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Author Topic: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker  (Read 757 times)

kjjones

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Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« on: June 10, 2020, 04:29:04 PM »
Hi! So we are having an issue with a 2004 travel trailer we recently purchased. We bought it in winter and were told that the A.C. worked great but we never checked it out.

Just so it's clear, the camper is hooked up on an electric drop specifically for it and nothing else.
So we turned the A.C. on it ran for about 1.5 minutes then tripped the A.C. breaker. Now when we try to turn the A.C. breaker back on, it trips the main breaker in the camper. Has anyone ever had this experience with this or would be able to suggest a place to begin looking for problems?

The camper is set up permanently at this point far from any towns so we'd hate to have to find someone to come all the way out to look at it.

Thanks!

cavie

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 04:44:08 PM »
Is this dedicated drop at least 30 amps? Are you using the trailer cord only or are you adding an extension cord?
Retired Licensed Master Electrician/Electric inspector
All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.

John From Detroit

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 04:48:57 PM »
Well on my 50 amp rig NO I have not had the main trip
But I've tripped may a 20 amp breaker.   And 30's as well.

NOW: The A/C should draw 13-14 amps running but may draw more if it is very hot out (one of mine does not draw nearly enough.  Got to fix that)

As the heat in the system goes up  so does the pressure and the Amps drawn
Outside "Up on the roof" is the CONDENSER coil. like the radiator on a car this is what "Sheds" the excess heat into the outside air (Air Conditioners are one-way heat pumps  they pump it out)

IF this is "Clogged" so air can not move easily.. Heat builds up. Pressure builds up CLICK of darkness

Remove outer cover
Other than Coleman / AirExcel remove inner cover over condenser

CLEAN

Replace cover(s) (Colemans suck air so the crud is on the outside)

Also. if anything else is on (IE Water heater  and fridge) you can hit 30 amps and CLICK without a problem.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

kjjones

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 04:50:18 PM »
Yes
Is this dedicated drop at least 30 amps? Are you using the trailer cord only or are you adding an extension cord?
Is this dedicated drop at least 30 amps? Are you using the trailer cord only or are you adding an extension cord?


Yes it is a 30 Amp box and the camper cord is plugged directly into it.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 04:52:26 PM by kjjones »

cavie

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 04:58:56 PM »
Go up on the roof. Remove the cover, Check and see if the fan motor turns freely. See if it is hot. Look at the start /run capacitors. Are they out of shape? Leaking? If it is tripping immediately them cleaning the coils will not help. Changing the fan motor, caps, and contactor is all you can service. No service ports for Freon.
Retired Licensed Master Electrician/Electric inspector
All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.

kjjones

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 06:44:39 PM »
Go up on the roof. Remove the cover, Check and see if the fan motor turns freely. See if it is hot. Look at the start /run capacitors. Are they out of shape? Leaking? If it is tripping immediately them cleaning the coils will not help. Changing the fan motor, caps, and contactor is all you can service. No service ports for Freon.

I didn't realize they didn't have Freon ports. This is our first camper so we are completely new to this. I'll check all that stuff out tomorrow so I can figure out what I'm dealing with

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 07:26:55 PM »
If the problem is strictly in the a/c, the a/c branch circuit breaker should always trip before the main breaker. However, if the main is already near the 30A limit, an a/c that is running a bit high amperage could push the main past its limit as well.

Now as you try to reset the a/c branch breaker, the main sees an instant overload. That suggests a short in the branch circuit, since the compressor in the a/c doesn't start immediately (the fan starts first, then the compressor a few seconds later).  My guess is that the a/c branch circuit wiring or breaker failed when the a/c died on the first attempt.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 04:56:13 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Back2PA

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 08:47:34 PM »
One thing to check is the fridge and electric element on the water heater. I saw a situation last year with some folks in a campground I was in. Every time they returned to their trailer (semi-stationary, used for weekends) they would trip the shore power breaker. Then, after resetting a couple times things would be fine. Turns out they were showing up, turning on fridge, electric water heater and AC, and overloading their 30A service. Nothing was wrong with either the trailer or shore power, they just needed to manage their loads.
Scott
2014 Montana High Country 343RL (37')
2011 SD F-250 Crewcab LB 4x4, 6.2 Gas, 10K gross
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kjjones

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2020, 11:58:39 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies! As an update, I took the inside panel off and tore into it and found that a wire pulled out of the wire nut, shorted and burnt. All fixed and working great now!

SeilerBird

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2020, 12:03:09 PM »
Should not use wire nuts on an RV.

kjjones

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 02:12:07 PM »
Should not use wire nuts on an RV.

Is this because of the issue we just had, that wire tend to pop out of them from road travel I'm guessing? Are push in connectors what are supposed to be used? If so I'll go ahead and change them all out to prevent future issues.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 03:35:17 PM »
If wire nuts are used, they should be securely taped so they cannot vibrate loose.  I'd do the same with push-ins, for the same reason.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Rene T

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2020, 03:53:23 PM »
I guess the best thing to do would be to solder the bare wires together then put on wire nuts
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
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John From Detroit

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2020, 05:20:18 PM »
Should not use wire nuts on an RV.

Second. I do use wire nuts but I often solder the wires (Rat tail splice) then put the nut over the soldered connection then tape it   This seems to work especially when it's solid to stranded.

I've got solidering hardware at basically 5 different leveld
Coleman point-contact (Very low power)
Iron (about 5 watts)
Gun COuple hundred
 Brenze-o-matic Butane soldering mini-torch
Brenze-o-matic full size propane multi-purpose torch.
10Ga wire. NOT a problem.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

FunSteak

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2020, 08:26:03 AM »
Any thoughts on using a locking connector like a Wago?  Seems like it would be much better in terms of vibration resistance, since it locks to the conductor.

https://www.wago.com/media/images/hbf/h40/9876655144990.jpg
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

JayArr

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 10:16:25 AM »
The fingers that provide the force to "lock" it are made out of plastic.

I wouldn't trust that they will still provide force 5 years from now.

We've all seen how brittle plastic gets when it ages.

1992 Fleetwood Terry Resort 19E

Lou Schneider

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Re: Air Conditioner Tripping Main Breaker
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2020, 03:27:45 PM »
You can use a split bolt, tightened down and securely wrapped in electrical tape.  They're available from 2 gauge down to 16 gauge and you can find them at Home Depot, etc.

https://www.homedepot.com/s/split%2520bolt?NCNI-5
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 03:31:25 PM by Lou Schneider »