AC hell with Ken Wall of Bucerias

Middle of July 2015 - At private slip in Nuevo Vallarta in Banderas Bay Mexico

First I must say DO NOT HIRE Ken Wall of  Bucerias , Mexico!

 So it all started innocently enough. I'll give a brief (if possible) explanation to how it all began. It has all been posted before. Anyway, when we first got the two Mermaid Marine Air units (5200 and 12,000 btu) we only got the 5200 unit installed in the stateroom. We had to run the ducking, install a through hull etc. We were leaving on the Baja Ha-Ha and did not have time to install the 12,000 btu unit in the salon.

The 5200 unit did not cool. After having to ship it back to Mermaid in Florida (we were in San Diego) and weeks of bench testing they found that "a "T" leaked that holds the fill valve. It was a third party vendor who made the T's. So we got it back from Mermaid Marine Air and all was fine just before we left on the Baja Ha-Ha. Mermaid said that the 12,000 btu unit was manufactured at the same time so if we had a problem with it that more than likely it was the T so they sent us two "T's" and some new valves. 

While continuing our Baja Ha-Ha cruising down to central and south Mexico into the Mexican Riviera we installed the second Mermaid unit, the 12,000 btu one and finished it up in Barra-Bahia de Navidad . When we got to Paradise Village Marina in Banderas Bay Mexico for Hurricane season we fired it up and sure enough it had no coolant. So we had it charged up and it worked fine. They did this while the unit was sitting right where it was in the salon. They tested for leaks and said there were none. We knew that they would not find a leak because it took Mermaid weeks of bench testing to find it and they are the manufacturer. That was OK because we were going to eventually get the valves Mermaid sent us replaced on the unit. So the next year it was the same thing that happened and all was OK. The Mermaid cranks out cold air all summer but is leaking out coolant and at the end of winter has very little left. 


"T's" with caps on 12,000 btu Mermaid unit.

The high pressure valve is on the lower left but it is out of sight.

So this year we decided to get it fixed correctly by having the two (on the Mermaid 12,000 btu there are two "T's") replaced. The fellow we were going to hire to do the job and who had charged it last season was Don May from Fresco Marine  Refrigeration Service. Only we were out at anchor for six months and Don was leaving for the season as we got into port, Paradise Village Marina. So on a recommendation from Tony who we house sat for we called Ken Wall as he lives in Bucerias and so does Ken and were Tony and Ronnie like to use local townie people. Fine, he is a gringo and speaks English. Tony and Ronnie are heavily involved in the Amigos de Bucerias AC where Ken is recommended..

''Amigos de Bucerias AC is an association dedicated to Bucerias Community and gives you the opportunity to enrich your life through involvement."

 OK so we had Ken over to the boat and he said sure, no problem. He has marine AC experience (first lie), and will pull it out and put in the "T's" and test for leaks and charge the unit and also clean it. He leaves with our parts and the unit. His helper did the work, a nice local fellow. So off he goes and we give him about a third of the money we agreed on. A week or so later he calls us and asks for more dollars so he can pay his help. Hmmm.. Ok we invite him over to pick up some more cash. and he and I and Debbie talk about a bunch of things. He says the unit did not need the "T's" and he did not replace them. He replaced the valves and it did not leak so he would deliver it to the boat the following Saturday. Later after we thought about it we realized that was the hole reason to remove the unit from the boat, to replace the "T's" and the price for the work to be done. No leaks.. hello! we know that because this has been an on-going issue that he would not find them but they are there. 

So fine we let it go.

"T's" with extra special valves Ken Wall will not return!

Next Saturday comes and we go to the boat to meet him in the AM but he does not show up. We call at noon and Ken says later in the afternoon. No show again! So we decide that seeing as he still has the unit and we will not be getting it soon he should replace the "T's" as agreed upon. We write him an email explaining again what Mermaid has told us and to please go ahead and replace the "T's" as agreed upon for the job. Well, we do not hear from him for a week - emails, texts and phone calls and then we write into the Amigos de Bucerias AC to see if he is still alive. Yep he is and is hopping mad at us as the email states he sent to us. Telling us he is the professional and Mermaid Marine Air has got it wrong and if we want our unit back we must come and pick it up at his house at 8:30 am AS IS. 

This is scary, it is the heat of summer and that unit is quite expensive, never mind getting one to Mexico!! So we go pay up and get the unit. and parts we gave him, his worker gave us the unit but none of our spare pats.

Again we install the unit our selves and get it running. It is worse than when we gave it to him. Then it breaks! A high pressure valve goes. And one of the valves for re-charging has bent seals. This unit is fairly new. This was, we think, vindictive damage caused by Ken. After repeated emails he has never returned our spare parts. Our friends who know him tried and he said we are only temporarily in PV and so that. What does that even have to do with it? 

 Ken Wall says he is a handy man, refrigeration person and AC etc.We have found Ken Wall to be a non-professional that is dis-honest, not trustworthy and a liar. For your own sanity do not hire this man to do anything, stay away at all costs!

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