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Old 07-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #15
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Similar AC Problem

I posted this on the 2007 model year quality thread, because I reported the problem there, but it seems like it should go here also.

On our last night out, our Dometic air conditioner stopped working. It had been working fine in the 95-degree FL day and keeping the inside at a comfortable 74 degrees. Then about 5:00 p.m., it just would not come back on. After checking everything I could get to without getting on the roof, we switched the unit off. The voltage was on the low side, but still in the green area of our plug-in meter. We left to get some dinner, and buy a fan so we could have a tolerable night.

When we returned a few hours later, it came on again, but after cooling the inside down to the set temperature, it switched off never to come on again. Voltage was in the middle of the green area. We had a warm but comfortable night thanks to the fan we bought.

I called Airstream and they said to take it to the nearest Dometic Factory Authorized Service Center. Last Friday I towed our Airstream to Giant RV World; Melbourne, FL. The technician ran through his diagnostics and could not find anything wrong. He reset the controller, and the unit ran for several hours performing splendidly. I asked him to show me how to do the reset if it happened again. Here is the process:
  1. Switch unit off with the on/off switch on the thermostat
  2. Hold down the top (Mode) and bottom (Zone) buttons.
  3. Switch the unit on.
  4. When FF appears in the display, release the buttons.
  5. Unit should now operate normally.
I hope that I don't have to do this again. If I do and it gets to be a frequent activity, I'll be returning to the service center asking for a new controller. Everyone should take note of this procedure, as I couldn’t find it in any of the factory literature.

Thanks Lew, for posting the start capacitor and PTCR service instructions. I'm filing both of these procedures in my "Junior RV Tech Manual."

Randy
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
I posted this on the 2007 model year quality thread, because I reported the problem there, but it seems like it should go here also.

On our last night out, our Dometic air conditioner stopped working. It had been working fine in the 95-degree FL day and keeping the inside at a comfortable 74 degrees. Then about 5:00 p.m., it just would not come back on. After checking everything I could get to without getting on the roof, we switched the unit off. The voltage was on the low side, but still in the green area of our plug-in meter. We left to get some dinner, and buy a fan so we could have a tolerable night.

When we returned a few hours later, it came on again, but after cooling the inside down to the set temperature, it switched off never to come on again. Voltage was in the middle of the green area. We had a warm but comfortable night thanks to the fan we bought.

I called Airstream and they said to take it to the nearest Dometic Factory Authorized Service Center. Last Friday I towed our Airstream to Giant RV World; Melbourne, FL. The technician ran through his diagnostics and could not find anything wrong. He reset the controller, and the unit ran for several hours performing splendidly. I asked him to show me how to do the reset if it happened again. Here is the process:
  1. Switch unit off with the on/off switch on the thermostat
  2. Hold down the top (Mode) and bottom (Zone) buttons.
  3. Switch the unit on.
  4. When FF appears in the display, release the buttons.
  5. Unit should now operate normally.
I hope that I don't have to do this again. If I do and it gets to be a frequent activity, I'll be returning to the service center asking for a new controller. Everyone should take note of this procedure, as I couldn’t find it in any of the factory literature.

Thanks Lew, for posting the start capacitor and PTCR service instructions. I'm filing both of these procedures in my "Junior RV Tech Manual."

Randy
Randy,

The re-set procedure that you mention basically re-establishes the link between the t/stat (Comfort Control Center) and the PC board that is located in the upper unit on the roof. The 'FF' tells you that the link in viable. If you do the re-set you get an 'EE' , that is telling you that the com/link is lost and you either have a bad wire in the phone cable link, a bad connection in the plugs or you have a bad PC board.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:55 PM   #17
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Thanks Lew. Do you suppose that just a reset could have been my problem? It does seem to work now where it didn't before. Or, do you think something else may be going on?

Randy
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
Thanks Lew. Do you suppose that just a reset could have been my problem? It does seem to work now where it didn't before. Or, do you think something else may be going on?

