Leisure Vessels

If you want to spend long hours aboard your boat a marine refrigerator and air conditioning is a must! Contact the experts.

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Service your boats refrigerator regularly to avoid any problems.

There are a couple of ways in which your isotherm refrigerator can start giving you problems if it is not properly serviced. Fortunately, there is an easy way to go about maintaining a well-functioning refrigerator, which will be handy even for the less than technically inclined marine refrigerator owner. Isotherm refrigerator troubleshooting and maintenance requires the identification of the most common reasons for refrigerator troubles, using a process of elimination in order to narrow down possibilities. With simple tests, the cause of malfunction can be identified and subsequently restore the unit its usual working conditions.

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Free Health Check For Your Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Reduced temperature control

When sailing in the warmer climates, a common concern with refrigeration is that the unit will not provide adequate cooling. Proactive measures include ensuring that there is plenty of ventilation around your fridge. Ventilation is the important for getting the best functioning from your refrigerator because if the temperatures rise too high, the condenser will not function as it should.

Where weather conditions are extremely high, supplementary cooling systems can be installed to assist the fridge to work optimally by bringing the heat down. If the problem persists, make sure that your refrigerator is not positioned in direct sunlight. The unit’s doors need to be able to close properly to retain the cold properly.

Temperature gauges are subject to get bumped and adjusted by accident. If your refrigerator stops cooling efficiently, check that the gauge has not been disturbed and that you have not overfilled your fridge.

Leaks in the refrigerator

Your refrigerator may start to leak, which can also signal any number of problems. Water can visibly start to collect on the inside of the fridge. This can signal that the drainage tubes of the fridge have an obstruction. Running some water with cleaning solution through the tube can assist to dislodge the blockage in the drain. Water can also collect on the outside of the fridge in the water tray. Often nothing more than a signal of a dirty water pan, the water tray should be cleaned regularly as part of a maintenance routine to ensure that the water can evaporate and does not create worry around a leaking fridge.

Refrigerator running too long

Running a fridge in a dusty environment can cause it to run for extended periods of time. Optimally functioning refrigerators will work at various intervals as the refrigerators reach their ideal temperature. If you experience the challenge of a unit that is constantly running, you may need to clean the surrounding area to clear excess dust. This dust can clog vents and collect on condenser coils making them less effective at cooling. Taking a brush and a vacuum cleaner to the unit will go a long way to removing the build-up of debris.

Another common cause of prolonged runtime is a low temperature setting on the refrigerator. This will cause the refrigerator to work harder to keep the temperature down. Adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature to solve this issue.

Marine refrigerators are a must have on-board if you intend to spend long hours on there.

Regardless of how you use your boat, a refrigerator on board can be handy. If you are the owner of a smaller vessel, you don’t have to worry about a fridge that takes up too much space. You can simply customise the unit to fit into the space you have, efficiently. There are many variations of marine refrigeration systems are available on the market. They all have different advantages and disadvantages and the selection of the perfect refrigerator for you will depend on the size of your boat and how you use it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Your Air Conditioning Fan Noisy?

Your AC unit’s fan is essential to keep the evaporator coil cool for the condenser. Overtime, the fan may become noisy to the point of being uncomfortable.

Causes and fix

If the fan has accumulated dirt and debris, has damaged bearings or worn belts, it will be loud. Shut off your marine AC unit and Clean with a blower if you notice debris or dust buildup. If you explore all options, but the noise persists, call a professional.

Does Your Air Conditioner Have a Loud Pump?

The AC pump is a vital component that must work perfectly to keep your vessel cool.

This pump provides the seawater that cools the AC unit, preventing it from overheating. To perform properly, the pump must always be in contact with the water. If the pump makes a lot of noise, it has something in it.

Causes and fix

A loud AC pump indicates debris or air.

If the boat planes or the waterline changes, it can leave the pump out of the water, preventing it from performing optimally. The entry of large particles, sea life, or debris will make the pump noisy. When this happens, turn off the pump and the AC unit to allow it to cool. Check the pump for debris and clean. Sometimes, the noise is because of friction, like faulty bearings. If the pump is missing fins, melted components, or worn bearings, replace it.

Is Your Air Conditioning Reduced Cooling Capacity?

You may notice that your boat’s AC is not as cool as it used to be despite the compressor and fan working normally.

Causes and fix

If your AC is not cooling like before, its most likely that the refrigerant is leaking. Locate the leak and refill the coolant.  A professional will be required for this. Poor or damaged insulation can reduce cooling. Malfunctioning solenoids can compromise the AC’s function. A hatch or window might be open. Check your boat for any spaces that can allow warm air into the cabin. Clogged air conditioning condenser coils can make your boat unbearably hot. If this is the problem, clean the system for improved airflow.

Is Your Fan Not Working While the Compressor Is Running?

This occurs when the thermostat is set to cool, or a faulty fan.

Causes and fix

Test the fan to determine if it’s still working. To test the fan, isolate the RED and GREEN wires in the thermostat connection. But this may prove difficult based on the model and your experience. Sometimes the problem is from a faulty fan relay or capacitor. These problems usually require replacing the faulty component. Turn off all the power from the boat before attempting to troubleshoot electrical components. And when in doubt, always call the professionals.

