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Old 06-28-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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A/C Pops Breaker

Yesterday I went out, turned the A/C on and "pop" went the breaker in the rear panel of the trailer. I am hooked into a dedicated 30 Amp plug and have used it numerous times in the past. I'm trying to figure out what is going on. The last time I used the A/C was probably 2-3 weeks ago. The fan works; just when I try to go to the A/C does it pop. Is it low on freon? It is, admittedly, a LOT hotter than the last time I tried it.

Thanks for any help
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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Rich,
Ours popped, too, once in a while during a recent trip. Temp. outside should not make a difference, but what ELSE is running at the same time might. Could not use it and make toast at the same time, for instance. Give it a try when it's the only thing running, eh?
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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It's possible the circuit breaker is bad but probably more likely there's a problem with the compressor on the AC unit. My original AC would do the same thing and after determining it wasn't the breaker I bit the bullet and replaced the 40 year old AC. Obviously your is much newer than that but still 20 years is pretty long time...
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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Which breaker? The 30a main or the 20a breaker for the A/C unit itself?
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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The little one, inside the trailer. Everything else works. When I kick the switch over to A/C, the motor pulls down, labors, then pops.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
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Is it possible that I am low on freon? Would that make the thing labor enough to throw the breaker?
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWoodward View Post
Is it possible that I am low on freon? Would that make the thing labor enough to throw the breaker?
I wouldn't think so. I just had my unit at my house serviced because it wasn't blowing cold air. Turns out it was low on freon, but the outside condensing unit was running fine. Sounds like it's motor or compressor related to me...
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The little one, inside the trailer. Everything else works. When I kick the switch over to A/C, the motor pulls down, labors, then pops.
OK, back to Jammer's question, of the little ones inside the trailer, is it:
Quote:
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Which breaker? The 30a main or the 20a breaker for the A/C unit itself?
You should have a 30a main breaker in the breaker box inside the trailer that controls all the power to the Airstream. You will also have a 20a breaker just for the AC. You have both in your breaker box. Which is tripping?

Sometimes breakers just get old. I replaced all of mine. The GFCI (the one with the "Test" button) one is kind of pricey, but the rest are not expensive and are easily available at hardware stores.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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Sorry, it is the 20a breaker. The main breaker is OK as the rest of the power stays on. Whenever I turn just the fan on, on the unit, it runs, then when I flip it over to AC the motor labors for 5-6 seconds then the breaker blows. If I try to flip it back to on, it refuses until I turn the AC back to fan only. Again, the last time I used the AC, several weeks ago, everything was fine.

This appears to be a Square D box, and the AC breaker is one of those little split breakers; any reason that the breaker might be suspect? I wouldn't think so but I am absolutely NOT an electrician.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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The most likely causes are the starting relay and starting capacitor. I would replace both before trying anything else. If the relays are expensive or hard to find you could try just replacing the capacitor.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #11
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Thanks. I hate to be stupid but how do I get to, and identify, the relay and/or capacitor. Do I go in through the top or the bottom?
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #12
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I don't know what make and model A/C you have but all of them have the capacitor somewhere under the top shroud, usually in a little metal box with 5 or 6 wires coming out of it.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:58 AM   #13
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You could also be not getting full shore power. It might be worth checking the power connection for voltage and if low, it will caus the 20 amp breaker to pop.
Are you at a campground or plugged into your own house power supply?
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:19 PM   #14
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Ah, so right Mac! We plugged in at a poor camp one time and EVERYONE was complaining about the low voltage of the power plugs. Could always be that.
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