October 18, 2008.
Since we’re here for a couple of days we decided to make the best of it. The temperature has dipped to about 60 degrees. So while it was cold as a meat locker in the boat we decided to empty out the fridge and spend a few hours replacing the refrigeration system.
Christy emptied everything out of the refrigerator and set the Engel up as our full time freezer. In the mean time, I sat and read everything about the installation of the new system.
Once the fridge was empty I ripped out the faulty Alder Barber system and started the new installation. The biggest difference between the old system and the new system is the fact that the box that had once served as both freezer and refrigerator would now be dedicated to being a refrigerator only. So by getting rid of the old internal freezer we would be effectively adding 30% to the size of our refrigerator. Cool. (<~ pun)
Also different about this system was the fact that we’d be installing a flat evaporator. The old evaporator was box shaped and served as the freezer with the excess cooling acting as the refrigerator. This flat evaporator had to be heated with a hair dryer and bent around a round tube of a specific diameter to provide the correct radius in the corners of the box. We didn’t have any PVC tubing laying about so we had to improvise a bit and it worked out perfectly.
So I screwed the flawlessly bent evaporator into place. The installation of the new compressor was straight forward and went well. I figured the worst of it was behind me now, but I was wrong. After that I had to deal with the temperature sensing probe and the variable speed motor controller.
The temperature sensor is standard equipment but the variable speed control is a custom addition we chose to add in an effort to save amps. Integrating the 2 extra components into the system took a little more effort than I figured it would. The directions that came with both devices didn’t really earn any awards as the worlds best directions.
Finally, I was able to figure it all out and had the system up and running in a bit over 4 hours. So now we have more freezer space than we’ve ever had and the fridge is markedly bigger as well.
Since we’re still tied to the dock and plugged in to shore power it’ll be a while before I can really see how the new system will be impacting our power supply.
While I’m talking about the docks……..a little about the marina. We’re tied to a face dock right on the ICW so we have to sit and watch all the south bound boats as they head south. It is a no wake zone and since everyone is coming out of the Great Bridge lock they all seem to honor it. The marina facilities are a little past their prime but any cosmetic deficiencies are more than made up by the personnel that work here. No, I didn’t mean that they were really good looking; I meant that they were really nice. We’re also only a short walk from a couple of bigger strip malls with a grocery store, bank, fast food and tons of other stuff available as well.
While things could be better, they could definitely be far worse. So we sit by our “candle of warmth” and wait for our mechanic to come on Monday morning. Things could be worse, the drinks could be warm.