Is Your Air Conditioning Not Discharging Water?

The AC unit works normally, but it’s not discharging any water.

Causes and fix

Turn the thermostat to the off position. Inspect the water strainer and clean if dirty or clogged. Make sure the seacock is open and prime the pump to activate. Check that the AC pump is working properly and replace it if faulty. If that doesn’t fix it, call a professional.

Is Your Condensation Pan Overflowing?

An overflowing condensation pan can flood your boat if not corrected in time.

Causes and fix

When your air conditioner’s condensation pan overflows, it means there is an obstruction. The first step is to clean and clear the pan drain nipple of any debris that might restrict the flow of water. Check the drain hose. It might be blocked, kinked, or misaligned. Clear the hose if it’s an obstruction. Reassemble in case of misalignment and replace if it has extensive kinks. 

Is There No Heat On Heat Mode?

This occurs when the air conditioner does not produce heat in HEAT mode.

Causes and fix

This is likely due to malfunctioning reversing valves. Turn off the power and check for loose electrical connections in the electrical box. Inspect the reversing valve relay to see if it’s burned. Check to see whether the reversing valve sticking produces a hissing noise when you tap it with a screwdriver during operation. The wire on the reversing valve solenoid might be loose or worn. Replacing the connection might solve the problem. Contact a technician if none of the above works.

Is Your Evaporator Frozen?

The evaporator in your boat’s air conditioner can freeze during operation.

Causes and fix

This is usually the result of not enough ventilation. Clean the existing duct system to increase the airflow.

Check if there is an obstruction of the return air. If it is obstructed remove any blockage and clean the air filter. Check to see if the fan is not running or damaged. If not running or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

A leak in the refrigerant can also be the cause as it reduces the level of coolant. For this, you need a professional to find and fix the leak and refill with refrigerant.

The AC Isn't Turning On?

What happens if you turn on your AC, but it doesn’t come online?

Causes and fix

If you turn on your boat AC on but can’t feel or hear anything, it can be different factors, but these related to your electrical system.

  • You might have loose or broken wiring.
  • Check for a tripped circuit breaker or blown a fuse, which will need to be replaced. 
  • Check that there are no loose or disconnected wires or other voltage supply issues.
  • Check the thermostat is functioning.
  • Check that the AC water pump is working as it provides cooling water to allow the unit to operate properly.

If you are comfortable, you can change a fuse or reset a tripped circuit breaker, but don’t attempt to rewire the AC unit’s electrical connections unless you are qualified.

If you make a mistake with wiring you can end up frying the whole system, causing extensive damage to the AC and the boat.

If in doubt, call a professional.

Is Your Refrigerator Freezing Food?

If you notice that your refrigerator is freezing your food, it is most likely a problem with the temperature control thermostat. If it isn’t working correctly, it might cause the refrigerator to run longer than necessary, causing the unit to be too cold.

Determine if the thermostat is faulty by rotating it from the lowest setting to the highest setting, listening for a click. If you hear a click, rest assured that it is likely not defective. However, if you don’t hear a click, replace the thermostat.

Is Your Ice Maker Overflowing?

This is a relatively common problem. The most common reason is the water inlet valve. If the water pressure in this valve is too low, it may not fully close when the power is shut off. This results in the valve leaking water into the icemaker, causing it to overflow. To resolve this issue, ensure that the water pressure is at least 20 psi or 138kPa. If the water pressure is ok, it is most likely a defective water inlet valve. To need to replace the water inlet valve.

Is There A Build-up of Frost in the Ice Dispenser?

This is a very common problem and a relatively simple fix! For ice to fall from your ice dispenser, it needs to be able to open and close. This “door” is lined with a special material that seals against the ice shoot and creates an airtight seal. If the door gets damaged or dirty, it won’t be able to seal tightly, allowing moist air to enter into the compartment. When this air cools down, it turns into frost causing airflow issues and cooling problems. If you encounter this problem, simply inspect the door for anything that may be causing air to leak through. It may be a case of simply cleaning up the dirt or you may need to buy a replacement part. 

Is There a Sheet of Ice on the Freezer Floor?

If you notice that there is a sheet of ice on the floor of your freezer or any water dripping into the fridge occasionally, it is probably an issue of a blocked defrost drain. This is usually a quick and easy fix. Simply store your food somewhere else for the time being, unplug the fridge, and allow it to defrost. This should usually resolve the issue.

Is Your Fresh Food Compartment Warming Up?

If your fresh food compartment is warming up, it is most likely because you have an airflow problem. If you can hear the evaporator fan running or can feel air blowing, it is probably low on Refrigerant Gas. However, if you can’t hear the evaporator fan running or hear an uncommon humming noise, you most likely need to invest in a new motor for your evaporator fan.

Is Your Unit Cycling Too Often?

