Monday, February 22, 2016

Frosty Xmas. -New Freezer

New freezer

That is correct.  We are currently enjoying a chilly Xmas thanks to a new freezer.
Old freezer

Our old freezer (16 yrs old) stopped working in November 2015.  The control module burned up.  We were not able to buy just the replacement control panel on such an old model.  This meant we would have to buy a whole new unit =$$$$.  Consulting our budget, we decided to wait a year and just make do with a fridge only.
New control module

Well, Santa got wind of our predicament and decided to treat us with a new freezer for Xmas!  Thank you, thank you Santa and Mrs Clause! 
Freezer and fridge - empty

Tom got the new unit ordered but it wouldn't make the December ship from Italy via Miami.  It would be on the January ship.  Okay.  Slight change in our cruising plans.  No worries.  We now had a reason to come back to Trinidad and oh would be Carnival time!  
Fridge part - holding plate

Tom felt confident that he could get the new unit installed and running.  However, he opted to wait until after carnival because we only arrived just before Carnival.  Nearly all of Trinidad business shuts down during Carnival.  If he needed to consult with one of the marine refrigeration experts, chances are they would be closed or unavailable until after carnival.

The stove is missing!

Missing stove found

The first step in replacing anything is getting the old out.  In order to do this Tom also had to temporarily removed the galley stove.  It gave us a chance to clean behind and under......eeew.
New evaporator plate with copper tubes - DON'T kink it or them!

Pulling the old copper lines out wasn't a big deal.  Putting the new ones in he had to be careful not to kink them while snaking them back through tiny runs and weird angles.  But of course he got it done.
Old evaporator plate

Even though there was nothing wrong with the evaporator plate on the old unit, we opted to put in the new one.  It comes as one long, straight plate.  The installer then has to bend it to fit the install location.  Bending it carefully so as not to kink it and therefore making it useless.  The installers being us.  Gulp!

Measure, mark, measure again
As usual, Tom had done much reading, research and thinking ahead of time on how to best accomplish this project.  I read a bunch of sailing blogs.  I happened to remember a blog posting from sv Soggy Paws when they replaced their refrigeration while in some remote Pacific atoll.  Note - A common definition of Cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations!  Ha!  Anyway, sv Soggy Paws used a wine bottle to help them bend their evaporator plate.  Tom measured and marked and measured again just to be sure.  He held the bottle in place firmly and I gently bent the plate.  It was a tad nerve wracking but  we completed curve one.  Okay.  Measure, mark, measure again to be sure, hold, gently bend, curve two done.  Success.  Then Tom did a test fit in the freezer box.  "How the heck did I maneuver the old one out?"  It was a little like a puzzle but he got it in by dipping this end down first and then carefully rotating it forward and then shifting it up and to the left.  It fit!  He took it out and did the final bend on the forward port end and then put it back in - using the same contortions as before. Perfect fit - woo hoo!

First bend complete

Second bend complete
Tom hooked it all up.  This model has quick connects so that made it easier.  Then the moment of truth.  He flipped the switch.  Power - check.  The copper line going out of the pump started to feel cold.  Yay!  The plate did not.  Okay, wait a bit.  Nope.  Hum?  He checked all the connections again, not chilling.  Hum?  Think, check again, ponder, check again.  Finally, he shut it off and called one of the marine refrigeration guys.  They discussed in detail Tom's install .  "When you did the connection at the quick connect value, did you hear a hiss?"  Sherwin asked.  "No" replied Tom. "Then it probably needs charging."  This make and model is supposed to come fully charged with refrigerant from the factory but Sherwin says he has witnessed more than one unit out of the box under charged.  Sherwin arrived the next afternoon, looked things over, put his tester on it and declared "Looks good but just as we suspected, it needs charging."  He hooked up his big bottle and charged it up.  Then he flipped the switch and soon it was chilling down.  Woo hoo!

Quick connector

It has been chilling since.  We have been testing with frozen hamburger patties and bottles of water to freeze.  It's going well.  However, we need to get it filled up more with food for optimum running mode.  This Saturday we will stock up on fresh meat and fish at the fresh POS market and next week hit Price Mart (like Costco) for a final stock up.

Installed and running.  The lower area is the freezer.  Upper is fridge.

So, we are excited about our frosty Xmas present.  It will make this cruising season that much more enjoyable.  Thank you AGAIN Santa and Mrs Clause! 

Final note - On the old unit, the pump and motor were mounted vertically so the sea water could potentially leak down from the pump onto the motor.  Sea water = corrosion = leak = more corrosion.  This burned out the motor causing a voltage surge through the control module thus burning it out.  The new model has been redesigned.  The pump and motor are now mounted horizontally.  Much better. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on a successful install! Wine bottles are good for so much. And Tom, as usual, is an Ace at all things boaty. Great job, and I know you will appreciate having a freezer again!