Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 131 Times in 124 Posts
Rep Power: 8
About 7 years ago our daughter, 10 at the time, used a Steak Knife to liberate an Ice Cream bar from the evaporator plate in our fridge-cooled by a FrigoBoat system. Of course, in the process she poked a hole in the plate and within a few hours all of the Freon had run out. (I did not discover this until a week after the fact, all I knew was that the system failed and the fridge have to become an Ice Box for the balance of our spring cruise.)
Upon our return home, our friendly A/C guy stopped by, pronounced our system empty and injected some Freon with a green dye in the system which, in short order, revealed the hole! (With that he reached up, pulled one of the steak knifes out of the rack, pointed out the similarity of the shape of the wound to the shape of the blade tip and enquired about children aboard. More on that later!)
At that point we were quoted an obscene price to replace the plates. Of course, the mechanic, having become something of a friend, indicated that it would be weeks before he could obtain replacement parts and suggested I think about a temporary fix. So think I did.
I sanded off the white enamel paint around the hole, exposing the aluminum; cleaned it thoroughly with Alcohol, mixed up a tiny bit of MarineTex, and swabbed that over the wound. Once that kicked off, I sanded it smooth, mixed up a tiny bit of epoxy, snipped a little piece of woven roving off the corner of a repair kit I have aboard, and laid that as a patch over my MarineTex. Once that kicked off, I sanded it smooth and painted it with white applicance chip repair enamel from the hardware store. With this I called our A/C mechanic back for a fill, which took only a few ounces of Freon and our trusty system was back in business--and has remained so with the addition of about 1/2 Oz of Freon every 14-18 months since.
As for the child and the steak knife, when confronted she pled guilty but further pleaded extenuating circumstances in that she was recovering the Ice Cream bar for her mother rather than herself which-true or not-her mother vouched for. I'm not quite sure how that mitigated the offense but both both seemed to think it did so somehow I had to settle.
(And try the fix. It has worked for us for 7 years.)
"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."
Last edited by svHyLyte; 04-29-2010 at 09:57 PM.