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No Cooling late last season.
June 11, 2009
7:45 am
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Steve Pooler
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Ray,

As far as I know...If you connected the power & pump wires (pump should be a smaller wire) to their labeled posts/screws it should work correctly unless the plug to the control is arranged differently on the newer model (Dometic said it would work)...The control is what sends the power out to the correct places for the switch position...If power comes in at the wrong place (into the control) it won't work right.

In order to verify correct plug arrangement you would need to cut/remove the protective sleeve that covers both male & female ends to see that same colored wires are connected to each other with the plugs mated...

Yes...A burnt wire off the run cap would cause the compressor to not start or run...The old unit could very well still be good...They were tough little units and being that it does not have a Hi Pressure cut out switch...Running without water (mud thing) would have likely caused the connection to burn up...It also tells me that the unit was probably full of freon...It wouldn't draw enough amperage to burn that connection if it was not full...

It may be easier for the whole install (considering ductwork) to repair that connection and put the old unit back if it's in good shape...

I'm not protecting the Cruisair guy but...Sounds like maybe the old unit would have had to be removed to repair anyway ?

Steve~

June 10, 2009
8:13 am
raymillsus
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OOps when I turn it to run I get the Fan. Forgot that part. The Fan and Compressor must be backwards.

June 10, 2009
8:03 am
raymillsus
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Thanks I will contact him. I was just thinking that since you have been so helpful I would give you the business.

Ok now on for the fun part.

I tried to install this unit last night. Here is my problem. I have everything wired the way I think it should be using the old wireing and here is what I have.

1. Turn on the unit to Fan and the water pump starts and the compressor starts.... No Fan.

2. When I swich the wires around I get no water pump.

3. I know it has to be a wiring issue but it is not on any wiring diagrams. I am going to still work on it but It feels good that there is cool air coming out. I still need to redo the ducting since the configuration is different.

The other thing that I am not happy about is when I pulled the old unit out there was a wire that was burnt off of the run capacitor (Red) that I do not even think the guy knows about .I wonder if that wire was connected if the old unit might still be good. What do you think? I wonder if this can be put on a bench to test?

June 8, 2009
11:06 am
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Steve Pooler
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Oh…and Yes I could get the pressure switch kit for you…but…

Problem is that Cruisair/Dometic has protected areas that we are assigned, and we are not allowed to ship into others, so it would depend on if you have a dealer located near you…

I believe you said you are in the DC area...So that would (I think) put you out of my shipping area which is basically the West Coast of Fl and around the Fl Panhandle.

Let me know if the Cruisair guy that came out to look at your old unit can't supply that part # and I will see what I can do to help...

Steve~

June 5, 2009
7:40 pm
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Steve Pooler
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raymillsus said:

Thanks again for all your help. If it does not have the pressure switch installed if possible can I just order it from you. I am suppose to get the unit on Monday and I hope to install it one night after work. I am going to the beach next weekend so I will not be able to do it then. How long does it take in your opinion to just put the A/C unit in place and wire and attach the hoses? I am thinking around 2 hrs. Am I under estimating this job?

-Ray


Ray…It could take much less time…If I was doing it and had everything there…It would only take 20-30 min….Since it's just a previous install changeout…

But that is with the right tools at hand…I carry around the tools to do the job (of course)…It may take you a few to get them together…

A good screw gun is important, with a good 6" extension and # 2 phillips bit (sometimes you need a 7/16″ socket too),  Good wire cutting/crimping tools, and some connectors are next (for if a previously made connector breaks)  a 5/16″ nut driver for the hose clamps is good….Channel Locks to break the existing hoses loose will help a lot….Other than all that….It's pretty simple to do…Just do it the best you can….It's not Rocket Science to change out a Zepher….You CAN Do it  Cool

Steve~

June 5, 2009
10:49 am
raymillsus
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Thanks again for all your help. If it does not have the pressure switch installed if possible can I just order it from you. I am suppose to get the unit on Monday and I hope to install it one night after work. I am going to the beach next weekend so I will not be able to do it then. How long does it take in your opinion to just put the A/C unit in place and wire and attach the hoses? I am thinking around 2 hrs. Am I under estimating this job?

