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Old 04-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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Heatpump: only one compressor working?

While camping in 85 degree heat a terrible smell started inside the MH. We could also smell it while sitting outside. It is a chemical/electrical smell . The heatpump cycled uneven. We turned it off.
The next day we checked the breakers to see if we could isolate the problem. The #1 AC circuit works but the #2 AC circuit does not work. Did we lose one of the compressors or could it be a burned wire?
We keep the AC running on only the #1 circuit and it is doing a reasonable job of cooling the inside. Are we stressing the unit by only running one compressor?
How can we get this fixed?? Our unit is 10 years old and has been trouble free sofar.mad:...
The heat pump unit is primary used in Winnebago products. Is Campingworld the only one left who can fix it since they seem to be buying all the independent dealers? We lost our Winnebago dealer..

As always I count on your input. It has helped so much in the past!
Ellen
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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We lost a compressor on our basement unit about a year ago and had it repaired by a local RV company. You don't need to go to a Winnie dealer to have it done. Check around your local area and you can probably find someone who can do it for you.

Plan on a few days without the unit. In our case they had to order the part but once they received the part, installation was rather quick.

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Old 04-16-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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Very common to have a start capacitor fry or a wire to it overheat.. Try calling a residential ac repair and tell them it is a basement unit similar to a residential unit and can be serviced electrically thru a service access door. Tell them what name is the unit. I have used residential repairs befor. Ask for an upgraded start capacitor and have them replace burnt wires with heavier guage. Parts are very common and usually are on truck...Good luck. Rkl
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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We had a simular problem while staying in AZ. We had a mobil rv repair person out. The biggest deal was pulling the heat/A/C pump out to get to the problem. Ours was as I remember a 15.00 item, but the labor!!! Once every thing was back together the tech found the duct was leaking. We were able to get it sealed as it was leaking at the tail lite height, so we could reach the seperation. The A/C now will keep us cool, something it did not do before.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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Call a local residential HVAC contractor.

Any technical documents they can find here. Click link

And if they need documentation on the R&R they can find that here. Click link

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Oh, you are not stressing the unit. Sounds like only one circuit is running, it really does not care about if the other is working.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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We just had this exact same problem repaired. The RV shop we used sub-contracted the work to a local HVAC company. Long story but I got screwed the AC repair guy flushed the system because the fluid was burned and black. When I got my rig back the AC worked great but now my heat pump will not work. Supposedly the heat pump vales are clogged with contamination from the burned fluid. My warranty company won't cover the repair of the heat pump valves, neither will the RV shop and the HVAC company Says not our fault we fixed the AC as contracted.

When you get yours fixed make sure they don't over charge you and both systems work before you accept the repair work. Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:00 AM   #7
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I spoke with RV Products to order parts when I changed the bearings and fan per Duner's excellent instructions and they didn't recommend putting in a heavy duty starter/capacitor. Their reasoning was that the original parts were sort of a fusible link that would blow before damage to other, more expensive, parts. They did recommend carring a spare, which I do. It can be changed without pulling the unit.

Good luck,
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPO_Retired View Post
We just had this exact same problem repaired. The RV shop we used sub-contracted the work to a local HVAC company. Long story but I got screwed the AC repair guy flushed the system because the fluid was burned and black. When I got my rig back the AC worked great but now my heat pump will not work. Supposedly the heat pump vales are clogged with contamination from the burned fluid. My warranty company won't cover the repair of the heat pump valves, neither will the RV shop and the HVAC company Says not our fault we fixed the AC as contracted.

When you get yours fixed make sure they don't over charge you and both systems work before you accept the repair work. Good luck.

The "heat pump" valve is a reversing valve. If you work fine on cooling mode you should also work fine on heating mode. The refrigerant goes through the same valve. Have another technician look at it. Maybe its as simple as the control board is not sending the signal to the reversing valve.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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Go to the mfg'ers website at Airxcel | RV Products | and check for service locations in your area ...pay attention to the code that indicates roof, basement, etc. When you find one, call them and verify that they actually do service basement units. I have had bad experiences using people who are not trained on these units but assure me they can fix it ...many of them don't have a clue. And some have admitted to me on the phone that they have never worked on on even though the web site says they are certified. It is most likely a start capacitor and also some burned wiring.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKL View Post
Very common to have a start capacitor fry or a wire to it overheat.. Try calling a residential ac repair and tell them it is a basement unit similar to a residential unit and can be serviced electrically thru a service access door. Tell them what name is the unit. I have used residential repairs befor. Ask for an upgraded start capacitor and have them replace burnt wires with heavier guage. Parts are very common and usually are on truck...Good luck. Rkl
" have them replace burnt wires with heavier guage."

