Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 154 Times in 146 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Re: Air Conditioner Hazard Potential
Whoa... I did not intend to give rise to such a controversy. I just thought posting a notice would be wise in case others might have the potential for the same kind of problem.
Our unit came "pre-packaged/wired" and is/was meant to be simple enough for owner installation. One merely positions the machine, bolts the base down, plugs a power cable into a suitable 120 source, plugs the power cable for the raw water pump into a plug provided for it in the machine's wiring bundle, connects the raw water in-put and discharge lines and positions the thermostat/control panel in a convenient location for managing the operation of the device. All of the wiring goes to a 10" square, 4" deep box which holds the device's circuit board/brains and is mounted in a convenient location adjacent to the machine. The owner/installer's "wiring" efforts involve nothing more than connecting two plugs.
The wire ties on the machine itself are (or are supposed to be) thin metal straps with a foam rubber liner (that bears against the enclosed wiring) fastened to the base in the proper position with small sheet metal screws. In our case, one of these strap ties was omitted and a simple plastic zip tie (that broke) was used instead. With the strap ties, the wiring is/would have been firmly affixed and not subject to chafe as the yacht moves. Further, the hot gas line from the compressor to the heat exchanger (where it is cooled by the raw water) is supposed to be enclosed within a small foam insulation tube, which was missing. The combination of missing insulation and incorrect wire tie is evidently what gave rise to our problem approximately 19 months after the machine was installed.
For what it's worth, the technician that tracked down the problem/error on our boat was fit to be tied when he did so. He evidently went back to the company and (according to the company's owner) got into a heated shouting match with the people in the assembly department over the error.
N'any case, the problem is solved and I have looked at two other boats in our marina with similar AC systems by different manufacturers, one by Flagship and one by Mermaid. The wiring in both was done in a manner similar to mine, with plastic zip ties at some points and insulated strap ties at others. We added reinforcements where it looked to be advisable on those systems but neither had any problems so my situation may have been relatively unique.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."