ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Hi,
We have a need for a 6 minute delay for our Mermaid HVAC unit. We have purchased a ICM203 On Delay for this purpose. This unit requires a "Controller Transformer" and a "Contactor".
I have been looking at Grainger.com at parts but do not understand the two additional components. I think they are to reduce the 30 amps to say 1.5 amps for the ICM203 then up the amps again before going to the compressor?
Is there a "On Delay" that we can set the time on that has these components built in?
If not then can anyone recommend a "Controller Transformer" and a "Contactor" for the ICM203?

Thanks,
Chip
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

I'm sorry, but I'm completely confused. I've been on hundreds of boats that are equipped with A/C and not one required a 6-minute delay (of what?) for any reason.
Are you by chance talking about a soft start unit?
In your shoes, I might be tempted to hire a professional to help install my A/C unit, rather than spend more money on parts you may not need.

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post #3 of 26 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Hi,
Without a big long explanation I was trying to get some info, but I see more info is required.
There is something wrong with our Mermaid 12000 btu HVAC unit on our sail boat. A 36' Islander Freeport.
If the unit tries to come back on before 6 min it blows a breaker. We are thinking too much pressure in the compressor. After 6 min it runs fine.
We have installed (my wife and I, after much research and a big learning curve) two EasyStart™ 364's. With great success!!
We have two Mermaid units a 12000 btu and a 5200 btu.
So now we have a good understanding of the Mermaid wiring.
We have purchased a new electrical box for the 12000 btu unit but it did not change anything.
We have had a several HVAC technicians come and check the unit out and have said it runs great but they are not able to address the "start back up 6 min problem". We have contacted Mermaid support several times but they have no answer either.
This or a similar product would solve the 6 min start up problem.
Our EasyStart™ 364's have a 5 min delay built in but sadly that is 1 min short.
Add another twist:
If we control the 12000 btu uit with the FX-1 Digital Comfort Control Thermostat which controls the unit for the first two minutes the unit works fine. We manulate the temperature so the unit comes on and off within two min.
We have replaced the breaker.
Checked all connections.
So there you have it, at least what I can think of now.
We are in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Chip
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Higher volume refrigeration systems like ours do not like quick restarts. We usually wait around 6 minutes or more between restarts (manual system, no thermostats) for the pressures to equalize.
I have 2 thoughts on your problem. The first, which you mentioned, is gas. With the gauges on and the manufacturer's specs, you should have no problem seeing if the unit operates at the proper pressures. Too much gas could show too high a pressure on the high side. Then, with the unit off, watch the gauges as the pressures equalize. Again, the manufacturer's info should give you the resting pressure. If higher; too much gas, lower the opposite.
The other thought would be a start capacitor going bad.
We now do our own refer work as we couldn't find even a half-way capable tech down this way. Be very careful; most seem to be unknowledgeable parts changers and quite unable to test, analyze and repair the units. Some don't even understand the principles of refrigeration. So, if the techs you had aboard didn't use gauges and a VOM meter before their final conclusion, they weren't very knowledgeable techs, certified or not.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-02-2019
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoChip View Post
Hi,

We have a need for a 6 minute delay for our Mermaid HVAC unit. We have purchased a ICM203 On Delay for this purpose. This unit requires a "Controller Transformer" and a "Contactor".

I have been looking at Grainger.com at parts but do not understand the two additional components. I think they are to reduce the 30 amps to say 1.5 amps for the ICM203 then up the amps again before going to the compressor?

Is there a "On Delay" that we can set the time on that has these components built in?

If not then can anyone recommend a "Controller Transformer" and a "Contactor" for the ICM203?



Thanks,

Chip

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I would have to see a wiring diagram for the unit you are adding the timer to in order to help. A typical residential or commercial system that those timers are made for would already have a control transformer stepping line voltage down to 24vac for the control circuit. The compressor contactor is also a component that would already be in the system. Your system may have a relay on a circuit board instead of a contactor to power the compressor.

The ICM203 is a "delay on break" timer, AKA and "anti short cycle" timer. It is very simple. It can be used in a circuit 24vac up to 240vac, but cannot handle the full compressor amperage.

