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Old 02-12-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
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Dometic 13.5k Heat Pump Problem

I have a 2003 Beaver Santiam, that has a Dometic 13.5k heat pump in zone 2 (the bedroom area) that stopped heating and cooling a week ago. From what I can tell from the label, it was built in 2014.

Before I order a new one, I thought I'd ask if anyone else had a theory as to why it's not working as it should:

The fan works - just no heating or cooling
I had the capacitor checked by a tech at a large RV service center who
said it was good

We've been living full time in the Beaver for 2 years, so all components in this RV are used regularly.

I was about to pull the circuit board out, but not sure if I can even check it for problems.

Thanks in advance,

Jim
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:52 PM   #2
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Fan runs........what about the compressor?
Does it start?


Compressor has to run in order to cool or heat.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'd say if the compressor comes on and it's just not heating or cooling, the unit is shot. I'd make sure the compressor is coming on though, because that could indicate a problem in the control system, not the unit itself. 5 years is not that old for an A/C unit. Can you turn the other two units off so you can just hear the unit that's not working?
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:04 PM   #4
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The phone cable connections are often corroded creating problems...unplugged them several times to clean. Have you done a Tstat reset?
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I went by another large RV dealer/repair service center. One of the techs shared some of his knowledge with me:

1) Do a hard reset on the tstat - even though zone one is working fine
(heating and cooling in the front of the rv)
2) Check to ensure voltage is going to and from the compressor. If no
voltage then the tstat is not working as it should - and he had a class
A in his bay with that particular problem he was working on to fix. If
there is voltage going to and from the compressor - and its not
cooling or heating - then the compressor is faulty

I'll try all this tomorrow. The compressor does not come on at all on this particular heat pump. The service center gave me a price on a new Dometic - gave me a headache...................
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:31 PM   #6
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It really is not difficult to replace the AC units yourself. There are only 4 bolts holding them on and they are accessed from inside. The hardest part is getting it on the roof. I bought a new one from PPL Motorhomes and installed it.

There is a Catch 22 with the new AC control boards. They only come with a control board for the new Comfort Control Center thermostat. You have a choice of upgrading to the new thermostat which also requires a new control board in your other AC, or purchase a backwards compatible control board for your new AC that works with your old thermostat. I went with option 2 and also upgraded to a 15,000btu Penguin II heat pump.
Hope this helps!
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
It really is not difficult to replace the AC units yourself. There are only 4 bolts holding them on and they are accessed from inside. The hardest part is getting it on the roof. I bought a new one from PPL Motorhomes and installed it.

There is a Catch 22 with the new AC control boards. They only come with a control board for the new Comfort Control Center thermostat. You have a choice of upgrading to the new thermostat which also requires a new control board in your other AC, or purchase a backwards compatible control board for your new AC that works with your old thermostat. I went with option 2 and also upgraded to a 15,000btu Penguin II heat pump.
Hope this helps!
Vito.A, I too am replacing my rear AC, ordered a new one from PPL today, the 15000 btu with heat pump are on sale for 1129.99 through 2-15. I'm going to do it myself. Is the conversion board change out fairly easy?
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the reply guys,

Can a 15,000 btu heat pump be used? if so, and if I have to buy a new heat pump (don't want to if I can resolve this issue), I'd rather go bigger if I can.

I'm curious as well - is it hard swapping out the board?
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:51 AM   #9
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OP, you need to deter if you have a control problem or a compressor problem. By monitoring your AC amps you should be able to tell if the compressor is trying to start and then if it’s running. Even with not so good hearing I can hear when the compressor tries to start and if it keeps runnig.

I bought a new old style 15K heat pump 7 years ago so I’d have a direct replacement unit but I’ve not gotten an answer to: can you put the control board from your old unit into a new style heat pump? One of the hard parts of getting a board removed are the plastic mounting pins. You can make a tool out of the end of the end of a plastic fountain pin by enlarging the hole so it slides over the pin pushing the ears down.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:16 PM   #10
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Well I was wrong....

I reconnected my capacitor and started up the a/c unit. The compressor began cycling (came on and after a few seconds went off).

I'm going to go online and look for that PPL sale that was mentioned.

Thanks for the help,
Jim
2003 Beaver Santiam
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #11
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The control board out of the old AC will not fit the new one. You will need Dometic #3313107.107 control board adapter kit (I ordered it from PPL also). It comes with instructions. I installed it while the unit was sitting on the ground. It took about 20 min.

You can replace a 13,000btu with a 15,000 as the foot print is the same.

This is a post I did on changing out the heat pump. It's a long post, but has lots of detail and pictures.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/replacing-a-dometic-ac-heat-pump-on-a-monaco-coach-405503.html
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotadog View Post
Well I was wrong....

I reconnected my capacitor and started up the a/c unit. The compressor began cycling (came on and after a few seconds went off).

I'm going to go online and look for that PPL sale that was mentioned.

Thanks for the help,
Jim
2003 Beaver Santiam
Sale ends on 2-15-19, don't tarry or you'll miss out.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh2013 View Post
Sale ends on 2-15-19, don't tarry or you'll miss out.
I, just yesterday, replaced my front Penguin II. I rented a duct-lift unit from the local rental store. Duct-lifts are used to lift a/c ducting in large buildings. It is basically a hand operated fork-lift. Cost was $100 plus a trailer for $30. I was doing the job by myself and the lift made it safe and secure to maneuver while 12 feet in the air.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #14
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New Penguin ordered from PPL - made a deal with two guys in the resort washing RV's - will let them wash the Beaver if they help me with the Penguin when it arrives.

Supposed to be plug and play and an exact replacement for my broken one.....I hope so.

Thanks again for all the feedback - plus letting me know about the sale.
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