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Old 06-14-2017, 03:21 PM   #1
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AC on 20 amp circuit

I have a 2015 Sunseeker 2400R on the MBS chassis. I have it plugged into 20amp shore power in my driveway. Just out of curiosity, I turned off the fridge and turned on the AC on low fan. It came on just fine and I heard the compressor kick in and started feeling cold air. It ran for about 7 minutes, then stopped for 10 seconds, I heard a beep and it came on again. I'm guessing it's not good to run it continuously on a 20amp circuit. I'm frankly surprised it came on at all. Also, I've heard there are adapters to join two 20amp circuits with regular 3 prong plugs to one 30amp plug. I've got two outlets on that side of my house that are on separate circuits, each of them 20amp. Has anyone used one of these adapters successfully? Interested in your comments.
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #2
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an adapter like that would be extremely dangerous and I would not advise it.

if you did it when one plus is in an outlet the other plug would be hot, also you need to be sure both outlets are from the same side of the house 220V line, otherwise there will be major fireworks when you plug the second one in. Also there is no guarantee that it will get equal current from both outlets so it still may trip.

I am surprised the AC started then dropped out. are you sure it is actually a 20A circuit with a minimum of 12ga wire?
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
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an adapter like that would be extremely dangerous and I would not advise it.

if you did it when one plus is in an outlet the other plug would be hot, also you need to be sure both outlets are from the same side of the house 220V line, otherwise there will be major fireworks when you plug the second one in. Also there is no guarantee that it will get equal current from both outlets so it still may trip.

I am surprised the AC started then dropped out. are you sure it is actually a 20A circuit with a minimum of 12ga wire?
Yes, I'm sure it's a 20 amp breaker wired in with 12ga romex by a professional electrician. I'm also using a 12ga 20' extension cord, larger than the standard ones you buy. Thanks for the advice, I don't want any fireworks, didn't think about insuring both plugs are on the same side of the 220 volt, although I could check that easily.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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Your A/C should run fine on a 20 amp circuit, as long as no other 120 volt components are drawing current. Keep in mind that when your batteries require charging, the converter/charger can draw quite a lot of current.

Suggest you turn off ALL other 120 volt breakers except the A/C and do a re-test.

Good info here:

http://www.rv-dreams.com/rv-electrical.html
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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Blue pill. The AC is on a 20amp breaker. Turned off all other breakers and it ran for 6 mins then clicked off for ten seconds. Heard a beep and it came back on as before.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:20 PM   #6
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I have run mine on 20 amp circuit when visiting family and have not had a problem. Don't run it on anything less would be my recommendation. Check you power cord is not getting hot and you should be fine. Could something on the house side be drawing on that same circuit?
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:01 PM   #7
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Do you have the ability to plug into another 20 amp circuit in the house? Kitchen and Bath are usually 20 amp in modern construction. If you use an extension cord, make sure it is 12 gauge.

This is a test of your current circuit breaker. If it works OK, you probably have a tired breaker.

The other test option is to swap wires between two 20 amp breakers inside the main panel, but unless you are willing to kill the power at the main breaker (and your whole house), you would be working around 240 volts in a confined area - quite dangerous.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:13 AM   #8
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AC require a large surge of amps to get started, but once started should run fine on that circuit.

I would look with a heat measuring gun for a hot connection that is causing resistance and popping the breaker.

In the house , in the RV, in the connecting wires.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:28 AM   #9
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I find nothing in the OPs narrative that suggest that THE BREAKER popped when he ran his AC. Only that it stopped, beeped and then came back on. Breakers don't do that. 20 amps should be fine if the AC is the only load.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:37 AM   #10
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Did you pop a breaker anywhere? That is the sign of an overload. Did your fan change speeds after it stopped? If your fan is in the auto mode it may stop to change speeds. Try it on high or low speed and see if it stops.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:42 AM   #11
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First post says he ran the fan on low speed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:57 AM   #12
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It is possible that over the total length of the wire run and connectors, you had a reasonable voltage drop. This will cause the compressor to heat up which can trip its thermal overload protection. As it cooled down, it will reset and restart. The largest stress on the unit when running on any size circuit is when it restarts after after a short time of b being off. The pressure has not equalized and the compressor has a higher head to overcome to start. Think of trying to start a circular saw with the blade already in contact with the wood vs waiting until its up to speed to engage the wood.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:03 AM   #13
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On my rig, when the compressor first kicks in, it draws anywhere from 14 to 18 amps. I have witnessed the 18 amps surge when the compressor had shut off, and the thermostat tried to kick it back up within a short period of time. On a 20 amp circuit, I have seen the voltage drop to 105 volts, with only lights and the fridge on. Not ideal for the compressor.
My fridge uses 1 to 2 amps on 120 V when running and 4 amps to start its compressor. In my situation both A/C and fridge trying to start their respective compressors gets awfully close to 20 amps, adding for loss on the extension cord, I would be bumping up to the limits.
The beep you heard may be your power protector, if you have one installed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:25 AM   #14
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It came on just fine and I heard the compressor kick in and started feeling cold air. It ran for about 7 minutes, then stopped for 10 seconds, I heard a beep and it came on again
Hmm. You know, my AC sometimes does the same thing (maybe without the beep?) It'll run for a while, then maybe the compressor shuts down briefly, then it all comes back on? To be honest, I'm not sure of the exact sequence but I have certainly noticed it. For me, it's an intermittent thing and, other than just seeming a little odd, it doesn't seem to be a problem. I'll try to remember to note the exact sequence of things ... but I'm old, so I'll probably forget by the next time it happens.

