Topics

Air conditioner seawater pump won’t start


Dean Gillies
 

Hi gang,
I just fired up my AC (not used at all this year!), because I want to make sure I can put antifreeze through the system.   My Calpeda seawater pump is not running, and I’m wondering why? ...

1. I’m measuring 240V at both ACTIVE AND NEUTRAL TERMINALS with reference to ground, but zero bolts between the ACTIVE and NEUTRAL. 
Seems like one terminal is being driven and the other is showing up through the winding, but is not being connected at the pump controller. Relay not activated? 

2. Is it just too cold for it to start. The ambient temp is lower than the lowest temp I can set the AC to, so I maybe the system won’t even try to start the pump?

if that’s the case, does anyone know how to fill the system into starting the pump so I can put Antifreeze into the lines?

Alternatively maybe the pump should always run, and there is a different problem ??  Anytime I’ve fired up my aircon in the past, the ambient temp has been high and I’m 90% sure the seawater pump starts immediately.

Would appreciate any guidance!

many thanks
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Beaute Olivier
 

Hello Dean,

first, did you try to turn the pump shaft manually (thanks to a flat screw driver at the backside of the pump, where the fan is located)?
After several months of non use, the bronze impeller may be a bit frozen.

I confirm the pump starts as soon as you turn on the A/C on cooling mode. Then, depending on the boat's inside temperature, the compressor will start or not (can you hear the click of the thermostat when you turn it to low temp?).

The A/C pump is indeed started from three relays (one for each A/C unit). These relays are located in a grey box located at the aft portside of the engine room, close to the Shore/Generator automatic switch box.

Did you try to turn on all the A/Cs?

Good luck.

Olivier

On Friday, August 30, 2019, 07:44:13 PM GMT+2, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:


Hi gang,
I just fired up my AC (not used at all this year!), because I want to make sure I can put antifreeze through the system.   My Calpeda seawater pump is not running, and I’m wondering why? ...

1. I’m measuring 240V at both ACTIVE AND NEUTRAL TERMINALS with reference to ground, but zero bolts between the ACTIVE and NEUTRAL. 
Seems like one terminal is being driven and the other is showing up through the winding, but is not being connected at the pump controller. Relay not activated? 

2. Is it just too cold for it to start. The ambient temp is lower than the lowest temp I can set the AC to, so I maybe the system won’t even try to start the pump?

if that’s the case, does anyone know how to fill the system into starting the pump so I can put Antifreeze into the lines?

Alternatively maybe the pump should always run, and there is a different problem ??  Anytime I’ve fired up my aircon in the past, the ambient temp has been high and I’m 90% sure the seawater pump starts immediately.

Would appreciate any guidance!

many thanks
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Rudolf Waldispuehl
 

Hi Dean
The Pump should start after the Aircon Blower starts, also without having the temp on low (means without compressor). At leased on my Boat. 
It happens to me as well after long period of not using. You can use a screwdriver and turn the pump manually at the whole in the back where the air-vent is. After some turns it starts, it seems it is just a bit blocked after a while. 
The problem is known and you even find in Amel owners manual.  
Cheers 
Ruedi 
WASABI A54-#55

On 30 Aug 2019, at 19:44, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi gang,
I just fired up my AC (not used at all this year!), because I want to make sure I can put antifreeze through the system.   My Calpeda seawater pump is not running, and I’m wondering why? ...

1. I’m measuring 240V at both ACTIVE AND NEUTRAL TERMINALS with reference to ground, but zero bolts between the ACTIVE and NEUTRAL. 
Seems like one terminal is being driven and the other is showing up through the winding, but is not being connected at the pump controller. Relay not activated? 

2. Is it just too cold for it to start. The ambient temp is lower than the lowest temp I can set the AC to, so I maybe the system won’t even try to start the pump?

if that’s the case, does anyone know how to fill the system into starting the pump so I can put Antifreeze into the lines?

Alternatively maybe the pump should always run, and there is a different problem ??  Anytime I’ve fired up my aircon in the past, the ambient temp has been high and I’m 90% sure the seawater pump starts immediately.

Would appreciate any guidance!

many thanks
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154
<C1A2C884-7469-46E8-B4D9-BCB5CE59718D.jpeg>


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Olivier and Ruedi,
Sorry I should have said that I did spin with a screwdriver, and the spindle runs freely.

Now that I know that the pump should start immediately, that is very helpful.  It seems that there is a problem with the relays.

i will try again with all three systems powered up to see if that makes a difference before I start looking at the relay board. 

Many thanks
Dean


Rudolf Waldispuehl
 

Hi Dean

Understand, - try to turn multiple time with screwdriver, - back and forward. 
I had to do it after the winter season for 1-2 minutes. This summer I used my AC every few weeks and no problem with the pump after that. 

Regards, Ruedi 

On 30 Aug 2019, at 21:55, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Olivier and Ruedi,
Sorry I should have said that I did spin with a screwdriver, and the spindle runs freely.

Now that I know that the pump should start immediately, that is very helpful.  It seems that there is a problem with the relays.

i will try again with all three systems powered up to see if that makes a difference before I start looking at the relay board. 