-Ray

June 5, 2009
6:51 am
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Steve Pooler
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Hi Ray~

Just so you know (if Dometic didn't quote it)

The Hi pressure switch, and adaptor tee kit is Part # 297000012  the price in the book shows it at $105.00.

It is a screw on tee & pressure switch that can be installed without solder or freon charging tools/skills.

You will need to find the compressor wire (purple) in the harness and cut it...Then run each side of the cut to the new pressure switch.

When the pressure switch sees Hi Pressure (425psi) it interrupts the compressor power/current...It then resets itself at around 325psi...This is still High pressure and the compressor should trip the breaker when trying to re-start against that high of pressure. (if the breaker is sized correctly)

This is why you should wait to start any compressor for at least a minute after it has been shut off....To give the system time to equalize pressures internally...The motor in the compressor can't get rolling over when pushing against a lot of pressure, and will draw very high amperage trying to do so...

Let us know if you have any questions on install...Heck...Just let us know how it goes.

Steve~

June 4, 2009
1:04 pm
raymillsus
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The unit is only $400 and I called Dometic and they said that it was Dometic's version of the Zephyr but it does have the option for the high pressure cut out switch. I am not sure if this one has it or not but I can always add it since it is an option. (And would) The guy at Dometic said that if I am replacing a Zephyr all I need to do is pull the wireing off Lable them as I disconnect them. Disconnect all plumbing, remove the unit bolt the new one down and reconnect all the items I removed. He said someone handy could do it in about 2 hrs. Every connection is exactally the same. As long as the unit works I think I will be ok. :)

Thanks

-Ray

I will let you know how I make out. It may take me some time though. I will keep checking back.

June 3, 2009
8:43 pm
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Steve Pooler
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raymillsus said:

I think I found one. It is a Dometic MODEL CLM5KC I think it is in my price range and from what I can tell it will fit in the same space as the zephyr. I am not sure about the wireing. Any suggestions about it? I figured it would work since it is also a 2 knob controller. what do you know about this unit?

-Ray


Ray…I was just using my 16,000 as an example of used units….Really…I wasn't trying to sell it to you or anyone else…

I'm not familiar (I usually don't deal with 5000 btu stuff) with the model you mention…But as I think it may have heat also if it is the “standard” line….It also seems to be a “Marine Air” model…Not that it matters at all…Just I'm not familiar with the model…

Cruisair (in their “standard” line)  usually always went with 5 (not often) 7, 10, 12 & 16 thousand btu models.

Marine Air (in their “standard line) went with…6, 9, 12 & 16 thousand btu models.

The units offered for market at West Marine/Boat US...I never really fooled with…

Though I have worked on a bunch of each of the “standard” line…1000 btu either way as a model never really mattered much as far as making it work right….

All that said…I think you may be considering a unit that has “Reverse Cycle” and is a “Heat Pump”….If so…That's All Good because it is a unit that is not in the “Bargain” line  and may have the protection that the Zepher did not....

You might also ask if it has a High Pressure cut off switch....That's likely what happened to your Zepher with the mud thing....It kept running with no water flow, and you had no way of knowing that...If it had had the switch...It either would have been cycling on & off enough for you to think something is wrong...Or...It would have tripped the breaker if the breaker was sized correctly.

Another thing or two...Please be sure to look for black, or dark spots at any solder joints (places that look like tubing is joined together) go for it if all seems good….But If it looks like the unit was re-painted…be apprehensive and ask about it…No foul…if the seller is honest he will tell you it was low on freon and he fixed a leak….Again no foul…But you always need to wonder how long it ran low…

Steve~

June 3, 2009
7:23 pm
raymillsus
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That 16000 would not fit in my boat I do not believe would it? I have a 1998 Regal 258 Commodore. The current location of the unit is under the V-berth on the port side.