I can probably help you figure things out if you have a model number for your unit. Also, what problem are you trying to solve with the short cycle timer?

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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Ok, lots more info in the time it took me to respond!

So the problem you are having is that the compressor does not have enough starting torque to restart until pressures in the system equalize. This is not an uncommon problem on small single phase compressors of that type. Certainly an asc timer isnt a bad idea, but if you already have that, another minute of delay is not likely to solve the problem.
The first step is to make sure your capacitor(s) are ok. The capacitor is what gives a single phase motor its torque. If they are ok, then you can give your compressor more starting torque by adding a hard start kit.
https://www.supco.com/web/supco_live...cts/SPP6E.html

I should also note that you should check your incoming voltage as low voltage can also cause starting problems.

I am not sure exactly what the Easy Start module you installed is doing, or how it would react to a hard start kit. It may be trying to do the same thing for a lot more money!

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Last edited by SchockT; 02-02-2019 at 02:16 PM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

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I would have to see a wiring diagram for the unit
Hi,
Here is a link to our blog where we have documented it all. This link shows the Mermaid electrical box and will give you some idea of the system. We have the EasyStart working great.

https://elegantsea.blogspot.com/2018...al-box_28.html

This link is of the wiring harness from the electrical box to the HVAC unit. We labeled the wires for our own understanding. It includes a few picks of the compressor.
https://elegantsea.blogspot.com/2018...g-harness.html

We have tested with a tech the voltage to the compressor and it was I think 9.3 and it is supposed to be 9 volts? So it is getting the right amount of current.
Like I said we bought a whole new electrical box from Mermaid for our 12000 btu unit and it did not change anything. So the electrical box must be good.
So it could be a component on the HVAC unit but like you said getting a tech here to do anything but charge or flush the unit is problematic. We nw flush the units ourselves. I may even purchase the tools to charge the units ourselves?
Thanks
Chip
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Hi,
Here is a link to our electrical box https://elegantsea.blogspot.com/2018...12000-btu.html

This link shows the voltage coming into the electrical box and the compressor.
https://elegantsea.blogspot.com/2018...with-acid.html
Thanks,
Chip
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

Ok, so it looks like you already have a hard start kit, it's just a different brand...Mars. Am I understanding correctly that you have disconnected it?

I just read up on the easy start, and it looks like what it is doing is limiting amperage on startup in order to reduce the load on the source...generator? Inverter?
That could be problematic because that in rush amperage is what gives the compressor starting torque. If you have removed the start capacitor, that is another potential problem.

BTW, you say you measured "voltage" at 9.3, that must be the amperage. Voltage should be around 115v.

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post #10 of 26 Old 02-02-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: ICM203 on break for boat HVAC unit

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I am not sure exactly what the Easy Start module you installed is doing, or how it would react to a hard start kit. It may be trying to do the same thing for a lot more money!

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Ok the EasyStart is just for reducing the start-up voltage of the compressor. It allows us to run the 12000 btu HVAC on our Honda EU2000i generator while at anchor. A side benefit is it is quieter starting up. It has a 5 min built in delay.

It does not however do anything to remedy the problem we are having and we knew that it would not.
If we simply delay the compressor from starting back up for six min it then starts every time!

Ok a short example of doing things in Mexico. And first I need to say that this is a wonderful place and the people are just great, very helpful and very happy.

We had a leak in our 12000 btu unit that no tech here in Mexico could find. We tried for several years to get the leak found and fixed. Finally we purchased a car here in Mexico and then put the unit in the trunk and drove it up to California, about 1500 miles. We then shipped it to Mermaid who then fixed the leak. They said it was an easy leak to find, on top of the unit under some piping insulation. Then Mermaid shipped the unit back to us in California (they paid shipping both ways even though it was out of warranty). We then put it in the trunk and drove it the 1500 miles or so back here to PV, Mexico and reinstalled it. It worked great and did not leak but at some point it started to blow the breaker if it tried to cycle on\off within six min. Well from 2 to six min. So there we are.

I am not trying to reinvent any wheel here in Mexico (as "just and easy" does not exist here (grin), just trying to solve the problem with things I can do myself.
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