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Old 06-08-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
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Basement AC Questions..motor capacitors

We're scheduled to take short trip next week and I decided to peek inside my basement AC to see if anything looked off. One of the motor start capacitors looks pretty fried, or at least the red wire and the square thing on the top.




So, I will be looking for a couple of new capacitors tomorrow. However, do these things just fry occassionally or is this an indication that I have a bad or failing compressor?
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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I just replaced one. Bought it at a refrigeration wholesaler for $4.50. Had to go thru my RV mechanic. Just changed the old gadget on top to the new one.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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Other quotes from Coleman for about $45 with shipping for a complete kit. RV mechanic could get catalog item for about $40
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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But your gadget on top is fried too.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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This thread may be useful My earlier AC problem

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Old 06-09-2011, 03:45 AM   #6
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get a ''hard start'' capacitor kit. the capacitor will last longer and start the ac better.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:04 AM   #7
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The picture looks fairly common. Those are push-on terminals and they are bad about working loose. Once they get loose, everything starts getting hot. Replacement should be all you need.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:36 AM   #8
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I've had to replace 3 over the past 7 years. I believe it is caused by low voltage, and has always been on the #1 compressor, as that is the one used most.

I bought 2 replacement kits direct from RV Products, P/N 8333A9021 Start Device Package. It includes capacitor and start device, along with mounting strap and short wires.

I have bought the exact same package from RV parts counter. Many add them to roof units when a 3K generator is added to camper trailers.

The device that usually fry's is the P.T.C.R. (Positive Temperature Coefficient Resistor). This device takes the start capacitor out of the circuit when the compressor reaches running speed. I've always replaced the capacitor along with the P.T.C.R.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Update: Local large refridgeration dealer could sell me a capacitor but said they had nothing like the motor starter on top. Local Winnebago dealer had one kit (actually the capacitor, the motor starter and the wires) for about $11.00. I wanted a spare so found the complete kit at another local independent RV repair shop (capacitor, motor starter, wires, strap, instructions) for $25.00.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #10
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basement ac questions

SMLRanger....Same thing happened on my 02 Journey..Service tech suggested running new heavier guage wires to the capacitors and he did so. after a year everything looks as good as new..Tech said with low voltage and thinner wires, the wire must flow increased amps and that usually toasts the wires somewhat....good luck RKL
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
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SMLRanger....Same thing happened on my 02 Journey..Service tech suggested running new heavier guage wires to the capacitors and he did so. after a year everything looks as good as new..Tech said with low voltage and thinner wires, the wire must flow increased amps and that usually toasts the wires somewhat....good luck RKL
The kits I got today came with heavier wires which I used. It is hot here today. Interior of coach was 94 F, installed new capacitors, turned on AC, temp in coach was 76 F in 35 minutes. Both compressors start quickly.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:30 PM   #12
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SMLRanger, Just a suggestion while you have the A/C electronics panel cover off. Remove each spade connector you can find........crimp it a little tighter and reinstall....do them one at a time. Also, with shore power removed from coach tighten all the AC power connections at the bottom of the panel. Other than the capacitors the other component to fail is the compressor relays. they are the two bakelite rectangular electronics at the top right of the panel......top is #1 and 2nd one is #2 compressor. Inexpensive to carry as spares.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #13
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smlRanger--

You said you decided to take a peek, can you explain where and how you get to the electronics to take a peek? Is it very difficult or time consuming? I always thought the whole unit had to be dropped down in order to see anything. I have a 2004 Meridian which should be very close to your arrangement.

Appreciate any explanation you can give me as I have never been into my basement A/C in any way other than to just keep the filter changed. Every summer when we go out in the coach I keep my fingers crossed hoping the A/C won't go down on me seeing as how there would be no back-up like when there are 2 roof units.

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Old 06-10-2011, 06:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
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smlRanger--

You said you decided to take a peek, can you explain where and how you get to the electronics to take a peek? Is it very difficult or time consuming? I always thought the whole unit had to be dropped down in order to see anything. I have a 2004 Meridian which should be very close to your arrangement.

Appreciate any explanation you can give me as I have never been into my basement A/C in any way other than to just keep the filter changed. Every summer when we go out in the coach I keep my fingers crossed hoping the A/C won't go down on me seeing as how there would be no back-up like when there are 2 roof units.

Wagonmaster2
Access to the controls/capacitors is easy. Raise the exterior hinged panel (I have to remove two screws and loosen another to do that) and prop it up with something. At the left end of the AC unit, remove one screw at the bottom of the cover and remove it. All the electronics, capacitors, relays are exposed. The compressor start capacitors are in the middle at the bottom.
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