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Fridge Behaviour


noether

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Update on my temperamental fridge for anyone interested: 

 

A chap from the marina came along and had a look, and performatively described the problem as a 'teeth dryer' (he put his glasses on, squinted, and sucked all the moisture back from his teeth in that way that plumbers do when they want to impress upon you what a complicated and expensive job this is going to be): He flipped a few switches, pulled on some stuff, and then said that the expert on such things is on holiday, but that I'm highly unlikely to die in a chernobyl type incident before he gets back (but I bet they're going to be passing me an invoice for mooring asap, just in case). 

 

He also reckoned it was unlikely to be the batteries that are causing the problem, but I can't remember exactly what his logic was for saying this. He seemed to think that the fridge becoming about as reliable as a 1920s jazz trumpeter, was more likely a loose connection somewhere. And he agreed that the batteries were in a position such that reaching them would require a circus performer, and in fact he complained that he had twinged his back just by bending over to look at them (he really did). 

 

Although this entire incident has now got me so paranoid that I jumped out of bed at 1am last night when a boat went past, as my sub-conscious believed it was the end of days. The fridge might be becoming self-aware. Otherwise, life continues as normal. 

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8 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Joking apart. please be careful, being gassed to death in your sleep can cause you stress, long term.

 

Not sure it would cause me much stress, as my diary would be pretty much empty.....

 

Oh, and, I meant to say just in the interests of completeness, the marina chap also 'turned up' the battery charger, which I didn't know you could do (and I couldn't see how he did it, but I guess a button on there). So I don't know if that will make any difference to anything. 

Edited by noether
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47 minutes ago, noether said:

 

Not sure it would cause me much stress, as my diary would be pretty much empty.....

 

Oh, and, I meant to say just in the interests of completeness, the marina chap also 'turned up' the battery charger, which I didn't know you could do (and I couldn't see how he did it, but I guess a button on there). So I don't know if that will make any difference to anything. 

 

It will probably just shorten the time it takes for your batteries to explode or split their casings.

 

Assuming they are knackered of course.

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15 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

It will probably just shorten the time it takes for your batteries to explode or split their casings.

 

Assuming they are knackered of course.

 

Some are jumping to conclusions here.... what evidence is there that the batteries are knackered? A fridge not working isn't really enough, and the fact that "someone from the marina" has taken a look and reassured the OP, to the extent of increasing the battery charging voltage, suggests that they are probably OK.

 

I obviously cant guarantee that, but some people here do seem to jump to the most terrifying of conclusions, based merely on something not working.

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9 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

 

Some are jumping to conclusions here.... what evidence is there that the batteries are knackered? A fridge not working isn't really enough, and the fact that "someone from the marina" has taken a look and reassured the OP, to the extent of increasing the battery charging voltage, suggests that they are probably OK.

 

I obviously cant guarantee that, but some people here do seem to jump to the most terrifying of conclusions, based merely on something not working.

 

You do understand what the word 'assuming' means I take it?

 

As I explained earlier in the thread we experienced the same pattern with our 12v fridge and freezer. That pattern was subsequently followed by a near exploding battery in the bank.

 

It is worth considering that the batteries may be duff, the 'bloke from the marina' isnt in a position to confirm the batteries are OK without testing them.

 

 

 

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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4 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

 

Some are jumping to conclusions here.... what evidence is there that the batteries are knackered? A fridge not working isn't really enough, and the fact that "someone from the marina" has taken a look and reassured the OP, to the extent of increasing the battery charging voltage, suggests that they are probably OK.

 

 

It does make you paranoid, but I do appreciate that people are just trying to be helpful and save me from potential death, but tbh, I think I'm more likely to die from trying to do something myself to 'fix' the batteries than I am from them melting down. 

 

I've just looked and I'm not sure he actually 'turned up' the battery charger, as it's moved from 'float' to 'bulk', which is on the same 'level' on the display (there's one that's higher, I forget what it's called). He did ask me if I've been using a lot of lecky on other things. And incidentally, since he did that, the fridge has been humming consistently, although that could just be coinky-dink (afternoons do seem to be it's preferred time to work over the last few days). 

