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Author Topic: Problem with the AC  (Read 441 times)

FL RV

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Problem with the AC
« on: August 06, 2017, 09:44:56 PM »
I'm renting a 2006 Keystone Springdale. I'm in northern Florida so it's pretty hot. Actual temperatures when the sun is out is 100 or so. I turn the AC off and open the windows around 9 PM at night. I usually put the AC on around 10 AM. Over the past month or so, the breaker has been tripping and turning the AC off; usually around 12 or 1. I would reset it and it would be fine. But the past week, it keeps tripping; sometimes within minutes. Usually by 7, it stops tripping because it's cooled off outside and the sun is going down. It also runs well if it's raining. 

The AC belongs to my landlord and we spent 4 hours today trying to figure out what's going on. The AC itself works. When it's on, cold air comes in. It just keeps tripping. We aren't sure if the issue is it's overheating because of the sun and heat, or if the breaker is getting too hot and tripping.

Any ideas?

captsteve

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 10:12:46 PM »
the unit is trying to draw more amps than the breaker will allow. It could be something as simple as a poor supply of power from the source causing a over amp condition. Make sure the shore power cord is not overheating and that all wiring from the shore breaker to the unit is tight and in good repair. If all is good, you may try shading the unit and make sure the cooling fan is working well on the outside coils. Also make sure the outside and inside coils are clean and free of any blockages.
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FL RV

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 11:38:44 PM »
Yea my landlord thinks the poor supply of power is causing the breaker to trip. We are going to go to the local RV store tomorrow and see what they say.

captsteve

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 12:05:12 AM »
One other thing to think about is the breaker itself may be weak and if all the other things look good, swap it for a new one.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 05:42:00 AM »
One other thing to think about is the breaker itself may be weak and if all the other things look good, swap it for a new one.

My thoughts exactly.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 06:34:56 AM »
When the breaker starts tripping on my RV... I go up on the roof and so far. every time, THe condnesor coils have been clogged.. I clean 'em and all is good.

Here is why
As the temperature in the system (The air conditioner's system) goes up so does pressure.. As the pressure goes up the compressor  has to work harder and harder.. For assorted reasons compressors are often SERIES WOUND motors. This type of motor. as the load increases so does the current.. and thus they start tripping the breakers when the load (pressure) gets too high.

Cleaning the condenser... Lets it run cooler.. Also makes it run better

I'd go topside and clean it

How to clean

Most A/C's you remove the outer cover (10 to 15 screws usually around the "Hem" of the skirt)
THen remove the inner cover (More screws or metal tabs and cut tape
THen if your hands are as big as mine remove the fan.. Smaller hands don't need to do that.

THen you can clean.. You may also be able to blow it clean with compressed air without removing fan.


CARRIER (Air Excell) Remove outer cover (4 bolts and lift off),  Clean OUTSIDE of Condenser.

Finally you replace cover(s)
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captsteve

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 06:46:20 AM »
John,

You are still better at explaining than I.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 07:02:57 AM »
John most likely has the answer. Take a bottle of 409, or fantastic and spray the coil real good the wash it out with plenty of water. You will be amazed  how much dirt and grime comes out of it. Just don't use a strong stream of water on it, the fins damage easily. You need the volume of water not pressure to clean the coil.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 09:02:10 AM »
Get one of those cheap $5 Harbor Freight volt meters,  and put both prongs in a wall socket while the A/C is running and on start-up.   If it goes down anything less than 108 volts,   don't bother buying a new $40 breaker. Your problem is low supply voltage.

in the hot summers during mid day,  the voltage on the whole power grid often drops well below acceptable limits of 110-120 volts.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:20:02 AM by TonyDtorch »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 09:40:15 AM »
Start with the obvious, as Tony suggests.  Until you get some measurements of the actual voltage supplied to the RV (or better yet, inside the RV), you are just guessing. An a/c that runs fine with a steady 120v power source will likely overload & trip the supply breaker if the voltage falls below around 106 or so.

