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Old 06-09-2006, 09:51 PM   #1
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Question AC breaker keeps tripping

Hi, new to the forum and first time posting, so be kind.

I have a 84 Excella 31' and when I run the AC on full tilt the 20 amp breaker for the AC trips after 5 minutes. After playing with it for a couple days, I have found that I can keep it from tripping if I keep the temp. dial about half way. The unit is a Coleman by the way.

Has anyone replaced the 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker? If so, any problems? If not, why?

I have not opened up the breaker box and looked at the contacts yet. I'm hoping they are just dirty, or the breaker is going bad. It got me thinking as to why it only has a 20 amp breaker for the AC.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:57 PM   #2
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Just say No to putting in a larger brraker. You are asking for a fire.
The breaker is sized for the wire not the unit. I suspect the unit is getting old and drawing more current than designed. Fix or replace the unit.
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:58 AM   #3
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OK, the breaker is sized to the wire so replacing with a 30 amp is OUT.

Does anyone have any idea what might be going bad with the AC unit to cause these symptoms?

Would the AC compressor pull too many amps if it were low on refrigerant?

Blows pretty cold on full tilt before it trips the breaker, but doesn't when thermostat is turned up (temp. setting up).

I don't have much experience with HVAC stuff, so I'm reaching at straws trying to guess.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:09 AM   #4
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Brian,

First, check the connections at the circuit breaker. A loose connection can generate enough heat to cause a trip. Also, check the voltage. Low volts will cause more current to flow; again causing a trip.

Third thing is replace the breaker. They do get weaker with age, especially if they have been tripped often.

After that, I would have the A/C checked by a serviceperson.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmimken
Hi, new to the forum and first time posting, so be kind.

I have a 84 Excella 31' and when I run the AC on full tilt the 20 amp breaker for the AC trips after 5 minutes. After playing with it for a couple days, I have found that I can keep it from tripping if I keep the temp. dial about half way. The unit is a Coleman by the way.

Has anyone replaced the 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker? If so, any problems? If not, why?

I have not opened up the breaker box and looked at the contacts yet. I'm hoping they are just dirty, or the breaker is going bad. It got me thinking as to why it only has a 20 amp breaker for the AC.

Thanks,

Brian
Brian,
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you replace the breaker with a larger sized one!!! The first thing I would do is to replace the breaker with the same 20 amp rating. They do get tired and need replacing on occassion. If that solves the problem, you are done for now.

If it is still tripping, the next thing I would do is remove the A/C shroud and have someone with an AC amp clamp test the hot wire feeding power to the unit while it is running. See how much amperage the unit is drawing and then compare your reading with the data plate to see if it is running within spec. If it is over-drawing the rated amps your compressor might be straining and on the way out and you might have to replace the A/C unit. Unfortunately, replacing individual components on modern RV air conditioners is no longer a cost-effective solution to a problem like you might be having.

BTW, Your unit has a 20 amp breaker because the A/C unit is rated to operate within that current range and the wire guage in your coach (probably 12 guage for your A/C) is properly sized as well. This combination should NOT be altered!
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:40 AM   #6
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In addition to the above , it may need a good cleaning . When I first got mine it did the same thing as yours . After pulling the inside cover I found the mice had built a nest around the fan which blocked some of the air and caused the unit to over heat and trip the breaker .
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:08 AM   #7
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a few years ago, I had the same symptoms with my a/c, and the problem turned out to be that the wiring in the circuit breaker panel was heavily corroded. I can only imagine that it was brought on by condensation, as there was no indication of a leak, past or present, anywhere in the area of the panel. But for whatever reason, all of the exposed copper wires, as well as the connectors on the panel's bus had a heavy layer of green copper corrosion, which lowers the amount of current that the wires can carry by increasing resistance, which causes excessive heat, etc....The popping breaker was preventing a fire. there are pics posted somewhere here...I'll see if I can find them. you can see in them that some wires' insulation was literally "toasted" by this heat.

I wound up replacing the entire panel, as replacement parts are no longer available.


here: I found the thread; there are a couple of pics of the original breaker panel. take a good look at yours before you proceed....

http://www.airforums.com/forum...+breaker+a%2Fc
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone who responded.

I will inspect the wires in the breaker panel before proceeding, and if all looks normal, I will replace the 20 amp breaker with a new one.

If that doesn't work, the next step is to have someone look at the AC unit.

Thanks,
Brian
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