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Old 11-05-2017, 12:02 AM   #1
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2018 16' Sport
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May Have Damaged A/C Unit Using 110 Power

We have a new 16' Sport, are not very technical, electrical or mechanical, and may have unwittingly damaged our A/C unit today (or blown a fuse or breaker at a minimum) by turning on the A/C while plugged into an ordinary household outlet via the adapter the dealer gave us to use with the 30 Amp cord. The A/C ran for a minute or so (very loudly) and then shut off. This was stupid/careless on our part b/c we were told about the limitations of ordinary household power when we bought the trailer, but just forgot I guess. The inside lights, etc. still work, but the bottom (GFI?) breaker in the fuse box has tripped and will not reset. Has anyone had a similar experience when new to RV'ing and can anyone offer any advice on what we should do from here? The nearest Air Stream dealer is a few hours away and since we are in TX we do not want to go out on the road without our A/C working. Would it be best to call an electrician to come look at the situation or is the problem likely just a blown fuse? Any thoughts or input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJGolden13 View Post
We have a new 16' Sport, are not very technical, electrical or mechanical, and may have unwittingly damaged our A/C unit today (or blown a fuse or breaker at a minimum) by turning on the A/C while plugged into an ordinary household outlet via the adapter the dealer gave us to use with the 30 Amp cord. The A/C ran for a minute or so (very loudly) and then shut off. This was stupid/careless on our part b/c we were told about the limitations of ordinary household power when we bought the trailer, but just forgot I guess. The inside lights, etc. still work, but the bottom (GFI?) breaker in the fuse box has tripped and will not reset. Has anyone had a similar experience when new to RV'ing and can anyone offer any advice on what we should do from here? The nearest Air Stream dealer is a few hours away and since we are in TX we do not want to go out on the road without our A/C working. Would it be best to call an electrician to come look at the situation or is the problem likely just a blown fuse? Any thoughts or input would be appreciated. Thanks.
The manual suggests that breaker 1 is the A/C breaker. There may be a label on the back side of the cover (the side you see when the cover is open) that indicates which switch position is number 1.
Have you tried disconnecting the 30 amp umbilical cord and then try resetting that breaker? I have run my air conditioning from a 20 amp receptacle in order to verify that it is working before a trip and never had issues. I only let it run for a few minutes though.
Good luck...
Bruce
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:13 AM   #3
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Ditto to Bruce, plus:

-- unplug 30A shore power cord
-- reset the trailer's circuit breaker which is tripped
-- confirm that your house/garage circuit breaker panel has no tripped breakers [edit -- see PS2 re: "fuse"]
. . . [if a breaker is tripped, flip it back on and advise the amperage of that circuit]
-- plug back in to shore power
-- do not turn on the A/C
-- confirm that all the AS's other interior 120-volt outlets still work, by plugging in a 120-volt [small] light, power tool, toaster, etc. inside the trailer and confirm that shore power is powering the outlets correctly. [not amicrowave or hair dryer]

Note that your AS's interior lights work off 12-volt electric, either the battery or converter when shore power is working correctly. Your owner's manual will describe all this fully.

Suggest having an electrician install a 30 Amp outlet at your house/garage if that is an option. You could also rent/borrow a generator large enough for the A/C to see if it is blown.

I would call your dealer as there may be more diagnosis that you can do at the A/C. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in here.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Welcome to the forum!

PS2 -- You used the term "fuse" -- does your house/garage have old wiring which in fact has "fuses" as protection? If so, the suggestions above will need to be modified. Check your fuse panel for blown fuses and advise please. In rural Magnolia, in an old house, you may indeed have a "fuse" box? If one is blown what amperage is that circuit?
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:38 AM   #4
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Welcome to the AirForums, TJGolden13! Sorry your introduction had to come with a problem attached, but it's great to have you with us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJGolden13 View Post
This was stupid/careless on our part b/c we were told about the limitations of ordinary household power when we bought the trailer, but just forgot I guess.
Don't beat yourself up over it. There are plenty of people on the AirForums who will beat you up over it so that you don't have to! Kidding, of course; laughing about your accidental blunder beats the alternative, right? One day, you will look back on this and have a great story to tell around the campfire. That's the difference betwen a disaster and an adventure— how you tell the story when it's all over.
Quote:
the bottom (GFI?) breaker in the fuse box has tripped and will not reset.
Bruce B and OTRA15 have already done an excellent job of addressing the breaker reset. I have nothing to add
Quote:
Would it be best to call an electrician to come look at the situation or is the problem likely just a blown fuse?
I think you will find that most residential electricians would be reluctant to handle the electrical systems on a travel trailer. For one thing, the electrical system on a trailer isn't exactly in compliance with the National Electrical Code, which only applies to the interior wiring of stick-and-brick buildings. If you need professional electrical help, find an RV service center (not necessarily an Airstream dealer) in your area, and if possible ask if they have an RVIA-certified technician or electrical specialist on staff who can look at your problem.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:56 AM   #5
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The GFCI will not reset unless the trailer is connected to 120v. Plug it back in, and try resetting the breaker again.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:03 AM   #6
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resetting breaker

Resetting breaker requires turning fully off then on. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJGolden13 View Post
The inside lights, etc. still work, but the bottom (GFI?) breaker in the fuse box has tripped and will not reset.
The inside lights are 12 v. and so are not using the same breaker.
I doubt you've damaged the A/C, just need to figure out resetting the breaker.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:37 AM   #8
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Thanks all

for all the helpful and thoughtful input. This is the first time I have ever posted anything on a site like this and am impressed with the very positive reactions I am getting---unlike some other/unrelated on-line forums I have read where asking a question or seeking input is like trying to cross the bridge in Three Billy Goats Gruff. My wife and I thank you and so does our Golden Retriever, TJ.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:30 AM   #9
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Welcome! We’re in Montgomery—right up the road! Hope you get things back in order! Yep—definitely still need AC around here! It’s warmer than I’d like for this time of year.

