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Marine Air / Dometic problem
May 7, 2011
8:12 am
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Steve Pooler
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November 12, 2008
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gtbaml said:

Hello Steve,

Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply.

The builder has confimred that the yacht (built in 2008) had both Pololyol Ester (POE) Refrigerant Oil and CPVC Plumbing. Thus this falls within this alert...…Have to ask…With model, product & serial numbers…What does Dometic say the chiller has for oil ?…Have you contacted Dometic directly ???…I find it odd that a chiller built in maybe 2007, shipped overseas, & installed in 2008 would not have R-22 & Mineral oil… It is my understanding that Dometic has product liabilty insurance cover which of course they pay for.  Why then do they not make of such cover for their customers?  Please remember that the custmoer had no control of the selction of pipe or oil used while Domentic had every control….Dometic had no selection of oil, as they do not manufacture the compressors that come pre-charged with the oil of the compressor manufacturer's choice (at least back then it was that way)…They also do not mandate that the boat builder use CPVC plumbing…Copper piping is the plumbing that is preferred...But of course that requires the increased cost (to the builder & ultimately you) of copper, and pipe fitters to install it...

There is an explicit and express duty of care on manufactures to ensure that the products they supply are both fit for purpose and safe.  It really is rather shabby to try and excuse themselves of the liabilty of this issue on the grounds of expired warrentty.  There have been recently recalls on several cars that have developed faults outside warrennty that the manufacturers have put right with no mention of warranty. It should be remembered for those affected by this issue the risk was there as soon as these two incompatable elements were joined at the time of instaltion. 

 

I'm not going to get into the legal side of this on this forum…It's not what I intended it to be for, Nor am I a player in any part of how it evolved/s…

 

I will say that I did do many chiller system startups for the US commissioning yard of a China builder that installed Dometic chillers during your mentioned time period…All those units were R-22 with Mineral Oil…

 

Again, The above in itself makes it hard to believe that a chiller system built in 2008 & shipped overseas…Well before the EPA 01/10/2010 mandate here in the US…Would have POE Oil… Confused

Steve~

May 6, 2011
11:52 pm
gtbaml
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Hello Steve,

Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply.

The builder has confimred that the yacht (built in 2008) had both Pololyol Ester (POE) Refrigerant Oil and CPVC Plumbing. Thus this falls within this alert.  It is my understanding that Dometic has product liabilty insurance cover which of course they pay for.  Why then do they not make of such cover for their customers?  Please remember that the custmoer had no control of the selction of pipe or oil used while Domentic had every control. 

There is an explicit and express duty of care on manufactures to ensure that the products they supply are both fit for purpose and safe.  It really is rather shabby to try and excuse themselves of the liabilty of this issue on the grounds of expired warrentty.  There have been recently recalls on several cars that have developed faults outside warrennty that the manufacturers have put right with no mention of warranty. It should be remembered for those affected by this issue the risk was there as soon as these two incompatable elements were joined at the time of instaltion.   

May 6, 2011
9:04 am
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Steve Pooler
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November 12, 2008
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gtbaml said:

Dometic have hit the target again!

Users of MarineAir air-conditioning systems will be dismayed to learn that Dometic are seeking to minimise their liability by informing users that Polyol Ester (POE) Refrigerant Oil Is Incompatible With CPVC Plumbing (as used by many installers under prior Dometic installation guidelines)

THERE IS (they say) GREAT RISK TO YOUR VESSAL and if YOU do not act they say they will not be responsible!

Good news: If your system is under warranty they will change the oil, pay for the oil and labour.

Bad news: If your system is out of warranty they are only prepared to give you the oil (You must pay all labour costs – thereby giving Dometic agents extra profit!)

I wonder if there was a breach of a primary warranty for which the seller (Dometic) may be liable.

It could be an unfair and deceptive business practice (a statutory type of fraud) to attempt to avoid liability for breach of a primary warranty by claiming expiration of the irrelevant warranty. A statute of limitations on a contract claim may be shorter (or longer) than that of a tort claim, and some breach of warranty cases are filed late and are characterized as a fraud or other related tort.

Read more: ** you don't have permission to see this link **

As of this morning there was one member & two posts to that forum, and it was this poster (gtbaml) who established the forum and made both posts.

gtbaml,

I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish here…Maybe you own or captain a Yacht with Chilled water A/C systems and CPVC plumbing for the chiller loop ???

 

This issue does not affect regular Direct Expansion systems (unless they have CPVC fitting or pipe in the seawater plumbing & I know of none that do) as they do not have a Plate coil heat exchanger that is subject to freeze up (but that is also protected from doing so by flow & freeze sensors that shut the system off before it happens) or plumbing for a chiller loop that runs throughout the vessel that could be affected by this issue…It may not even affect your yacht…

 

Dometic and all other marine chiller manufactures have only been using POE oil since the EPA mandated 1/10/2010 refrigerant change from R-22 to the new "Green Gas" replacements that cannot use the Mineral Oil that Pre-2010 R-22 refrigerant chillers did…And as of their Field Notice from March of 2011, Dometic has ceased the use of POE oil in their systems….That to me would mean that all systems sold between 5/10 (it's now May) to 3/11 would still be under warranty…That leaves what ?

