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Old 06-28-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Air conditioner works, but not cool

We are in Seattle fortunately. It is going to be cool here for the next three days. Our ac works, fan only works, but the compressor tries to come on to cool, but just doesn't make it.

Any ideas? The fuse wasn't tripped, so that does not seem to be the problem. I will ask my husband about the capacitors, mentioned in another post.

Camping World is booked for weeks. We will have to get it fixed before we start home.

Thanks for any ideas.

Pat
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1
We are in Seattle fortunately. It is going to be cool here for the next three days. Our ac works, fan only works, but the compressor tries to come on to cool, but just doesn't make it.

Any ideas? The fuse wasn't tripped, so that does not seem to be the problem. I will ask my husband about the capacitors, mentioned in another post.

Camping World is booked for weeks. We will have to get it fixed before we start home.

Thanks for any ideas.

Pat
Are you using an extension cord?

If so, what is it's capacity or rating?

Andy
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

We are plugged into 30 amp at Seattle KOA with the heavy cord. The ac worked for the first two two days. We have the volt meter and it stays in the ok range (per husband).

We tried the heat strip this morning, and it tried to work but just never made it. The fan only mode works.


Thanks again.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1
Thanks for the reply.

We are plugged into 30 amp at Seattle KOA with the heavy cord. The ac worked for the first two two days. We have the volt meter and it stays in the ok range (per husband).

We tried the heat strip this morning, and it tried to work but just never made it. The fan only mode works.


Thanks again.
I don't want to be a bringer of bad news, but my dometic A/C was plugged into a so-called 30amp box at my campsite for 6 months. after the 3rd month in the middle of July, the unit only worked in fan mode. I got the park tech to do a load check at the source and only had 18 amps max on full load, SO i had burned up the compressor. You need to be sure that the box is sufficient voltage and amperage for your unit to run your appliances.
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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?

0557C, I think that is a possibility. Someone is coming to look at it Monday evening. Will he be able to check the campground supplied power, or can one of the office people check it?

It is cool here so we are very lucky. We called several Dometic repair places, including the repair center in Portland and the AS dealer in Kent. No one would help for several weeks, and we can't start home until it is fixed. KOA gave us the card of an independent repairman. We will have to pay, but at least it will be fixed or replaced.

I am a little dissappointed that neither the local AS dealer nor Dometic repair center could help us. The AS dealer asked if we bought it from them. If not, no help for weeks. I knot that is common with SOBs, but did not think that AS dealers were like that. Even thought about going back to Spokane to the great, helpful dealer, Nick. But, we are trying to go down the coast on the way home.

If we have to wait for repairs, Seattle is a pretty good place to be waiting!

Pat
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:05 PM   #6
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0557

The service man just left-he had an emergency call in the park, so came here two days early.

The hard start kit had "blown" because of lack of enough power, just as you said.

In the furure. I will turn off the ac before using the micirowave, hair dryer, toaster, etc., just to be on the safe side.

Pat
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:24 PM   #7
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Unfortunately not un-common

Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1
I am a little dissappointed that neither the local AS dealer nor Dometic repair center could help us. The AS dealer asked if we bought it from them. If not, no help for weeks. I knot that is common with SOBs, but did not think that AS dealers were like that. Even thought about going back to Spokane to the great, helpful dealer, Nick. But, we are trying to go down the coast on the way home.
Pat
Pat,
Your expereince is un-fortunately not un-common. I asked Sutton to help me with a warrenty problem. Since I did not buy it there they were very reluctant. I will be having a conversation with Dave Schumann when I make my hopefully final stop at the Factory in December. I suggest you report your expereince to Dave.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1
0557

The service man just left-he had an emergency call in the park, so came here two days early.

The hard start kit had "blown" because of lack of enough power, just as you said.

In the furure. I will turn off the ac before using the micirowave, hair dryer, toaster, etc., just to be on the safe side.

Pat
On most newer RV air conditioner units, it is very common to burn out the start capacitor and PTCR (positive temperature coefficient resistor) when using the unit in hot/humid conditions ...OR.... when you are stressing it by adding an additional load to the trailer 120VAC wiring, such as a hair dryer or microwave.