NONONO. You might as well tell them to put in a larger breaker. Wire size is dictated by the manufacturer and is likely correct for the application.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug512 View Post

The "heat pump" valve is a reversing valve. If you work fine on cooling mode you should also work fine on heating mode. The refrigerant goes through the same valve. Have another technician look at it. Maybe its as simple as the control board is not sending the signal to the reversing valve.
Thanks for that info. I am going to have someone else look at it, however I was going to wait until the fall. As I said it is a long story but I was told that there was more then one valve and they both could be clogged I have no idea as I am not an AC person I am just upset that no one wanted to step up and fix it without charging me double.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:16 AM   #12
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There is more then one valve, there is two ! Because there are two circuits.

But I am sure both were not burnt.

Best if luck with your findings and let us know.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:57 PM   #13
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When you say the electric heat doesn't work, do you mean nothing at all? No indoor blower, outdoor blower, compressor?

If the reversing valve is not working, then in the heat mode you would get cooling.

The main difference between electric heat and cooling mode, in cooling mode compressor circuits are controlled by tstat, in electric heat mode, once the tstat calls for heat, all basement actions are handled by the basement unit pc board.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:43 PM   #14
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Chief
When you say the electric heat doesn't work, do you mean nothing at all? No indoor blower, outdoor blower, compressor?

If the reversing valve is not working, then in the heat mode you would get cooling.

The main difference between electric heat and cooling mode, in cooling mode compressor circuits are controlled by tstat, in electric heat mode, once the tstat calls for heat, all basement actions are handled by the basement unit pc board.
When I select electric heat the blower & compressor come on but instead of warm/hot air I get cool/cold air. Which as I understand it means the reversing valve is not working. I will also have them look at the pc board thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:22 AM   #15
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The reversing valves default to cooling when no power is applied.

They are 110 V AC.

They rarely go bad mechanically, and the odds of both going bad at the same time is high, IMHO.

They are wired together, I would test the pc board terminals for voltage. (I think T18 and T19)

In the heat mode, both reversing valves are energized.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #16
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Success!
Thanks for the suggestion the capacitor might be bad. We figured out how to find the hidden screws to open the basement compartment door. Got into the heat pump and found the burned capacitor. I contacted the manufacturer via email and was assured this was something we could do. The replacement capacitor was less than $25!!! It came today and it took just a few minutes to put in. Everything seems to be working great.
The part came with 2 new wires and we only used just one. The other one was in good shape.

A certain nationwide repair store was going to charge us over $600. They were also going to replace the board which was not necessary.
Thanks for all your help. Again this forum came through for me .Awesome.
Ellen
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #17
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I am of the opinion that my #1 ccompressor is not functioning properly. When I start the AC, the overhead fan runs as does the outside fanbut the compressor doesn't seem to be running; e.g. no cool air unless the #2 compressor cuts in.

Further, when I start the AC, I see the amps spike briefly up to about 17 and then very quickly go back to 9.

How to diagnose futher? I tried turning off the circuit breakers (one by one) and got nothing.

Was the capacitor damage easy to spot?
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #18
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If the capacitors are the same as mine, it is very easy to see which failed. It is literally charred.
To access the heat pump you need to open the outside panel. In our 2003 model there are two hidden screws under the left side underneath the coach and two screws on the right side after you open the door to the LP compartment. Then there is a small steel plate on the left side of the heat pump, with one screw. The circuit board and capacitors are behind it. If they are bad it will be visually evident. Also check the wiring and the circuit board for damage.The capacitor can easily be disconnected and you can just order a new one from RV Products Airxcel . They were very helpful. They may also be able to trouble shoot some more as to why nothing happens when only one circuit breaker is turned on. (that is how I read your letter.)
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:46 PM   #19
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Thanks for the information, I will dive in tommorow now that I am home.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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I thought one or both of my compressors had failed but it turned out to be the fan starting capacitors. Post #18 describes the procedure the RV repairman used to access and fix mine.
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