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Old 06-11-2008, 10:05 AM   #1
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Run AC on 20 amp service?

Hello,
We're currently camped in the "electric only" section at the Bluegrass camp and festival in Nevada City. The electric service being provided is 20 amp, not 15 amp, not 30 amp. We're connected to the supply box by our 30 power cord with no extensions.

Expecting temps in the 90's later this week. Is it safe to run the AC?
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:16 AM   #2
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It depends on the voltage you can get. You need a voltage meter to be sure of what you are receiving. See this post for details.

Tour of America Low voltage

Also be sure your plug contacts are nice and shiny (not corroded) and that the plugs & cords are not getting very hot during use.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:21 AM   #3
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I have run our air-conditioner on a real 20 amp (left hole is a T) outlet at our house with no problem. After all, what size breaker does the factory use for your air-conditioner?

However, my batteries were charged, so there was very little draw from the converter, and the refrigerator was set on override to gas, rather than auto which would use 120VAC. Don't even think about using the microwave at the same time.

I wouldn't use an extension cord, instead used a plug adapter.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:42 AM   #4
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Great thanks! Looks like I'm good to go. Voltage reading w/o the AC is 120. Plus I have an autoformer which will boost it if need be.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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What is your voltage with the AC running? Especially when the compressor kicks in?
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99 View Post
Great thanks! Looks like I'm good to go. Voltage reading w/o the AC is 120. Plus I have an autoformer which will boost it if need be.
If the voltage drops below 110 while the AC is running you are running the risk of damaging the compressor. As voltage goes down current goes up and current is heat. The older AC Airstream supplied had an indicator on the AC panel that showed when the voltage was low.

I assure you if the voltage is 120 when others turn their ACs on it will drop unless you are on a dedicated line which I doubt.

Take a fan.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
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If the voltage drops below 110 while the AC is running you are running the risk of damaging the compressor. As voltage goes down current goes up and current is heat. The older AC Airstream supplied had an indicator on the AC panel that showed when the voltage was low.

I assure you if the voltage is 120 when others turn their ACs on it will drop unless you are on a dedicated line which I doubt.

Take a fan.
I had some success running one roof air on my MoHo while connected to a 20 amp circuit, but it was a dedicated line.

As HowieE states, I would be wary of operating the AC if there are others on the same line. Several units starting their compressors at the same time will cause a big voltage drop and probably damage your compressor. They are not replaceable in newer AC units and you will have to replace the entire roof air.
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