What breaker is tripping? The 15 or 20A for the a/c, the main breaker in the Springdale, or ?   Is the Springdale on 30A power or 50A, and what is it plugged to?
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xrated

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 01:14:21 PM »
John From Detroit wrote:
Quote
For assorted reasons compressors are often SERIES WOUND motors   

You totally missed the boat on that ^^^^^ as in, not even close.  A series wound motor is a Direct Current motor.  The armature and the series field are hooked up in a series configuration and produces  The most torque of any of the three types of DC motors, including the shunt wound motor and the compound wound motor.
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 01:19:41 PM »
Start with the obvious, as Tony suggests.  Until you get some measurements of the actual voltage supplied to the RV (or better yet, inside the RV), you are just guessing. An a/c that runs fine with a steady 120v power source will likely overload & trip the supply breaker if the voltage falls below around 106 or so.

What breaker is tripping? The 15 or 20A for the a/c, the main breaker in the Springdale, or ?   Is the Springdale on 30A power or 50A, and what is it plugged to?

No idea, I'm clueless with this stuff. My landlord took a small fan and has it blowing on the breaker box. It's the first time in 2 months it hasn't tripped by 1 PM. Sun is beating down and it's close to 100 outside. AC has been running since 10 AM no problems. My landlord is going to RV shop going to talk to them about it. It's his RV and he's had it for 10 years. Said it's the first time the AC hasn't worked. He's one of my brother's best friends; so I know he's not lying to me.

EDIT: The breaker box itself is warm, which is why he put the fan next to it.

rls7201

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2017, 02:31:37 PM »
No idea, I'm clueless with this stuff. My landlord took a small fan and has it blowing on the breaker box. It's the first time in 2 months it hasn't tripped by 1 PM. Sun is beating down and it's close to 100 outside. AC has been running since 10 AM no problems. My landlord is going to RV shop going to talk to them about it. It's his RV and he's had it for 10 years. Said it's the first time the AC hasn't worked. He's one of my brother's best friends; so I know he's not lying to me.

EDIT: The breaker box itself is warm, which is why he put the fan next to it.

With that said, you may have very well isolated the problem.
Remove the power from the RV and tighten all the connections in the breaker box. Not an uncommon problem in RVs.

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John From Detroit

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2017, 04:26:59 PM »
John From Detroit wrote:
You totally missed the boat on that ^^^^^ as in, not even close.  A series wound motor is a Direct Current motor.  The armature and the series field are hooked up in a series configuration and produces  The most torque of any of the three types of DC motors, including the shunt wound motor and the compound wound motor.

Read the following Link X
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_motor
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2017, 07:40:03 PM »
I understand your point, but technically it is a Universal motor that is series wound.  A series wound motor in technical terms is as I described above.....

And I've never heard of a universal motor being used in an A/C compressor application, as those motors are integral with the compressor in a sealed configuration........and the universal motors require brushes on a commutator to operate.  I'm just not picturing that happening inside a sealed A/C compressor with refrigerant circulating around it.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 07:45:29 PM by xrated »
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John From Detroit

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2017, 06:43:51 AM »
Series motors are often used for heavy duty Swimming pool pumps.. Feed grinders, and other constant load type jobs. Even electric lawn mowers all AC motors I might add.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 07:21:32 AM »
Series motors are often used for heavy duty Swimming pool pumps.. Feed grinders, and other constant load type jobs. Even electric lawn mowers all AC motors I might add.
What are you two arguing about? There never was a universal used in a compressor. These are the type motors used in hermetic compressors. This thread IS about an AIR CONDITIONER.
 

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« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 07:23:30 AM by Charlie 5320 »
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John From Detroit

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 06:06:19 PM »
This I do know.. As the load on the compressor increases.. SO DOES THE CURRENT.  and that is why a dirty condenser can cause breaker trips, .

