Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

PDQ issues applicable across all PDQ Yachts (or if you can't find a place for something, it probably belongs here for now)
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MagicDragon
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Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby MagicDragon » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:48 am

One of the things that got fried in our lightning strike last season was the Dometic fridge. Our yard replaced the old one with an Adler Barbour CU2000 compressor and a VD151 plate that has not worked well since installation, despite replacing it already once under warranty and several service calls. We never had problems with the Dometic keeping that compartment cold - we could even freeze ice cubes inside the small compartment. With the new unit, temperature is between 45-50 degrees no matter what we do. The yard says we have air leaks - they've recommended a plug for the drain and extra insulation / foam strips. BUT, we never had any problems with the old unit despite the supposed air leaks. I suspect they put in a unit that was too small and that's why it cannot keep the box cold enough. Would appreciate knowing what size units other owners have installed. Thanks!
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Angela Barbati
S/V Magic Dragon 36054
near Cleveland, OH

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby philiprmcgovern » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:47 pm

Charley:

We have the same setup on Sunshine and I can feel your pain. We had lots of problems getting ours to work properly, but we finally succeeded. I can almost promise you that you either have too much or too little refrigerant and/or leaky Schrader valves. Go to WalMart or NAPA and buy a can or two of 134a and a hose kit. While you're there, get a Schrader valve wrench (think bicycle tube valves).

Hook the can up to the inlet valve and put in about half a can -- it takes quite a while for it to flow in -- maybe 5 or 10 minutes -- so be patient. Give all of the valves a good "eeek" with the wrench and see what the results are. If you aren't there yet, put in the rest of the can. You will have it right when the copper line is frosted to the point where it exits the box. I found that letting some refrigerant out is just as helpful as adding more in. If you don't have gauges, you can do it by trial and error. Eventually, you will get it right and be making ice cubes.

Also, don't hesitate to call Waeco tech support. They were very helpful to me and very knowledgeable. Just don't let them think that you didn't connect the copper tubes properly when the unit was installed. They might try to use that against you. Their warranty support is very good as well. Right after ours was installed, they sent the local refrigeration "technician" out four times before he was able to get ours right. He just wasn't hanging around long enough to see whether he had put in the right amount of 134a.

Also, if your unit is installed under your port settee as ours is, I would suggest cutting a hole right next to the condenser and mounting a computer fan there. It wires directly into the AB control panel and switches on whenever the condenser cycles on. I also cut another hole into the aft end of the settee compartment to serve as an exit vent. This should help your airflow and efficiency of the unit. I built a little 12" or so platform for the unit to sit on so that it would be up high enough for the vent fan to hit the compressor at the right spot and found some louvered covers to put over the two holes I cut. They are white and about 8" on a side and they look like they belong there.

We also put foil covered board insulation (whose name escapes me but is available in rolls at most any "home center") both inside the box and around the outside as best we could. It has a decent, but not spectacular, R-value and I have to think that it helps. It's not expensive at all.

I wish I could tell you exactly what temp our box is holding, but we're off the boat now. If memory serves, we were keeping the fridge (not the evaporator) in the mid to upper 30''s and are able to make ice cubes in the evaporator.

I hope that some of this is helpful to you. Don't be afraid to mess around with it. If it doesn't work anyway, what have to got to lose? Besides, I'm sure you will get it figured out.

Let us know how it goes.

Phil McGovern
s/v Sunshine
36036 LRC

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby toddting » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:59 pm

Any idea on where to get the Crimp-on trim that goes around the door for fridge?
Havent been able to find

Thanks,
Todd Wilson
s/v Ting

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby philiprmcgovern » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:35 pm

Todd:

We must have different fridges. Ours (circa 1994) has the "L" shaped guillotine type door that is allegedly held open by a stiff spring. I don't recall any trim that surrounds it.

Maybe someone else can help. James, are you out there?

