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Chiller Repair San Diego: 16 Preventative Tips for Boat Owners

Chiller Repair San Diego: 16 Preventative Tips for Boat Owners

Regardless of the type of chiller you have on your boat, one thing is sure – it requires regular maintenance. If you want to ensure the proper operation of your chilled-water air-conditioning system, check out the following practical preventative tips. You will save money on chiller repair San Diego boat owners spend a fortune on only out of negligence.

#1 Keep a Maintenance Log Book to Troubleshoot Future Issues

Keeping a daily maintenance log book will help amass useful data that might prove vital when troubleshooting similar issues. Instead of solving each problem separately, you can use the information about what was previously done. You can see what strategies were used and whether they were helpful. In that way, you will avoid repeating useless actions.

It is especially useful to compare the chiller’s performance with its design and startup information to spot faulty points at which the thermostat was set. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t set the chiller to values above the manufacturer’s instructions. However, many neglect the instructions, which may cause slower efficiency in the long run. Moreover, if the values are changed without the change being logged, you can easily oversee that this is the main cause of the problem.

#2 Clean the Seawater Strainer so that the Pump Receives Seawater

You need to check the seawater strainer and thru-hull fittings daily and remove any silt, sand or marine build-up from the strainer housing and walls. Otherwise, the seawater will be obstructed and the compressors will operate at high pressures, while not enough seawater will flow through the condenser coil.

#3 Check Air Filters to Ensure Full Airflow and Capacity

Scarce air-filer check-ups result in insufficient amounts of air flowing through each unit, which in turn reduces the cooling capacity. Check the air filters once a month and clean the built-up dirt. Make sure the seawater pump is turned off.

#4 Cycle the Chillers and Air Handlers at Least 30 Minutes a Month

Even when the summer is over and you no longer use your yacht, you still have to operate the chillers and air handlers at least half an hour up to an hour every month.

#5 Cycle the System in Reverse Mode to Energize Pump Seals

If your system is a reverse-cycle type (and most are), you should cycle it in reverse mode from time to time. In order for all the parts to move and function properly, the reversing valve that moves them needs to be ‘’energized’’ every now and again. Cycling the system in reverse mode reduces marine growth and debris build-up in the circuit.

#6 Check System Water Pressure to Ensure Expansion Tank Works Properly

The return water pressure for most boats is 12 – 20 psig. You should conduct the inspection at the inlet of the circulation pump while it is running and the water is cold. The chillers have to be off. Add water only if the pressure has dropped below the standard level. Do not fill above the recommended level as you will compromise the operation of the expansion tank.

Hint: If the pressure drops often, there might be a leak in the air handlers and chiller bleed valves.

Leak Detection - Chiller Repair San Diego

#7 Check Condensate Drains for Clogging

Both air handler and chiller condensate drains need to be inspected. Even if there is no standing water present in the condensate drain pans, there can still be a clog. To make sure there isn’t, pour a quarter of a gallon of water into the pan. The water should drain completely within 30 seconds; if it doesn’t, check the drain outlets, drain connection to the pan or signs of improper installation in the drain lines.

#8 Clean the Pumps and Check the Exterior for Corrosion

Check the housing and impeller shroud of the seawater pump for wear. Also pay attention to the exterior – any sign of corrosion should be taken care of immediately, while oil, dust and dirt debris should be removed. Check also for water and chemicals on the exterior and remove any build-up.

#9 Conduct an Oil Analysis to Detect Contamination

To detect any sign of chiller contamination, it is necessary to conduct an annual chemical analysis of oil by taking an oil sample while the chiller is running. Don’t change the oil unless it is deemed required by the indicator analysis.

#10 Check Refrigerant Charge to Prevent Refrigerant Carryover

Refrigerant carryover is a condition where liquid refrigerant makes its way into the compressor and evaporates. This happens if there is too much refrigerant in the chiller. For an optimal chiller performance, the refrigerant charge needs to be trimmed so that the ratio between the leaving chilled water temperature and the refrigerant temperature is as per design specifications.

#11 Clean the Evaporator to Prevent Negative Heat-Transfer

The evaporator needs to be clean and free of dirt and other debris – the same as condenser tubes. Dirty evaporator and condenser tubes lead to the reduction in the chiller’s ability to transfer heat, which in turn negatively affects the overall performance.

#12 Check for Leaks in the Condenser

Once they make their way into the chiller, the noncondensables are trapped in the condenser. This increases the condensing pressure while reducing the cooling capacity. Leaks also potentially lead to a low refrigerant charge, which is as bad as the excessive refrigerant charge.

#13 Maintain Water Treatment to Avoid Scale and Corrosion

Since the majority of chillers use water for heat transfer, you must ensure the proper treatment of water for the prevention of scale, corrosion and biological growth. Team up with a reliable water treatment expert who can offer a full water treatment service in addition to the standard chiller repair San Diego service.

#14 Check Flow Switches Annually

You should perform annual checks of flow switches to confirm the system’s efficient actuation and deactuation. You should conduct the check while the chiller is running, but the water pump is off.

#15 Inspect the Motorized Water Valves for Corrosion

If there is corrosion in the valves, it might bind and disable the gear. The air handler should be off during the inspection and cleanup. It is essential that you remove any build-up from the motor gear and the valve gear. After the cleanup, the area should be dried and lubricated with a silicon spray.

#16 Check Control Probes and Sensors for Proper Location and Fastening

If the control probes and sensors are dislocated or not secured properly, they will cause faulty operation by providing erroneous readings. You should check all electrical connections for proper fastening and tighten them where needed. Otherwise, not only will they operate poorly, but will fail prematurely.

Team up with a Chiller Repair San Diego Expert

As a responsible boat owner, you shouldn’t wait until something is actually wrong with your chilled-water AC system. There are things you can do on your own to prevent more serious damage and avoid costly chiller repair. Remember – successful repair is propelled by regular maintenance. Therefore, you should never neglect chiller maintenance – you should in fact account for it on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. You also need a reliable San Diego chiller repair and maintenance professional is and Propulsion Controls Engineering is the choice of many San Diego boat owners and home owners alike. PCE specializes in a range of utilities and infrastructure repair and maintenance services, both in the naval and commercial sectors, focusing on electrical and mechanical power systems repair and maintenance.

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