A/C Repair project


Problem:  Seawater pump not turning on so, what will happen if I don’t shut it down is that the A/C unit that is cooled by fresh flowing sea water will in a short time overheat, causing further problems.

That is unless of course, things don’t quite go as planned.  Take for example, the prior planning one puts into a project.  Like, everything takes way longer than you think (sometimes a lot longer);

Our four-month old San Diego installed Dometic Marine Air Conditioning unit starts right up but, the seawater pump fails to start and circulate the seawater.  So, this morning right after racing around on the dinghy, visiting with old and new friends, I dug into this project.

One solution offered by Captain Frost, in San Diego, when I called him was to by-pass the A/C brain, to see if the pump is working.  In the picture above I found a power cord to use by cutting my trouble light cord and using it to temporarily connect it to the power cord for the seawater pump.


Problem:  Broken beer bottle glass sliver.  Thinking much further ahead on this project than I should’ve, I placed two yet unchilled Indio beer bottles on the galley counter.

It was initially my intent to place both of these bad boys in the refrigerator so that when “victory” over the faulty A/C seawater pump was achieved and problem solved and fixed – I could raise the “do-it-yourselfer” flag, easily sitting back down and enjoying an ice-cold Indio cerveza.

No, non of that today, because while down in the engine room, wrenching on hose clamps, further ensuring that the flow of seawater was unimpeded; and not the fault of a clogged hose or two; suddenly, out of no where (but, through the door – that I failed to close) came a very strong gust of wind; easily knocking down both of my Indio beer bottles; one of which spilt warm beer all over my freshly varnished and clean floors;

……spilt beer and broken glass and glass shards everywhere, engine room, v-berth, main cabin and galley!  Incredible, how could that glass find nearly every part of this boat to spread about.

…… at least temporarily for now, no flag will be raised, that is until the remediation is completed.

Quickly, stopping everything, crawling about, now looking everywhere for broken glass and glass shards – my next move.  If you’re like me, then you start by first picking up the larger pieces of broken glass by hand, gently placing them in the garbage carefully; and while walking about the place barefoot.

What this does is ensure that one of two things will happen;

The first is that by stepping on one of those jagged and broken glass slivers, that you initially missed, it somehow helps in the cleaning up process.  At least you won’t be stepping on it, and on a future day.

The second is that the glass shard that you missed will now miracously also not inbed itself in your partner when she walks about barefoot.

So, what do you do when this penetrating glass shard is now stuck deep inside the skin of your left foot?  Knowing full well that blood will ooze all out and spread from the v-berth to the main cabin when I pull it out, quickly I race about, now looking for a sliver remover.

Pain, what pain?  Just a little shock and possibly a little laughter, as I now hobble over an open engine room compartment, on my right foot, while carefully trying not to fall in and also spill blood in the engine room.


Problem now solved:  Broken bottle sliver removed and spilt blood that I suspected, was spread everywhere is all mopped up.


Our forward A/C unit which I needed to access in order to find the brains of the entire operation.  Better yet, L2 and L3 connections.


Salt water strainer for the A/C.  This is where the seawater originates.  Step one is also ensuring that the seacock is open and seawater is flowing.


The A/C panels brain.


In the above picture, the brain above, tells the seawater pump when to turn on and start circulating the sea water, sort of way to keep the entire system cool.

Air Conditioning Repair Project:

“Nothing, believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth (fun) doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows



About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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