Randy
SC,

More times than not, a reset will do the job, especially if the unit is now working properly. Remember, the operating spec. for a roof air is a 20* temp drop between the intake air (measured at the return air intake of the unit) and the cold exhaust air from the unit's air outlets. If you're getting 18*-22* of cold air when compared to the ambient intake tep, then your unit is operating within it's range.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:48 PM   #19
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The offending PTCR and cap (see attached). Sorry about the quality of the photo -- it's a crappy phone camers. So where does one get these on short notice? It's going to be in the 100's again all week I bet.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:24 PM   #20
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I have another couple of questions. Ours blew last night and I'm just getting to the laptop now. Where should the starter cap be fastened? In our unit it was floating loose!

This is not the first time something like this has happened to us. Our fridge was not plugged into A.C. and the fridge flue top/cap thingy was floating around the fridge compartment.

So more about our cap... I've attached some more crummy pics. Can someone give me the correct part number and where to buy? I looked at dometicusa.com and some of the start caps are different. It looks to me that the PTCR was attached directly to the cap, and a red wire to that. Also a white wire attached to the other post of the SAME terminal. Finally a black wire to the OTHER terminal. See the photos. The cap says this on it:

43-52MFD 250VAC. So maybe 50-ish ufd at 250v?

And upon closer inspection the PTCR does come off (what's left of it). The PTCR says this:

WSX-7 A-1 Components motor starter


I think the air conditioner is 630515.331 according to the warranty docs that came with the trailer. We did not get a manual for this unit in paper form.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:44 PM   #21
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OK, I think I may have found the part number from the file 3309305.005.pdf:

24 Compressor Start Kit 3106732.013

I'm in Orange County, CA and would love to get my hands on one ASAP.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:46 PM   #22
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Don't Leave Home Without One

Considering the cost of replaceing or repairing an AC I would suggest that one never leave hone without a voltmeter permently mounted in thier trailer. $30.00 or $40.00 for a plugin voltmeter is a cheap insurance. I always look at the voltmeter before turning on the AC and then again as soon as the compressor kicks in to insure there was not a harmfull voltage drop when the AC load was applied.

I have seen so called 30 amp campsites that were in fact feed by less than a number 10 wire, 30 amp capisity, and conneted to 5 or 6 sites off that number 10 wire. If any 2 of the campers had turned on thier AC the whole system would have gone down.
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:11 PM   #23
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Has anyone ever used one of these?
Progressive Industries is committed to making the RV experience easier
It monitors the incoming power into the trailer and kicks off the power if there is no ground, wired backwards, or the voltage falls below 104 or goes over 132.
Looks like it could save a lot of headaches and money.
Tom
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:53 PM   #24
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grantb4,

The part # for your upper unit in located above the metal box that you show in your photo. The number on the metal electrical box is just for that part, not for the upper unit that sits on top of your roof.

Take a flashlight and look above the box, and you should see a model#, serial# and product # as all Dometics have these.

You need a hard start kit, part # 3106732005 which includes the PTCR (your burnt out little black part) and a new start cap. The PTCR clips onto the start cap and is then wired into the circuit. There is a diagram inside the cover that you removed to get access to the caps.

Also, there should be a length of perforated metal banding (commonly called 'plumbers tape') that holds the caps in place with 2 hex head sheet metal screws. From your description of the wiring, it does not seem to be correct, but I don't have a wiring diagram in front of me as I write this. When you re-connect the wires, be sure to follow the wiring diagram that is on the access door, and double check the wiring. I have seen new units come from Dometic that were improperly wired.

You should be able to get the kit from any well stocked RV dealer or parts supplier.....also from Camping World. I would not use any non-Dometic replacement unless the specs were identical! Close doesn't cut it here....

Quote:
Originally Posted by grantb4
I have another couple of questions. Ours blew last night and I'm just getting to the laptop now. Where should the starter cap be fastened? In our unit it was floating loose!

This is not the first time something like this has happened to us. Our fridge was not plugged into A.C. and the fridge flue top/cap thingy was floating around the fridge compartment.

So more about our cap... I've attached some more crummy pics. Can someone give me the correct part number and where to buy? I looked at dometicusa.com and some of the start caps are different. It looks to me that the PTCR was attached directly to the cap, and a red wire to that. Also a white wire attached to the other post of the SAME terminal. Finally a black wire to the OTHER terminal. See the photos. The cap says this on it:

43-52MFD 250VAC. So maybe 50-ish ufd at 250v?

