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Hobie Dog

Ocean Marine AC Gremlins! And yep it's 99 in MD today!

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And yes I live on my boat Spring-Summer-Fall!

Knock wood is it still functioning somewhat so here is what it is doing.

As long as the compressor is running it works like a champ. So for example when I get home for work today it probably will be mid 80's in the boat. I will turn on the unit and set it say at 67 and it will run and run and run with no problems until it get down to the 67 number. Probably will take 6-8 hours to do that with this heat. It is pumping out nice cold air so obviously the compressor, evaporator, charge ect. it all good. And this is when things get interesting. Once reaching the set temperature the compressor will shut off and the fan will continue to run a lower speed. This is how it has always worked. Never could figure out how to program the control panel to get the fan to shut off when not cooling. Anyways once the cabin starts to warm up and the compressor needs to kick on to start cooling again this is when things get interesting. Sometime the compressor will kinda try to kick on but not fully and then the fan kinda wallows like it is not getting power and then all the displays on the control panel flicker and flash and dim and then everything just goes black/off/system dead! Sometime it will even trip the Off/On breaker switch to off, sometimes is stays in the On position but the system is completely dead. At this point turning it On/Off will do nothing. It's like it's completely fried at this point. BUT if I just leave it off for few hours and then try it again she fires right up like nothing ever happened!

So what I have been doing is cooling the cabin and then turning the system off before it gets to the desired temp. So before bed I will set it to like 63 when it gets to about 65 I just shut it off for the night but it get's pretty toasty by morning. So wake up and turn it back on. Kinda of a real PITA but at least I have some AC.

My buddy at the marina thinks it's a malfunction in the control panel. Any other thoughts? Oh and when running in reverse cycle heat mode it will only run for a few minutes and then flicker/flash and shut down. There are no codes being flashed just the temperature on the display. Yes I have cleaned the strainer and am getting a good water flow from the pump.

Ocean Marine is out of business so have no idea where I can find a new panel??? Going to really suck to have to replace the entire system if it's just an electrical problem at the panel.

Thanks for your help!

 

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This sounds like a faulty relay or perhaps some sort of thermal breaker that resets.

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It sounds like when the compressor tries to start up it draws too much current. The resulting voltage drop in the wiring results in a low voltage at the unit and it shuts down. In some cases the current is actually high enough to trip the breaker. The fault could be in the unit ( a stalled compressor drawing too much current) or the wiring could be undersized. Not knowing the size of wiring or the breaker rating or the normal current draw it's hard to say where the problem is but if the unit is old enough that the manufacturer is out of business and has been working up until now I'd try to figure out why the compressor can't start up when it's hot. And I mean determine what the problem is with the compressor not control panel or something else.  It might just be old and tired.

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13 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Replace the start capacitors is step 1 here. There may even be an "easy start" set available.

This

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Have Mermaid Air 16500 BTU with reverse cycle heat with essentially same symptoms.  Though our system has essentially a home-type thermostat that can be set to cool, heat or fan only.  Fan would run fine for week at time with no issue. 

Tripped out when cycling on/off, and heat mode would trip breaker after 5-15 minutes.  However, amp readings never spiked when tripping out. Had marine HVAC company troubleshoot it.  Replaced breaker for system first at their suggestion.  HVAC tested capacitor and numbers were good.  Further analysis and consultation with Mermaid determined problem to be internal short in compressor.  Now unit is in Florida being rebuilt by Mermaid.  Hope to have it back in a week or so.  About $750 plus freight from the Midwest. 

We have had 90's around here, too, but since wife was out of town and I had to run a Lightning regatta this past weekend plus take care of dog, haven't missed it.  Yet.

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One other thing, there is probably a thermal/overheat switch on unit.  On ours it is a mechanical button reset, but yours may be automated somehow.  Leaving it off for a few hours probably allows thermal relay to reset and therefore start up fine next time.

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On 7/2/2018 at 2:26 PM, yllek said:

It sounds like when the compressor tries to start up it draws too much current. The resulting voltage drop in the wiring results in a low voltage at the unit and it shuts down. In some cases the current is actually high enough to trip the breaker. The fault could be in the unit ( a stalled compressor drawing too much current) or the wiring could be undersized. Not knowing the size of wiring or the breaker rating or the normal current draw it's hard to say where the problem is but if the unit is old enough that the manufacturer is out of business and has been working up until now I'd try to figure out why the compressor can't start up when it's hot. And I mean determine what the problem is with the compressor not control panel or something else.  It might just be old and tired.

Unless the wire loses mass as it ages ,then having too light wire is unlikely to be the problem as this issue has recently appeared after working fine for some period of time. 

However, the connections can become corroded over time and would reduce the flow of electrical current. 

Check every wiring connection for loose or corroded connections. Check both ends of each wire. Especially the ground to the compressor. 

I've fixed a bunch of issues ppl had lready spent piles of time on - SSB, VHF, stereos, autopilot, GPS, starter, water maker, battery charger, the list goes on. 

Always start with the most simple items when trouble shooting anything. 

