Air Conditioning issues


John Clanton
 

I must confess that I feel embarrassed to ask for help a second time in less than 8 hours, but there is no better place to go for direction.

I have been on shore power for the last few weeks as I have been completing deferred maintenance on the boat and dinghy.  I have had the air conditioning on because it makes me a more pleasant fellow when it gets hot or sticky outside.  Today, for the first time, I arrived back at the boat and it was more humid inside than outside.  Sometimes I have needed to turn off the entire Air Conditioning system, let it think its thoughts for a moment, then turn it back on and all is well.  Today, after leaving it off, and restarting, it did not come back to life.  

After a bit of investigation, it seems that there is no power getting to the big brain, the seawater pump or the compressor.  There is power to the three A/C units in the fore, aft, and mid cabin areas, and the fans and thermostats are working as usual.  The breaker for the Climma system seems to be tripped and will not reset.  It is as if the breaker itself is broken as it can be pushed back into position, but it doesn't stay, and there is no connection made in the brief period that it is pushed back into the normal position.  There are not lights or indicators on the display above the compressor.  It clearly isn't getting power.

I tried switching off shore power and starting the genset, but had the same results.  I tried turning off all AC power and restoring, but had the same results.

I have shoreside guests arriving on Wednesday, and am worried about getting the A/C system back on line before they get here.  Any thoughts, experiences, or suggestions would be appreciated.


Thank you,

John W. Clanton
S/V Devereux, A55, No. 65
sweating it out in Antibes, France


 

John,

It could be so many things. 

Let's try the most common cause of a short or ground fault.

Is there any sign of saltwater leaks around the Saltwater pump?
That may look like this inside the green circle, or possibly somewhere nearby because the slinger washer will throw salt water up to 50cm:
image.png

If there are signs of leak or rust, it may be possible that saltwater has entered the pump because the mechanical seal on the pump needs replacing. You might try using an ohmmeter to see if there is any continuity between the metal case and the load (brown) wire to the pump. Obviously with the breaker OFF.

This is what can happen, shorting out everything:
image.png

image.png

Good luck, like I said, it could be many different things.

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 11:31 AM John Clanton <clanton@...> wrote:
I must confess that I feel embarrassed to ask for help a second time in less than 8 hours, but there is no better place to go for direction.

I have been on shore power for the last few weeks as I have been completing deferred maintenance on the boat and dinghy.  I have had the air conditioning on because it makes me a more pleasant fellow when it gets hot or sticky outside.  Today, for the first time, I arrived back at the boat and it was more humid inside than outside.  Sometimes I have needed to turn off the entire Air Conditioning system, let it think its thoughts for a moment, then turn it back on and all is well.  Today, after leaving it off, and restarting, it did not come back to life.  

After a bit of investigation, it seems that there is no power getting to the big brain, the seawater pump or the compressor.  There is power to the three A/C units in the fore, aft, and mid cabin areas, and the fans and thermostats are working as usual.  The breaker for the Climma system seems to be tripped and will not reset.  It is as if the breaker itself is broken as it can be pushed back into position, but it doesn't stay, and there is no connection made in the brief period that it is pushed back into the normal position.  There are not lights or indicators on the display above the compressor.  It clearly isn't getting power.

I tried switching off shore power and starting the genset, but had the same results.  I tried turning off all AC power and restoring, but had the same results.

I have shoreside guests arriving on Wednesday, and am worried about getting the A/C system back on line before they get here.  Any thoughts, experiences, or suggestions would be appreciated.


Thank you,

John W. Clanton
S/V Devereux, A55, No. 65
sweating it out in Antibes, France


Peter de Groot
 

John,

The photo sent by Bill (of the charred pump motor windings) looks like the one I sent him from SM#207.  I also experienced intermittent problems prior to the complete failure of the pump.  My episode confused me because the pump would work when powered by the generator but not from the North American shore power. ( In hindsight it makes complete sense)  What I learned from my episode is that I could have saved a lot of time and frustration by checking to resistance of the motor winding leads to ground.

 

Good Luck

 

Peter de Groot

La Querida SM#207

 


Gary Wells
 

I know we are discussing completely different boats here, but on Adagio (SM209) a few years back I had a terrible time finding and solving an intermittent fault in our Climma system.  I am not sure exactly which units the A55 might have on board, but if the breaker will not reset (in our case is was the Main Breaker for the whole boat) it is likely due to a ground fault that allows one (most likely the neutral) side of the power circuit to bridge to ground.  It doesn't take much at all to trip those current sensing breakers (again, in our case .05A) so it could be anywhere along the system pathway.  The ultimate cause was a blockage in the condensate water pathway which caused the drip-tray to fill up and water to touch the connector to the heater coil (remember that SM folks! FWD AC tubing needs to be kept cleared :) )

If I were to start troubleshooting again, I'd first try to isolate which of the units is faulting (do A55s have three as in SMs?).  This would mean disconnecting shore power and then un-wiring (I presume there must be a connector/clip going to the units) all of them to prove that the fault is indeed in one of them. If you can isolate which unit is causing the fault it makes it a lot easier to press on.

