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Old 06-30-2013
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Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Hi All,

I'm a new owner of a 2000 Beneteau 361. The boat came with a fridge/freezer with an Adler Barbour CU-100. I bought the boat knowing the "fridge" was acting flaky/not cooling at all.

When turned on, the fridge short cycles; running for a few minutes, then kicking off for a few seconds, then coming right back on. I called for a service technician to look at it and he said he's not sure why it is short cycling, but said a new compressor is the fix. I don't mind paying the money if that truly will fix the problem, but I am concerned that that answer is the technician's standard answer when he doesn't know how to fix something.

What is even more puzzling is that after the technician performed the diagnostic on the fridge, the fridge worked beautifully for about 3 weekends in a row. This weekend I went back to the boat and the fridge was again short cycling and not cooling.

A couple of factors to be aware of; I was not with the technician when he serviced the boat. Each subsequent weekend in which we went back to the boat with a WORKING fridge, we had turned off the fridge before we went home the prior weekend, so the fridge was turned off all week. We are weekend sailor only.

This last weekend we thought that since the freezer had been working so well, why don't we leave it running all week with our food in there, so we didn't have to take our leftovers home. But then this past Friday, when we returned to the boat, the fridge was again short cycling.

Whenever we run the fridge, it is when the boat is connected to shore power. We always turn the fridge off at the fuse when we leave the dock.

I've never owned a big boat before, and never a boat with these types of systems, so I lack what is likely considered basic knowledge of big-boat systems.

Any ideas? Is a new compressor the way to go?
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Did he add any refrigerant? Sounds like you have a leak and it is freezing up. (as odd as that sounds) That would explain somewhat why it works on weekends only and for 3 weeks only. You need a more competent technician. The person should be able to precisely tell you what's going on.
Find a competent HVAC guy that works on commercial/residential refrigeration. IT doesn't have to be a marine technician. In fact generally i avoid marine technicians unless i know they are exceptionally qualified.

In the end; you most likely will have to switch out the "compressor" units as this most likely will be the easiest fix if you are having issues. I''m thinking you have the dual units; not cheap.(4k) How long would you expect your refrigerator at home to work?

I'm NO HVAC tech (did work in the trades for 20 yrs though); i had my HVAC buddy work on my boat for free. He's sharp! Filled me right in. In the end; new units.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

As Bene said the fridge is probably freezing up because it's low on Freon. If that's the case a new compressor will only help if that removes the leak. If the previous guy put in more Freon, it could have taken some time for the Freon to leak sufficiently to start short cycling again.

The fact that your fridge ran properly seems to indicate that the compressor is also working properly further indicating a leak.

First step would be to contact the refer tech and find out what he did. If he did indeed at Freon then for sure you have a leak. It's a closed system so Freon can only escape via a leak.

Then the leak has to be located and repaired.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Sigh; " I called for a service technician to look at it and he said he's not sure why it is short cycling, but said a new compressor is the fix. " = CALL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING!
sorry.. sometimes I have to yell.

Anyway; It's fairly new. No one should assume first, that it needs refrigerant. Short cycling could very well be power supply related. These little 12/24 volt compressors have a very, very sensitive volt, amp, resistance controller. (costs as much as a compressor even)

All power, connections, wire size, and battery power need to checked and scrutinized. 3-5 amps continuous is about the needs of such units.

Now, if it's still short cycling, it could just be the location of the the box thermostat or it's sensor. When it's running; you should hear normal gurgling sound in the plate or evaporator. If the whole plate gets cold and iced after running It's most likely ok with refrigerant.

You need to ask questions of techs you are thinking of giving the privilege of servicing your unit. "Are you familiar with 12/24 volt power supplied units?" Do you know how to handle refrigerant evac and replacement in very small units?" (only one answer; "weigh it in ounces" Do you know check out procedures of Danfoss controllers on 12 volt systems?"

IF,, and I stress IF.. it does need refrigerant (newer, most likely is. 134-A) "Top it off" is a dumass procedure based on hope rather then knowledge (yes we all do it,) Most systems I've been seeing and reading about, only hold a few ounces. NOT pounds! like domestic refrigerators, when was the last time that needed gas?

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

In the installation manual here https://www.dometic.com/39a242ab-622...76f8ec05.fodoc they recommend contacting the factory for most trouble shooting. You can explain the problem and they will recommend a solution.

For their warranty work their referred option: Have a Dometic authorized Servicing Dealer, perform the work needed. The customer needs to call
Dometic Customer Service Department for a recommendation as to the closest dealer. If the customer already knows
an authorized servicing dealer, the dealer should be contacted directly.

I would still contact the person who has previously looked at your refer unit and ask what he did to get it to work. The more information you are able to provide Alder Barbour and there technician the better. I would be reluctant to use him though because I find it strange that someone can say they don't know what's causing a problem but here's the solution.
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Thanks guys, I have a call into the service tech to determine what exactly he did; then I'll call Adler Barbour as you recommend. When I spoke to him after his initial service call, I'm pretty sure he said he DID NOT add freon though. But I'll confirm.

Thanks again!
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

I don't know that you would have any warranty with a 13 year old boat/system. The compressor may have the control module that has led lights that blink codes. The older ones didn't. Allot of people over charge the refrigerant into these little units too and that also causes problems with the module's sensitivity to amperage.
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Denise has covered the basics. Look at the voltage, and the wiring first, then the thermostat. If it worked fine and got cold when the compressor ran continuously then it is likely the refrigerant charge is fine. I doubt very much you have to replace the compressor, although if the electronic module is faulty it is possible. If your compressor module has a diagnostic LED, count the flashes and see what it is telling you.

One statement I will disagree with is
Quote:
Do you know how to handle refrigerant evac and replacement in very small units?" (only one answer; "weigh it in ounces"
A refrigeration tech that REALLY knows what he is doing might charge the system based on suction temp and pressure. In some cases the "factory charge" may not be available, or it may not be accurate because the system line set has been modified.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
I don't know that you would have any warranty with a 13 year old boat/system. The compressor may have the control module that has led lights that blink codes. The older ones didn't. Allot of people over charge the refrigerant into these little units too and that also causes problems with the module's sensitivity to amperage.
I didn't mean to imply that this might be a warranty issue but rather it was a suggestion as way of getting a qualified technician to handle his problem. I think that in this case the best advice is to get a qualified person.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Adler Barbour CU-100 short cycling

Mine will short cycle to fuses become arched & corroded.
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