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Old 03-21-2019, 06:38 PM   #1
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Basement AC unit

After replacing the alternator on my 2005 Dolphin LX, I checked out a few things while in the unit. With the generator running, I attempted to try the Heat pump part of the unit. Switching the Coleman/ Mac thermostat to electric heat, the genset kicked up for a few seconds as the unit tried to run, then the thermostat clicked and shut down. After turning the thermostat off for a few minutes, I tried again and the same thing happened. We purchased the Dolphin in Florida and drove it back to Illinois in early December and it has been sitting until the weather became warm enough to work on the alternator. Am I doing something wrong trying to check the heat pump?
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Check the start capacitor in the AC. Also, try to run the AC on cool, if you can get it warm enough inside. Run the furnace up to 70, then set the AC for 65. It will likely do the same thing. If it's not the start cap, you could have a seized compressor.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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Just so you know how the heating system normally works,the Coleman/ Mac thermostat is designed to only run the heat pump if the room temperature is within about 4 degrees of the thermostat setting. That is, if the room temperature is 60 degrees and the thermostat, in heat mode, is set the 70, the heat pump won't run, but the LP gas furnace will run instead. If the thermostat is turned down to 63 or 64, the heat pump should run. This design was to heat the room as quickly as possible which the gas furnace can do, the the heat pump maintains the room temperature. Good luck fining the problem.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #4
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We were having a similar issue with our Dolphin and it turned out to be the service switch/circuit breaker by the furnace control board. I replaced it and no help. Finally jumped around it and has worked now for several years.
All the above design statements are still true.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:48 AM   #5
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Basement AC unit

Thanks for the suggestions. I will check them out.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREGORYJ View Post
Just so you know how the heating system normally works,the Coleman/ Mac thermostat is designed to only run the heat pump if the room temperature is within about 4 degrees of the thermostat setting. That is, if the room temperature is 60 degrees and the thermostat, in heat mode, is set the 70, the heat pump won't run, but the LP gas furnace will run instead. If the thermostat is turned down to 63 or 64, the heat pump should run. This design was to heat the room as quickly as possible which the gas furnace can do, the the heat pump maintains the room temperature. Good luck fining the problem.
Good info to know!
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:51 AM   #7
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heat pump

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Good info to know!
The heat pump makes heat from the air [ ambient temp]. If it is in the forties outside , the propane heater will work instead of the electric [ heat pump]. Otherwise , turning the heat up more than 5 degrees than room temp will also result in the propane heater coming on until the room gets heated. Outside temp dictates when the heat pump will produce heat. Too cold outside = propane heat inside.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:27 PM   #8
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My basement air started to pop and crack (electrical) then I shut the air off. 15 minutes later the compressor exploded. Starter caps burned up (2). Replaced unit $4k later. So check your caps. Small panel on front of unit, if caps are budging up, get them replaced now, do not wait.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #9
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The heat pump makes heat from the air [ ambient temp]. If it is in the forties outside , the propane heater will work instead of the electric [ heat pump]. Otherwise , turning the heat up more than 5 degrees than room temp will also result in the propane heater coming on until the room gets heated. Outside temp dictates when the heat pump will produce heat. Too cold outside = propane heat inside.
I don't remember the details but there's also a built-in time delay in some situation(s) that can be confusing in that it can take a couple of minutes for the unit to react to change in setting.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:50 PM   #10
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My basement air started to pop and crack (electrical) then I shut the air off. 15 minutes later the compressor exploded. Starter caps burned up (2). Replaced unit $4k later. So check your caps. Small panel on front of unit, if caps are budging up, get them replaced now, do not wait.
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How do I access the caps for inspection? I've replaced these on my home unit before and it's no big deal but I'm not sure what to open or remove to be able to see them in the coleman basement unit?
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:10 PM   #11
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The capacitors are inside the access panel on front of the unit. Use extreme care around this stuff. download manual if you do not have one. Tom 07 Pacifica
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:08 PM   #12
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The capacitors are inside the access panel on front of the unit. Use extreme care around this stuff. download manual if you do not have one. Tom 07 Pacifica
Short out the capacitor terminals with each other using an insulated handled screwdriver before handling them or touching the leads. They can hold a dangerous amount of charge.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:20 AM   #13
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Yes I'm quite comfortable with the implications of working with the caps.

I'm struggling with the term "front of the unit" Front as in outside part where the condenser is? I''ll need to remove bodywork on the coach perhaps to see about this access panel. As i recall (just memory here, and it's rusty) the unit is in an enclosed space, open on the bottom for the fan discharge. The intake through the condenser is behind a grill on the side of the coach. I don't think anything else is visible, but I am going to poke around this weekend and see what I can see.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:28 AM   #14
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On mine, the panel over the condenser is hinged at the top and has screws on the bottom (under the panel) that hold it in place. Remove the screws and raise the panel which will expose the access panel. Remove the access panel get to the starting caps.
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