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Eskimo EI600 Ice Chipper Repair

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by CaboFly, May 31, 2020.

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  1. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Seattle
    When I bought my 40 Cabo FB 3.5 years ago it came with an Eskimo chipper that was factory installed outboard of Port engine. Given our cold climate I would only use the chipper about 3 months a year. Each spring it would take me a little maintenance involving some Scotsman descaler in the water supply container to get it running again. Unit was loud but it made ice so I was happy. On a fishing trip over labor day last fall the chipper just quit. Thankfully I was on my way home at the time. I could here it attempt to start but it would never get going and eventually trip the high or low pressure switch. I turned the water supply off to it and put it to bed. Over this past winter I had other projects and wasn't sure what I was going to do with the chipper. Our local guy said he physically couldn't get outboard of my engine even though he had never seen it so I took that as he wasn't interested. Most others owners with Eskimo issues seem to just pull the entire unit in the frame and send them to Tropical in FL or a guy in NC. I couldn't do that so I just attended to other projects. I would have physically had to cut the frame and take the unit apart to remove from its location.

    After getting my other projects done I circled back to the chipper now several months later.
    After a few conversations on the phone with Jesus,the rep for Dometic, He realized I was kind of on my own on this being on a island so to speak in Seattle so he began emailing me some needed parts diagrams and educating me on the history of these units. I also talked several times to the owner of Tropical marine in FL and our consensus was that maybe the capacitor on the motor was bad or I had stripped the coupler between the gear box and auger which is why it was so noisy. As I began trouble shooting I found that the motor was stopping and that was not a good problem to have both pro's told me. So I looked at the manuals and since I couldn't remove the entire frame I removed the motor and gear reducer from the frame in place on the boat. Not an easy task but it was doable. I then took the motor to a local shop that specializes in these types of electric motors and they told me within 15 seconds that the motor was bad. The motor shop and the owner of Martins marine both said any fix would be $500 plus and they are not sure parts would even be available.. So I called around and both Tropical and the NC chipper whisperer (Martins Marine) told me the motors were for all intensive purposes obsolete. This is why both shops trade old units for repaired units as they need parts to piece together working units. Being I couldn't remove my entire unit in frame that wasn't an option for me. Jesus gave me some tips on searching under Scotsman Ice Maker parts using my GE motor model number. I could find it online and I would pay for it to only have that reseller send me an email that they were out of stock at this time. Super frustrating. Jesus told me to try United Refrigeration directly and told my local guy that I had an HVAC guy who would buy from them but I gave him all the specifics and explained how hard it has been to find this motor. I asked if he had a rep for Scotsman and if he could make a call. He did and a few days later I got a call from my HVAC friend that there were 2 left of old stock at some Scotsman warehouse. A week later I picked up a new motor in a factory sealed box for $900. A little dusty and the look of 20 year old cardboard but inside was a new motor which was pretty cool. Painted it up and changed the oil in the gear reducer. With electric motor and gear reducer back together I crossed my fingers and did a bench test.
    I then took the motor and gear reducer back to the boat for install. I hook everything up and go to turn the unit back on. Nothing. Start looking around and after a few min of looking at what could be the issue I remember there is a pressure switch on the incoming water supply. Pull rubber boot and a spade had broke off during all the work. I put a volt meter on it and talk through with my dad what it does and how to circumvent and what risks would be. I am not a mechanical person. Thankfully he is. Jumper the wires and try again. Chipper starts up but the sound seems of. Wait for the grinding noise and nothing just the hum of compressor and I can feel the motor running as well. I am getting frustrated and looking all over for why the auger is not making the loud moan it always had. After several minutes while I am laying over the chipper monitoring and checking everything my dad opens the fish box. **** thing is making ice. Crawl out and just watch it dump ice for over an hour. Apparently the loud ass noise was the electric motor going out and this chippers are not only amazing at making ice out of fresh water but they are also **** quiet. My old man thinks the lower bearing in the electric motor was on its way out and that was what was making the louad moaning sound. Unit was probably on it's way out when I bought the boat and it was missed in survey.
    Called Tecmark who makes the water pressure switch and of course the adjustable 10 to 100 switch I had is no longer made. Spoke with their engineer and he checked recent Dometic orders and have been buying a 2 to 22 switch that can handle up to 75 psi. Went on line and found a hot tub place that had in stock as Tecmark won't sell direct. Installed new switch and did more testing. All dialed.

    I would really like to thank Tropical Marine for the text message help and few quick phone calls. They really know these units and were very helpful. I also wouldn't have had any chance at getting my Eskimo fixed without Jesus from Dometic. Had he not been willing to educate me on these chippers and pointing me in the right direction. From what all parties have said these older units are worth repairing and are quality units. I am really happy I was able to get mine back online.

