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Dozer

A/C throwing code HFE, no water discharge

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Ok, its 3:30 in the morning, we're out for the weekend. Mild temps, A/C is warm, and I see the HFE code. Went out, looked for the usual stream on the side...no flow. Went into engine bay, could feel the pump running. Seacock filter is clear, but also noticed water in the bilge that was not there earlier (not sure if this related), did not see any water leaks around the A/C water pump, been parked for a couple days in same spot, A/C worked night before without issues. Water temp is about 73, Air temp mid 70s to low 80s

Boat is on trailer when not in use.

Coils are clean, no water in the tray

So as usual before I start tearing things up I would like some advise on how/where to start

The system is a Dometic Marine Air System on a 2006 290sig

Thank for any advice on how to troubleshoot this thing, before weather gets really warm.

 

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The pump needs to be primed - the HFE code is an overtemp due to lack of cooling water flow

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3 hours ago, Dozer said:

Ok, its 3:30 in the morning, we're out for the weekend. Mild temps, A/C is warm, and I see the HFE code. Went out, looked for the usual stream on the side...no flow. Went into engine bay, could feel the pump running. Seacock filter is clear, but also noticed water in the bilge that was not there earlier (not sure if this related), did not see any water leaks around the A/C water pump, been parked for a couple days in same spot, A/C worked night before without issues. Water temp is about 73, Air temp mid 70s to low 80s

Boat is on trailer when not in use.

Coils are clean, no water in the tray

So as usual before I start tearing things up I would like some advise on how/where to start

The system is a Dometic Marine Air System on a 2006 290sig

Thank for any advice on how to troubleshoot this thing, before weather gets really warm.

 

If the boat is on the trailer when not in use. That means that you need to prime/burp the system every time you put her in. I too have a 290, but I keep her in all season. Thats one big load to be hauling! Boat and trailer must be hitting 11,000 lbs 

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This is the first time this ever happened, why would it start now.

How do you prime it?

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20 minutes ago, Dozer said:

This is the first time this ever happened, why would it start now.

How do you prime it?

Either take the boat for a ride (the system may prime) or loosen the top of the strainer with a/c running and it should expel air bubbles.  It's been a while, but I think I may have simply filled the strainer with water, secured the lid then started the a/c.  Our boat stays in the water, but from time to time we trailer it and that's when the system loses its prime.  It's always been a very very easy fix...just don't remember what exactly I did.  It was more a trial and error thing.  But the first two recommendation above I've seen on other forums.

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I'll throw this one into the mix too. This time of year I would see this issue with my Sea Ray Sundancer. I would look at the sea water strainer and it appeared clear. I removed the strained lid with the sea cock open and got no flow, then noticed that the strainer basket was plugged with tiny, almost invisible baby jelly fish. Those mag-drive ac pumps are not self priming and need to have a flooded suction in order to initialize pumping upon cold start up. If you find that it is air bound, then you may need to add a static loop in the strainer discharge hose, just ahead of the pump suction. That's the standard cure for repeat air lock issues. W

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I just open the strainer and let some water out. You can hear the difference in the pump and it starts pumping. Some times I need to do this 2 or three times.  

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On 5/11/2020 at 7:56 AM, Iggy said:

Boat and trailer must be hitting 11,000 lbs

The new 2019 Dodge pulls her very easy

I was using a 2005 F-250 6.0 Turbo Diesel, it did fine on the road, but pulling her out of the water it struggled a bit, the Dodge -- no problem

Plus it has so many more safety features and great comfort.

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On 5/11/2020 at 9:30 AM, Wingnut said:

I'll throw this one into the mix too. This time of year I would see this issue with my Sea Ray Sundancer. I would look at the sea water strainer and it appeared clear. I removed the strained lid with the sea cock open and got no flow, then noticed that the strainer basket was plugged with tiny, almost invisible baby jelly fish. Those mag-drive ac pumps are not self priming and need to have a flooded suction in order to initialize pumping upon cold start up. If you find that it is air bound, then you may need to add a static loop in the strainer discharge hose, just ahead of the pump suction. That's the standard cure for repeat air lock issues. W

Interesting you mention that, just before this trip I completely hosed the strainer, and I checked to see if it was clear.  I have been trailing this boat for 3 years, and previous owner had it in indoor rack when not in use.

I'm starting to think its the pump, but before I spent the 270 deer on it, I tried this...hopefully this will tell you something
So while the boat is on the trailer and hooked to shore power, I disconnected the hose from the strainer and left it connected to the pump, then attached the water hose to it, water flowed out the side drain.
Then I turned the A/C on, the pump was sounding much louder (almost like a rattling noise) than the usual humming noise. I figured because there was no water, after attaching the water hose again, water flowed, but I had to have the hose on full pressure to come out the side drain and the A/C got nice and cold. If I back off on the water hose pressure, the drain would stop flowing. As soon as I remove the hose, water was actually back flowing and then off course the HFE code came up.

So wondering if you have any other suggestions or should I just replace the pump???

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Sounds like a restriction has formed over time. W

On 5/11/2020 at 11:30 AM, Iggy said:

I just open the strainer and let some water out. You can hear the difference in the pump and it starts pumping. Some times I need to do this 2 or three times.  

Do a net search on Marine AC condensing unit cooling water pump installation. I feel that the addition of a longer hose, and a priming loop will cure your issue. Beyond that, there are self priming condenser cooling pumps available, but they have a rubber impeller that has to be serviced, not unlike our engine raw water pumps. W

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29 minutes ago, Wingnut said:

Sounds like a restriction has formed over time. W

Do a net search on Marine AC condensing unit cooling water pump installation. I feel that the addition of a longer hose, and a priming loop will cure your issue. Beyond that, there are self priming condenser cooling pumps available, but they have a rubber impeller that has to be serviced, not unlike our engine raw water pumps. W

Thanks, but to be honest about it. It takes me 2 or 3 minutes to do once a year. So upgrading the pump may not be worth it.

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Ok, figured it out the motor has failed

I took it out, put a plug on it, and it hums loudly and the plastic impeller does not spend...it skips and vibrates.
I can also feel the motor bouncing around the sealed case.

Basically the impeller is driven my a magnet. kind of like the water pumps you find if pet water dishes.

So I guess I'll have to pony up 270 deer to purchase a new one

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New pump installed, working like it should. Total cost 258 deer

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Glad you got it figured out.  Sorry it wasn't something simple.  As luck would have it, I started the AC for the first time this weekend.  Pump wouldn't prime.  I tried a few of the tricks here without success.  Then took the boat for a ride which primed the system.  Once back in the slip, it pumped water right away. 

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