In effect, it leaves no 'head room' for the capacitor to draw from when the compressor starts and calls for the extra voltage boost while the other appliances are drawing the excess amperage, so it burns out. It might not be a bad idea to carry an extra set of capacitors in your trailer as a safety measure.

BTW, they ARE covered under your Dometic warranty and you should report your experience and demand re-imbursement from either Airstream or Dometic directly.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:45 AM   #9
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how...

does one replace the start capacitor and PTCR? I don't know what I'd be looking for up there?

Is there an exploded page with parts you can post?

Thanks!
Marc
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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Hi Marc,

It's a process that's not difficult:

1. turn off the 20 amp breaker to the A/C
2. remove the top shroud (2 screws in front and 2 at the back on either side)
3. on the curb side of the unit, you will see a metal access panel that is about 6 X 6 on the curb side of the evaporator. It has 2 hex head (5/16 IIRC) holding it on. The left side screw might be hiding under the foam tape.

4. remove the panel and it reveals a circuit board and beneath it.....a large and small capacitor. If the PTCR is burned out (most likely) it is the little box that is plugged in to the smaller (start) cap and is connected to the top of it.

5. CAREFULLY remove both capacitors and you will either see a small burnt blob on the top of the start cap (smaller one) and/or a bulging or leaking start cap. The larger one (run cap) is geneally not effected by this and can usually be left in place.

6. DIAGRAM THE WIRE PATHWAYS before removing any wires, then replace the defective parts. If your PTCR is burnt, replace the start cap anyway.

7. button up the unit, but the breaker back on and start the A/C. It should be fine now.

8. go have a cold one and don't forget to pin your junior RV Tech wings on!
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:58 AM   #11
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You are so COOL! : >
Thanks Lewster!
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:11 PM   #12
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:d :d :d :d :d :d
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:35 PM   #13
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RGR, Lew, Let'm ROLL!
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:57 PM   #14
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Well,

'Les bon temps roulet' are DEFINITELY rolling..............Having a great time here in Hood River, OR relaxing, unwinding and participating in all of the extreme sports that the area has to offer..........including all of those awesome micro brews!!!!!!!!!!!

Will be semi planted here until mid Sept. Have some work scheduled at the huge FMCA convention here in Oregon, and the Monaco pre-rally also. They are both in the beginning of July. Then it's on to No Cal for an American Coach rally, and then off to the Balloon Fiesta.

I have some shots of the surroundings that I'll be posting in a couple of days.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:17 PM   #15
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Similar AC Problem

I posted this on the 2007 model year quality thread, because I reported the problem there, but it seems like it should go here also.

On our last night out, our Dometic air conditioner stopped working. It had been working fine in the 95-degree FL day and keeping the inside at a comfortable 74 degrees. Then about 5:00 p.m., it just would not come back on. After checking everything I could get to without getting on the roof, we switched the unit off. The voltage was on the low side, but still in the green area of our plug-in meter. We left to get some dinner, and buy a fan so we could have a tolerable night.

When we returned a few hours later, it came on again, but after cooling the inside down to the set temperature, it switched off never to come on again. Voltage was in the middle of the green area. We had a warm but comfortable night thanks to the fan we bought.

I called Airstream and they said to take it to the nearest Dometic Factory Authorized Service Center. Last Friday I towed our Airstream to Giant RV World; Melbourne, FL. The technician ran through his diagnostics and could not find anything wrong. He reset the controller, and the unit ran for several hours performing splendidly. I asked him to show me how to do the reset if it happened again. Here is the process:
  1. Switch unit off with the on/off switch on the thermostat
  2. Hold down the top (Mode) and bottom (Zone) buttons.
  3. Switch the unit on.
  4. When FF appears in the display, release the buttons.
  5. Unit should now operate normally.
I hope that I don't have to do this again. If I do and it gets to be a frequent activity, I'll be returning to the service center asking for a new controller. Everyone should take note of this procedure, as I couldn’t find it in any of the factory literature.

