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Old 08-29-2015, 10:55 AM   #1
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Dometic Brisk Air II Heat Strip Add

I'm exploring options. I'm considering adding heat strips to my two ACs.
The main AC is a 15.5k ducted model controlled by a thermostat similar to the white one shown below. This main thermostat also controls the furnace. Would I need to install a thermostat, similar to the black one shown below, in order to control the furnace separately from the heat strip? Can I utilize the existing thermostat if I want the heat strip to run simultaneously with the furnace?

The garage AC is a 13.5k non-ducted model controlled by a thermostat similar to the white one shown below. Can I utilize the existing thermostat and wire the heat strip contacts to the wall thermostat's furnace contacts? The garage thermostat does not control the furnace.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 08-29-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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You would have to replace at least one thermostat for sure. Don't see a reason why you couldn't replace both as they seem to be independent.

We installed the strip in ours. You will need to buy the strip itself which goes in from up top and the thermostat which will come with a new brain box (both installed from below). Make sure you get the thermostat/box for the heat strip as I have seen a third set up for "heat pump".
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:39 AM   #3
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After rereading your post, let me give a more accurate answer.

"Would I need to install a thermostat, similar to the black one shown below, in order to control the furnace separately from the heat strip?"

Yes to control the heat strip you would need a new thermostat, potentially for both ac units if you want strips in both of them.

"Can I utilize the existing thermostat if I want the heat strip to run simultaneously with the furnace?"

No, one thermostat runs the whole system (one ac and one furnace). Will get into the wiring in a minute.

"The garage AC is a 13.5k non-ducted model controlled by a thermostat similar to the white one shown below. Can I utilize the existing thermostat and wire the heat strip contacts to the wall thermostat's furnace contacts?"

No the heatstrip utilizes a special plug into the brain box and cannot be tied into the furnace output.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:54 AM   #4
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For reference on the wiring... Most importantly, disconnect all power 110vac and 12vdc before starting.

The actual strip goes inside the rooftop unit. You have to remove the cover (4 screws IIRC) and remove the styrofoam insulator. The strip simply slides in and attaches with included screws into predrilled holes. Rather easy. Dangle the strips power cord down through the roof opening and reassemble the foam and ac unit cover.

Inside the rv remove the filter cover and you will see your strip power cable dangling and the old brain box (I am sure it has a better name but that is what I will call it). There will be four sets of wires going into it. A normal three strand 110 wire (hot, neutral, and ground) attached by wire nuts, a squarish cannon plug that is the connection to the rooftop unit, a plug that looks like a phone jack which is the thermostat connection, and a small gauge two wire lead going to the furnace. The two furnace wires are low voltage and trigger the furnace (it will have its own 12v wiring going to it). The new box will have a fifth plug in for the heatstrip. The plugs are all different shapes so it is pretty idiot proof. Word of caution, the old brain box was plastic and held in place by a half threaded wood screw. The new box is made of sheet metal and I replaced the goofy (overly long) wood screw with a short sheet metal screw utilizing the same predrilled attachment holes. That screw somehow came into contact exactly with the hot 110v input and shorted out the minute I put power to it. I removed the screws and used double sided 3m automotive trim tape to secure the brain box to the ac unit.

The thermostat is wired in with three small set screws. Take a picture with a smartphone so you don't forget which color wire goes to which screw.

Hth. Minus the Sparks and removal of offending screws, the install took less than an hour. If you choose to put strips in both ac units, you will need two new thermostats with two new brain boxes. If you have any more questions let me know.

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Old 08-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #5
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We have heat strips in both our AC's and as for us the heat strips do not perform satisfactorily. They're a long time running before any semblance of heat is felt and they never supply enough heat to make a difference. We do not use the heat strip mode. Our fireplace does a commendable job when heat is needed and don't want to run the furnaces. A heat strip is not a heat pump and there is a huge difference in performance. If you make the install hope you will not be disappointed.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
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Very informative. Thank you very much!

I'll start my search now for the best price and actual part numbers and post an update.

Do you know if the heat strip part is universal to each AC size (13.5 and 15.5)? Or would there be different heat strip types for the units?

Thanks again for the help.




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Old 08-29-2015, 02:58 PM   #7
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Bubbles did you leave the heat on long enough? We are only talking about 1500 watts of heat with a massive amount of air being blown through. The heat is slow but will heat the coach. We never use the actual furnace unless temps get below freezing. Even then our furnace only kicks in at the coldest when the strip can't keep up.

R3 I think the parts are serialized for the individual units (size). The 15.5k btu is probably different than the 13.5k unit. I googled the actual part number (found on the ac unit) with the words heat strip to find the parts. Think I got the thermostat from amazon and the strip from another supplier. I know the ac part number is on the roof unit, but it might also be inside the filter cover inside the rv saving a hike on the roof.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:01 PM   #8
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This is the original post I stumbled on where another member z3406 had gone through this legwork. His posts were instrumental in getting mine up and running.

Heat Strip Install
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #9
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I also have a recently purchased Nitro 31 FQSL. Is your garage a/c factory installed? If so how do you deal with running both units on 30 amps. We have found that on hot and humid days our 15k unit just can't keep us cool and I am looking for options. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sc00ter View Post
This is the original post I stumbled on where another member z3406 had gone through this legwork. His posts were instrumental in getting mine up and running.

Heat Strip Install

Thanks for the info. I live in Florida so the winters are very mild. I believe the heat strips will keep temps up without using furnace most of the time.




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