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Old 06-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #15
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Sorry to say, I dont think lack of power is your problem.

I take it that these units don't use a compressor relay?
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Sorry to say, I dont think lack of power is your problem.

I take it that these units don't use a compressor relay?
Yep! It's K-5 on the relay board.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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No progress with motor starter and starting capacitor

After getting only the AC Fan operating and no compressor activity... I put everything back together and the top cover. I replaced the the motor starter and black capacitor to get to this point....

To check the fan after this... now it did not go on. The 20 amp breaker is on. The temperature is set low to activate the compressor.

I went back onto the top of the trailer, pulled off the cover and asked my wife to turn the AC on while I was on top checking the connections from the Starter Capacitor (black one) to the grey larger capacitor. You know, the jiggle test if a wire is not making contact... all I could hear was a light click on the circuit board when my wife switched to cool and then off.

Since I now have no fan, which before did run, I have neither fan nor any compressor activity.

-I have to assume the grey capacitor may need replacement.
-The black capacitor and/or motor starter need replacement.
-When the black and the fried motor starter went bad, it affected the board.
-Or... I am going to find a window AC, build a exterior stand and fit it into the rear exit window.

Anyone have a suggestion? This is not a dead end yet, but a possibility.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:53 PM   #18
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Ray,

I would check the capacitors and PTCR before replacing again. Do you have a meter that reads capacitance in micro farads? PM me for the technique.

You also may have a bad relay board. I can also tell you how to check that as well.


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Old 07-10-2014, 02:36 PM   #19
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Back on top to find K-5 on the Relay board

The relay board is held onto the stamped bracket it is mounted, with four compressed plastic tips. I flipped the AC breaker in the trailer. Used four tools:
Flashlight to read the relay board.

1- Long narrow tip needle nose pliers and a wider tipped with longer handle. (an 8 to 10 length is easier)
2- A stiff plastic shim about 10 inches long for leveling studs.
... and patience figuring out what I needed.

Process for removing circuit board:

-I compressed the plastic tip sticking out on the board.
-Took the stiff plastic shim, about a inch wide and used it to lever the board off of the plastic tip. The top two were easy. The bottom ones you have to rotate the tip so you can find the edge you need to compress, slid the shim in and with a light twist they slid off.
-With the board loose, I was able to get the entire board where I could easily look it over. There was a yellow, furnance wire, that was capped and not used... since we only have the AC. OK, that made sense.
-The flash light, those new 500 lumen ones from Costco!, made reading the boards numbers of resistors and connections easy. There was one fuse I checked and it looked, visually, intact and I reattached it.

K5 was a black rectangle with another similar component next to it. Of course the K5 looks more difficult to remove. I have to "assume" it plugs into the board and will look at the backside to see if it is soldered or not. It looks like I can take an adjustable plier and pull it off the board. Maybe Lewster has a comment... but I DID find the part mentioned twice. If I can do it, many other "fly by their pants repair themselves" owners can also. I do not recommend this to everyone, as it is awkward keeping on riveted cross members and if you forget to cut the power or ground one of the two capacitors... you could find yourself on the ground in short order.

Now I need to figure out WHAT K5 does. I hope someone will be so generous and explain to me the removal and replacement. I will also have to get the part. Probably a second... just in case.

I did not get back to this AC project just to take a breather and start fresh. After trying this experiment, which it is... if it seems hopeless... I will be figuring out a way to mount a removable bracket to install a small apartment 110volt window AC.

Of course... as I am working, sweating, trying to look everything over... my mind flashes to Dometic and these RV units. I rented apartments above commercial real estate in Missouri and NEVER had one of those go bad. The worst was the original owners had smaller cheaper units and no one complains in a hot and high humidity climate that the AC is too LARGE.

This is a learning experience for me and hopefully, if all goes well, and it can be repaired by those of us old farts that are tight with our cash and self reliant for repairing "mechanical" things and forced to practice on circuit boards and components... A bad wheel bearing... obvious. A bad component on a circuit board... a multi purpose ohms meter comes into play. Now, where is that digital meter I bought for the trailer? That will be the next hunt.

Thank you for the advice and I am ready to continue this long distance "operation" to continue!
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #20
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If you look at the K-5 relay, you will see the 120VAC hot (black) wire entering from the trailer's 120VAC power lead to the A/C unit. The other wire coming out of K-5 (black or blue, depending on the unit and year) goes to the compressor.

CAUTION!!!! DON'T TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH LIVE 120VAC CIRCUITS!!!If you have the unit on, thermostat set to cool with temperature lowered and power to it, jump the terminals with a 12AWG heavily insulated jumper and the compressor should kick in. If not, it is not the K-5 relay giving you the problems, and your entire relay board should be replaced.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:44 PM   #21
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Will get this equipment together

If you look at the K-5 relay, you will see the 120VAC hot (black) wire entering from the trailer's 120VAC power lead to the A/C unit. The other wire coming out of K-5 (black or blue, depending on the unit and year) goes to the compressor.

CAUTION!!!! DON'T TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH LIVE 120VAC CIRCUITS!!!If you have the unit on, thermostat set to cool with temperature lowered and power to it, jump the terminals with a 12AWG heavily insulated jumper and the compressor should kick in. If not, it is not the K-5 relay giving you the problems, and your entire relay board should be replaced.
********

I remember seeing one of the two male flat connectors on the K5 relay. One with the black heavy gauge wire and the other had nothing connected. I will take a photograph of this, before attempting to be too creative. I also will make sure that my last will and testament is current, I am laying prone on top of my Airstream, goggles, leather gloves and ask the wife that if anything goes wrong... it was no one's fault but my own.