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3 minutes ago, noether said:

 

It does make you paranoid, but I do appreciate that people are just trying to be helpful and save me from potential death, but tbh, I think I'm more likely to die from trying to do something myself to 'fix' the batteries than I am from them melting down. 

 

I've just looked and I'm not sure he actually 'turned up' the battery charger, as it's moved from 'float' to 'bulk', which is on the same 'level' on the display (there's one that's higher, I forget what it's called). He did ask me if I've been using a lot of lecky on other things. And incidentally, since he did that, the fridge has been humming consistently, although that could just be coinky-dink (afternoons do seem to be it's preferred time to work over the last few days). 

 

If your batteries haven't been adequately charged they will obviously run down quicker, but also if they have been left for long periods in a low state of charge they will have become 'suplphated' further depleting the time they will power your system before they flatten again. Its a vicious circle.

 

If you can check them ensure they are not gassing, ie literally hissing and producing a visible gas. If your CO alarm goes off unexpectedly with no appliances on this can also indicate they are gassing. You should ideally check to see if any batteries are bulging excessively and/or becoming very warm under charge. If they are turn your charger off.

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1 minute ago, The Happy Nomad said:

If you can check them ensure they are not gassing, ie literally hissing and producing a visible gas. If your CO alarm goes off unexpectedly with no appliances on this can also indicate they are gassing. You should ideally check to see if any batteries are bulging excessively and/or becoming very warm under charge. If they are turn your charger off.

 

Thanks, yeah, this is what the chap said (I brought it up, he didn't, in case you're worried) - he said if you can smell them or they're making noise then turn everything off and jump in the canal. 

 

Again, I'm afraid I can't speak to the chap's competence because obviously I don't know, but he's an older gentleman (older than me anyway) and he works fulll-time at the marina - he might be the owner for all I know - so I'm assuming/hoping he must be vaguely qualified, and he was much more concerned that the fridge wasn't working than he was about any danger from the batteries (he says, massively tempting fate), and he seemed somewhat surprised that I was concerned. He did look at the batteries, although not particularly thoroughly - they are in a very awkward position. 

 

When the engineer is back from holiday I'll ask again if he can have a look. 

 

I was looking at some of the settings on the charger, should I be using them? Like 'night', for example?

 

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37 minutes ago, noether said:

I was looking at some of the settings on the charger, should I be using them? Like 'night', for example?

 

 

I'm personally not familiar with your charger as ours was a different make and model so cant really say what those settings are for or what they do.

 

Somebody else may answer though.

 

Edit - however looking at the manual on line 'night mode' reduces the charge rate and turns the fan off for a preset period of 8 hours. It then reverts back to normal. If the fan doesnt bother you now overnight I personally wouldnt bother.

 

 

Screenshot_20210919-163412_Google PDF Viewer.jpg

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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On 17/09/2021 at 08:02, noether said:

 

I don't want to buy any expensive equipment to check on these problems

 

 

I was in Aldi last week and they were selling multimeters for, I think, 9.99. Not sure if they're still available but worth keeping one handy at that price.

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34 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

If not, I'd take anything he said with a pinch of salt.

 

I do. I understand that you're all trying to be helpful, and I appreciate it, I really do, but as I've said, I can only assume that the guy from the marina knows more than I do, and I'm pretty certain I'm far more likely to maim myself trying to manipulate electrical wiring, batteries etc (near a large body of water) that I have no understanding of, than I am waiting a few days until the chap who does know is back from holiday. 

 

Maybe I'm wrong, in which case you can all say 'I told you so' at my memorial (at which I expect you all to cry, incidentally). 

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17 minutes ago, noether said:

 

I do. I understand that you're all trying to be helpful, and I appreciate it, I really do, but as I've said, I can only assume that the guy from the marina knows more than I do, and I'm pretty certain I'm far more likely to maim myself trying to manipulate electrical wiring, batteries etc (near a large body of water) that I have no understanding of, than I am waiting a few days until the chap who does know is back from holiday. 

