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Old 07-27-2014, 01:36 PM   #1
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Basement AC Sanity Check

Hi All,

I have been trying to get a handle on my AC issues and I think that I have it figured out. I am looking for a sanity check before I start spending money or ripping things apart.

My AC either works poorly or not at all. Compressor #1 never starts and #2 is intermittent.

Regarding #2, when I rap on the thermostat when it is not working, I hear a click and it starts to work. This tells me that I need a thermostat to solve this issue.

Troubleshooting #1 has been more interesting. Both fans start up and run just fine. I have swapped the run and start capacitors (along with the little motor start square) from #1 to #2 compressors with no change in behavior. This tells me that the caps are OK. I have metered both motors and they are both 6.4 ohms, at least they are the same and not open. I have measured the voltage at the motor leads and #1 shows 299 volts and #2 shows 247. I believe that I need a new #1 compressor.

There may be other issues when I pull the unit such as leaks in the coils.

So, has my thinking slid off the rails or am I on the right track here?

I would like to have the parts on hand when I pull the unit but am open to suggestions on a better way to handle this.

Thanks to all who have gone before me and documented their work. It has been most valuable.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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A further note:

In looking over the winny parts manual, I see something called an "overload protector" as a separate piece sitting on top of the compressor. How does this fit into things?
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #3
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bruceh, If you will go to the following link and read Dunner's excellent information on rebuilding the Basement Air Conditioner, I think you should have all the information you need. Also if you have any questions you can PM Dunner and I'm sure he will be happy to help.


https://sites.google.com/site/billmarie2008/


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Old 07-27-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
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I have read Duner's write up and it is excellent and has been very helpful to me.

He was solving a somewhat different problem that I am.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:57 AM   #5
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#2 system will not start unless the #1 system is running properly. There has to be 3 deg difference in the call and actual temp for the # 2 system to run.
i suggest that you substitute or replace parts to get your # 1 system operating before removing the unit and throwing $$ aat it.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
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bruceh, I would start by confirming you have a call for cool from the thermostat, the signal to run compressor #1 and #2 comes from the thermostat.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAN L View Post
#2 system will not start unless the #1 system is running properly. There has to be 3 deg difference in the call and actual temp for the # 2 system to run.
i suggest that you substitute or replace parts to get your # 1 system operating before removing the unit and throwing $$ aat it.
I have confirmed that system #1 does not operate at all. I made the setpoint just one degree below ambient. Indoor and outdoor fans come and their is a brief current surge as compressor #1 attempts to start. No cooling at all.

As I lower the setpoint, compressor #2 starts, the current draw goes up and I get cooling. All that the thermostat knows is that it called for system #1, it has no idea of whether it is operating correctly or not.

I have swapped all of the capacitors from system #1 to system #2 with no effect. I am pretty sure that I have a compressor problem. My question is:

How can I be completely confident that I need a compressor and how does the overload protector fit into the picture?

This is the point at which I have to throw money and I am looking for additional input before I do that.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammie View Post
bruceh, If you will go to the following link and read Dunner's excellent information on rebuilding the Basement Air Conditioner, I think you should have all the information you need. Also if you have any questions you can PM Dunner and I'm sure he will be happy to help.


https://sites.google.com/site/billmarie2008/


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I regret to inform you that Mike Beatty "Dunner" passed away on May 29 2014. May he rest in peace.

See post http://www.irv2.com/forums/f67/dunne...ty-205674.html
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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I think he's referring to another member Duner. Not Dunner.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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Is the 6.4 ohms reading across the run and start terminals? You may know this, to check the motor windings read from the common to start, common to run, and run to start. The run to start should be the total of the other two reading added together. If it's not close there's a problem with the windings. Also check from the compressor terminals to the compressor case to check for a short to ground. The overload is a thermal safety device for high current draw. You can swap it with the other one to see if it is your problem. Check the amp draw when the #1 compressor is trying to start. Should be a tag that shows the locked rotor amps of the compressor either on the compressor or on the unit.

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Old 07-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #11
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I think he's referring to another member Duner. Not Dunner.
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You are so right, sorry for the misinformation.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:36 AM   #12
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Does the system act the same in the electric heat mode?
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:15 AM   #13
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Does the system act the same in the electric heat mode?
Interesting point! As soon as I read your post, I went out and tried it.

The behavior is identical. The motor home inside was 92 degrees (hot here) and set the thermostat to 93. Inside and outside blowers came on and a brief current surge to 17 amps settling down to 10 amps. When I set the thermostat higher, the second compressor came on making heat and raising the current draw.

I am concluding that I have a compressor #1 problem. I will swap the current overload before ordering a new compressor.

I can't do this for a week or so since I won't be at the motorhome location.

I am thinking of fabricating a wood table to slide out the AC. Spending $150 for a hydraulic table that I would probably only use once doesn't seem like a great idea. I have some scrap lumber laying around.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:10 PM   #14
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bruceh,

If it was me I would change out the Coleman t-stat first before pulling out the basement unit, as I think it is possible that it is the cause of both #2 and #1. The slider Heat/Off/Cool is two slide switches ganged together and with use over time they get loosen up. Then the pair of switches don't stay sync'd up and can put the control board into invalid operating modes.

You probably have another issue, but intermittent problems with the dang Coleman Mach can be very confusing.

Good luck,
Bill

PS: Sad news about Dunner, many folks get us mixed up. He contacted me early on as a new member of iRV2. He wanted my screen name as we both have sandrails and are frequent visitors to the Glamis sand dunes in Southern California. R.I.P Dunner
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