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air conditioner problem


Cindy T
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We have a 2008 Mobile Suites with 2 AC's. Yesterday, the air conditioners were working fine, but today the AC that cools the living room won't come on. The bedroom AC starts & runs normally. We've never had an AC problem before & my husband isn't sure where to start with troubleshooting this issue. Do you have any suggestions where to begin to diagnose the possible cause for the one AC not working?

Thanks for your help!

 

Cindy

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Like Jim noted, check the RV panel circuit breaker is the first obvious "troubleshoot". If it is the culprit, it may or may not do it again??? If it were tripped and you reset and try her again and she still trips, then we have to look at several possible causes. Do you have any monitors or protection devices between the utility power pedestal and the RV ??? If so is it showing any faults or problems??? There could be power problems such as low voltage at the utility pedestal (or your RV wiring) and its NOT necessarily the fault of your RV's AC. It would be good to know the voltage on both legs at the utility pedestal both unloaded and when AC's are running. Look for any obvious signs of burning or overheating in the RV power plug and the utility receptacle. If you had access to the RV's Panel wiring, look for loose burned or carboned connections there likewise.

 

Those are only a few basics until such time you try the above and we have more info to go on.

 

John T

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If it does nothing at all, the circuit breaker is the first thing to check. In case you don't realize it, a tripped circuit breaker will have the handle in a mid position, nether lining up with the on or off positions. If you find it that way you must move the handle to the off position in order that it will reset, before you put it to the closed position again. If you fail to do this, the breaker will remain open.

 

Before we go farther, we need to know a few answers. First of all, do you own and understand how to use a good volt/ohm meter? It is very important in trouble shooting. Nest question is which make and model is your air conditioner in question and also the thermostat that controls it? Does the thermostat control just the one air conditioner, or do you have a single panel for both a/c units, or perhaps a thermostat for each but this one also controls the furnace?

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If you run hot water and both ACs you're pushing things to the max Normally we run the bedroom during the day with a box fan on the steps drawing air from the bedroom. We try to avoid running both at one time but sometimes !!!

 

We are full timers and consistently run electric water heater and both air conditioners at the same time with no problem UNLESS the pedestal is faulty.

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Yo WeBeFulltimers,

 

"We are full timers and consistently run electric water heater and both air conditioners at the same time with no problem UNLESS the pedestal is faulty

 

You sure would think a typical properly designed 120/240 volt 50 amp 4 wire RV service should be designed and able to power say a Rooftop AC unit PLUS an RV hot water heater all at the same time now, subject to their rating and current draw of course. If I designed and laid it out it would lol

 

John T

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Yo WeBeFulltimers,

 

"We are full timers and consistently run electric water heater and both air conditioners at the same time with no problem UNLESS the pedestal is faulty

 

You sure would think a typical properly designed 120/240 volt 50 amp 4 wire RV service should be designed and able to power say a Rooftop AC unit PLUS an RV hot water heater all at the same time now, subject to their rating and current draw of course. If I designed and laid it out it would lol

 

John T

 

 

We're able to run two 15K BTU Penguins, and our electric water heater element, and the convection oven. (Though at times, the convection oven will put it over the edge:)! Then we back off the electric water element. And if that does not work, kill one of the AC's. This is usually an area where power poles can have some minor fluctuations on delivery. And this was also usually helped by using out Hughes Autoformer.)

 

I will clarify that we have a HydroHot heating system, a model with only one heating element. Those with the double heating element Aqua/HydroHot systems, may see different results.

 

And I agree with the tips so far. Start with the simple circuit breaker first. If you do have a single thermostat controller, with two zones, sometimes the phone jacks will get dunked up. Removing the inside filter to access the bottom of the AC unit from within the coach, you should be able to see if you have the phone jack system used in many coaches. If so, take it apart, clean the male female ends well with Electronic Cleaner, and relook it back up. note that the gunned up problem could be in either unit, including the one that is working. So cleaning them all at one time is advisable. We have ours on a yearly cleaning cycle now. And I carry two spare female to female jacks in our prats. (None of the above applies if your system is not phone jack supported.)

 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies. We've been FT for 5 years, have always run both air conditioners without a problem until now. My husband has determined that the circuit breaker is not the problem. He's going to check the power at the pedestal, just to make sure that is ok. I'm doubting that's the problem, but you never know. We have 1 thermostat that controls both AC's, Zone 1 & Zone 2. Kirk, you've asked some great questions, which I don't have all of the answers to yet.
But I am starting to suspect that this is going to require a call to a service tech.

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The type of control that you have actually has temperature sensors in two locations but one control device. It is one that I have seen but have never worked on so have limited knowledge of it's internal operation. If you can tell us what make it is, then I can probably locate a service manual for it and possibly help as trouble shooting was my career. Is there any chance that you have the dual zone control from Dometic that is in this manual?

 

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If it does say Duo-Therm Comfort Control, this is the unit I was referring to that could have phone jacks to complete the communication flow. My thermostat control finally thru me off an error code. And I started the process I mentioned in the earlier post to clean the male jacks, and cleaned the female/female couplings. (I did replace one, as it was still looking rough, after cleaning.) Not complicated, just get the wire bundles loose enough to unplug the phone jacks.

 

​If it is the 5 button control, do some google searches as they're is a combo of buttons on the thermostat that allows a reset.

 

Ongoing best of luck,

Smitty

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When you turn the front a/c on, does it do anything at all? Any sounds at all? Is there anything that can be detected? You could go up on the roof and remove the shroud an then observe & listen when the unit attempts to start. It could be a start capacitor, as suggested but you can usually (not always) hear the motor hum and it will also get hot, but it isn't a good idea to keep it on that long. It would be best if you used the meter to see if it is getting power first. Very often you can look at a start capacitor and see that it is defective as they will swell up and distort enough to see the problem.

 

As Smitty says, it could also be a connection problem, particularly if the display on the thermostat is still proper. I would also go through the diagnostic that is in the manual from the link posted above, just to check the control.

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In regards to a potential start capacitor problem if your unit has one (that's NOT my prime suspect as of now) I can add that WITHOUT going up on the roof I have observed that if a motor attempts to start and hums (drawing excess current) you may notice dimming of 120 VAC lights (even some 12 VDC) lights especially if on the same leg of 120 the AC is on. As suggested have everything else quiet and turned off except for lighting (especially any 120 which you may well NOT have any, you could plug one in or better yet use a volt meter) and turn on the AC and LISTEN CAREFULLY. If you don't hear any faint clicks or contact or relay closures and there's no noticeable AC voltage drop, I suspect a low voltage control circuit or t stat problem like Smitty is talking about. However if you initially hear a click or contact or relay closure followed by humming or noise from the AC itself and especially if the AC voltage drops, I suspect the AC unit itself but I would also expect such would trip the breaker which does NOT seem to be in your case, which takes us back to a low voltage control circuit or t stat problem.

 

Take your eyes and ears and lights and voltmeter out there and go to work.

 

John T

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I can't tell you how much we appreciate all the excellent suggestions! From inside the coach, we can't hear the AC making any noise at all, & haven't seen any dimming of lights. He checked the power coming from the pole outside & all is normal there. Hubby will be going up on the roof today to take a closer look at the AC unit. And we'll google search this thermostat too.

Thank you all!!!

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