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Old 06-12-2021, 10:02 PM   #1
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Getting an old Cruisair working

I have two cruisairs with remote evap units. One cools the fore and aft cabins. The other cools the main salon.

The one that cools the fore and aft cabin would not start. An AC tech checked it out and said the compressor was stuck.

I discovered that the forward evaporator fan was not working. A warning label says this condition could freeze up and damage the compressor.

Today, I repaired the forward evaporator and got the unit to run by cycling between heat and cool a few times. The compressor ran for an hour at one point.

However, the temp coming out of the evaporators in both cool and heat mode is room temperature.

I will ask the AC tech to return and check the pressures and freon level on the AC

Any thoughts area appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:56 PM   #2
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I can't be of much help here other than to offer that I'd be thinking just like you are and about the pressures. As a first step, I'd put a set of manifold gauges on it and see how it reads. Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:56 PM   #3
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Before you spend too much money on repairs on an old unit start shopping for a new one
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:31 AM   #4
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I think evaporator units just add humidity to your boat, something you definitely do not need. I would get rid of them.

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Old 06-13-2021, 07:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNM View Post
I have two cruisairs with remote evap units. One cools the fore and aft cabins. The other cools the main salon.

The one that cools the fore and aft cabin would not start. An AC tech checked it out and said the compressor was stuck.

I discovered that the forward evaporator fan was not working. A warning label says this condition could freeze up and damage the compressor.

Today, I repaired the forward evaporator and got the unit to run by cycling between heat and cool a few times. The compressor ran for an hour at one point.

However, the temp coming out of the evaporators in both cool and heat mode is room temperature.

I will ask the AC tech to return and check the pressures and freon level on the AC

Any thoughts area appreciated.

Sounds likely that you no longer have any freon!
Where are you located? We have two old units in our boat, both tested fine during sea trial, but we are going to be removing them and replacing them at some point with new, more efficient units. They will probably be coming out sometime in July or August. Boat is located in Puget Sound. They will be free for the taking, but probably not worth shipping. Just a thought.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:47 AM   #6
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Before you spend too much money on repairs on an old unit start shopping for a new one
I am somewhere between near and at this same point of repair or replace. It seems to me that a lot of repair work can be done if a new unit costs $2000, as long as the repair work buys a return to normal operation and substantial life expectancy of the repaired unit.

So how much does a freon recharge on a marine unit cost?

And do repaired units really perform like they did when they were new?

And do repaired units operate for the rest of their expected lifespan, or does something else usually break right away?
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:49 AM   #7
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...we are going to be removing them and replacing them at some point with new, more efficient units.
Does that mean air condensed units that do not require seawater to operate? If I get to the point of pulling out one or both of our AC units, I hope that the variables will point me toward an RV type air condensed replacement.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:40 AM   #8
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RV type air condensed units require them to be mounted on the roof, or in the case of mini split units, the condensing unit needs to be mounted outside in an open area. The latter is ugly and both the former and latter types will corrode outdoors in a salt air environment.

Marine A/Cs are built with sea water cooling for a reason.

David
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for the discussion.

I already paid for a AC service call. I am hoping they will continue that call, since they could not get the compressor unstuck and I did by simply rocking the unit between heat and cool modes about 10 times.

If the freon is gone, I want to know where it went?? That might finalize the buy decision. But, if it cools well, a few $$ for another year or two of service is probably a good decision.

Surely, a new condenser will be in the plan for the future, regardless.

Again, Thanks. Paul
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:36 AM   #10
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Before you spend too much money on repairs on an old unit start shopping for a new one
+1

IF you lost your freon charge, you will spend hours of labor charges trying to locate and maybe repair it, then putting a suction on the system to draw out all the air, before you recharge the system the system with freon.
My opinion, buy new. I did and didn't look back.
Ah one note, I did have to have my SW hoses replaced, they were replace with silicone hoses. According to the tech, fewer chances for sea critters to latch on, internally.
He did confirm the placement of copper in the basket.
I just had my entire system cleaned with barnacle buster too.
The new units come with a 'plastic' condensate pan too.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:53 AM   #11
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If you don't have caps with gaskets on the service ports, or the caps aren't tight, the valves can be the source of the leak. Those Schrader valves have a tendency to leak after a few years. Caps with seals can be bought on Amazon, etc.

Beyond that, leaks can be a lot of places. Sometimes they can be tracked down by putting a UV die in with the charge and then looking for where it stains coming out with special glasses and a light. These often get sold as glasses-light-die kits. And, some refrigerant comes with the dye mixed in. This works best if the unit and tubing is spotless clean in advance.

Beyond that there is soapy water...butbthat tends to be hard to actually do and require a pretty bad leak.

Sometimes when leaks can be found they can be soldered over or otherwise fixed. But, if it isn't the valves, they can be hard to find and, unless one gets lucky, harder to fix, unless there is an obvious area of damage or corrosion.

Given the history, the compressor itself is suspect, though. Everything is wild guessing until one has the gauges on it, and maybe even until one vacuums it down good, charges it, and then sees what is going on.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:28 AM   #12
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RV type air condensed units require them to be mounted on the roof, or in the case of mini split units, the condensing unit needs to be mounted outside in an open area. The latter is ugly and both the former and latter types will corrode outdoors in a salt air environment.

Marine A/Cs are built with sea water cooling for a reason.

David
I can handle the image issues and the condenser side of a mini split unit can be mounted inside a seat on our bridge, but keeping the salt spray and mist off it is a real issue. Does no one make a marine grade split unit?
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:06 PM   #13
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The quick answer is no. The industry is focused on water cooled condensers.
Look at the advances in the new units: cooling coils have been relocated to the air path before the evaporator, fans have been moved into the blower for motor cooling and reduced noise, soft starts have been added to reduce amp draw.
If you have an older split system there are probably flare joints somewhere in the piping and as said above older schrader valves are always suspect. The coil in the changeover valve is probably beginning to fail and the list goes on.

I just finished replacing the under bridge split condenser unit with a single package unit and it wasn't cheap but the difference is worth every bit of what a good marine unit costs.
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:35 PM   #14
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Don't forget that R-22 is about $60 a pound nowadays, and it sounds like you're going to need several. Ben
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:52 PM   #15
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RV type air condensed units require them to be mounted on the roof, or in the case of mini split units, the condensing unit needs to be mounted outside in an open area. The latter is ugly and both the former and latter types will corrode outdoors in a salt air environment.

Marine A/Cs are built with sea water cooling for a reason.

David
Yep. Got an RV unit somebody mounted many moons back. Works well, though.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:00 PM   #16
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That all makes sense. From a minimizing through hull perspective, the mini split makes sense, but that's about as far as it goes. Thanks folks.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:03 PM   #17
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A water cooled unit will be more efficient (use less power) than an air cooled unit, due to the lower water temp. Lower condenser temp =lower condenser pressure = lower compressor ratio = lower compressor amp draw.
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