And upon closer inspection the PTCR does come off (what's left of it). The PTCR says this:

WSX-7 A-1 Components motor starter


I think the air conditioner is 630515.331 according to the warranty docs that came with the trailer. We did not get a manual for this unit in paper form.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Also, there should be a length of perforated metal banding (commonly called 'plumbers tape') that holds the caps in place with 2 hex head sheet metal screws. From your description of the wiring, it does not seem to be correct, but I don't have a wiring diagram in front of me as I write this. When you re-connect the wires, be sure to follow the wiring diagram that is on the access door, and double check the wiring. I have seen new units come from Dometic that were improperly wired.
Thanks for your help. I will be calling around tomorrow.

No banding/strapping at all! I think my trailer was built at about 4pm on a Friday! I agree the wiring diagram does not match my description. What I saw was black wire on one terminal post. White wire on the other. Also on the one with the white wire was the PTCR directly attached and then a red wire attached to the PTCR. You can kind of make it out in one of my photos above. Also you can see the wiring diagram in one of my photos and it matches the one attached -- the diagram on the right. The wiring was totally wrong compared to that! I don't know if the cap is polarized or not, the top was kind of melted down. My model number is 630515.331.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantb4
Thanks for your help. I will be calling around tomorrow.

No banding/strapping at all! I think my trailer was built at about 4pm on a Friday! I agree the wiring diagram does not match my description. What I saw was black wire on one terminal post. White wire on the other. Also on the one with the white wire was the PTCR directly attached and then a red wire attached to the PTCR. You can kind of make it out in one of my photos above. Also you can see the wiring diagram in one of my photos and it matches the one attached -- the diagram on the right. The wiring was totally wrong compared to that! I don't know if the cap is polarized or not, the top was kind of melted down. My model number is 630515.331.
The schematic on the right is correct. Your unit supercedes these, but the wiring is the same. If you look at the start cap, you place the PTCR on one terminal (it shouldn't be polarized) with the red wire from the top of the PTCR going to the run cap herm (compressor) terminal along with the other red wire from the compressor.

The white wire (ground) goes on the other start cap terminal and terminates in the center stud of the run cap (common terminal). The black wire is for the reversing valve and is on the same start cap terminal as the common white wire, NOT the terminal with the PTCR.

This is only correct if you have a heat pump! There should be a diagram similar to this on the cover of the capacitor housing. I would definitely check that to be sure that you indeed have the black wire going from the start cap to the reversing valve. Mis-wiring will cause premature PTCR and start cap failure, and is more than likely what happened to yours.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:15 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
This is only correct if you have a heat pump! There should be a diagram similar to this on the cover of the capacitor housing. I would definitely check that to be sure that you indeed have the black wire going from the start cap to the reversing valve. Mis-wiring will cause premature PTCR and start cap failure, and is more than likely what happened to yours.
Yes we have a heat pump. I took a photo of the diagram on the "lid" of the control box (2 screws, 2 tabs), see way above. It's almost identical the the one on the right of the later PDF JPG. The main difference I see is that in my case the PTCR is shown as if it was part of the capacitor, rather than a separate component. There is/was no capacitor housing, just the metal around the control board area which housed the two caps too. I'm curious to see if there is any mounting hardware to be found for my floating start cap, now that I know what was supposed to be there. I'm also surprised with such mis-wiring that there wasn't more mess and much earlier. We've had the thing two years. I think I'll stand waaay back when I fire it up next time, considering the wiring will be different. Scarey.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:35 AM   #28
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How long before it's toast

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
I always look at the voltmeter before turning on the AC and then again as soon as the compressor kicks in to insure there was not a harmfull voltage drop when the AC load was applied.
I've attached this snip from HowieE's post above. Questions: If you see a huge voltage drop when the compressor comes on, and quickly turn off the unit, is it still okay? How many of these hits can it take becore toasting the capacitors?

Thanks,

Randy
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