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Old 08-15-2009, 04:46 PM   #1
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air con drawing 30 amps...

the armstrong 14 air-con in our 1980 international is giving us fits..

after about 2 years of non-camping we set out for the 'up-north', 2 miles to a local campground to breakin our new dog to the camping life, we wanted to be close to home if it turned into a train wreck with the new doggie (dog is doing great)

we have 115V of power in the box, with the air-con on or off.

it draws 30 amps while it runs for 1-2 min... the wire in the box does get warm.

any ideas of where to start?

any good links to instructional pictures for opening this baby up?

thanks
joe
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by werpknarly View Post
the armstrong 14 air-con in our 1980 international is giving us fits..

after about 2 years of non-camping we set out for the 'up-north', 2 miles to a local campground to breakin our new dog to the camping life, we wanted to be close to home if it turned into a train wreck with the new doggie (dog is doing great)

we have 115V of power in the box, with the air-con on or off.

it draws 30 amps while it runs for 1-2 min... the wire in the box does get warm.

any ideas of where to start?

any good links to instructional pictures for opening this baby up?

thanks
joe
bearer of bad news. replace it. are you plugging into a 30A outlet?
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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My first question is how do you know you have 115 volts? Low voltage will cause amperage to go up. Check to voltage with the AC on with a good meter. Anything below 110 will be a problem.

If you are above 110 while the AC in on refer to the above post.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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-yes we checked, 115V at box, a/c on or off
-yes, 30A plug
-per meter, its drawing 29.5 to 30.5 amps while running.
-takes about 30 sec to 2 min to trip the 20amp braker

-Junk it? we do most of our own A/C work.. just would like some tips where to start..
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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BIT of info left out.... the trailers been under a tree for 2 years and i spent 2 hours pressure washing off all the nasty bits.. could i have done something?

dont forget, it pulls 30amp from start up. Not after its run a bit

and i dont hear any nuts or squirel parts rattling around in any cages
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:57 PM   #6
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One more thing you can check if you can find a diagram for the unit. Does it have a starting capacitor or starting winding that may have failed. If not it is not worth replacing the compressor even if the labor is free.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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My A/C specifically says you need 30 amps to run it, at start up anyway. If you don't have 30 amps it quits pretty soon if I don't realize it and shut it off before.
If you didn't have this trouble before, possibly you were lucky with better power then.
Oh, you say it takes 2 minutes to trip your 20 AMP BREAKER. Maybe you need to replace your 20 amp breaker if it will run 30 amps before tripping.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:25 PM   #8
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ive owned it for over 10 years, first time it blew the 20amp breaker.

i swapped the 20 amp breakers in the box, still didnt work, which i would guess if its drawing 30 amps.

maybe its stuck in startup mode.....
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:58 AM   #9
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ive owned it for over 10 years, first time it blew the 20amp breaker.

i swapped the 20 amp breakers in the box, still didnt work, which i would guess if its drawing 30 amps.

maybe its stuck in startup mode.....
30A required for use is awful high. My AC uses 12A running. When it was in a rotor locked start it tripped 30A breakers. If it is original I would seriously consider replacing it.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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You asked if the pressure washer could have damaged the A/C. Sure it could if you had the pressure set high and the water was forced under the cover. Best thing to do is take off the cover and look around for problems. It could be something simple and obvious, or not. It could be a coincidence.

30 amps at start up may or may not be normal—I don't know, but it sounds high—but it should drop down to something well below 20 amps once it's started and that shouldn't take long. Motors and compressors start up at high amperage draw. Breakers are designed to handle that—they are slow blow units. It could be a mechanical problem (fan), fried compressor, wiring, etc. High pressure water might have caused something since it was the last thing to have been done before you turned it on, so diagnosis starts there.

A/C's last a long time, but it is 29 years old if it's the OEM unit, and that seems pretty good for an A/C.

Welcome to the Forum. Hopefully the answer will surface here.

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Old 08-16-2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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looks like if im lucky, its a capacitor or more likily the starter relay.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ide-46756.html

leaves two questions....
-do i go in from the bottom or the top? if top, how???
-where do i find parts if these test bad?
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:52 PM   #12
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no luck.. cap. tested ok, changed relay... still no go... starts, pulls 27 amps, trips breaker.

any ideas? we going camping next thrusday
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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You might check where the 3 wires go into the compressor you may have forced water in there or you may have a spider nest causing a resistive short.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:09 PM   #14
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what is the draw in fan only mode? do the cages spin freely?
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:31 PM   #15
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yes, if i remember.. but will check.. runs ok in fan mode.. it trips when the compressor starts up... and it does run for a short bit till the breaker trips
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #16
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Turn off all of the breakers other than the AC and try. If your AC is not tripping your 20 amp line to it, you have an additional load in the trailer. I have found that diagnosing an electrical problem is far easier in an air-conditioned trailer.

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Old 08-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #17
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The new A/C on my 78 31' won't start without a good 30 amps. Turns off itself off when there isn't enough power like when I turn on the vacuum. (Oh I found a filter for the vac at Grainger).
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:58 AM   #18
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It's likely that there's crud inside the compressor, preventing the rotor from spinning up. You can try this ac repairman's trick and maybe get it running again. On the compressor (with the power disconnected of course) swap the start and run wires at the feed through connectors. Turn the power on, but keep the cooling control switched to off. Then using an insulated handle screwdriver, jog the compressor contactor a few times for a couple of seconds. This will try to make the rotor spin backwards and it may dislodge the crud which is preventing the rotor from spinning up. Kill the power again and put the wires back where they are supposed to be, turn on power and give it a try.

This is a last ditch approach and even if it works it signals the end of life for your ac unit.

If you don't understand these instructions and how to perform them then your electrical knowledge is probably not sufficient to pull this operation off and attempting it will be quite dangerous for you and you should call a buddy for help who does understand the procedure.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:25 AM   #19
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It's likely that there's crud inside the compressor, preventing the rotor from spinning up. You can try this ac repairman's trick and maybe get it running again. On the compressor (with the power disconnected of course) swap the start and run wires at the feed through connectors. Turn the power on, but keep the cooling control switched to off. Then using an insulated handle screwdriver, jog the compressor contactor a few times for a couple of seconds. This will try to make the rotor spin backwards and it may dislodge the crud which is preventing the rotor from spinning up. Kill the power again and put the wires back where they are supposed to be, turn on power and give it a try.

This is a last ditch approach and even if it works it signals the end of life for your ac unit.

If you don't understand these instructions and how to perform them then your electrical knowledge is probably not sufficient to pull this operation off and attempting it will be quite dangerous for you and you should call a buddy for help who does understand the procedure.
Before he tries this please explain to me how swapping the leads on a 120 AC motor will cause it to run in the other direction.

If the unit starts for a FEW MINUTES and then fails while drawing 25 plus amps I would suspect one of the windings in the one of the motors has shorted and thus the high current draw. It seams you have a current meter. If you can get into the AC read the current on the fan motor and then disconnect the fan motor and read the running current on the compressor. Running the compressor for a minute without the fan won't be a problem.

Post those current readings.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:35 AM   #20
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The start winding becomes the run winding and the run winding becomes the start winding - net effect is that the rotor spins the other direction.
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