most people who would have seen them all. Given my likely naivety let me explain.

Three day two night trip. Plan was and still is to work on solving the issues here in Florence Alabama if I can, and if not we will be moving to Aqua Harbor in Iuka Mississippi. I’m told that anything I find I can’t do myself here in a reasonable amount of time I can get done there. I’ll just write a bigger check.

So Pete here are the other issues We had in this short time. Some as I mentioned I posted. Some I didn’t bother to post since I feel I have a handle on them.
In addition to the freezer we are dealing with.
A generator exhaust elbow pouring water.

The raw water thru hull for the generator leaking when water supply is on. We won’t sink, but I’m in search of the proper gasket.

Both Vaccuflush heads cycling constantly.

A thru hull Heat AC raw water pump/strainer that is so tight I’m afraid I’ll break it. The first night no issue, but the next night no heat. Given the exhaust elbow had turned into a fountain however, the pump strainer issue was secondary. I’ll tackle it tomorrow employing the positive and encouraging information I got and am accustomed to getting from 99% of the the replies.
Some cabin lights shorting out, that didn’t do it before the trip.

Pete this is why you do shake downs. I get it. Granted, I vented some with the subject line. I can’t help but notice however how helpful the other many replies were to this same post, yet you took the route to the response you sent. Maybe someone had just pissed in your corn flakes moments before you replied. Anyway thanks for taking the time to do so.
I fixed the leaking Vacuflush head with a Raritan Marine Elegance head. Problem resolved.
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