Phil

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby Bob » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:38 am

I have used 1/2" x 1" foam gasket from McMaster-Carr. It comes in white so it doesn't look bad. I purchased through Harbor Freight a set of charging gauges and a vacuum pump. I suspected a leak as the compressor never shut off. I've drawn the unit down and recharge with 6.5 oz of 134a and it works fine. I've since discovered that just because the control is labeled 1-5 it doesn't necessarily follow that if you set it to 3 the compressor is capable of pulling the temp down to that point. I've set it closer to one and still can make ice cubes and the refer is cycling on and off now. All in all a self taught course in refrigeration :roll:
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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby toddting » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:16 am

I meant the trim, which makes the air tight sealing possible. Mine's rusted out

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby Bob » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:17 am

I guess you have a different setup as mine has no trim. Does it look like the trim used on the hard bimini? If so McMaster carries that also.
Bob Johnson

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby mikeandrebecca » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:08 am

The trim on ours is identical to the trim on our sliding hatch. Unfortunately I don't have a source for it to share.

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Fridge issues

Postby doubledutch » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:22 am

You may find the trim at www.spaenaur.com
Henry

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Refrigeration Update

Postby MagicDragon » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:28 pm

After repeated visits from the yard's technician, and replacing all the foam rubber tape surrounding the fridge door, buying a new hatch support from West Marine, finding a plug for the drain, and tightening then locking down the closure latch, we've finally determined that our freon pressure is OK, and problem may have been the temperature gauge, which was adjusted.

We were informed not to let too much ice build up on the evaporator. Another suggestion was to keep minimal air flow through the fridge by closing the valve - ours is under the fridge in the top right of the cabinet underneath - we never thought to look up in there, and so bought an expanding plug normally used for wine bottles to close off that air flow. Now that we know where the valve is that closes off the drain, we will make that part of annual maintenance but will most likely keep the plug - it's easier and more visible than our valve.

Removing and replacing all the old foam rubber tape was interesting - the adhesive is very sticky, and when you apply the new, it tends to shrink in the cold, thereby accentuating all the small gaps - THEY GOT BIGGER! This has been an exercise in patience, since we couldn't get the fridge below 40 degrees no matter what we tried. Our very warm summer has been the perfect test for our fridge - finally happy with the results, and comfortable sharing advice.
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Angela Barbati
S/V Magic Dragon 36054
near Cleveland, OH

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby maxicrom » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:15 pm

I've found that automotive grade "3M Super Weatherstripping Adhesive" is the best stuff,

It comes in clear but I think the yellow "Gorilla Snot" variety works the best. I haven't had much luck with the over the counter weatherstripping materials, the material is too soft. I found a commercial supply house in the DC area that specializes in rubber and gasket materials (plumbing, construction, and HVAC). I was able to by 20' rolls of 1/2" wide by 7/16" thick weatherstripping that has been working now for a few years without any issues. The trick with the 3M product is to mask off the areas outside the weatherstripping, apply a thin bead of adhesive along the seal surface - put down the weatherstripping and then lift if off (watch out for the adhesive strings) wait a few seconds and reapply the weatherstripping and let it set up for about five minutes or so - it takes about an hour to completely cure. You can use use the adhesive to glue the corners together as well. It can be messy, but I think goof off may work on it.

As for the frosting up - when it's hot and humid simply opening the door lets moisture in. We have the old style deep fridge box with a EZ Kold cold plate - we defrosted the cold plate last week and there is a 1/8" of ice back already. It's a constant fight in the summer - it takes the cold plate about 3 days to shed a months worth of ice - luckily the box stays reasonably cold during the de-icing process. We've been thinking about making the door bi-fold, or hanging plastic like the grocery stores do.

Try the commercial gasket material - ours has as much flex in it now as it did new.

Good luck,

Mike
Mike & Linda
S/V II the Max

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby catalacmarc » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:51 am

One of many issues to debug with Honu (ex Frolic) is the refrigeration. Box goes down to 41° empty and evaporator box doesn't frost at all. It has an Adler Barbour unit that maybe hasn't been serviced since 1999. The installation is lousy, the compressor is on the floor of the port settee locker with the coils maybe an inch and a half from the side. Even with the vents all above the level of the compressor, I can't see how it could draw air well enogh to be effective. The other issue is that the coils project only 2 3/4" above the elevation of the settee floor. I am thinking of a bank of 2" computer fans and a cowling to direct air down to the coils? Any suggestions?

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Re: Poll owners on their Fridge Capacity

Postby catalacmarc » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:32 pm

Installed three small computer fans at floor level, froze a glass of water! Marc


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