Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 129 Times in 122 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Air Conditioner Hazard Potential
This past week we had an unfortunate experience with our AC system that others might want to know of. Essentially, because of a failed cable tie, the 3-lead power cable to the fan assembly came in contact with the very small copper tube that directs hot compressed gas from the compressor to the heat exchanger. Some may be surprised to learn, as was I, that the temperature of that gas line can be great enough to melt the plastic insulation on a power cable and, in our case, did. With that, the copper tube itself acted as a conductor connecting the hot lead in the cable to the ground lead, which activated the fan even when the AC system was "off" (so long as power was supplied to the AC circuit).
I discovered the issue when I arrived at the boat and found the AC fan running even though the AC system was off. Originally I thought there was a defect in the control module on the circuit board but, after a technician from the manufacturer swapped out the board, the problem continued, indicating a short circuit. A careful, tedious, inspection of the wiring finally revealed the damaged cable that was shorting out. Fortunately, the cable was easily enough repaired and wiring re-secured (with better cable ties), and the position of the tube to the heat exchanger re-aligned somewhat to prevent a possible repeat. Moreover, although our system is "out of warranty", the manufacturer waived any charges for the service call (which took rather a good deal of time and included a new circuit board in the control module) declaring that the problem "..should not have happened".
N'any case, for those with air conditioning, one might want to know of the potential issue and might want to double check one's own wiring where movement of the yacht over time might wear on wire and cable ties.
"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."