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Old 06-22-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Help. AC quit putting out cold air.

My Dometic 15K was working fine yesterday. Today is not Putting out cold air. It seems the compressor isn't running. I'm not drawing the amperage I should for the AC running. Could it be a bad start cap? Compressor motor? Or is my compressor probably shot?

I'm in Arizona so I know it isn't coil freeze. Help!!!
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:09 PM   #2
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Very common for the start capacitor to fry. If you can, go up and sniff around. The capacitors really stink when they fry. Low A/C voltage may be the culprit.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:10 PM   #3
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Very common for the start capacitor to fry. If you can, go up and sniff around. The capacitors really stink when they fry. Low A/C voltage may be the culprit.
Thanks
I'll try that. Will I need a soldering iron to replace it?
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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You can not discount a coil freeze just because you are in AZ. If the unit is low on gas it will freeze. Now that said the compressor would still be running but not under full load so the amps would be lower than normal.

While the amp meter is on the line in the breaker panel and the unit has been off for a while turn the unit on with the thermostat set high. You should see fan current at once. Within a few minuet the compressor should attempt to come on.

If you do not see the compressor come on it could be a bad cap, open compressor winding, or bad control board. Short of hard wiring power right to the unit it is hard to say which. If you do hard wire it both the fan and compressor should start when power is applied. If it does it is the control board. If it does not go for the cap next. For the cost of a cap it may pay to go for that first.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:21 PM   #5
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Ok thanks. The unit was off all day in 90 degree heat so I think I can discount coil freeze. I get 3 amps of draw when the fan kicks on. And only 3 more amps when I hear the compressor motor start. I'll go pick up a cap and a ladder in the morning.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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If you hear the compressor kick on, then the caps are probably good.

Compressor running, three amps draw, either the compressor has failed or the refrigerant has bled off.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:36 PM   #7
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Ok thanks. The unit was off all day in 90 degree heat so I think I can discount coil freeze. I get 3 amps of draw when the fan kicks on. And only 3 more amps when I hear the compressor motor start. I'll go pick up a cap and a ladder in the morning.
Dave,

If your compressor was running, you would see around a 16 amp draw as the fan draws 3 (as you now know) and the compressor RLA, or running load amps is around 13, depending on the outside ambient temperature. The actual values will be printed on the data tag which you will find on the street side rear of the base pan once you remove the shroud.

It sounds like a bad start capacitor. They are located curb side under a metal access panel held on by 2, 5/16" hex screws. The will be in front of and below the relay board. You will probably see a fried PTCR (motor starter, or positive temperature coefficient resistor) and possibly a blown start capacitor too.

If you get a Dometic 'hard start kit', it will contain both, as we generally replace both even if only one is blown. Have fun!
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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Turns out no one stocks the Hard Start Kit or even just capacitors. It's 100 degrees in the trailer now, and we're four days from home. Fun.
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:13 PM   #9
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:06 PM   #10
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Turns out no one stocks the Hard Start Kit or even just capacitors. It's 100 degrees in the trailer now, and we're four days from home. Fun.
Try and find an Electric Motor Repair shop. They can cross the cap and most likely will have it in stock.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:58 PM   #11
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Sorry, can't offer any help, but sure hope yours gets going again.

We in the PNW aren't used to 100F!
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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So I went to home depot and bought a portable room a/c. It gave me an excuse since I've been wanting one for home.I MacGyvered a cardboard and duct tape insert for the window so I can exhaust the hot air. It does about as good a job as the Dometic with about a third of the noise. The downside is I had to remove the dinette table to find a place for it. So I can eat outside in the heat or with a plate in my lap in the slightly cooler Airstream.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #13
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Update. I installed the hard start kit today. No change. Up on the roof I confirmed that the compressor is running but there is no cooling and only 3 amp draw from the compressor. Makes me think that the refrigerant has leaked out. So the question now is "Can I replace this thing myself, or should I drive to Hood River and have Lew do it?" I think I could probably do it myself if I can get help getting the thing on the roof.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:38 PM   #14
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Ours does exactly the same thing. We are getting the whole unit replaced under warranty. The service tech said he uses a forklift to get it close to the intended whole, then slides it in place.
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