Four months of production of chillers in 2010 that are not covered & I'm guessing that it's not many units in this economy…They are Not a low dollar item that owners replace often…Nor do the Yachts they are installed in get built at great neck pace… 

 

To me…Dometic has done a good job of identifying & addressing the issue by notifying owners, customers & dealers of the problem, and what they will & have done to resolve it….I wonder what other Marine Chiller manufactures are doing ???? 

 

Below is a copy of the field notice that I got back in March….

Steve~

 

FIELD  NOTICE

Date: March 1, 2011
Field Notice Number:  311-C11
Models or Product Affected: Cruisair & Marine Air Systems
Recipients: Dealers, Master Dealers, Distributors, OEMs, Manufacturer's Reps

Alert Image.JPG

NOTICE
Immediate Action Is Required In Order To
Avoid Damage To Your Vessel
 


Polyol Ester (POE) Refrigerant Oil Is Incompatible With CPVC Plumbing

Dometic Marine, makers of Marine Air and Cruisair air conditioning systems, has become aware that POE refrigerant oil used by compressor manufacturers for green gas refrigerants (R-407C and R-410A) is incompatible with CPVC piping materials occasionally used by some boat manufacturers.

If POE oil comes into contact with CPVC piping materials, the CPVC may begin to crack.  This may happen in the unlikely event of a heat exchanger failure causing oil in the compressor to mix with the circulating water.  Oil may then be distributed throughout your CPVC plumbing system, resulting in stress cracks and leaks throughout the vessel.    

An alternative oil, poly vinyl ether (PVE), is compatible with CPVC piping systems.  We have established a procedure for changing the oil in your current compressors to avoid the potential for this problem to occur.

Please read this Notice carefully and follow its instructions.   If you have transferred possession of your vessel, please provide this notice to those who currently have the vessel.

If this Notice is ignored, and a heat exchanger failure occurs, it could result in failure of your CPVC chilled water plumbing system and potential damage to your vessel.

** you don't have permission to see this link **

Action Steps:

The following action steps must be completed to protect your system and prevent a possible plumbing system failure:

FREEZE PROTECTION:         Shut the system down and ensure that your system has the proper amount of anti-freeze in the chilled water loop per our field notice 301-F10 Issued on June 22, 2010 (attached).

This will greatly reduce the risk of heat exchanger failure.

Be sure to incorporate this procedure in your routine maintenance program to increase the operating life of your chilled water air conditioning system.

OIL CHANGE:        Have the oil in all of your compressors changed as soon as possible.

This can only be done by a Marine Air or Cruisair authorized HVAC technician.

Finding an authorized technician:

To receive service under this notice, please contact your nearest Dometic authorized servicing dealer, or contact the Dometic Customer Service department in any of the following ways:

Phone:                800-542-2477 or 804-746-1313 (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays)
Email:                  ** you don't have permission to see this link **
Web form:        ** you don't have permission to see this link **

 Customer Service will arrange for an authorized technician to assist you with this process.

Equipment under warranty:

If your Marine Air or Cruisair chilled water system is still under factory warranty, the cost of the oil change will be covered by Dometic Marine.  For warranty service the vessel must be moved to an easily accessible location for the servicing dealer.

Equipment not under warranty:

If your Marine Air or Cruisair chilled water system is not under warranty, we will supply the new oil at no charge to the authorized technician of your choice.  You must cover the labor cost to change the oil in the compressors.

Replacement option:

If you choose to upgrade or replace your system with a new Marine Air or Cruisair system instead of changing the oil in the compressors, Dometic will give you a discount of $1,000 per compressor towards purchase.  For example, if your system has 3 compressors, you would be eligible for a $3,000 discount towards purchase of a new system.  

This replacement option is available for all affected systems, whether under or out of warranty.

The failure to act on this notice releases Dometic from all liability associated with this potential problem.

Dometic Marine
2000 N. Andrews Ave. Ext.
Pompano Beach, Florida 33069
United States

May 6, 2011
2:44 am
gtbaml
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May 6, 2011
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Dometic have hit the target again!

Users of MarineAir air-conditioning systems will be dismayed to learn that Dometic are seeking to minimise their liability by informing users that Polyol Ester (POE) Refrigerant Oil Is Incompatible With CPVC Plumbing (as used by many installers under prior Dometic installation guidelines)

THERE IS (they say) GREAT RISK TO YOUR VESSAL and if YOU do not act they say they will not be responsible!

Good news: If your system is under warranty they will change the oil, pay for the oil and labour.

Bad news: If your system is out of warranty they are only prepared to give you the oil (You must pay all labour costs - thereby giving Dometic agents extra profit!)

I wonder if there was a breach of a primary warranty for which the seller (Dometic) may be liable.

It could be an unfair and deceptive business practice (a statutory type of fraud) to attempt to avoid liability for breach of a primary warranty by claiming expiration of the irrelevant warranty. A statute of limitations on a contract claim may be shorter (or longer) than that of a tort claim, and some breach of warranty cases are filed late and are characterized as a fraud or other related tort.

Read more: ** you don't have permission to see this link **