15k but ac issue

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Well-known member
Mar 10, 2014
Full time USA
The AC stopped pumping out cold air. We heard a weird noise when the compressor started and then smelt smoke for a few seconds. The fan continued to work and blow air. The breaker is now off. I will get on the roof in the am when the weather is cooler and no wind. Any thoughts on where to start?
Post the model number specs and the age of the unit to start. From there you will get good info. Since the fan is running, it would lead me to believe that the compressor is the problem. If the compressor is toast, best to replace. You may be able to determine the state of the compressor with a volt meter. Post the specs and model number

I will get the model number when I go on the roof in the am. what I do know is that it is a Dometic 15000 BTU AC with heat pump.
unfortunately there is no access to the ac from inside the camper.


OK. It doesn't sound good due to the smell of smoke which usually is accompanied by a component failure. Could be a few other things as well. Check your house breaker to see if that has tripped. The fan could be on a different circuit than the compressor. Any idea how old it is?
breaker was still on  so I turned it off. The breaker runs the fan and the ac unit.
wind died down so I went up and took a picture of the manufacturers tag. I opened the box where the electrical, circuit board and capacitors are and smelt the "smoke odor" in there
The ac is 3 years old, we have had the camper (purchased new) for 2 years.
I am having no luck finding the model number so I attached the info. I will keep trying to see what i can find.



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went on Dometics website and it looks like the Brisk Air 2. I will call Dometic in the AM to see if they can help with model

Given the symptoms if you are lucky it may just be a blown capacitor, which should only run $10 or so to replace, though there are a number of other things that this could be.
Isaac-1 said:
Given the symptoms if you are lucky it may just be a blown capacitor, which should only run $10 or so to replace, though there are a number of other things that this could be.

Best answer.

Smoke usually will not come from a compressor because it is a sealed unit.  Since the fan runs, it is probably OK as well.  In addition to the capacitor, check wiring for burns.  Now it could be that a bad compressor overloaded external wiring and the unit is toast.
On my last rig I got a burning smell and the heat pump quit; turned out to be a burned power lead
SMR, I couldn't find the exact unit but There may be access to the power junction box from inside the coach. Look up inside the filter area to see if you can identify the wires from your breaker panel. Look for anything that appears burned or overheated or bad. Suspect any wire nuts as wire nuts have a history of loosening in Rvs. If everything looks good up in there, go to your breaker panel and look closely to see if anything in there appears overheated or bad. The unit should be on a large breaker. At least 30amps.It would be a good idea to check that out before you go up to the roof tomorrow. First thing is to find the source of the burning smell. Although some components are on the roof side of the system, it is possible to draw in a burning odor through passages for wiring and piping but it certainly would come into the cabin on the filter/evaporator side which is mostly accessible from inside the coach. Hopefully I am looking at a similar unit.

Definitely give Dometic a call tomorrow. Try to put together as many facts as you can so they can get a good idea of the problem. Good Luck. Hope it all works out.
Thanks for all the info and help. I will work on it and let you know what I find.
checked all the electrical and it is good. I need to check the capacitors, this is something I have never done in the past. Any advice would be appreciated, I know they store a lot of power and I will need to be extremely careful. My AC and electric buddy is not around or I would call and ask him to walk me through it. I attached a pic of the capacitors. I also found the parts on Dometics website with the help of their tech


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Capacitors store energy from the circuit and then discharge back into the circuit. It is always best to short the capacitor before handling. This is done by shorting the two terminals. Make sure all power is off. Wear a glove. Take a screw driver in the glove hand and touch both terminals at the same time. You will get some spark. The amount of spark is determined by where it was last when the compressor was powered. Be careful and you will be fine.

Testing the capacitor is a little tricky. A meter with a capacitance test is best however, it can be done with a standard volt meter in a resistance setting. I suggest to bring it to a qualified shop for testing. If the price for a new one is under $20, just replace it.

Were you able to determine where the burning smell originated?
The smoke may have left a little evidence..
NOTE the wire is slightly discolored. It may be worth a look.


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Looks like you have a dual capacitor. This type is used to power 2 circuits. One side will be for the compressor and the other for the fan. I believe the white wire is common. Each terminal should be shorted to the white. Ina at a time. That should remove all power stored.

It won't be a $20 capacitor. Higher and even higher from Dometic

It is important to find the source of the smell. Look at the pc board very closely.

The other test is to put a volt meter on the motor windings if the compressor. Domestic should give you the resistance across terminals of the compressor. If you can get the specification in ohms and the terminals to check, that will give you a pretty good feel whether the compressor is good or bad
Here is one for $19.99 on Amazon though it is round and not oblong https://www.amazon.com/Motor-Dual-Capacitor-Round-12861/dp/B00C0YT11S/
Henry- Do I need to disconnect the wires from the capacitor before discharging? I went out today and got an insulated screwdriver. the smell is coming from the box where the capacitors are. also do I need to discharge them if I just replace them?

Gizmo- good catch on the burnt wire-

Issac, I don't think there is room for the round one in the box- I do appreciate you looking for me.

the bottom one is the hard start and it is 31.00 and the other is 37.00 from Dometic. I will shop them around tonight.

Fortunately the weather is cooperating so I have a week to get this done. We just got to my MIL's yesterday and after a few hours the AC went out. We will be here in North Little Rock until the end of April getting my "to do" list done, a lot on it this time!!

thank you for all the help, I will let you know what  I find with the capacitors.
Best to pull the wires. This way the power purged doesn't try to go anywhere. Keep it fastened while discharging. Let's hope it turns out to be the capacitor. Good luck and be careful.

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