Seen it with my Carrier's. Seen it with my Advent. Only reason I've not seen it with my Coleman is it is too new and I cleaned it when I did the Advent.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2017, 06:40:30 PM »
This I do know.. As the load on the compressor increases.. SO DOES THE CURRENT.  and that is why a dirty condenser can cause breaker trips, .

Seen it with my Carrier's. Seen it with my Advent. Only reason I've not seen it with my Coleman is it is too new and I cleaned it when I did the Advent.
Correct !  As the head pressure goes up so does the currant. It will continue to rise until the heat causes the internal overload to open. If one lets the compressor cycle on the overload very long the compressor is doomed.  Some will never reset after they cool off, seen it many times. Design on a R22 system at 95 degrees the head pressure will be 300 lbs, and they can withstand 400 psi but not much over that for very long. That's why it is so important to keep the condenser coils clean.

The new 410A refrigerant runs a much higher head pressure new, they won't last near as long as the old R22 system. I've been retired 3 years and before I left I seen 40 ton units that were only 2 years old with busted condenser coils. They had to do something, the old R22 units were lasting TOO long.
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2017, 07:20:14 PM »
Charlie 5320 wrote:
Quote
  What are you two arguing about? There never was a universal used in a compressor. These are the type motors used in hermetic compressors. This thread IS about an AIR CONDITIONER

Precisely my point Charlie......Universal motors are not used in A/C compressor applications, as John stated in a previous post.
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2017, 07:23:56 PM »
This I do know.. As the load on the compressor increases.. SO DOES THE CURRENT.  and that is why a dirty condenser can cause breaker trips, .

Seen it with my Carrier's. Seen it with my Advent. Only reason I've not seen it with my Coleman is it is too new and I cleaned it when I did the Advent.

Nothing special about that John, every electric motor sees an increase in current as the load on it goes up....until it kicks out an internal overload or in the case of a motor started with a supplied overload assembly and contactor, then the overload in the starter will take the motor off line.
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 07:33:04 PM »
No idea, I'm clueless with this stuff. My landlord took a small fan and has it blowing on the breaker box. It's the first time in 2 months it hasn't tripped by 1 PM. Sun is beating down and it's close to 100 outside. AC has been running since 10 AM no problems. My landlord is going to RV shop going to talk to them about it. It's his RV and he's had it for 10 years. Said it's the first time the AC hasn't worked. He's one of my brother's best friends; so I know he's not lying to me.

EDIT: The breaker box itself is warm, which is why he put the fan next to it.

The breaker box being warm is most likely an indication that the problem is there.....although not necessarily.  As suggested, remove all power from the breaker box and find the breaker that is supplying the 120VAC to the A/C unit.  Use a flashlight if needed and check the wire going into the breaker to see if it looks normal (no indication of being hot or melted insulation) and then check the screw that holds the wire in the breaker and tighten it if loose at all.  Also check the breaker itself where it snaps onto the buss in the panel and make sure there is no indication of heat or burning/arcing at the contact point.  If everything looks good there, put the breaker back into the slot and snap the breaker back onto the buss.  Obviously, you want to make sure the condensor coil is clean, as suggested in a previous post.  As you stated in your earlier post, if you know nothing about any of this, it might be time to get someone involved that does.  Breakers do go bad over time and trip prematurely, so that could be the situation if nothing else seems out of normal.
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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2017, 03:40:50 PM »
Heh, remember I said I was clueless? I wasn't kidding. The cover for the big vent in the kitchen was broken so my landlord had done a quick fix with clothespins to hold it in. I knocked it loose a while back and it fell off. When I put it back up, I put it on backwards so it was blocking all the cold air from coming into the RV. It basically caused a chain reaction and when it was hot, it was working extra hard which made the breaker flip. My landlord just happened to notice it before calling the AC guy lol. It's working fine now. Oops.

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Re: Problem with the AC
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2017, 07:35:05 PM »
Well, that's good news that it's working good and in the process, you learned a thing or two.  As you can see, it's pretty hard to troubleshoot electrical issues over the phone or internet.....way too many variables can and do happen.
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