Thanks Lew, for posting the start capacitor and PTCR service instructions. I'm filing both of these procedures in my "Junior RV Tech Manual."

Randy
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
I posted this on the 2007 model year quality thread, because I reported the problem there, but it seems like it should go here also.

On our last night out, our Dometic air conditioner stopped working. It had been working fine in the 95-degree FL day and keeping the inside at a comfortable 74 degrees. Then about 5:00 p.m., it just would not come back on. After checking everything I could get to without getting on the roof, we switched the unit off. The voltage was on the low side, but still in the green area of our plug-in meter. We left to get some dinner, and buy a fan so we could have a tolerable night.

When we returned a few hours later, it came on again, but after cooling the inside down to the set temperature, it switched off never to come on again. Voltage was in the middle of the green area. We had a warm but comfortable night thanks to the fan we bought.

I called Airstream and they said to take it to the nearest Dometic Factory Authorized Service Center. Last Friday I towed our Airstream to Giant RV World; Melbourne, FL. The technician ran through his diagnostics and could not find anything wrong. He reset the controller, and the unit ran for several hours performing splendidly. I asked him to show me how to do the reset if it happened again. Here is the process:
  1. Switch unit off with the on/off switch on the thermostat
  2. Hold down the top (Mode) and bottom (Zone) buttons.
  3. Switch the unit on.
  4. When FF appears in the display, release the buttons.
  5. Unit should now operate normally.
I hope that I don't have to do this again. If I do and it gets to be a frequent activity, I'll be returning to the service center asking for a new controller. Everyone should take note of this procedure, as I couldn’t find it in any of the factory literature.

Thanks Lew, for posting the start capacitor and PTCR service instructions. I'm filing both of these procedures in my "Junior RV Tech Manual."

Randy
Randy,

The re-set procedure that you mention basically re-establishes the link between the t/stat (Comfort Control Center) and the PC board that is located in the upper unit on the roof. The 'FF' tells you that the link in viable. If you do the re-set you get an 'EE' , that is telling you that the com/link is lost and you either have a bad wire in the phone cable link, a bad connection in the plugs or you have a bad PC board.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:55 PM   #17
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Thanks Lew. Do you suppose that just a reset could have been my problem? It does seem to work now where it didn't before. Or, do you think something else may be going on?

Randy
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverCabin
Thanks Lew. Do you suppose that just a reset could have been my problem? It does seem to work now where it didn't before. Or, do you think something else may be going on?

Randy
SC,

More times than not, a reset will do the job, especially if the unit is now working properly. Remember, the operating spec. for a roof air is a 20* temp drop between the intake air (measured at the return air intake of the unit) and the cold exhaust air from the unit's air outlets. If you're getting 18*-22* of cold air when compared to the ambient intake tep, then your unit is operating within it's range.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:48 AM   #19
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The offending PTCR and cap (see attached). Sorry about the quality of the photo -- it's a crappy phone camers. So where does one get these on short notice? It's going to be in the 100's again all week I bet.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:24 PM   #20
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I have another couple of questions. Ours blew last night and I'm just getting to the laptop now. Where should the starter cap be fastened? In our unit it was floating loose!

This is not the first time something like this has happened to us. Our fridge was not plugged into A.C. and the fridge flue top/cap thingy was floating around the fridge compartment.

So more about our cap... I've attached some more crummy pics. Can someone give me the correct part number and where to buy? I looked at dometicusa.com and some of the start caps are different. It looks to me that the PTCR was attached directly to the cap, and a red wire to that. Also a white wire attached to the other post of the SAME terminal. Finally a black wire to the OTHER terminal. See the photos. The cap says this on it:

43-52MFD 250VAC. So maybe 50-ish ufd at 250v?

And upon closer inspection the PTCR does come off (what's left of it). The PTCR says this:

WSX-7 A-1 Components motor starter


I think the air conditioner is 630515.331 according to the warranty docs that came with the trailer. We did not get a manual for this unit in paper form.
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