-Ray

June 3, 2009
7:20 pm
raymillsus
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I think I found one. It is a Dometic MODEL CLM5KC I think it is in my price range and from what I can tell it will fit in the same space as the zephyr. I am not sure about the wireing. Any suggestions about it? I figured it would work since it is also a 2 knob controller. what do you know about this unit?

-Ray

June 1, 2009
9:29 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Ray...Understand....and Baby Too...

Be careful on e-bay...I'm in the business, and good used units are hard to come by...Most are worn out by the time I get them...I just have to take/send them to scrap...

It was different years ago when labor was cheaper but it's hard for any A/C guy to put the time into a old unit and only sell it for a few hundred...Especially when he has to offer at least a little warranty....

Today...Well...It Don't happen much...but Us A/C guys get stuck as well as the guy we sold it to....It Really has to be a Clean unit that was "Like New"... and From someone that wanted bigger or something etc. in order for a reputable guy to offer it...(see "reputable")

I have a 16,000 BTU "Marine Air" unit with "Passport" digital control...It's pretty clean (only had a freon leak that I fixed)...But you know what ?....It's old, been run low on freon, and been here for over a year because I don't feel right about selling it to someone...I'd probably have to warranty fix it...Even after I told someone 30 or 90 days...I'd feel bad in 240 days or whatever if it quit cooling....and I don't want to buy a compressor for it...If or when it does quit ! Read my other post/s...Compressors are not cheap nowadays, and that would be out of pocket for more than I made in the first place !!!

Really...Best of Luck...Please ask if you are considering something (before buying maybe ?) I will always try to share my experience/s...Cool

Steve~

June 1, 2009
9:10 am
raymillsus
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Steve,

The guy stated that the windings were burnt. He did some checks and said it was locked up. He said that in his opinion he thinks that when the strainer filled with mud it ran with out water for an extended period of time and that is what burnt the compressor. He said the same thing about the Zephyr and the lack of a saftey system to shut down the compressor when there is no water. So I guess that is the worst case for me. I am going to look on Ebay to see if I can find something cheaper that I can make work until I upgrade in a couple of years. I need something due to the fact that I have a new baby that needs to be cooled off on hot days. Even if it is a used unit that will work until I get a new boat. If you happen to run across a used unit that will work give me a shout. Or if you have an option for an inexpensive unit that would work. I need about a 5-7000 btu unit that will fit in the space that the 5000 zephyr does. I would like to find a boat that has been totaled but still has a good AC unit on it. Wink If not I am going to have to figure something out to keep this guy cool during the hot days of summer.

Thanks again for your help.

Ray

May 22, 2009
9:32 am
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Steve Pooler
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Oh...BTW...He is only required to recover any existing refrigerant that may still be in the unit...No law states he has to repair it if you don't want to...He just can't legally add refrigerant to a system "Known" to leak, and leave it without making an attempt to repair it...It's kind of a "Grey" wording of the law...

Let's say he came out and found it low but his leak detection method revealed no leak...he has no idea if another person (owner or tech) preceeded him and left it low...He may charge it and leave...But if he get's another call and finds it low again...That's a "Known" leak.

Steve~ 

May 22, 2009
8:33 am
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Steve Pooler
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Sorry for the late reply & bad news Ray…I've been kinda busy here.

Yes…You should be able to replace the unit yourself…but depending on what you buy/find there may be some wiring changes to the control…Your's has a plug that likely will not plug into whatever you buy…Unless it's another Zepher…

Did your tech give you any indication of what he thought may have made the compressor fail ?

As I stated in another post…It is kinda hard to tell without a running compressor to determine what made it go bad, but a trained guy might see something like ductwork restrictions or pump plumbing problems…We don't want to hook up a new (or used) unit to a problem installation without first correcting any problems…

One thing that could have caused it was…The mud thing…If I remember correctly the Zepher unit did not have a High Pressure switch (could be wrong though...I haven't seen a unit that small in a few years) to cut the compressor off when it looses water flow…But I do remember them cutting all corners to save on price for that unit…Cooling only (no reversing valve & resultingly cheaper t-stat) 2 knob control (no fan speed control)…Plus no High Pessure protection switch.

