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Old 06-12-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
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Roof A/C unit

I have two roof, ducted 14.5 BTU A/C units, they've been working great for 10 desert summers now. This morning I turned on one unit, it ran for about a hour, I heard it bog down, I quickly looked at my power management display for current draw. I saw a 34A draw and the generator quit. If I try to restarti the A/C unit, the fan comes on, sounds fine, then when the compressor kicks on I hear a low growl and high current draw for several seconds then it dies. I believe the compressor is on it's last legs and may be crapping out.

Any A/C experts out there that may be able to shed light on my problem?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:50 AM   #2
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I experienced a problem like this when I first purchased the RV. The PTAC hard start capacitor shorted on and it was stuck on. I replaced it and the unit worked as normal. I would look st / clean the condensing coil to make sure it is clean. If it is dirty / clogged it will increase the compressor current draw.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #3
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I would say it's the compressor gone south on you. Mine did the same thing you are describing, except I was not using the generator, but when the compressor would try and kick in, the amp draw would skyrocket. I had a RV tech check it out and he said compressor was bad.Ordered a new one from PPL and me and the better half replaced it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:13 PM   #4
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Mark, did you replace the compressor or the entire A/C unit?
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:15 PM   #5
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SpyderRV, yea I thought of the starting cap but it starts and runs fine, after an hour or so, it dies. I will clean it if needed but I'd be surprised if that's it.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:34 PM   #6
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Mark, did you replace the compressor or the entire A/C unit?
You will need to replace the complete unit. I would recommend against trying to replace only the compressor.

Installing a complete ac unit is not a difficult job. Especially with 2 people. The hardest part is to lower the old unit off the roof and raising the new unit up to the roof.


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Old 06-12-2019, 02:03 PM   #7
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SpyderRV, after giving my response some thought, I may have come across as a wise ass, not my intention.

My A/C knowledge consists of two data points. 1. I know the start cap is used to start the compressor. 2. When I turn the thermostat down, it gets colder. :-)

To point 1, does it do something other than start the compressor? Is it used during the running/compressing cycle for another function? I replaced the starting cap in the other unit several years ago because it wouldn't start. I'd much rather spend 15-20 bucks for a cap rather than a grand to replace the A/C unit.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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After Googling, I'm more confused. I searched for Coleman run capacitor and I'm running in to "start/run capacitors" Are these two separate units or all in one. If it's one unit I'm ordering this from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Device-Packag.../dp/B004RCOW5Q

Thanks again for any input and your time.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:27 PM   #9
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Mark, did you replace the compressor or the entire A/C unit?
I replaced the entire unit with a 15000 btu with heat pump, from ppl .
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:52 PM   #10
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The start and run capacitors are separate units, Not all a/cs have start capacitors. It would be worth it to replace run capacitor and install a solid state hard start capacitor, if you don't have any way of checking capacitors. Also the run capacitor can quit working properly once it gets hot
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:01 PM   #11
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Dom, I'll replace both. It does seem to fail when it gets hot, the ambient temperature here now is 113F, it was 100F when it failed this morning.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:54 PM   #12
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It may not fix problem but it is cheaper that replacing a/c or calling for mobile service to tell you, you need to replace a/c. Also make sure you wash out condenser with water hose
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:51 AM   #13
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Here is a little more generic information based on what my units have. There are two capacitors. One is a combination unit and it has 3 terminals labeled C, F, and Herm. C is common, F goes to the Fan and Herm goes to the compressor. This is a “Run” capacitor and if it has issues, you will have either fan or compressor issues. The other capacitor just has 2 terminals and it is the “Start” capacitor for the compressor. If fan is fine but compressor won’t start, this might be the problem but not 100% of the time because the compressor could have other issues. When replacing capacitors, stick to voltage ratings and capacitance values. I know there is a pretty small window, maybe plus or minus 5% for capacitance. So far as my units go, I don’t think there is a “Start” capacitor for the fan. There is a lot more info out there on this forum but in my reading, I hear lots of folks have had to replace capacitors (myself included) and some folks carry spares.
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