Dave
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:52 AM   #10
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20 amp circuit

I too don’t believe you damaged your air conditioner.
I have run both my ac and heat pump on a 20 amp house circuit with no issues. The 20 amp circuit will supply ample voltage and amps until you trip the breaker on the house circuit.
Sounds like the gfi sensed a ground and tripped.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:56 AM   #11
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I have a 16' Sport and am able to run my AC on household 110. Some older 110 does not provide enough voltage -- my AS manual indicates that the voltage cannot drop below 105 -- and the AC unit can suck a lot of power on the startup cycle. I'm guessing you haven't damaged your unit -- the breaker did its job. Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJGolden13 View Post
for all the helpful and thoughtful input. This is the first time I have ever posted anything on a site like this and am impressed with the very positive reactions I am getting---unlike some other/unrelated on-line forums I have read where asking a question or seeking input is like trying to cross the bridge in Three Billy Goats Gruff. My wife and I thank you and so does our Golden Retriever, TJ.
TJ, believe it or not many here have done the same thing and their AC survived. Good advice given on resetting the CBs. As to the part about getting flack here about certain questions, ask enough and it will happen to you. Certain subjects elicit such biased responses as to be almost useless. Like any internet based discussion good and extremely poor/dangerous advice are some times freely given. Hang around long enough and you get to know which posters to listen too and those to ignore. Welcome to the community. Trailer ownership is an ongoing learning process for all of us.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:57 AM   #13
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Let me start by mentioning that I am a licensed Master electrician.
I am sure you remember all the room air conditioners hanging from the windows of homes. Well, they were all plugged into standard 110 outlets. The air conditioner in your airstream is very much like one of those window units.
So, plugging into a 20amp receptacle should be fine. If you must use an extension cord make it's heavy duty (#12 wire) DO NOT use a long extension cord. Voltage drop could become an issue. If the cord is warm to the touch when in use, it is overloaded.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:20 PM   #14
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Hi

Welcome !!!

You ran the AC out of what was probably a 15A outlet in your home. The 30A umbilical is plenty good enough to handle the AC's current, regardless of the outlet. The likelihood of damage to the trailer is remote. I would be much more interested in why the breaker in your house did not trip ....

In all likelihood, the AC pulled more than the house wiring was happy with and things bogged down. It could have been right at the socket, they *do* wear out. Run through the steps outlined above and see what happens. You may need to try another house outlet. If it powers up (just the trailer, not the trailer + AC) in one, but not the other -- time to get an electrician to look at your house.

Bob
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:01 PM   #15
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If there's nothing unusual about your household power arrangement, I tend to agree with the suggestions from several posters that it's unlikely the power source damaged your AC unit as I've also run the unit in our 2017 FC successfully for short periods of time from a 20A 120V household circuit.

What would concern me a little, though, is the fact that you reported "very loud" noises coming from the unit during the brief time it was operating. Assuming you're familiar with the noises a TT AC should make, it makes me wonder if there might be a defect with your new AC not related to the power source.

Anyway, good luck, and let us know how this plays out. And welcome!
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:24 PM   #16
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Electricians - help me out; I just re-wired a bathroom outlet with GFI and it’s a bit tricky as far as landing the wires on the correct “line and load” terminal connections. So my question is if you use an old extension cord and plug it in to an outlet (backwards neutral to hot)... could this cause a GFI to trip and not reset..... and agree with the others that based on the amp draw and voltage drop through the extension cord (depending how long it is?).... probably the gfi breaker ....which might have to be replaced.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garen-kary View Post
Resetting breaker requires turning fully off then on. Hope this helps.
^^^^^^^^^^

This. Turn fully off, then back on. If you try to reset it to on from the tripped position, it will not reengage.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:31 PM   #18
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It depends on the circuit being 15A or 20A along with the electrician's setup of breakers. 1800 or 2400 watts max but breakers may kick at 1440 and 1900 or so. Your ac unit pulls about 1800 watts.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJGolden13 View Post
for all the helpful and thoughtful input. This is the first time I have ever posted anything on a site like this and am impressed with the very positive reactions I am getting---unlike some other/unrelated on-line forums I have read where asking a question or seeking input is like trying to cross the bridge in Three Billy Goats Gruff. My wife and I thank you and so does our Golden Retriever, TJ.
Happy to help! If you give us feedback on the questions in Post #3 and other posts, more refined guidance may be of further help.

Peter
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:01 PM   #20
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15 amp circuit

I have run the AC on my 2005 Safari 25C on multiple occasions while plugged into the 15A circuit at home without any problem. 50ft heavy duty exterior extension cord attached to my 25ft RV power cord with 30A converter. Have I just been lucky?
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