The price he gave you seems ok with me…I see there is a replacement for the Zepher called Envirocool that I was not aware of yet (Cruisair has changed the price book around this year) the ECM5KC-HV retails for $1545.00 and has the HV (high velocity) blower which should get you a bit more performance out of the same size unit…Plus it will help with any minor duct restrictions from the original installation.

It should also plug into your control…I can find that out for sure if you want but since it is a Zepher replacement unit I assume it will…It also uses the new 417A “Green Gas” refrigerant…

The DC unit…Keep in mind…That system starts at $2555.00 and it's only 3500 btu…So you loose 1500 btu…Plus need to add batteries and possibly a larger alternator/s that won't get overloaded either when keeping up with the A/C, or charging batteries back up that are really low.

Good Luck with your decision…Let me know if I can be of help…

Steve~ 

May 19, 2009
7:10 pm
raymillsus
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Ok the guy came out and I got the worst news I could have gotten. The Compressor is completly gone. He said it was the first one that he has seen go bad because these units are very hearty. Now I need to figure out what I am going to do. I guess I am going to see what I can find. He said he could replace the unit and reuse the pump and controls for $1850 including labor. He said about 300 for labor -the service call of $135.00. He said it would be the replacement unit for the Zephyr but I forgot to ask him the model. It would be a 5000btu cool only unit. I am going to look online and see what I can find maybe I can pull that unit out and replace it myself. Even if I could find a good used unit I would do it since I only plan on keeping this boat for another couple of years.

May 19, 2009
6:15 pm
raymillsus
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Well I called the guy and he said that if it is low on Freon he will have to fix the leak. He told me that it is not just a good idea but he is required to by law. Being that it is R-22 I do not doubt that. I hope it can be fixed and does not cost me an arm and a legg. I think if I have to replace it i will go with the option that he talked to me about. it is a DC powered AC unit. He uses 2 Odysee batteries and said that I could get 10 hrs of run time out of those 2 batteries. That would serve me ok since I rarely stay the night on the hook. I will update you with what the outcome is once he comes out and lets me know what the damage is.

Thanks for your help. Great site.

-Ray

May 15, 2009
11:28 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Hi Ray~

A -4 or -5 degrees exchange is not acceptable....If you were diligent and really got the thermometer into the discharge air flow (right into the grille) then I would agree that the unit needs freon, or is not getting enough water flow.

Seems you may need the Cruisair guy...Problem is if it needs freon...It has a leak which is not normal, or good...The Cruisair Zepher system should not leak R-22....If it has leaked there is a problem that needs to be fixed or else it will self destruct.

Every time a unit runs low on refrigerant it overheats....The longer it runs without, the more damage is done...and most folks won't know when it's low on freon until the damage is done...What I'm saying is...Just filling it back up is not really a good thing.

When it runs low on freon the electric motor that drives the compressor part burns it's electrical windings...It will soon fail completely if the leak is not found and repaired !...I suggest you NOT run it until it is repaired properly.

Obviously I can't help with that repair from here (wish I could) but a service call to evaluate it is warranted in my mind...

Your guy may be expensive, and it may not be worth it to you but...The decision is...Do I spend $200 or more on a service call....Or another (looking at the Cruisair price book now) at least $2000 on a new unit & control...I don't think they offer the Zepher unit anymore (at least they are not showing it in the 2009 price book)

Sorry for the bad news...I had really hoped it would be different...Cry

Steve~ 

May 15, 2009
3:05 pm
raymillsus
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Ok I actually did the check of the incoming and outgoing Temp's. I have about a -4 or -5 deg difference between the intake and discharge. The water temp that day was about 68 deg and the air temp was about 80 deg.

Sorry it has taken so long When I went to the boat I kept forgetting the Thermometer. But I finally did it.

May 3, 2009
11:22 am
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Steve Pooler
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Where did you go Ray ?  Cool

Did you ever get back down to the boat with a thermometer ?

Steve~

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