 

Maybe I'm wrong, in which case you can all say 'I told you so' at my memorial (at which I expect you all to cry, incidentally). 

Fair dos.  In another few weeks it may be cold enough to turn the fridge off and keep your food outside in a cool-box.

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25 minutes ago, noether said:

 

I do. I understand that you're all trying to be helpful, and I appreciate it, I really do, but as I've said, I can only assume that the guy from the marina knows more than I do, and I'm pretty certain I'm far more likely to maim myself trying to manipulate electrical wiring, batteries etc (near a large body of water) that I have no understanding of, than I am waiting a few days until the chap who does know is back from holiday. 

 

Maybe I'm wrong, in which case you can all say 'I told you so' at my memorial (at which I expect you all to cry, incidentally). 

 

Unless you do something absolutely stupid with your tongue or with thin and wet skin like you may have inside your wrists, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of 12 or 24 volts DC harming you, even if you stood in the water whilst working on it. It is possible that if you disconnected something like a relay, motor, or horn while it was operating you might get a tingle if you had hold of the  wrong side of the connection but it is in no way dangerous.

 

The most likely way 12/24 volts could harm you is if the boat's wiring caught fire, and that would be exceptionally difficult to accomplish with a multimeter set to volts (Amps are different, but then it would be the meter you destroy, not the boat).

 

With your present mind set I just hope that you have extensive wealth and your assumption about the chap at the marina seems very ill-founded to me. Mechanics are, in the main, different to electricians, although there is a degree of cross over, so although I hope you get it resolved you may well just be fed a load of bull.

 

If RCR are still running the electrical courses I set up, I would suggest that you take one, you should learn a lot and be far more confident.

 

It is not very good form to basically tell those on the forum with lots of experience that you would rather trust some random bod at a marina than the members who were trying to help you. 

 

 

Edited by Tony Brooks
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9 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

Unless you do something absolutely stupid with your tongue or with thin and wet skin like you may have inside your wrists, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of 12 or 24 volts DC harming you, even if you stood in the water whilst working on it. It is possible that if you disconnected something like a relay, motor, or horn while it was operating you might get a tingle if you had hold of the  wrong side of the connection but it is in no way dangerous.

 

The most likely way 12/24 volts could harm you is if the boat's wiring caught fire, and that would be exceptionally difficult to accomplish with a multimeter set to volts (Amps are different, but then it would be the meter you destroy, not the boat).

 

With your present mind set I just hope that you have extensive wealth and your assumption about the chap at the marina seems very ill-founded to me. Mechanics are, in the main, different to electricians, although there is a degree of cross over, so although I hope you get it resolved you may well just be fed a load of bull.

 

If RCR are still running the electrical courses I set up, I would suggest that you take one, you should learn a lot and be far more confident.

 

It is not very good form to basically tell those on the forum with lots of experience that you would rather trust some random bod at a marina than the members who were trying to help you. 

 

 

Don't be to hard on him.  Everything will be a mystery to him at the moment.  He won't be aware how much of a boat electrics expert you are.

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12 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

With your present mind set I just hope that you have extensive wealth and your assumption about the chap at the marina seems very ill-founded to me. Mechanics are, in the main, different to electricians, although there is a degree of cross over, so although I hope you get it resolved you may well just be fed a load of bull.

 

If RCR are still running the electrical courses I set up, I would suggest that you take one, you should learn a lot and be far more confident.

 

It is not very good form to basically tell those on the forum with lots of experience that you would rather trust some random bod at a marina than the members who were trying to help you. 

 

 

 

Well indeed, but you must understand that to me, you're all 'random bods', so do I either trust the 'random bod' from the marina who is surprised at my concern and tells me the batteries aren't the problem, or the 'random bods' on the forum who tell me I've got a life expectancy of 45 minutes unless I diffuse the ticking bomb in my cellar? I don't know. 