Many thanks
Dean


Jose Alegria
 

Dean
Check the capacitor!.....
I have 3 capacitors blow out this summer.
One of them with no exterior signs of fail

image1.jpeg
Jose Alegria
Amel55 #03-MERIT
+351918663037



No dia 30/08/2019, às 23:03, Rudolf Waldispuehl <Rudolf@...> escreveu:

Hi Dean

Understand, - try to turn multiple time with screwdriver, - back and forward. 
I had to do it after the winter season for 1-2 minutes. This summer I used my AC every few weeks and no problem with the pump after that. 

Regards, Ruedi 

On 30 Aug 2019, at 21:55, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Olivier and Ruedi,
Sorry I should have said that I did spin with a screwdriver, and the spindle runs freely.

Now that I know that the pump should start immediately, that is very helpful.  It seems that there is a problem with the relays.

i will try again with all three systems powered up to see if that makes a difference before I start looking at the relay board. 

Many thanks
Dean


ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Dean, 
On my 54?I have to get the pump going with flat screwdriver on the shaft at the aft end there is a hole in the fan covering. Mine makes a hum but does not turn without a little help.
Nick
Amelia 
AML 54-019


On 30 Aug 2019, at 19:43, Beaute Olivier via Groups.Io <atlanticyachtsurvey@...> wrote:

Hello Dean,

first, did you try to turn the pump shaft manually (thanks to a flat screw driver at the backside of the pump, where the fan is located)?
After several months of non use, the bronze impeller may be a bit frozen.

I confirm the pump starts as soon as you turn on the A/C on cooling mode. Then, depending on the boat's inside temperature, the compressor will start or not (can you hear the click of the thermostat when you turn it to low temp?).

The A/C pump is indeed started from three relays (one for each A/C unit). These relays are located in a grey box located at the aft portside of the engine room, close to the Shore/Generator automatic switch box.

Did you try to turn on all the A/Cs?

Good luck.

Olivier

On Friday, August 30, 2019, 07:44:13 PM GMT+2, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:


Hi gang,
I just fired up my AC (not used at all this year!), because I want to make sure I can put antifreeze through the system.   My Calpeda seawater pump is not running, and I’m wondering why? ...

1. I’m measuring 240V at both ACTIVE AND NEUTRAL TERMINALS with reference to ground, but zero bolts between the ACTIVE and NEUTRAL. 
Seems like one terminal is being driven and the other is showing up through the winding, but is not being connected at the pump controller. Relay not activated? 

2. Is it just too cold for it to start. The ambient temp is lower than the lowest temp I can set the AC to, so I maybe the system won’t even try to start the pump?

if that’s the case, does anyone know how to fill the system into starting the pump so I can put Antifreeze into the lines?

Alternatively maybe the pump should always run, and there is a different problem ??  Anytime I’ve fired up my aircon in the past, the ambient temp has been high and I’m 90% sure the seawater pump starts immediately.

Would appreciate any guidance!

many thanks
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Dean Gillies
 

That’s an impressive blow out Jose!
At least you know what is wrong very easily 😜


Dean Gillies
 

Hi All,
The thing that was niggling me was the fact that there was no voltage across the Active-Neutral terminals of the pump when I checked. 

Monitoring the terminal voltage I have checked whether the pump is activated immediately the system is powered on, and I found that it is not! No voltage at the terminals.
This could point to a relay problem.

However, before looking at the relays, I thought I would do another test as follows:

Ambient temp here is 15degC (yes it is summer!).

I turned on the AC in the saloon, and set the desired temp to 17.9. (The lowest possible setting).

The AC produces some slightly warm air, but the seawater pump does not start.

I then used a hot air gun to slowly raise the temp of the AC panel in the galley.

When the temp reading on the panel reached 18.9 degC THEN the seawater pump started.

Conclusion: The seawater pump does not start until the ambient temp (as detected at the panel) rises above the set-point (desired temp set by user).
(I guess this corresponds to the compressor starting up).

Most folks might think that the pump operation is always immediate. In hot weather, it does, but in fact it depends on ambient temperature vs set-point.

Thanks for the pointers Olivier, Ruedi and Jose.

Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Dean,

I turn on the AC and nip into the engine room with a screwdriver. It is trying to turn but can not quite make it without my help. No kickback really. I had that pump apart and reckoned it was on it’s last legs, but that was two years ago and it is still going. I should buy a spare, but it is not really essential for the running of the boat and we are not in marinas much. Having said that in Greece this summer, when connected to shore power a bit of AC for a siesta is quite nice!

In Scotland you will be more in need of heating! How was the condensation this summer? On my last boat we spent a summer on the west coast and loved it, but the portholes and hatches were covered each morning with heavy condensation.