The SSB had 2 'experts' trying to get it transmitting while we were at sea for almost a week. Dumb old me traced out all the wires and cleaned each connection. The ground was uggin fugly. Unt, WAHLAH, like magic that shit started transmitting 5x5

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 5:26 PM, yllek said:

It sounds like when the compressor tries to start up it draws too much current. The resulting voltage drop in the wiring results in a low voltage at the unit and it shuts down. In some cases the current is actually high enough to trip the breaker. The fault could be in the unit ( a stalled compressor drawing too much current) or the wiring could be undersized. Not knowing the size of wiring or the breaker rating or the normal current draw it's hard to say where the problem is but if the unit is old enough that the manufacturer is out of business and has been working up until now I'd try to figure out why the compressor can't start up when it's hot. And I mean determine what the problem is with the compressor not control panel or something else.  It might just be old and tired.

I spoke with a guy from Aqua Marine (Or something like that, that I found when searching for Ocean Marine.) in Miami and he suspected the same thing; compressor trying to draw too much current when hot. When the compressor is cold at startup it runs just fine and will continue to run once started. But when trying to start back up after running it won't. Need to let it cool all the way down to ambient temperature and start the process again.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 9:38 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Replace the start capacitors is step 1 here. There may even be an "easy start" set available.

OK now to find out were that is on the unit and how to replace...

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 2:54 PM, BayRacer said:

Have Mermaid Air 16500 BTU with reverse cycle heat with essentially same symptoms.  Though our system has essentially a home-type thermostat that can be set to cool, heat or fan only.  Fan would run fine for week at time with no issue. 

Tripped out when cycling on/off, and heat mode would trip breaker after 5-15 minutes.  However, amp readings never spiked when tripping out. Had marine HVAC company troubleshoot it.  Replaced breaker for system first at their suggestion.  HVAC tested capacitor and numbers were good.  Further analysis and consultation with Mermaid determined problem to be internal short in compressor.  Now unit is in Florida being rebuilt by Mermaid.  Hope to have it back in a week or so.  About $750 plus freight from the Midwest. 

We have had 90's around here, too, but since wife was out of town and I had to run a Lightning regatta this past weekend plus take care of dog, haven't missed it.  Yet.

Yep about exactly what my system is doing!

If I have the same problem with a short in the compressor I hope I can find somebody in Annapolis, probably my best bet, to have it rebuilt since Ocean Marine is no longer in business.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 2:58 PM, BayRacer said:

One other thing, there is probably a thermal/overheat switch on unit.  On ours it is a mechanical button reset, but yours may be automated somehow.  Leaving it off for a few hours probably allows thermal relay to reset and therefore start up fine next time.

Yep mine must be automated somehow because I don't have to reset anything. Just wait a couple of hours and she starts right back up.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 10:26 AM, Baldur said:

Unless the wire loses mass as it ages ,then having too light wire is unlikely to be the problem as this issue has recently appeared after working fine for some period of time. 

However, the connections can become corroded over time and would reduce the flow of electrical current. 

Check every wiring connection for loose or corroded connections. Check both ends of each wire. Especially the ground to the compressor. 

I've fixed a bunch of issues ppl had lready spent piles of time on - SSB, VHF, stereos, autopilot, GPS, starter, water maker, battery charger, the list goes on. 

Always start with the most simple items when trouble shooting anything. 

The SSB had 2 'experts' trying to get it transmitting while we were at sea for almost a week. Dumb old me traced out all the wires and cleaned each connection. The ground was uggin fugly. Unt, WAHLAH, like magic that shit started transmitting 5x5

Correct the wire gauge size is just fine as it used to work with no issues. Breaker size is fine as well.

Great point on checking the connections for corrosion! Might just be as simple as that!

 

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Well once again a great wealth of knowledge on this form. Thanks to everyone that posted!

I am going to try the following:

1) Check all the connections for corrosion and clean. Should be able to do that in the next few days and test run system again.

If no success.

2) Find out what/were is the Start Capacitor and hopefully find a compatible part and replace. Test run system again.

If no success.

3) Then look into a possible short in the compressor like BayRacer has. Can the compressor be tested for that in the boat or does it need to be pulled from the boat and put on a bench? If the later then I think I am going to try to make it through Summer with how it is working now. I figure I am not going to further damage the unit, nor do I have a fire issue as I only run when onboard and let it cool to my desired temperature. Once system goes into 'stand by mode' with only the fan running I manually shut down the system before it tries to start again and trip the breaker.

Will report back as to what I find and my progress.

 

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You need the Ohm reading for the C S and R pins on the compressor to determine if its failing,  since its running (kinda) I would change the start parts first.

Get the # off the compressor itself, it will sort of  look like this - AKA8515YXA-,  and look it up. I think those were Tecumseh's, but I could be wrong. 

Any update?

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Update!

Check the simple stuff first!

System really started acting up in September and shut down. Tapped on the control panel and then the circuit breaker switch and what do you know the panel flickered and then everything came back on. It appears I have a bad circuit breaker 20 Amp switch! This was back in September. Was not really pressed to fix as I really did not need AC or Heat but now it is getting a bit chilly with a space heater only so I finally got a new breaker and replaced it Monday night. And now the system is working perfect in Heat mode. Heat mode in the Spring would only run for a few before shutting down.

So I am 99% sure it was the bad circuit breaker causing the problem! Knock wood, I am so pumped that it's fixed!

Thanks for all the help!

 

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