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Old 02-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #1
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RR compressor ?/problem

Our RR is making a weird noise--clicking, then hums for about 10 seconds then quiet. We suspect the compressor is going, or gone. Food still seems cold at the moment. We first noticed the noise this morning.

TIA for your help.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #2
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That is the symptoms we had. I would notice it most at night when all was quite. Ours acted like this for about 6 months. Sometimes it would start normally and other times it would do what you describe 2-3 times and then start. Eventually it just completely quit starting. One of the super start capacitors my prolong its life.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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Wayne, so it was the starter, not the compressor? What did you end up needed to replace?

What exactly is a super start capacitor?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #4
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RR Compressor Problem

If you have an In-Motion sat dish and are not using majke sure it is switched off. I had a similar noise and evidently, I had hit the rocker switch to the on position in error and the unit was searching for a signal even though I am not a subscribe to any service!

Tony,
Foretravel, 36'
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:05 PM   #5
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Sorry to say it was the compressor. Ours ended up being changed twice. The first compressor had to be replaced after about 6 hours of use. They charged it on the high side and apparently that was too much. I only mentioned the supper start capacitor because sometimes they will give the extra kick to start the compressor. SPP5,SPP6,SPP8,Relay and Hard Start Capacitor manufacturer, supplier - RY Capacitor Co.,Ltd. China - ECVV.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:46 PM   #6
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It's fixed

I thought I'd post the end of our story...We're wintering in Mexico and friends from home (OR) came to visit. He's a retired electrical engineer so John and he spent some fun hours troubleshooting. They found a replacement relay and capacitor (purchased and installed on consecutive days) but that didn't fix it. A local acquaintance referred us to an appliance repairman and he replaced the compressor. All is working, and we learned some new Spanish words. The repairman refused payment until the next day when he returned to make sure it was all working properly. Total cost for all parts and labor: about $200
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:46 PM   #7
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All - 98% of all A/C problems are electrical in nature. Vary rarely is the low/high side of the A/C at fault, and also the compressor is not often at fault. That is not to say they don't go bad. Many A/C units can be checked by a good certified RV Tech, who has hands on experience in A/C. This does not mean he is a HVAC certified repair person, which takes a license in many states.

First put the breaker for the a/c units in the off position, make sure the thermostat is not in the cooling mode. Check to make sure 120V are not available or present at the unit.

You can check the compressor motor, several ways, but remember (THE CPAPCITORS HAVE LOTS OF VOLTS ON THEM) so bleed of that voltage first, by taking a good quality Digital VOM, put the meter on AC volts, and put the red positive lead on one of the capacitor terminals, and the black lead on a metal surface which is known to be a ground. Watch the display and it will slowly go down to zero reading. Do this for each terminal on all the capacitors, which might be as many as three, start, run, and fan motor.

On top of the compressor, under an insulated cover, are the C-R-S terminals of the compressor – C=common winding; R=Run winding; S=Start winding. Now set the Digital meter to Ohms scale, and take a reading between C & S winding, write down this number; take a reading between the C & R winding; again write down this number; take a reading between the R & S winding; again write down this number. If any readings are OL or zero, the winding is shorted out. This is not good and the compressor is bad. The R-S reading should be the highest reading, the C-S & C & R readings should add up to a number which is very close to the R-S reading. If this is the case, the compressor is good. I then would look at the capacitors, most likely the start one is going out. NOTE: on many models, all three features (Start-Run-Fan Motor) are inside one large capacitor. It should be replaced with a comparable unit.

Now – if the compressor is bad - you need to evaluate how old the a/c unit is and this would be especially true if the unit is over 4 years old. When the compressor fails, all kinds of crap gets put into the high/low pressure system, now where do you figure it goes. It goes all over the place and even though the AC tech has vacuumed down the system and kept it under vacuum for at least 2 hours, and has verified no leaks those particles are still in the system. Once the new compressor is installed and running, those particles will then wind up in the metering tube and plug it, which will cause the new AC compressor to fail. You cannot clean the system enough to prevent the future failure.

The a/c replacement units are around 800 dollars or so, and if you check around you can get even a better price as a replacement unit. Now, if you choose to pay a tech to repair a unit, you can rack up a 800 bill and end up with a unit which will last about 6 months (because of all the matter thrown about when the original unit failed), about the time the warranty runs out on the repair. If the unit is under warranty, you as the customer should demand a new unit especially if within the first year of date of purchase. You should also know, the warranty on the replacement compressor will only be good through the original warranty that was in place from the purchase date. You most likely can work out a new unit from the manufacturer if you agree to pay a little up front, which would be cheaper than buying a new unit on your own.

There are several things which you as the owner can do to make a unit last a long time, and annual or semiannual cleaning are the best thing. Your owner’s manual outlines the process and what should be done. Keep the inside filter clean weekly if the unit is being used weekly and at least once a month otherwise. Be careful not to bend the fins on the condenser/evaporator, you can get a great fin comb from Johnston Supply, around 19 dollars or so. Hope this all helps.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #8
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Monty,

Great info but our problem was with our refrigerator, not the A/C...but who knows, the A/C could be our next opportunity for learning!
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:20 PM   #9
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Great, there might be a start capacitor in it, and age has a bearing on that, but 5 years does not seem like the time it should fail. But you never know. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Old, The Amana RR is notorious for going through compressors.
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