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Old 07-28-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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A/C keeps kicking breaker.

I recently purchased a 1977 itasca. We have gotten everything seemingly running smoothly, the problem I am having is while powering the air conditioner by the generator, it kicks the breaker every 5 minutes or so. After waiting maybe 30 seconds, it will allow me to reset it.
My question would be, is this because it is 103 degrees outside? Or is there something else wrong?
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Does it run fine when on shore power? When it trips the breaker is the AC cycling on or is it just running and turn off. How many watts is the generator you are running this on? The heat does make the ac work but I don't think that is your problem.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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We recently had the generator serviced and they told us it is putting out 110 amps. The generator is running constantly and kicks the breaker and shuts off. We have not tried it yet but were told the ac runs great when plugged into a shore line.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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As I wrote in another post on this subject the breakers are rated for a certain normal current carrying capacity at 104 deg. F. Because the breaker is enclosed in the generator housing it's not unlikely to have temperatures approaching 140 F and at those temps a 40 amps fuse is derated to about 34 amps. I guess you can say your generator is suffering heat stoke.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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Could be. You could always run the same test in the evening when the temp outside should be cooler.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thanks to both of u. Honestly makes me feel better, even though I am sweating like crazy, that it is just the outside heat.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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What size breaker is it, or what size generator do you have?
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:28 PM   #8
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You said your generator is putting out 110 amps. I believe you mean 110 volts. If it is putting out 110volts with no load, I believe you have a low voltage problem. Get a multimeter and read the voltage under load. as voltage goes down, Amperage goes up. This would cause the breaker to trip.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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Yes, that is what I meant.
To answer the earlier question, the breaker does not kick when the Rv is plugged into a shore line. But, after about 4 hours the air conditioner overheated and finally kicked the breaker. It is almost like the ac never cycles off. The blower does, but the compressor keeps going and overheats. If I manually turn off the compressor while the fan is cycled off, it does fine. What can cause this?
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
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I had a similar problem last year while going through the arizona desert. The ac brealer in my main distribution panel was bad. I replaced it and no problems since. It is a regular 20 amp plug in breaker available @ any hardware store for approx.$20

Hope this helps

Mike Boyle
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyle908 View Post
I had a similar problem last year while going through the arizona desert. The ac brealer in my main distribution panel was bad. I replaced it and no problems since. It is a regular 20 amp plug in breaker available @ any hardware store for approx.$20

Hope this helps

Mike Boyle
Good answer! As circuit breakers repeatedly trip and absorb heat (resistance), sometimes the mechanical tension of the internal spring trip will become weaker and as a result it will trip at less than the rated load.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaperez View Post
It is almost like the ac never cycles off. The blower does, but the compressor keeps going and overheats. If I manually turn off the compressor while the fan is cycled off, it does fine. What can cause this?
This is backwards. You need to check this carefuuly, you may have a miswire problem.

with the A/C on, the fan should run nearly constantly, with the compressor kicking on and off. The system will be very unhappy if the compressor is ever running without the fan also running.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:27 PM   #13
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Generator Breaker

New member here and can't say how great it is to get all this information. I have a 1999 Winnebago with the same AC issue. I'm going to replace the breaker on the generator and how wonderful it will be if that fixes the problem. Thanks, Bob
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaperez View Post
We recently had the generator serviced and they told us it is putting out 110 amps. The generator is running constantly and kicks the breaker and shuts off. We have not tried it yet but were told the ac runs great when plugged into a shore line.
110 amps would indicate the Generator is over 10,000 watts. Did you perhaps hear AMPS when they meant VOLTS?

110 is the low end of normal, 115-120 is normal. the A/C will draw more current on 110 than on 115 or 120 as a general rule.

Second, As temps (Ambient or outside) go up so does the A/C's needs, the pressures go up and the compressor has to draw more current to work.

AND: many circuit breakers are a bit temp senisitive as well so as they get hot their "Trip point" goes down.

I'm not saying this is the problem. but from the "Wait to reset" Sure sounds like it.

Finally read the thread on the burned connections.. Check to make sure the screws that hold the wires in the breaker box (ALL OF THEM not just the one tripping) are good and tight.. NOTE: Unplug and turn off generator first!
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