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Converting Remote Condenser System To Self Contained

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by n715tm, Aug 17, 2021.

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  1. n715tm

    n715tm New Member

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    I am considering the option to remove my 24k Btu Condenser / Evaporator System and installing two 12k Btu self contained units to service my staterooms.

    Question is with water hose length on a 60' boat with the ac pump near the stern of the boat. Should I route water lines from the stern of the boat to the mid and bow area of the boat to service the two units? Will the 1/3 HP Dometic pump have enough head pressure to make the circuit?
  2. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I think Dometic has the vertical and horizontal limitations on the web site if you know the pump model #
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    That s a long long run and it’s going to be a pain to descale. If you do, then upsize the hose.

    avoid the dometic pumps. They use bronze impellers which erode with time. Get a March. Magnetic drive, no seal, plastic impeller can be replaced on 5 minutes. Their website has flow graph at various head height
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Why, if you don't mind me asking?
    I'd rather consider doing exactly the opposite, if the existing system would run on self contained units.
    You want to have the compressor(s) as far as possible from your staterooms, not right under your ears!
  5. n715tm

    n715tm New Member

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    Thanks Pascal, I didn't even think about the scaling issue.

    Mapism, I like the simplicity of the self contained units as they are almost disposable from a cost perspective. I am also up on the TN River and it is pretty difficult to get service done other than change a capacitor or add freon.
    My system is an old modulating RM24C by Cruiseair and I hate to replace that unit without also replacing the evaporators and throwing good money after bad. I suppose I could look at a chiller system, but I would have the long chilled water runs which I assume would need to be insulated.
  6. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I would agree with Mapism except I just bit the bullet and put one under my master.
    The fellow that sold it to me assured me that they are quiet and reliable.
    It is a Dometic, 10Kbtu.
    It is mounted directly under the head of the bed.
    He was right.

    From all I read and was told, the old evaps would not handle the new system pressures on a split.
    I don't know if that is entirely true based on others experiences, all anecdotal.
    But I had a leak somewhere and it was 30 yrs old so................

    I leave the fan on manual and run it about 2/3 up to high speed.
    Having the fan speed follow the room temp ( auto ) would wake me up and I could not get used to it.
    Keeping it at a steady volume makes it more like white noise.

    My old Cruiseair was up against the bulkhead of the master, in the engine bay, and right near the head of the bed.
    It was at least 30 yrs old or more and was pretty noisy.

    I replaced the old split 10 with a new 10 in the master and a 6 in the V-berth.
    I do sometimes hear the relay " CLICK" when calling for temperature change but it does not wake me and I believe if I adjust the way I mounted the controller I can eliminate that as the small problem that it is.

    I did put kind of an insulation partition between the compressor and the return air grill that prevents compressor noise from coming out the grill.
    This is rudimentary at the moment as a test but it does work well.
    It makes the return air " go the long way " around the partition to the compressor.

    My only complaint is about the 6Kbtu.
    I had to make a shelf in the void of the bow where the old, small evap was.
    This was not hard to do but I do get some reverberation when the compressor runs.
    Very low, bass type hum.
    I have not even tried to address this yet as no one uses that room anyway.
    This is a design flaw on my part more than the new ac unit
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    They're disposable ALRIGHT. The quality on them is absolute garbage in the past 5 years. I replaced 2 on a 2017 yacht 1 year ago..... huge freon leak on 1, locked up compressor on another. In the past year I've replaced another 2 on a 2020 SF, both with large freon leaks. AND, I have 1 on a 2019 yacht that also has a large freon leak and trying to get it warrantied now.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If I was switching to self contained I would look at smaller US manufacturers like Ocean Breeze, Flagship and a couple others I forget. Better quality and great customer service.

    Problem is that big companies like Dometic-Cruisair-marine air-whatever have gotten bigger and bigger absorbing smaller manufacturers. A few years back, Defender had a close out out self contained. I can’t remember the brand but it was made in the US in Atlanta. I got it as temporary solution after a failed split. Had it running for a couple of years till I installed a chiller system from Flagship at which point I sold it to a neighbor and it s still running. Must be 7 year old by now

    reason it was a close out (I paid $999 for a 16k) is that dometic had bought the company ...

    over the years I have developed an allergy to dometic cruisair. Their stuff has turned to disposable garbage full of expensive proprietary boards. They used to have great products... 30 years ago. Not any more.

    in the last 10 /15 years, about 60 to 70% of the cruisair air handlers, remote condensers or chillers I have had on boats I ve run have failed before 10 years old. Worst, they take forever to supply parts or replacement units. 2 months for a chiller... 1 month for replacements blowers etc.
    vacser likes this.
  9. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    I sympathize with the desire to go to self contained units. They are louder and perhaps more disposable. But at least, replacing them is a DIY job. Not so the split systems which appear hard to buy outside of an installer, are really expensive, and require the ability to charge the system.

    I suffered the seemingly common fate of having a compressor fail, having it replaced by a professional installer to the tune of $5k and several weeks waiting, only to have the evaporator start leaking and have to be replaced for more $$$ and an even longer wait time because the installer didn't want to deal with the ****** access to the evaporator unit. With a self contained I could have bought something and swapped it out in hours. I hate marine AC.
  10. bobhorn

    bobhorn Member

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    We have two Ocean Breeze units on our boat. I would NEVER buy another one. Even with shock mounts the compressors vibrate so bad it can be felt throughout the boat. They also come with fixed air outlets, top, left, right. No way to change from one to another as is possible with any other units we ever had.