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Author Topic: Compressor vent on a Mark II  (Read 254 times)

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Mick Laver

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Compressor vent on a Mark II
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:11:08 PM »

Hi all
The Adler Barbour (now Dometic) compressor for our fridge is located in the stbd lazerette and vents into the enclosed space. From my rough eyeballing of the space thereís no where near the recommended volume to vent the compressor properly, especially when both aft lockers are full of stuff (as they always seem to be). Thereís a space right above the compressor where hot air would get trapped, and it seems like that would be a obvious  place for a vent. So obvious to me that Iím wondering what Iím missing.

Iíve attached a couple of pictures of the proposed location. Anyone done this?
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Mick and Sherrie Laver
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1999 C34 Mk II #1432
San Diego, CA

Noah

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 03:31:47 PM »

I would (maybe) worry about water getting in there when you wash down the boat?
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scgunner

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 07:01:40 AM »

Mick,

Are you actually getting a noticeable buildup of hot air? My compressor(Adler Barbour) was installed there at the factory with no additional venting and has always worked fine.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Mick Laver

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 08:58:57 AM »

No, I havenít noticed any heat build-up, but to be honest I havenít really been checking. Perhaps when the air temp heats up in a few months and the compressor has to work harder itíll be more noticeable. Iím not looking for ďa solution in search of a problemĒ so Iíll put off putting large holes in my boat until I can verify heat build-up IS an issue. I thought someone may have already added a vent and determined that it helped.

Hereís the relevant section from the installation manual.

VENTILATION REQUIREMENTS
The ColdMachine is a device that moves heat from one place to another. It does not ďcreate cold.Ē The heat removed from your icebox by way of the evaporator is transferred to the air around the condensing unit. If you locate the condensing unit in a small, hot or confined enclosure, it will suffocate. Its built-in fan will have to re-circulate hotter air. It will run continuously, draw excess amps and not cool efficiently. It will never shut off and its performance will be unacceptable.
Let the unit breathe! Position the condensing unit so that its fan can intake air from one space and discharge it to another. Do not re-circulate the same air unless the compartment in which you mount the unit is 100 cubic feet/2.83 cubic meters or larger in volume, unobstructed, and mostly below the waterline.
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Mick and Sherrie Laver
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 10:32:45 AM »

Mick, there have been two or three places most compressor units have been installed in the Catalina 34 over the years:

1.  Lazarette
2.  Under starboard settee, forward of water tank
3.  Under forward section of starboard settee, just forward of the mast

This is for Mark I boats.  Mark II boats have their water heaters in a different spot than the Mark I boats, thus reducing the options, eliminating #2.

[Others have reported installations under the stove (!) and in the nav station hanging locker.  Rare, but reported.]

In the past 22 years I have never heard reports of insufficient cooling in the lazarette location, it is a huge space.

What we have heard, repeatedly, is that the other two locations REQUIRE additional ventilation.  This was true as early as the late 80s in tech notes for those skippers who had their dealers install the units down below instead of aft.

The compressor doesn't get hot, it's the condenser (the "radiator" with the fan on it), which is designed to remove the heat, and which can't work properly in a confined space.

The lazarette location is actually the best one on our boats.  It doesn't need anything else.

My boat is almost 34 years old and we've owned her since 1998.  Other than replacing the electronic module in 2016, it is the original unit and has been working just fine in the lazarette.  I have sailed in the California Delta in over 95F daytime heat for many summers.

The VERY LAST THING you ever want to do is let any water into the lazarette.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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mdidomenico

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 01:02:25 PM »

just an observation.  i know you don't need a new compressor, but the compressor catalina direct is selling now have an optional water loop to combat this problem.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2020, 01:57:24 PM »

Water cooled compressors:  from extensive reading on Cruisers Forum and Kollmann, this idea has been reported to be less useful than many may think.  The additional complexity is reported to not be worth it, even in hot climates which usually have higher water temperatures, too.

I suggest that before anyone goes this route to do a lot of research.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 01:35:33 PM »

Mick : If you really think it's a problem why not try a battery operated fan to move the air inside that compartment.
 
I wouldn't go for the vent that you've shown, as washing the boat and storms will surely let water in!!
There might be a sophisticated vent that will collect any water that might come in, and then drain it out?

A thought
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 01:31:40 PM by Ron Hill »
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Roc

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 10:29:37 AM »

I've never seen a problem with the location of the unit.  During the season, I leave the fridge on 24/7. 
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

scgunner

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Re: Compressor vent on a Mark II
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 07:38:41 AM »

I'll second Roc, except I leave my fridge on 24/7/365. My feeling is that the guys who built these things(C34s)may have known what they were doing.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273
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