    Attached Files:

  2. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Great to hear you got good customer support and service from Dometic. That's a rare thing these days unfortunately. My boat came with an Eskimo chipper as well. It wasn't maintained by previous owner and in rough shape. I decided to pull it out and installed a unit that makes ice from either fresh water or sea water. My thinking was it would be nice to be able to make fish box ice and not use my fresh water on longer trips. Well, the unit does work but it is finicky. You also have to flush it by putting in fresh water mode every time you use seawater. Now I have upgraded my watermaker and will likely just use it in freshwater mode all the time. I wish I would have just upgraded to a newer Dometic unit as the support on mine is marginal at best.
    One thing to consider if you talk to Dometic again is if you need an AMOT valve on your incoming seawater cooling. These things are all designed for warmer water operation. If you start to get trip off on pressure faults it may because the water temp coming in is too cold. Mine required one and it made a big difference and operates better.
  3. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Seattle
    DOCKMASTER- Good point on the valve to adjust incoming water temp as the cold water can cause performance issues. That was something on the troubleshooting list early on. May be a a future add on as my off seasonwater temps are in that 50 to 52 range when I may want to run the unit a few times to keep things in good shape. Summer time when I need output I am typically in 58 to 64 degree water.
  4. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Curious; how long is your ice tube to get to the fish box? I'm not sure I've ever heard of one being in the E/R. Even with the insulated ice tube do you lose a lot of production when the engine room is warm? Mine is under the cockpit directly in front of my STBD fish box. Originally it was plumbed over the PORT fish box but we changed that. It is now only a few feet from the machine to discharge. I'm assuming yours is in the E/R because there is no room closer to the fish box or in a cooler location?

    BTW - do you ever go up to SE Alaska? The trip from Puget Sound up is truly Epic. I took my boat up from Tacoma to Ketckikan when I bought it back in 2012. It was trip of a lifetime. I'm planning to take the boat back to Puget Sound for paint in a year or two and really looking forward to the trip again. Sorry, not meaning to high jack your thread on ice machine :)
  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,999
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Nice job getting it done as an owner / operator. Can’t wait to see that ice all mixed up with albacore :)
  6. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
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    103
    Location:
    Seattle
    Have not taken the boat that far North. Did a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in summer 2018 and fished the entire West side on our way down. I have quite a few years left before retirement so while salmon fishing SE Alaska is something I would like to do it is quite a bit further North and that much time away is a challenge.

    Distance of hose is probably 6 or 7 feet from Eskimo to fish box.
  7. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
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    Location:
    Seattle
    Thank you. Looking forward to being able to use the boat a bit hopefully this summer as things open up.
  8. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    6-7 feet if ice delivery hose sounds reasonable. Make sure that insulation stays in good form to keep engine room heat from being a problem. I'm guessing your engine room temps are similar to mine? When I have engines running the ambient temp in the E/R is low as they draw so much outside air in. My E/R only gets hot when I shut down and all the hot iron is sitting there. I turn on my blowers to keep outside air going in for awhile until things cool down. I mainly do this because I have two refrigeration compressors in my E/R. I have one fan that blows outside air directly on them. I also have a secondary raw water cooling coil on a thermostatic switch to help.

    Let me know if you ever plan to make the trip up to SE Alaska. Happy to help if I can. I might even share some of Halibut spots ;) The trip is worth it just for the trip. I wouldn't do it for the sake of Salmon fishing. Things are not what they used to be, quite the opposite unfortunately. Halibut, ling and yellow eye are still pretty good though.
  9. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
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    Location:
    New Smyrna Beach, Fl
    Dockmaster my icemaker hose is 8 ft and also is located in the engine room. It doesn't have near the insulation on it that Cabofly is using and I never have an issue getting plenty of ice and I'm in central FL.
  10. Marc Jackson

    Marc Jackson New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    CaboFly,
    Good to see you again, now this is the second time I googled a problem and twice you have written a post about it. Keep up the good work. I have the 40 Cabo Express, 2004 so am sure your Eskimo ice maker is the same model. Anyway I just got on the boat to get it ready for fishing tomorrow. And 1st up I start the ice maker to ice down the drinks. This time it stated and got a cup of ice, then after 1/2 there was no more. I went down the engine room and the ice maker motor was red hot, it would not restart, just a humming noise, so I let it cool down, maybe 2 hours nd went back down, the motor was cold so I started the ice maker again, the compressor didn’t kick I as normal and when I felt the motor it was very hot. So switched everything off and started looking for a reason online.
    I’m sure I can pull my whole machine out and get it to a work bench. Problem is I’m in Costa Rica and just do not know any expert on these things. I’ll let you know how I go, I might need that other motor.
    Thanks
  11. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
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    103
    Location:
    Seattle
    Gotta love getting a new-used boat dialed in. Does your pump have water flowing overboard and working properly?
  12. Marc Jackson

    Marc Jackson New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Yes, that’s all good. The ice maker has been working perfect since I got the boat about 5 months ago. 1st job was to cl an the water lines out. To add, when I was down looking I could see oil over the gear casing. So I need to look where that’s coming from.
  13. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Seattle
    I am not very mechanical but sounds like you may have an issue with the gear box itself and not the motor. They can be rebuilt if that is in fact your issue.
  14. ChiTown

    ChiTown Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2019
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Chicago
    I have personal experience developing and producing extruded ice makers such as Scotsman, et al.I don’t know the Eskimo product though although reviewing the manual the operating principal is the same and in fact these are the same base technology.The gear motors are the usual failure point but not the cause. The cause is due to ice jamming inside the evaporator tube from either 1) lime scale build up in the extruding head, auger , evap tube sidewalls or the transport tube, or 2) too rapid freezing due to incoming water temp, and or ambient temp. On occasion a bad expansion valve or low charge can cause this as well. The gear motors assembly are usually made by Bison or Von Weise and it’s usually the gears that fail not the electric motor. My strong suggestion is descale, descale, descale....constantly. There is usually detailed instruction in the manual.