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Old 10-18-2019, 11:51 PM   #1
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Roof A/C capacitor help

Hi Guys

2000 Fleetwood Discovery 37 G. My front Roof AC unit...(Not really sure the brand....label says "Div. of Airxcel Inc")Ö...when I turn it on it starts running sounding normal....however when the Compressor kicks on it runs for about 3 seconds and cycles off. Keeps repeating the same thing over and over. Im no AC tech but someone mentioned possibly a "hard start capacitor".

Went up on the roof and removed the cover today and took a couple pictures. Does anyone know which of the three "capacitors" could be causing the issue? The fan turns freely...Ö

Also, after figuring out which has to be removed.....is there a process of discharging it before pulling the wires? I don't want to get whacked and take a header off the coach. Anything electric is NOT my forte' Can these be purchased at Grainger?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:33 AM   #2
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Rule of thumb, a hard start capacitor is uniquely wired to the electric motor requiring the increase of current during start up (in this case it will be the compressor) and to the starting relay. It allows a surge of power when the compressor starts, then as soon as the starting relay kicks off, the hard start capacitor drops out of the circuit.

You will need the wiring diagram for the compressor of the unit you are servicing to determine the connections needed. Airxcel is the manufacturer of Coleman-Mach RV air conditioning units.

The surge voltage of the starting capacitor on a 120 VAC compressor will be 388 volts, so it not something to be randomly handled without first discharging the capacitor.

Any qualified AC technician can use the electrical diagram of your unit to locate, discharge, test, and replace a weak capacitor.

However, the symptom you list is more indicative of a low charge in the refrigerant on these disposable roof units.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:35 AM   #3
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For a few bucks its worth a shot at changing it. Grainger might have it also check amazon or ebay. Get the value off the caps.
Discharge cap turn off breaker screw driver across the terminals will do it.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #4
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Hard start cap

Amazon has them,about 20 dollars,they are a unit that has relay built in,hook 2 wires to existing start cap.To discharge cap,short the wires together.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:17 AM   #5
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replace all three while you are there. Buy off amazon. Not an a/c supply house unless you get wholesale pricing. about $10-15 a piece.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonpharme View Post
Rule of thumb, a hard start capacitor is uniquely wired to the electric motor requiring the increase of current during start up (in this case it will be the compressor) and to the starting relay. It allows a surge of power when the compressor starts, then as soon as the starting relay kicks off, the hard start capacitor drops out of the circuit.

You will need the wiring diagram for the compressor of the unit you are servicing to determine the connections needed. Airxcel is the manufacturer of Coleman-Mach RV air conditioning units.

The surge voltage of the starting capacitor on a 120 VAC compressor will be 388 volts, so it not something to be randomly handled without first discharging the capacitor.

Any qualified AC technician can use the electrical diagram of your unit to locate, discharge, test, and replace a weak capacitor.

However, the symptom you list is more indicative of a low charge in the refrigerant on these disposable roof units.
So....I forgot to add the pic I took for my original post...Ö.I appreciate your replies...Ö..was hoping to be able to repair this unit.....
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:10 AM   #7
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I had a similar problem. Replacing the hard start capacitor solved the problem. I purchased from a RV dealer. Installation was straight forward.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:42 AM   #8
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You already have the pictures. Use masking tape and mark each wire with a number or letter. Draw a diagram of your wiring. It doesn't have to be fancy. Use the screwdriver method with the circuit breaker off to discharge but you also need to carefully remove the wiring. Be sure all tools have an insulated handle. I needed pliers to pull the wires loose. Be careful not to touch any metal parts while doing this. It's scary at first, but fairly easy if you're careful. Replace all the capacitors. They are cheap. Chuck
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #9
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I installed new caps on both my A/C units a couple months ago..

Rooftop A/C units maintenance – 1999 Southwind 35S

..
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:27 PM   #10
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Sometimes i'll just take a sharpie and and mark a band or two maybe higher or lower even to differentiate same color wires wires . I might use marker even on a wire pull through conduit, tags can get pulled off by your tape . I never want to put the wrong # on a wire doesn't match a drawing on a wire and forget and leave it there to mess up the next guy " probably me". Might use letters instead. A brady wire tag book is handy can be used for lines/ hoses as well over a band of duct tape for big lines. There are little single squares you can stick on a switch or hose manifold.
Turn off power short between cap leads with a screwdriver holding insulated handle one second they will discharge, if that had a charge still at all. The caps don't have polarity so you don't have to worry about that.
I used a Suppco SPP6 hard start cap on my old 1984 TT AC then my 3000 watt inverter genny would start it on ECON. I wouldn't necessarily recommend yet it unless you are having real problems.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:34 PM   #11
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Thanks for the tips, guys. Greatly appreciated.

I will try changing out the caps first, although they look like they are pretty new, I will change them all out.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:51 AM   #12
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