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Old 06-11-2019, 01:20 PM   #1
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Dead Dometic Penguin ll Heat pump (again)

Oh Oh, just had another Penguin...(this time the front one) stop cooling. Same symptoms.......it cools for a couple of seconds, then the compressor stops, and it just blows warm air. Repair man says it is not the cap, as the compressor is still getting voltage when it stops......
Great !...............just when it's getting warm in Texas .....
Hope the replacement of this unit doesn't turn into the same fiasco I had with the rear one.......
Guess I'm lucky, I got 3 years out of it.............. Oh well........onwards and upwards......
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:43 PM   #2
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Are you sure the compressor stops, or is it just that it is blowing hot air? It may have cycled to Heat Pump. A magnet switch control this function, and if the magnet loses power, the unit reverts to heat pump. Easy to check: While it is blowing warm air inside, climb on roof. Feel the air being blown on roof from the unit. If that air is cool, the unit is in heat pump. Fix is even easier.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Are you sure the compressor stops, or is it just that it is blowing hot air? It may have cycled to Heat Pump. A magnet switch control this function, and if the magnet loses power, the unit reverts to heat pump. Easy to check: While it is blowing warm air inside, climb on roof. Feel the air being blown on roof from the unit. If that air is cool, the unit is in heat pump. Fix is even easier.
Unfortunately yes.............when I said hot air, I meant ambient.....which is hot down here right now.
The air starts of in the 60's for a second, then gradually climbs to the mid 80's.....
Guy was on the roof, and monitored the voltage to the compressor, as the cooling stopped, and he said it was constant, so looks like it is toast, just like the last one. At least this one took 3 years to burn out......rear unit was done in 18 months.
I realize now, that I should budget for a replacement penguin every 18 months or so......
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #4
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Unfortunately yes.............when I said hot air, I meant ambient.....which is hot down here right now.
The air starts of in the 60's for a second, then gradually climbs to the mid 80's.....
Guy was on the roof, and monitored the voltage to the compressor, as the cooling stopped, and he said it was constant, so looks like it is toast, just like the last one. At least this one took 3 years to burn out......rear unit was done in 18 months.
I realize now, that I should budget for a replacement penguin every 18 months or so......
On my forth brother, rear AC started second round due to I have three. Learned to change out myself now, saves a few dollars. Got to hand it to China once again!
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:12 PM   #5
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On my forth brother, rear AC started second round due to I have three. Learned to change out myself now, saves a few dollars. Got to hand it to China once again!
Actually, hand it to the executives at Dometic who made the decision to move production to China to save a few bucks!
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:53 AM   #6
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On my forth brother, rear AC started second round due to I have three. Learned to change out myself now, saves a few dollars. Got to hand it to China once again!
Yup, I feel your pain ! I too have three, and the middle unit is getting a lot of use while the front one is down, so I guess it will be next.
I would fit them myself, as I know the 12v wiring well, after "fixing" my new rear unit, but I am hesitant about the 120v, as I'm not sure how that is connected.
Two quick questions, how did you get them up on the roof, and did you use a new Newmar gasket each time ?
The people that fitted my rear unit did not replace the gasket, although it seems to be fine.
I'm not sure I can wait in this heat whilst I get a new gasket delivered from Newmar.........
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Magredvet View Post
Yup, I feel your pain ! I too have three, and the middle unit is getting a lot of use while the front one is down, so I guess it will be next.
I would fit them myself, as I know the 12v wiring well, after "fixing" my new rear unit, but I am hesitant about the 120v, as I'm not sure how that is connected.
Two quick questions, how did you get them up on the roof, and did you use a new Newmar gasket each time ?
The people that fitted my rear unit did not replace the gasket, although it seems to be fine.
I'm not sure I can wait in this heat whilst I get a new gasket delivered from Newmar.........