Nobody likes a noisy fridge. There are a few things that can cause your fridge to cycle too often. One being a build-up of debris or dust around the condenser coils. To fix this, you want to begin by unplugging your fridge. Use a small vacuum to remove the build-up of dust or debris around the condenser coils. You may need to use a cloth to remove any build-up in those hard-to-access places. Once all the debris and dust are removed, plug the refrigerator back in. Hopefully Problem solved!

Another common cause of your refrigerator unit cycling too often is setting the temperature too low. This results in the refrigerator working overtime. A good rule of thumb is to set your fridge temperature at or below 4ºC. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, Call Cool Technology as it might be the case of a defective part such as a condenser fan motor or thermostat sensor.

Fridge or Freezer Isn't Cold Enough

Is your perishable food spoiling quickly or are you just noticing that your freezer isn’t as frosty as it should be? This is a common problem. If the back wall of the freezer is cold, check if you can hear the evaporator fan running. If you can’t then it is most likely a problem with the evaporator fan. If you can hear it running, check the refrigerator’s compressor. Clean any dust on the compressor and coil, as the dirt will prevent air from moving across the coils. These are condenser coils that release heat from inside the fridge into the room. If your condenser coils are clean, it’s time to invest in that new refrigerator you’ve had your eye on.

Water Leaking on the Floor

A common cause, that are quick and easy to fix and don’t usually require the help of a professional. One cause is a blocked de-frost drain. The defrost drain is typically located on the back wall of the fridge or freezer, right above the slope from the floor to the back. A build-up in food particles or debris can clog the drain hose, leading to ice build-up and water leaking out of the freezer and fridge. To fix this, try draining the hole from the inside using warm water. Use a long, slender instrument such as a pipe cleaner or turkey baster to remove the clog.

What Happens with Refrigerator electrical failure?

Electrical components in a refrigerator can fail after some time of operation. The replacement of isotherm fridge parts is easy and can be performed in person or by a professional. Loose or broken wires and connectors may disturb the power supply of your unit. This is one of the commonly experienced challenges and a test to rule this out requires an assessment of the electrical component.

When the refrigerator has been removed into an open space, assess the back of the unit to see if you can spot loose wired or damage. Using a voltage metre, you can assess unseen damage by checking if there is any power coming into the unit from the power source. If the wiring is bad or damaged, the readings will be lower than the set out levels specified in the owner’s manual.

What Is An Isotherm Refrigerator?

The first type is the isotherm refrigerator, which is compact in size and can open either at the top or the front. This is the most preferred cooler system for you especially if you have enough room to fit it on-board. Isotherm units fits neatly in the cabinet systems where you will have made space for it. Connectable with just a couple of wires, this unit is purchased pre-insulated and does not require additional insulation. This unit provides excellent cooling and is able to achieve cool temperatures very quickly.

What Happens If I Run A Fridge Too Long?

Running a fridge in a dusty environment can cause it to run for extended periods of time. Optimally functioning refrigerators will work at various intervals as the refrigerators reach their ideal temperature. If you experience the challenge of a unit that is constantly running, you may need to clean the surrounding area to clear excess dust. This dust can clog vents and collect on condenser coils making them less effective at cooling. Taking a brush and a vacuum cleaner to the unit will go a long way to removing the build-up of debris.

Another common cause of prolonged runtime is a low temperature setting on the refrigerator. This will cause the refrigerator to work harder to keep the temperature down. Adjust the thermostat to the desired temperature to solve this issue.

What is a Portable Ice Chest

Portable ice chests are an option for people who do not spend too much time on-board their boats. Just as its name suggests, this refrigeration system is mobile and can be transported to and from the boat. A simple solution if you are looking to save money as well.

Built-in ice boxes are a variation of the ice chest except that it stays fixed on the boat. This inexpensive option is also great because it does not use up energy and there is no need to power it up. They hold up well against the competition, with top of the range models being capable to keep ice in its frozen state for longer than four days.

The functioning of a refrigerator depends largely on the availability of space and power. These are the two key factors to consider in selecting the unit for you. Powered units tend to use up large amounts of energy and if you intend to operate on battery power, consider how much capacity your battery can handle, in conjunction with all your other devices that may need power.

With all this in mind, you are ready to make an informed buying decision.

What is a Holding Plate Refrigerator system

The holding plate is another type of refrigerator system, which gets its name due to its ability to retain cold temperatures for protracted periods at a time. The thick plates are cast from aluminium or stainless steel they comprise internal tube systems which consist of cooling refrigerant. This type of cooler also attains temperatures very quickly. Comparable to a block of ice, the trick of the holding plates is in the ability of the refrigerant to freeze, thereafter staying cold for long periods at a time.

The disadvantage of holding plates is that they use large amounts of power to stay cool, in comparison to isotherm refrigerators. On the other hand, cooling only needs to take place once a day as the plates retain temperatures for hours. The plates can be cooled while running the generator or engine. The holding plates also require additional insulation.


Get on top of all your cooling with a system perfectly suited to your commercial needs. From office buildings to restaurants, schools to shops we’re equipped to help.


Leisure Vessels

We support Leisure Craft servicing across refrigeration, air conditioning and water heating. We are the service agent for Webasto & Isotherm in Western Australia.


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