Nick

Amelia
AML 54-019

On 31 Aug 2019, at 16:44, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Matt Salatino
 

Sounds like a starting capacitor is bad.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Aug 31, 2019, at 12:08 PM, ngtnewington Newington via Groups.Io <ngtnewington@...> wrote:

Hi Dean,

I turn on the AC and nip into the engine room with a screwdriver. It is trying to turn but can not quite make it without my help. No kickback really. I had that pump apart and reckoned it was on it’s last legs, but that was two years ago and it is still going. I should buy a spare, but it is not really essential for the running of the boat and we are not in marinas much. Having said that in Greece this summer, when connected to shore power a bit of AC for a siesta is quite nice!

In Scotland you will be more in need of heating! How was the condensation this summer? On my last boat we spent a summer on the west coast and loved it, but the portholes and hatches were covered each morning with heavy condensation.

Nick

Amelia
AML 54-019
On 31 Aug 2019, at 16:44, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


 

It is likely the starting capacitor inside the wiring junction box on the top of the Calpeda BCM20/E pump. Note the photo shows an aluminum case capacitor. Absolutely use an aluminum case 10uf capacitor. Calpeda distributes this pump with either a plastic or aluminum capacitor. The plastic will not stand the heat.
image.png

If it is not the capacitor, it may be the fuse. Amel used an automotive glass-type fuse in SM and possibly all 54s. It is located inside the CLIMMA Control box in the engine room.
image.png

I hope this helps.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970



On Sat, Aug 31, 2019 at 11:36 AM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Sounds like a starting capacitor is bad.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Aug 31, 2019, at 12:08 PM, ngtnewington Newington via Groups.Io <ngtnewington@...> wrote:

Hi Dean,

I turn on the AC and nip into the engine room with a screwdriver. It is trying to turn but can not quite make it without my help. No kickback really. I had that pump apart and reckoned it was on it’s last legs, but that was two years ago and it is still going. I should buy a spare, but it is not really essential for the running of the boat and we are not in marinas much. Having said that in Greece this summer, when connected to shore power a bit of AC for a siesta is quite nice!

In Scotland you will be more in need of heating! How was the condensation this summer? On my last boat we spent a summer on the west coast and loved it, but the portholes and hatches were covered each morning with heavy condensation.

Nick

Amelia
AML 54-019
On 31 Aug 2019, at 16:44, SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Nick and Dean, i will repeat again my mantra. Regularly spray crc 66 marine in and around the motor and you are unlikely to have the problem again. Likewise for all pumps, alternators, starter motors and associated electrical connections. If crc 66 marine is not available WD 40 is an alternative. There are those who advocate corrosion x for this  and i am sure it is a fine product and I use it myself in some applications but it leaves a greasy film which after multiole applications becomes quite unsightly and since the crc has worked for me for many years I am staying with it

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 01 September 2019 at 03:44 SY STELLA <stella@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Mark Erdos
 

Dean,

 

I don’t think you should turn the screwdriver with power to the pump. All you are trying to do with the screwdriver is turn the pump a couple of rotations to free the bronze impeller.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Vista Mar, Panama

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of SY STELLA
Sent: Saturday, August 31, 2019 11:45 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Air conditioner seawater pump won’t start

 

Hi Nick,
Ah the old screwdriver trick. That’s usually my first port of call too!  Do you try to turn it when it’s powered up? Is there a kickback when it spins up?  I’ve always powered it down first, then give it a few spins with screwdriver and then it seems to go. 
The AC pump on my last boat was exactly the same each spring.
Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Nick,
I’ll try that screwdriver method next year, although I found that just spinning it a few times before starting up the system also seems to work.

We also used the AC a lot in Greece. Great!

That condensation problem is very much present for us here in Scotland too.  I’m going to run a dehumidifier over winter on the hard stand.

Lifting out on Monday.

Cheers
Dean



Dean Gillies
 

Hi Mark, Bill, Matt & Danny,

Thanks for posting. 

It turned out that the problem I was having was nothing to do with the capacitor, corrosion or the rotor sticking. The clue was in the lack of drive voltage to the pump.  My capacitor is good, there is no corrosion and the rotor turns freely.

The problem was simply that the seawater pump is not commanded to turn on until the ambient temp is below the set point.  In warm climates this usually happens immediately, but if the air temp is 15degrees as it is here, the pump is not commanded to turn on because it’s simply not required by the system.

Bill, that’s probably good info for your book as I’m sure this happens to others, but not many.  I only needed the pump to run for pushing antifreeze around the lines.  I now know how to do that, by using a heat gun on the thermostat!

Interestingly I do have the plastic capacitor, but have had no issues with it, even although the AC has been used a lot since the boat was new. The previous owner didn’t take the boat out very often, but he did like to hang out in the marina in the Italian summer with the AC running!

Cheers
Dean
SY Stella
A54-154

ps Danny, I don’t know that crc 66 product, but I’ll keep an eye open.  I do use CorrosionX and of course WD40 is as ubiquitous as duct tape :-)
As the old saying goes ...
If it moves when it shouldn’t -> Duct Tape
if it should move but doesn’t -> WD40


Dean Gillies
 

Sorry guys, just read that last post and the 2nd para should read...

The problem was simply that the seawater pump is not commanded to turn on IF the ambient temp is below the set point.

I couldn’t find a way to edit my post?

cheers
Dean