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Tip to avoid frost build up in marine refrigerator

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    Tip to avoid frost build up in marine refrigerator

    Just a small thing here that I wanted to pass along. I've started using sealed ice cube trays and bucket. These are the trays I use: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I got this idea when I was defrosting the last time that there must be allot of water vapor introduced each time I have to refill the ice cube trays. The sealed trays have made a huge difference! it's been several months and hardly any build up. It takes a while longer to make cubes due to the trays being covered, takes longer for the heat to be pulled out and get to freezing. But its well worth it.
    Tony Bacon,
    Washougal, WA
    Caspian, MMSI 338355743
    1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

    #2
    My tip is:
    1. make sure the lower door latches shut. You need to hear the click of the latch. Sane on top door.
    2. limit the times you open the freezer to pull out the Kettle One.

    Still have to frost once every 45 days or so.
    1990 4588

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jmason View Post
      My tip is:
      1. make sure the lower door latches shut. You need to hear the click of the latch. Sane on top door.
      2. limit the times you open the freezer to pull out the Kettle One.

      Still have to frost once every 45 days or so.
      1990 4588
      You might want to try this trick. Then you can go for the Kettle One as often as you like. Usually by now we'd have 3/8" of frost on the chill plate in the freezer and refer. We have a scant 1/16".
      Tony Bacon,
      Washougal, WA
      Caspian, MMSI 338355743
      1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

      Comment


        #4
        Interesting thoughts. Gonna give it a try. I found my refer did not have the drip tray in the top of the refer so I bought one, then found the hose was zip tied pinched off behind the refer, I routed a hose extension down to the bilge and connected to the drip tray hose on the back of the refer in hope that I could defrost without having to have all the towels to absorb the water as it melts. Any idea if this will work to defrost?
        Cool Change - 1999 4788
        330 Cummins
        Custom enclosed hardtop

        Comment


          #5
          We always get some drippage but use a large micro fiber towel. They really soak up allot of water.
          Tony Bacon,
          Washougal, WA
          Caspian, MMSI 338355743
          1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

          Comment


            #6
            My Norcold refrigerator requires a manual defrost about once every 7-9 weeks. Frost ice actually accumulates into the bulb lense cover and other hidden places. PITA. Even with drip pan and drain hose, melt migrates down to the bottom in and under the storage drawer.
            Probably needs new door seals. But the door seals are not sold separately anymore and now you have to buy the entire door interior with integrated seal.
            1990 4588

            Comment


              #7
              I replaced my Norcold refrigerator 2 years ago, July 11, 2020. Purchased a new one at West Marine (they had it in stock in Sarasota) 1 Year 363 days later control box went out. Norcold did honor their 2 year warranty. They paid for the part and labor but not the trip charge to come and install it. The old unit lasted 15 years. Hopefully the 2020 version will as well. Atleast the 2020 model's compressor isn't right behind the 3870 Windlass switch on the lower helm. Only time will tell.

              Comment


                #8
                I picked up a set of these to use in our travel trailer. They were well worth it. Jim
                Jim
                1975 2865 Carver Santa Cruz
                Twin 215hp 302 Ford Waukesha
                Twin Straight Shaft Drive
                Tow Vehicle 2002 Ford F250 Superduty
                7.3L Powerstroke
                Boise, Id

                Comment


                  #9
                  What if you don't make ice in there (have ice maker) and still get frost in the freezer? Any suggestions?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just installed a brand new Norcold in my 3870. The amp draw is much less on both ac & dc. However, The freezer starts to ice up within 2 weeks with nothing in the freezer. For the cost of the frig I was shocked that it was not self defrosting like every other home frig on the market. I did have to move the windlass switch for clearance.
                    Gibraltar, Mi.
                    1986- 3870- Hino 175's
                    1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
                    14' Zodiac Bay Runner

                    Comment


                      #11
                      A marine or RV refrigerator is going to be as miserly as possible since it draws so much energy to begin with. Frostless refer/freezers work by way of having heating in the form of electrical resistance in select areas of the fridge/freezer. Those heating "elements" cycle on and off to change the frost into water which drains into a pan beneath the unit where it evaporates into the surrounding air. That circuit draws considerable energy which is why it is not present in a marine refer.

                      For those getting frost build up there are 2 sources of moisture being introduced into the fridge, either liquids placed in the fridge or moisture in the outside air that transfers to the inside when the door is open. Where I live relative humidity is fairly low which I've learned when I complain about it being in the 40 percentile or higher within earshot of anyone who's lived back east or in the south. So, for me the primary source of moisture was ice cube trays that are not yet frozen. But for folks where humidity is high it may be that the air exchange when the door is open is the primary issue and so it follows that the best way to combat that is to open the door as briefly as possible.
                      Tony Bacon,
                      Washougal, WA
                      Caspian, MMSI 338355743
                      1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Tony,
                        in regards to self-defrosting. This could be added on the 120VAC side of the frig circuit. I don’t need to defrost when the frig is operating on 12vdc. But most of the frost accumulates when the boat is at the dock on shore power. The frig has a drain hose to handle the water from a defrost circuit. And you are correct, here in Michigan the humidity is very high so the frost build up is higher. Maybe they will add this functionality in the future.
                        Gibraltar, Mi.
                        1986- 3870- Hino 175's
                        1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
                        14' Zodiac Bay Runner

                        Comment


                        • Bacon
                          Bacon commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That's a great idea. I wish marine refrigerators were made that way.

                        #13
                        Incidentally, what is the best solution here? I can't imagine it's removing all the food and turning it off. Nor can I imagine it being chipping away at (potentially breaking the thin top tray in the freezer. Does anyone have any good solutions?

                        Comment


                        • Cool Change 4788
                          Cool Change 4788 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I turn the fridge off, empty it to a cooler the lay towels in the bottom and cover the flooring. I also added an aluminum baking sheet under the refer because some water migrates down the inside back of the refer. Then after 30 mins I carefully scrape with a sharp and sturdy spatula to get the loose stuff out of the freezer. I try to get as much as I can spending 10 or 15 minutes working on it. Then I put a small electric heater on the counter for about an hour checking and removing chunks of ice periodically. Once the freezer is cleared, then I remove the drip tray in the refer and it normally has chunks of 1 inch ice in it that have dropped from the refer side top wall evaporator plate. Once all is cleaned out I dry and clean it, let it stay open for another hour or two then turn it on and put it back together and load it. Every 4-6 months I need to do this. I also learned the touchy spots and avoid them with the spatula. In between defrosts I will try to scrape out the fluffy ice the forms in the freezer. I am going to try the covered ice trays too. Next on my list!

                        #14
                        My method is about the same as Cool Change commented above except, we place a stool in front of the open fridge with a small ceramic heater sitting on it blowing warm air into the fridge. Entire job is like 90 minutes when the buildup is bad. We move much of the contents to the sink; frozen items go to a cooler if we have any. We're still sitting pretty much frost free now 3 months later, would usually have 1/4 inch or so of buildup.
                        Tony Bacon,
                        Washougal, WA
                        Caspian, MMSI 338355743
                        1997 3788 Cummins 250hp

                        Comment

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