You may want to order the new plenum and crossbar from Newmar.
See PDF in this thread:
Air Conditioner Replacement


The new plenum allows mounting of any of the Dometic A/C models or most of the competitors units. In other words, you will not be limited to the Penguin units.
BTW, I'm not sure I would blame the Chinese .... it would appear that Dometic changed their spec and used lighter gauge tubing. Rumor is that has been corrected on new units.
Also, depending on your RV, 120vac is either in a conventional J-box (household box) or a new "quick connector". Easy-peezy in either case if you have done any electrical in your home.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Magredvet View Post
Yup, I feel your pain ! I too have three, and the middle unit is getting a lot of use while the front one is down, so I guess it will be next.
I would fit them myself, as I know the 12v wiring well, after "fixing" my new rear unit, but I am hesitant about the 120v, as I'm not sure how that is connected.
Two quick questions, how did you get them up on the roof, and did you use a new Newmar gasket each time ?
The people that fitted my rear unit did not replace the gasket, although it seems to be fine.
I'm not sure I can wait in this heat whilst I get a new gasket delivered from Newmar.........
Backed my pickup with tail gate down, put a ladder in bed to top of RV . Used two ratchet straps after rigging box AC came in with rope. Just ratcheted up ladder. BOX AND HVAC just a little over 100 pounds.
Good news it is easy to change wiring out. Mostly plug and play cannon plugs for except power box for the 120, open junction box, undue wiring nuts.
The only thing is to set dip switches: set zone, heat pump, furnace and Gen start if applies.
Dip switches are all off when shipped. Instructions have a great diagram.
Finally, reininialize thermostat and check to see all function work before closing HVAC. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:25 AM   #9
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Yeah they are pretty much throw away units. I had my rear replaced 1 time and the front replaced 2 times. On the last one I called Dometic directly and they sent the installer the replacement from the main distributor for free (bad unit under warranty) and paid for the installation.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:26 AM   #10
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Thanks for that Bruce, but I think I'll stay with the penguins.......unless I get to change all 3 someday........

Thanks for the info Sidewinder, I'm pretty familiar with the dipswitches and 12v wiring after chasing a bad freeze sensor for 5 months, on the rear unit, with the help of Bruce.....(wow was that really over 12 months ago).
It was the 120v I was unsure of, but it looks like my units have the "quick connect" as I have the small clear plastic box, so looks like it would be easy.
What about the gaskets, did you wait for a Newmar one ?
Again thanks everybody for the help.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:50 AM   #11
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Thanks for that Bruce, but I think I'll stay with the penguins.......unless I get to change all 3 someday........

Thanks for the info Sidewinder, I'm pretty familiar with the dipswitches and 12v wiring after chasing a bad freeze sensor for 5 months, on the rear unit, with the help of Bruce.....(wow was that really over 12 months ago).
It was the 120v I was unsure of, but it looks like my units have the "quick connect" as I have the small clear plastic box, so looks like it would be easy.
What about the gaskets, did you wait for a Newmar one ?
Again thanks everybody for the help.
Nope, used old one, wasn't three years old.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Magredvet View Post
Thanks for that Bruce, but I think I'll stay with the penguins.......unless I get to change all 3 someday........

Thanks for the info Sidewinder, I'm pretty familiar with the dipswitches and 12v wiring after chasing a bad freeze sensor for 5 months, on the rear unit, with the help of Bruce.....(wow was that really over 12 months ago).
It was the 120v I was unsure of, but it looks like my units have the "quick connect" as I have the small clear plastic box, so looks like it would be easy.
What about the gaskets, did you wait for a Newmar one ?
Again thanks everybody for the help.

The square gasket is a Dometic part. You can make the dogleg piece by purchasing a Dometic square gasket and cutting one side off and using it for the dogleg. Save the other 3 pieces for "later". Use only a real Dometic ... it is a firmer density than a generic gasket.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 AM   #13
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Thanks for that Bruce, but I think I'll stay with the penguins.......unless I get to change all 3 someday........

.

Assuming they remain in production. Only Newmar uses the roof cutout to match the Penguin. All of the other Dometic models use a different baseplate.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #14
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Assuming they remain in production. Only Newmar uses the roof cutout to match the Penguin. All of the other Dometic models use a different baseplate.
Ahh I see..............Hope it doesn't come to that, but knowing Dometic........
Thanks for posting this info Bruce, it's good to have in the event that Dometic pulls the Penguins ......
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