 

To be completely honest, this whole thing has just added to my desire to get off the boat as soon as possible. My wife likes it, but it has been nothing but uncomfortable and unpleasant for me. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, noether said:

I can only assume that the guy from the marina knows more than I do,

 

Do beware of assumptions. Also beware of that other effect, that anyone who knows even slightly more than you about any given subject can easily appear to you to be an 'expert' in that subject, when really they are not.

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Just now, doratheexplorer said:

Don't be to hard on him.  Everything will be a mystery to him at the moment.  He won't be aware how much of a boat electrics expert you are.

 

I tend  to dispute the expert bit, just experienced. I feel for him, and have met that attitude so many times before. Sometimes after considerable costs have been incurred that would have been saved with a bit of  DIY guided meter work and inspection. I can't understand why he seems not to have felt the batteries when under charge for localised heating, or had a good sniff around them, even given the access difficulties. I think there is more chance of him being hurt by sulphur dioxide or an exploding battery than by using a voltmeter.

 

I am not convinced his charger is working because we have no voltage readings, I accept there may be a bad connection on the fridge circuit and it's often on the negative busbar, but I accept that is probably beyond him at present.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

or had a good sniff around them, even given the access difficulties. I think there is more chance of him being hurt by sulphur dioxide or an exploding battery than by using a voltmeter.

 

There you're making an assumption - I have had a good sniff around them. No smell. 

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3 minutes ago, noether said:

 

Well indeed, but you must understand that to me, you're all 'random bods', so do I either trust the 'random bod' from the marina who is surprised at my concern and tells me the batteries aren't the problem, or the 'random bods' on the forum who tell me I've got a life expectancy of 45 minutes unless I diffuse the ticking bomb in my cellar? I don't know. 

 

To be completely honest, this whole thing has just added to my desire to get off the boat as soon as possible. My wife likes it, but it has been nothing but uncomfortable and unpleasant for me.

 

You may well have a ticking bomb in your engine bay - a faulty battery - but without any simple tests like feeling for localised heat and having a good sniff that is in no way proven.

 

As far as random bods on the forum are concerned, at least you have the possibility of inspecting ALL the various contributors posts on other threads and in that way assessing their expertise. I would love to know how you do that with anyone at a boatyard unless you already know their reputation. Even qualifications are not a foolproof guide to competence.

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5 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Do beware of assumptions. Also beware of that other effect, that anyone who knows even slightly more than you about any given subject can easily appear to you to be an 'expert' in that subject, when really they are not.

 

 

I don't imagine him an expert, but he might have a degree in electrical engineering for all I know. I do know that I told him initially it was a problem with the batteries, but when I described what had me worried, he was more concerned about the fridge being on the fritz than anything else. 

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3 minutes ago, noether said:

 

There you're making an assumption - I have had a good sniff around them. No smell. 

 

That is good, but what about heat?

 

I would point out that a known effect of sulphur dioxide is that after a while you  stop being able to smell it.

 

I know access is difficult, but how would you cope when miles away from help?

1 minute ago, Tracy D'arth said:

If you dislike the boat so much why don't you just put it on brokerage for sale and walk away from it?

 

Exactly.

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3 minutes ago, noether said:

 

 

I don't imagine him an expert, but he might have a degree in electrical engineering for all I know. I do know that I told him initially it was a problem with the batteries, but when I described what had me worried, he was more concerned about the fridge being on the fritz than anything else. 

 

Based on what? He may well be correct, but that is something that is easy to say to placate a customer. It is why it is said that is important.

 

It is a known fact that 12v compressor fridges are very picky over a high enough voltage. That is the starting point and with no voltage readings from any part of the system as far as I can see that is where it stops.

 

I don't think that you have clarified how that 14.2V? reading on the charger is displayed. If it's just printed on the case, it means nothing so we are still back to the most likely cause being low voltage at the fridge.  Why it may be low is another matter.

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