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Old 05-21-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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Weird AC issue...

Funny, I got to Camp Verde, AZ today around 2:30pm to visit the Montezuma Castle NP. After an hour there, I drove 3-4 miles over to Distant Drum RV Resort to spend the night. Hooked up the 30A shore power and turned on the front AC. Checked my outside thermometer and it was at 109F. AC was at 115Vac, polarity is correct. I have a Coleman TSR. Perhaps the front AC is bigger then the rear, I don't know.

After 20 minutes, I noticed warm air from the AC. Shut it down, turned on the bedroom AC. No problem, cool air. But then I tried the front AC again about 20 minutes later...cool air. But only for around 20 minutes. This went on until the sun went down. Every time I'd give the front AC a rest, it would blow cool air like normal for 20 minutes or so. After the sun went down, it's been on now for more then an hour blowing cool air like normal (sundown was 7:27pm).

What could cause this kind of behavior? A thermostat under the compressor shell on the roof? Gas pressure too high because of the heat? Some kind of thermal cutoff?
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:00 AM   #2
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Evaporator freezing up is the only thing I can think of? That would assume there's enough humidity in the air to allow that though. Were you cooking or anything? I was there a couple weeks ago, so I know humidity is pretty scarce there... especially enough to allow that to happen.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #3
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You need to get the meter out and track down what is shutting off the compressor if it is not running.

If ti freezing up, you will see a reduction in air velocity at the outlets.


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Old 05-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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No reduction in air flow, very low humidity here, something like 8%. But it worked well from around 7:30pm until I shut it off at 10:30pm. Must have something to do with the heat but seems funny it would be designed that way.

I'm heading north up to Flagstaff were it's cooler.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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Turn off all flourscent lights and ceiling fan if equipped. See if that makes a difference. A ballast going bad will effect the 12v thermostat side of the air conditioner.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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This problem could be caused by one of a few things. The least costly would be to check the air filter. If it's clogged, the air flow across the evaporator will be reduced to the point where the coil will freeze. Once the air flow is blocked, the compressor will begin to overheat until a small disc like thermal device shuts down the compressor, but allow the fan to continue running. That device is called a "Klixon" and is about the diameter of a nickel and is attached to the outer surface of the compressor inside the small compartment (attached to the side of the compressor) where the electrical wires are attached. Once the compressor cools down, the Klixon will return power (it is actually an on-off switch operated by temperature) and it will cool again until whatever the root problem is that causes the off-cycle to repeat. Another cause of this issue would be low refrigerant. The same evaporator freezing would be caused by insufficient refrigerant. The only other issue would be a worn compressor where it is drawing too much current or a defective Klixon. The Klixon is what is actually shutting down the compressor. Why it's doing it is the issue that needs to be traced back to the source.

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Another thing that would cause it to shut down would be if the condenser (thats the finned coil on the roof) is dirty. The dirty side would be the one you can't see , under the cover. But if you can still hear the fan and your sure no air is coming out (warm air is harder to feel unless you dampen the back of your hand) then it's most likely a frosted up evap coil. But if it runs better as the sun goes down I think I'd check condenser. If you pull the cover off on the roof you might as well check the condition of both coils.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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coleman compressors shut down at 105 volts. next time the compressor shuts down try starting ypur gen.see if that helps if so you know its low voltage.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1skatingrin View Post
coleman compressors shut down at 105 volts. next time the compressor shuts down try starting ypur gen.see if that helps if so you know its low voltage.
Voltage was at a steady 115V.

After I left, I headed north and ended up for the night at Homolovi SP outside of Winslow. Plugged into power, turned on the AC and it worked fine from 4:15pm to 10:30pm. When I arrived and set up it was 95F but as the sun drifted down it got up to 105F. But the AC did fine.

So, I think I'll try straightening the fins roofside, and maybe replacing the overtemp thermostat (Klaxon?) device up there.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #11
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1st thought is low coolant pressure due to slow leak. Once everything warms up you run out of liquid to evaporate, due to a low charge.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCooke View Post
1st thought is low coolant pressure due to slow leak. Once everything warms up you run out of liquid to evaporate, due to a low charge.
I thought of that too, but what about the next night when it worked fine, providing nice cool air for several hours?

The only difference was that the outside temp was 95F instead of the 108F like the day before.

Oh, and it's worked fine all day today too. From about 3pm to 6pm when I shut it off. 85F here in Flagstaff.

I'm no expert, that's why I'm asking. It's a mystery (to me). But I think that it's a thermal cutoff up in the roof section. It had the sun beating on it all day and probably couldn't take it any longer when I turned it on in 108F weather.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:07 AM   #13
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I read the whole thing this morning, on tablet versus phone.
Jeepfreak also has a good thought also. If it is not cooling at the condensor you can be shutting off on high head pressure.
For low freon open the inside cover after it has been running and see if frost or ice is creaping across the coils starting at the expansion valve or where the copper up sizes. If it is starring in one location and working its way across the coils it can be low charge, across the coils evenly it is normally air flow.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCooke View Post
I read the whole thing this morning, on tablet versus phone.
Jeepfreak also has a good thought also. If it is not cooling at the condensor you can be shutting off on high head pressure.
For low freon open the inside cover after it has been running and see if frost or ice is creaping across the coils starting at the expansion valve or where the copper up sizes. If it is starring in one location and working its way across the coils it can be low charge, across the coils evenly it is normally air flow.
Bingo! Pretty sure this is the culpret.
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