Basement Air Issue

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
Hello! So, we were on the final leg of our vacation and our basement a/c started blowing hot air. Not good when it is in the upper 90's. Just curious if anyone has any idea what may be the problem this time. So, I select cool on the thermostat and I can hear it kick in as usual. Then after a bit I hear the click and the second compressor sounds like it is kicking in, but no cold air. We opened the panel on the side of the coach and we are getting a slow steady blink of the green light and a solid red, which from what I am reading should be normal? Any ideas? I emailed for an apointment at Lichtsenn, but I'm afraid of the wait time and I really don't want to give up my summer because of no a/c.
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
What is the amp-draw before and when the #1 compressor comes on, same info for #2 compressor?
The #2 compressor will not start until #1 is running.
So sorry it has taken so long for me to respond. Busy weekend. Ok, we turned on the generator so I could see the read out. Started at 0, turned on the a/c and it jumped to 27 and settled back to 10, then the click on the thermostat and it jumped to 19 then settled back to 12. Everything sounds "normal" but it blows hot. I did hear back from Justin at Lichtsenn in Forest City and he seems to think it may just need to be charged. Didn't know it could be charged. Hmm
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,548
Location
Texas Hill Country
They don't have a service port for charging, they would need to add one. I highly doubt it's low on refrigerant, more likely a start and/or run compressor capacitor has gone south. The compressor capacitors can be access by removing the service panel however the condenser fan cannot be accessed unless the entire unit is dropped. That was some really slick engineering there Coleman-Mach :poop:.

The last time I dropped mine, I replaced all of the capacitors and I relocated the condenser fan cap to be easily accessible.
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
They don't have a service port for charging, they would need to add one. I highly doubt it's low on refrigerant, more likely a start and/or run compressor capacitor has gone south. The compressor capacitors can be access by removing the service panel however the condenser fan cannot be accessed unless the entire unit is dropped. That was some really slick engineering there Coleman-Mach :poop:.

The last time I dropped mine, I replaced all of the capacitors and I relocated the condenser fan cap to be easily accessible.
The fans, indoor and outdoor are working. Is that what you are referring to on condenser fan?
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
I was making a snarkey remark about placement of the condenser fan capacitor. Since your fans are running, that's good (y).
Gotcha! So would you still look to the capacitors? I was pricing the run cap. I found one on Amazon with almost all the numbers matching except it was 5% instead of 10%. So do I need to spend 4x more to get OEM? What is your opinion on that?
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,548
Location
Texas Hill Country
Absolutely - replace the capacitors! The 5% and 10% refer to variance/tolerance from stated capacitance with 5% being 'better'. The value in this case can only vary 5% above or below stated value - a good thing.
 

Ray-IN

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Posts
302
Location
North America-somewhere
So sorry it has taken so long for me to respond. Busy weekend. Ok, we turned on the generator so I could see the read out. Started at 0, turned on the a/c and it jumped to 27 and settled back to 10, then the click on the thermostat and it jumped to 19 then settled back to 12. Everything sounds "normal" but it blows hot. I did hear back from Justin at Lichtsenn in Forest City and he seems to think it may just need to be charged. Didn't know it could be charged. Hmm
You should see approx. 14A-draw when #1 compressor is running, approx. 22-24A-draw with both #1 and #2 compressors are running. Those numbers include both fans running and the battery charger running.
I suspect #2 compressor is not running. Follow John's recommendation and replace the caps.
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
You should see approx. 14A-draw when #1 compressor is running, approx. 22-24A-draw with both #1 and #2 compressors are running. Those numbers include both fans running and the battery charger running.
I suspect #2 compressor is not running. Follow John's recommendation and replace the caps.
Well...Larry had a retired HVAC guy take a look at it. He noticed an oily substance. Thinking a ruptured coolant line. So we called Leon at National RV Refrigerators and we are taking the unit to him on Wednesday. We'll keep you guys posted.
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,548
Location
Texas Hill Country
Yeah, that doesn't look good. Since the unit is out, replace the condenser capacitor and oil the condenser fan bearings. One oil cup is easily accessible, the other one requires a bit of disassembly.

Please keep your thread updated, I'm quite interested in the final analysis.
 

Ray-IN

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Posts
302
Location
North America-somewhere
To maximize efficiency I suggest buying and using a fin comb to straighten those bent fins; for both evaporator and condenser coils. Consider replacing the bronze bushing for the fan shaft with sealed bearings.
Yes it is more work; how much do you enjoy pulling and reinstalling your basement unit?
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
Yeah, that doesn't look good. Since the unit is out, replace the condenser capacitor and oil the condenser fan bearings. One oil cup is easily accessible, the other one requires a bit of disassembly.

Please keep your thread updated, I'm quite interested in the final analysis.
We leave for Indiana in the wee hours on Wednesday. I promise I will update with details.
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
To maximize efficiency I suggest buying and using a fin comb to straighten those bent fins; for both evaporator and condenser coils. Consider replacing the bronze bushing for the fan shaft with sealed bearings.
Yes it is more work; how much do you enjoy pulling and reinstalling your basement unit?
Oh I agree. We are going to have Leon at National RV work it over.
 

Ruth and Larry

Active member
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Posts
35
Location
Camanche, IA
UPDATE: We now have a working basement a/c unit. YAY!!!! After removing the unit we drove to Indiana to see Leon in Shipshewana. He found a coolant leak that he repaired, compressor #2 was shot, she did the run caps and the start caps, and added a new circuit board. We drove the motorhome to have the unit reinstalled. It is working probably better than it ever has since we have owned it. Total bill (and we were holding on the to desk lol) came to $1432 for parts and labor. Considering a new unit would have been in the 4k range, we were "happy campers".
 
Top Bottom