 

I'm not going to venture any further suggestions as I simply don't know the 55.

 

Good luck!

 

Gary W.
Former SM209, Adagio
Land-lubber in Arizona.


John Clanton
 

Quick update on the Air Conditioning issue:

 

The breaker broke, that is clear.  It would not reset under power, it would not reset without power, and it would not reset once physically removed from the box.  Luckily, there is a fairly large marine electrics shop about a block away from the marina and they were able to order a replacement for me.

 

Educational note:  The young guy in the electrics shop tried to sell me a similar breaker with the same amp rating, but it had a different model number.  When I questioned him about the different model number (his English was just slightly better than my poor French), he shrugged his shoulders and said it must be that the broken one was older.  I was not satisfied.  He enlisted the advice of the master, who spoke no English at all, and he confirmed that what the young lad was trying to sell me was a “standard” breaker, and that I needed a “demurrage” (delay) breaker. 

 

At least in my boat, the breaker needed for the Air Conditioning system has a delay feature to accommodate short bursts of current required at pump/motor/compressor start up.  These are Schneider brand breakers manufactured in France and I have several C16 breakers, but the Climma system has a D16 breaker.  I do not know what the “C” stands for, but apparently the “D” stands for demurrage, the “16” indicates the amperage rating.  As I understand it, the Climma system has a seawater pump, a compressor, and a cold water closed circuit pump, all controlled by an e-brain.  Each of them have a different trigger to turn on and off depending on load.

 

All that being said, the system has been working perfectly for 24+ hours since installing the new breaker, but I have asked the local Climma rep to come by and give the system a once over to see what amps are being pulled by each component as I suspect the breaker didn’t just fail on its own.  I am happy that I could swap out one component and fix everything, but I suspect I only addressed a symptom and that the underlying issue is waiting for an inopportune time to show itself again.  BTW, any entrepreneurs who are looking for their next project, I suggest breakers, there is big money in breakers.

 

If further investigation yields more data, I will share it with the group, otherwise consider the problem solved.  Now on to the Orca Issue…..

 

 

Many thanks to all for suggestions,

 

John W. Clanton

S/V DEVEREUX, A55 No. 65

rehydrating in Antibes, France



Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, retransmission, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information is strictly prohibited.


 

This is great news...wishing you the best.

FYI, maybe a start capacitor is out of spec, slightly increasing the start-up burst of power it is supposed to give. There are a number of suspects, but the easiest to get to is the start capacitors on the Climma pumps.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 12:33 PM John Clanton <clanton@...> wrote:

Quick update on the Air Conditioning issue:

 

The breaker broke, that is clear.  It would not reset under power, it would not reset without power, and it would not reset once physically removed from the box.  Luckily, there is a fairly large marine electrics shop about a block away from the marina and they were able to order a replacement for me.

 

Educational note:  The young guy in the electrics shop tried to sell me a similar breaker with the same amp rating, but it had a different model number.  When I questioned him about the different model number (his English was just slightly better than my poor French), he shrugged his shoulders and said it must be that the broken one was older.  I was not satisfied.  He enlisted the advice of the master, who spoke no English at all, and he confirmed that what the young lad was trying to sell me was a “standard” breaker, and that I needed a “demurrage” (delay) breaker. 

 

At least in my boat, the breaker needed for the Air Conditioning system has a delay feature to accommodate short bursts of current required at pump/motor/compressor start up.  These are Schneider brand breakers manufactured in France and I have several C16 breakers, but the Climma system has a D16 breaker.  I do not know what the “C” stands for, but apparently the “D” stands for demurrage, the “16” indicates the amperage rating.  As I understand it, the Climma system has a seawater pump, a compressor, and a cold water closed circuit pump, all controlled by an e-brain.  Each of them have a different trigger to turn on and off depending on load.

 

All that being said, the system has been working perfectly for 24+ hours since installing the new breaker, but I have asked the local Climma rep to come by and give the system a once over to see what amps are being pulled by each component as I suspect the breaker didn’t just fail on its own.  I am happy that I could swap out one component and fix everything, but I suspect I only addressed a symptom and that the underlying issue is waiting for an inopportune time to show itself again.  BTW, any entrepreneurs who are looking for their next project, I suggest breakers, there is big money in breakers.

 

If further investigation yields more data, I will share it with the group, otherwise consider the problem solved.  Now on to the Orca Issue…..

 

 

Many thanks to all for suggestions,

 

John W. Clanton

S/V DEVEREUX, A55 No. 65

rehydrating in Antibes, France



Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, retransmission, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information is strictly prohibited.