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Author Topic: Super Newbie -> Air Conditioning Trips House Breaker  (Read 407 times)


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Super Newbie -> Air Conditioning Trips House Breaker
« on: July 01, 2017, 03:48:39 PM »
Hi, I'm technically even less than a newbie since this is a temporary situation and it's not my RV. I'm staying with my mum for a month and the house is full so I'm staying in my late father in law's RV in the yard. She doesn't know how to use it and neither do I! I'm unfortunately not very savvy when it comes to electrical stuff either I'm afraid.

The RV is plugged into a regular Canadian wall socket outside the house, which I assume is 15 or 20 amps. I used one of those adapters to connect, I think you call it a dog-bone.

I don't use the fridge, oven or microwave or any of that stuff so they remain switched off but they do work. The fans and lights also work.

The only thing I need is the AC, because it's very hot at the moment and the fans just circulate hot air..

Here's a picture of the panel which controls the fans and AC: http://imgur.com/a/EH4Fp

If I switch it to 'low-cool', the AC will turn on with the light often switching from "ON" to "SHED" and then eventually, within a minute or two, trip the breaker inside the house.

There's a panel in the RV which lights up when it's plugged in to the house socket. Here's a picture: http://imgur.com/a/C7xp6

The DC volts is currently staying at 13.0 and the DC amps fluctuates but has been at <10 for a long time, but sometimes goes up as seen in the picture.

I tried adjusting the 'incoming AC breaker amps' down to 15 and the fans seem to run fine but eventually this panel shows the 'fault' light with an orange light next to 15.5 volts for some reason, so I've kept it at 20 incoming amps.

Does anyone know how I could possibly get the AC working without tripping the house breaker?



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  • Posts: 32
    • Zigzag Mountain Art
Re: Super Newbie -> Air Conditioning Trips House Breaker
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 12:33:46 AM »
A few things:
1 - What size is the breaker?  15 or 20?  15 might be marginal for starting the AC even if it will run it.
2 - How long is the extension cord?  And what gauge?  Are you sure it can handle the load?  I would want to see a good 12 gauge cord for this?
3- What else might be on that breaker?  If some other appliance you might be tripping when they both come on.
4 - Are you sure the AC works OK?  Do you have a generator you can use temporarily to test?
5 - Can you try a different receptacle on a different breaker?
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Tom Hoffman

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Re: Super Newbie -> Air Conditioning Trips House Breaker
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 01:59:20 AM »
Get the A/C cleaned  out up top.  Less chance in overheating and causing a heat shut down.  Clean th inside air filter too.  Have the circuit checked for proper breaker size.  I bet it is just dirty. ;D
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Super Newbie -> Air Conditioning Trips House Breaker
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 10:41:34 AM »
I don't think there is any problem in the RV, and probably no adjustment that will help much.  The RVs 12v converter/charger is using an amp (or maybe even 2) but probably no more than that unless the batteries were discharged.  You simply don't have many amps to play with.

The first question is whether that outlet is 15A or 20A, cause that's a major factor. The a/c needs about 12-13 amps to run, and each time the compressor starts it draws substantially more for a second or two. A 15A circuit is marginal, but a 20A usually handles it ok.

The next question is whether anything else in the house shares the same circuit as that outlet. It's fairly rare for there to be only one outlet on a 15 or 20 amp breaker, so chances are something else is also contributing to that breaker trip. Maybe something on a thermostat that cycles on/off, causing random trips.

Next question is whether an extension cord is in use and what size (gauge) and length. Adapters and extension cords can cause a voltage drop, which has the effect of increasing the amps required by the a/c.
Gary Brinck
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