I don't think it's related to the power supply - I think it's some interaction of the thermostat and/or the AC unit itself. (My AC is actually the Dometic 15,000 BTU heat pump model with the Dometic Single Zone LCD thermostat...I don't think Joe mentioned his specific models)

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Old 06-15-2017, 08:43 AM   #15
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It is possible that over the total length of the wire run and connectors, you had a reasonable voltage drop.
X2. Symptoms sure sound like voltage drop ... you could plug a voltage meter in anywhere in the RV and see what you get with the A/C OFF, then kick it up and see how far it droops, would not be at all surprised to see it go down to 105 or even as low as 90 Volts. "Yukk."

There could be some fix if it were discovered that there were loose connections ... but these could be anywhere from the house fuse panel through the 20A outlet, the cord connectors, where the cable connector is coming into the MH, the power panel connections, and the connections at the A/C itself. This is of course, the domain for a qualified electrician.

For pulling 20 amps, it might work better if you could have a SINGLE extension cord of 10 Gauge from the house outlet to the MH input, but that still presumes everything else is good and snug.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:10 AM   #16
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Hmm. You know, my AC sometimes does the same thing (maybe without the beep?) It'll run for a while, then maybe the compressor shuts down briefly, then it all comes back on? To be honest, I'm not sure of the exact sequence but I have certainly noticed it. For me, it's an intermittent thing and, other than just seeming a little odd, it doesn't seem to be a problem. I'll try to remember to note the exact sequence of things ... but I'm old, so I'll probably forget by the next time it happens.

I don't think it's related to the power supply - I think it's some interaction of the thermostat and/or the AC unit itself. (My AC is actually the Dometic 15,000 BTU heat pump model with the Dometic Single Zone LCD thermostat...I don't think Joe mentioned his specific models)

Dave
X's 2 here it is not a voltage problem on the 120 volt side it is on the 12 volt side such as posted Dometic will do that. Coleman can also do that caused by a bad stat. Drop the temp down atleast 10 degrees down and see what happens. ... PS: if your compressor went off on internal overload it would never cool enough to kick back on, I need a little more info, such as do you have a ems system, type of stat and unit, it sounds like a time delay problem to me and I did A/C work my whole life.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:23 AM   #17
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Don't forget about the converter. It could be charging batteries and drawing a lot of current and dropping voltage.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSteiner View Post
Yes, I'm sure it's a 20 amp breaker wired in with 12ga romex by a professional electrician. I'm also using a 12ga 20' extension cord, larger than the standard ones you buy. Thanks for the advice, I don't want any fireworks, didn't think about insuring both plugs are on the same side of the 220 volt, although I could check that easily.
A 20 amp Duplex has a "T" shaped slot; a 15 amp Duplex has two slots.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:33 AM   #19
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Issue resolved. I do have a 15 amp receptacle on the house, but all the breakers in the service panel are 20 amp. I was using a 50' 12ga extension cord connected to my 25' RV cord. With that the AC was drawing 15 to 16 amps and the voltage was 108 to 109. I switched to the 25' RV cord with a 1' pigtail to plug into my house receptacle. With that set-up the AC was drawing the same 15 to 16 amps but the voltage was 110 to 111. AC ran fine for 17 minutes with no drop outs. Figure my issue was that extra 50' of extension cord. Thank you everyone for the comments.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #20
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Joe, good work
Question, was that 50-footer coiled up when you were trying ??? Reason for asking, if coiled, it could have been acting like a large inductor / choke, which in really lay terms, causes "strange" things to happen.
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