So why do we have to maintain the aircon?
A/C Sea_Strainer_Evaporative_Filter. This video shows anyone who owns Dometic Air con, how to keep it working optimally. The unit uses seawater to keep the motor cool. Hence cleaning the seawater strainer is one of the monthly jobs you will need to schedule as a new boat owner.
Over time, the evaporative filter will become dust and grease filled. The unit does not work efficiently if the filter is blocked. This also needs cleaning. I suggest that if the fan fins above the TV need cleaning, then it;s likely the evaporative filter also needs cleaning
A/C Sea_Strainer_Evaporative_Filter Acknowledgments
A/C Sea_Strainer_Evaporative_Filter could not have been made without the support of a number of people. While I was suffering from the poor performance of the unit last summer, it was Leon of Multihull solutions who suggests that the Evaporative filter needs cleaning. He also recommends that I can see the nameplate on the unit to confirm its’ BTU. Once I realise he means the filter is behind the TV, this requires some thought to access the required area. There is NO mention of this in the FP ownwers Manual.
It was the Facebook FP Helia 44 Owners Club that gave me the courage to think about accessing this part of the air con. I particularly like the suggestions by Peter Silk and Ian Pitcher, to rest the end of TV box on the shelf above the stairwell, with the TV leads still attached. It is reassuring to learn it is not necessary to unscrew the mount of the TV and that the leads will reach this temporary position.
However, when Roman Zagwoci comes to demonstrate removing the TV box, he prefers to place the box completely aside. Jill likes that idea better than balancing the box on the shelf above the stairs. So the Captain’s choice supports Roman’s preference as well. That is the method demonstrated in this video.
Bleeding the lines and checking other things
Cleaning the seawater strainer occasionally gives me grief. Al Ovenden is particularly helpful. On one occasion the only explanation for the lack of flow of water had to be the motor itself. He discovers that the impeller is not moving. When he pulls it out, he finds some crud has jammed it.
This is surprising, as not only do we have the regular seawater strainer, but we also installed a pre-macro filter while still in Spain. Since using that prefilter, the smell when undoing the seawater strainer canister is eliminated. The size of the crud is so small it has passed through two methods of ‘cleaning” before reaching the motor. So Al just cleans the impeller, then puts it back together. After that, we do have to bleed the lines again. Roman also helps me sometimes, when I am bleeding the lines after a seawater strainer clean.
Al’s method is to do the canister partway up, then open the seacock to let the water run through. Listen for any air bubble to pass. Tighten the canister up. Then mop up all the water that has run into the bilge.
Roman prefers to not actually bleed the canister so actively. The canister is slightly undone while the seacock remains open, then start the air con. Do up the canister once it’s obvious the water is running through to the outside. He thinks the motor pulling the water through will pull out any air locks. Then mop up any water.