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Old 06-30-2005, 07:44 PM   #1
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AC cuts off

My AC cuts off. I am plugged in to shore power which has 30AMPS but when I turn the AC on, it runs for 4-5 seconds then the breaker is set off. (The one in the bedroom) I reset it, then all works fine.

This happens even when all appliances are off, including fridge, univolt, lights.

I requested a resolution to this and they said they would look at it and suggested I may have a problem with the breaker? Is that possible? From this it seems the breaker is working as designed?

I doubt it's the problem on my end because the last CG I was at I could run my AC/fridge/univolt with no problems and the AC works well and cold. I don't know how many Amps they had. How do I communicate this problem to the maintenance people and how do I prove it's not a problem on my end (or resolve it if it is)

I can only use the fan option in the unit and it's a boiling 97F inside...
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Old 06-30-2005, 07:55 PM   #2
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#1 I would suspect carbonized contacts on the park 30A outlet - the larger the load, the greater the voltage drop / current increase.

If you have a voltage meter in your trailer you should see a significant drop when the AC compressor kicks on.

#2 - maybe there really isn't 30A available due to high demand at the park
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Old 06-30-2005, 07:56 PM   #3
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check this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...lowing+breaker

I had lots of corrosion on the wires and the bus bar in the breaker box. luckily, the breaker did work, and prevented a fire. but things got hot enough to toast the insulation on the wires.

the corrosion caused more resistance in the wiring, as all that juice was trying to squeeze through, which causes heat, which caused the breaker to pop. the box was hot to the touch, too.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:58 PM   #4
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#1 I would suspect carbonized contacts on the park 30A outlet - the larger the load, the greater the voltage drop / current increase.

The outlet looks bad. It's cover fell off some time ago (months) and it looks pretty rusty. Also it looks like it's pretty old, years if not decades. Do you think that's part of the problem?

If you have a voltage meter in your trailer you should see a significant drop when the AC compressor kicks on.

I have a Voltmeter, but how do I use it to check the Amps? at that outlet?

#2 - maybe there really isn't 30A available due to high demand at the park

That's another concern... How do I throw the ball in their court so that they don't say it's on my end? Like I said, my appliance worked perfectly just last summer - at another CG. I strongly suspect there is something wrong on their end.

But I read the thread about corrosion in breaker boxes. This winter I've had real high humidity inside the camper, could this have caused some corrosion in my breaker box? How do I check? I need to narrow this down and resolve it.
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:41 AM   #5
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Voltage check for power quality

Most multimeters can not measure AC current, so the only thing you can do is verify good voltage.

Air conditioners prefer to see between 115 & 120 volts on the line to run properly. Anything below 105 volts will probably end up cooking your compressor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh
#2 - maybe there really isn't 30A available due to high demand at the park
I agree - The campground may not be able to supply you with 30 amps at 120 vac.

The easiest way to verify this is to plug your voltmeter's probes into the CG's 20 amp outlet, and check the voltage before and after your air is on. For comparison, then plug the voltmeter into one of your interior outlets, and repeat the above. Anything below 115 vac (other than a brief spike when the compressor kicks on) indicates poor power quality.

BTW, breakers do go bad. Sometimes the points weld together (worst case), and sometimes they open too soon (your case). You could very well have a weak breaker.

But check your voltages first.

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Old 07-01-2005, 08:06 AM   #6
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you simply take the cover off the box and look for rusty stuff.

But from your description, it sounds as though the campground's outlet is the culprit.
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Old 07-01-2005, 06:15 PM   #7
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I pulled the amps on the outlet and it looks like its getting 18.5Amps. Not enough to run the AC apparently. The older units as I understand had higher amps requirements than newer ones, and this one is 20 years old. It's very rusty as you can see.
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Old 07-01-2005, 06:30 PM   #8
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I don't think you are checking the amps. To check amps you have to be in line with the load or have a special meter and clip that goes over the wire while under load.
You need to check the AC voltage as described above.
However; if there is another campground box close by (25 ft or so) you could try another outlet.