Thank you for the update and I shall proceed with caution. There is a 50/50 chance that it will work. Probably less than 50% since it does not work now. So if I jump it and nothing happens, I am already there and had little to worry about. If the circuit board is bad, once I hear the price... the window AC will be my reward.

Thank you all, and if any of us had met at Jackson Center, OH or passed along one another on the interstate system and you do not hear another post on this thread... I would have liked to had met you is all I can say.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:59 AM   #22
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Getting the control board under control...

I have loosened the wire harness and circuit board, located the K-5 switch. I did see the one group of switches to turn various controls on or off. The furnace was on off, the rest were in the on position. This was the easiest to find of all.

A photo of the control panel and the approximate K-5 location.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #23
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Ray,

Typically, those dip switches are all in the off position with the exception of the furnace. You might be looking at the in reverse.

Also, the K-5 relay should have the hot 120 VAC (black) wire directly from the trailer's power feed on one side and the compressor's hot lead on the other side, as this is where the compressor gets the 120VAC from.


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Old 07-14-2014, 01:35 PM   #24
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Threatening to use my pick on the dometic did get results.

The K-5 wire is Black and the male connector has Yellow printed on the circuit board. OK. Lewster warned me that could be the case. Maybe they should update their circuit boards so everything matches. I noticed parts are made in China, Singapore... and assembled in Mexico. Not exactly Swedish... although the Brand Name is still Swedish... I am not sure of that either.

I jumped the Black K-5 wire to the black on the starting capacitor. The compressor did not start up, but the FAN did. Figure that. At least that seemed like progress.

I had my wife shut the breaker off to the AC. I removed the jumper and reconnected the K-5 wire on the circuit board. I connected the black wire on the starting capacitor. All now the way it should be connected. Took the thermostat OFF.

I had my wife turn the breaker ON to the AC and turn to FAN high. The Fan had a slight few second delay and started up. Surprise. Why? But, OK something was happening.

I asked my wife now to select COOL. The fan began to run... then the compressor started to cool. You will not have to "think" the compressor started... the coil on top clicks and you can feel the compressor operating. The copper tubing cools quickly. So, what created this change of events as I had only removed two female black 120v wires and then plugged them back where they belonged. But, who is complaining?

The AC Cool on AUTO does nothing. But select low or high fan the fan runs. About 90 seconds later the compressor AND fan are running. Shut down. Try again. Compressor and fan are running.

The small "motor starter" feels warm, slightly hot to the touch. The black starting capacitor is air temperature.

Is the motor starter suppose to get hot? I know the original looked "toasted" when I removed it from the unit to replace it and the capacitor.

I will, reluctantly, reinstall the board and screw everything back to the AC frame. I will reattach the AC white cover. Then... later today, if I have time... I will do this and then turn the AC to ON and Fan ON. Not working with the Auto, as it seems to be doing nothing, unless the inside temperature of the trailer is too cool.

So Lewster walked me through on this and it is not easy access on the roof of the AS... I could do it. Now if this works after I reassemble everything, I will be content... but weary that it could repeat the shorting of the capacitor and motor starter... again. If it is running, I might just get a spare set and as you all know... when you have A SPARE part... you will NEVER NEED IT, EVER!

I
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #25
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J. Morgan and Lewster agreed at the beginning of this "service work" that the home 120v service was not the problem. True.

I reassembled and replaced all the components where they belonged. I had no extra screws or parts. One item you will also be aware. The foam that attaches to the cover uses that thin adhesive which will dry out and the foam strips begin to come loose. That could affect the circulation of air that the foam is intended to isolate. I wiped the plastic surface clean and used silicone along the plastic and pressed the foam onto the dome. Letting it sit for a few minutes, I aligned the top plastic and slowly pressed down, not to force the foam where it does not belong. This might not make much sense right now, but if you remove the top plastic cover... you will SEE the foam strips and it WILL be coming off in places.

At the beginning this seemed to be an impossible experience. It is nice that Lewster can point and give some ideas... but you must understand just to be careful and replace everything where it belongs... after replacing part(s). The black starting capacitor and motor starter can be swapped out one wire at a time. It would be difficult to get "confused".

I switched the 20amp breaker for the AC back on. I went to the control panel and switched the AC to ON. The fan, on low, started up in 5 to 10 seconds. The compressor started up after 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.... whew. It cooled and was working. I let it run for five or six minutes and smelled no hot capacitor or motor starter. I shut it off. Gathered up my tools, wiped the Solar Panel clean and climbed down the ladder.

It works. I know what to check in case I smell hot electrical odor coming from the fan and will be able to get to those parts in less than 20 minutes. Knowing what I do now and if these two parts go bad... maybe less than 2 hours at home.

I do hope this gives other do it yourselfers the inspiration to check out your AC if my ordeal seems familiar. I need to find my ohms meter to check the good capacitor and will be better prepared in the future. Thank you Lewster. Your parts did the trick!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:05 PM   #26
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My LAST post on this Thread. One more test run:

Turned ON, low fan. Fan started up within 6 seconds.

AC Compressor started up in 2 minutes 20 seconds.

I let it run for a few minutes and shut it down. IF there is a future problem while hooked up to an RV 30amp park electrical and another failure... I will find this Thread.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:07 PM   #27
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Good deal! Glad to see you stayed with it and got it running!!!


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Old 07-15-2014, 02:59 PM   #28
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Ray, thanks for posting all the details and conclusion.

i always enjoy reading/watching Lewster fix things from the keyboard :-)
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