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Old 07-01-2005, 06:41 PM   #9
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The CG told me they would replace the breaker box so that all may be irrelevant...

Hard to say what's worse, being without heat in the winter or without AC in the summer.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:09 PM   #10
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They say they replaced the breaker in the outlet but my AC still cuts off after 5-7 seconds. They say the problem is on my end. What do I do to confirm/deny this? (It's turning into an emergency because it's very hot here)
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
They say they replaced the breaker in the outlet but my AC still cuts off after 5-7 seconds. They say the problem is on my end. What do I do to confirm/deny this? (It's turning into an emergency because it's very hot here)
Did they replace the breaker, or the breaker and plug?
If they just replaced the breaker, and the plug is still corroded and not providing a clean surface for your plug, you will still have a massive voltage drop going to your trailer. Using your voltmeter shown in your previous post, set it to AC Voltage, 500 volt range, and plug the leads one into each flat recepticle of an outlet in your trailer. Check your voltage, you should have at least 120 volts at an unloaded plug. Then, leaving the voltmeteer plugged in, and on, turn on the air conditioner. If the meter takes a dive to 80 volts or so, you have a bad connection, or a bad compressor. I am guessing you would know if your compressor was bad enough to make that kind of voltage drop. It would be groaning and growling, and the whole trailer would be vibrating.
If the voltage doesn't drop below, say 110 volts, you have either a bad connection between your breaker box and your A/C unit, or the A/C is bad, and requires repair or replacement.
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Old 07-08-2005, 12:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
If the meter takes a dive to 80 volts or so, you have a bad connection, or a bad compressor.
If the voltage doesn't drop below, say 110 volts, you have either a bad connection between your breaker box and your A/C unit, or the A/C is bad, and requires repair or replacement.
Terry,

I agree with your meter connections advice, but I disagree with your analysis.

If the voltage drops to 80 volts or so, as I suspect it does, this does not necessarily mean those problems alone. It can still be a problem with the shore power.

Just because the receptacle is rated at 30 amps does not mean that the wiring to the receptacle is adequate for 30 amps, especially when many other campers are also using power from the same main wire. It is quite possible that the voltage drop is due to inadequate supply to the receptacle.
****

Ipso,

Proper troubleshooting of this problem requires a knowledge of meters and how electricity works. You may also have to buy a clamp-on ammeter (either a separate meter or an accessory for your multimeter) and a length of 30 amp cable that has been taken apart to allow a reading on only one conductor in that cable. Most multimeters will not measure 30 amps.

The easy check for problems is the voltage check that has been suggested in various forms earlier in this thread. If the voltage drops dramatically as the air conditioning unit attempts to start, then the most probable cause is inadequate power supply, since you said your unit worked last year at a different campground. My guess is that the inadequate power is caused by an undersized (for the total load) supply to the receptacle. The resulting low voltage is causing higher than normal amperage through the air conditioning circuit and the breaker is tripping.

Volts x Amps = Watts
or
Electric potential times current equals power.

Your airconditioning requires a certain amount of power to start. If the voltage drops, it will demand higher amps.

The ultimate test (after checking voltage as discussed earlier) is to connect an ammeter in the trailer's shore power cord. If this cord is not getting 30 amps (or whatever the air conditioner demands when it starts), then the problem is on the campground side, not yours. If the receptacle is supplying 30 amps at 120 volts, then the fault is on your side.

Good luck.
Loren
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:08 AM   #13
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After looking at that picture of your CG's outlet box, my only question is:
WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE???
I'd be out looking for another CG so fast, it would make your head spin.
Just my humble opinion~
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:59 PM   #14
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> Did they replace the breaker, or the breaker and plug?


overlander63,

they just replaced everything, the breaker, the plug. They checked the voltage it's 120V before and after the AC is turned on. The problem is on my end.
What can I replace? Should I start with the breaker? Is it difficult to remove? Where do I get the replacement, does Home Depot has them? and what's the right size?
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