AC throws breaker and burns the outlet

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by bwanadevil, May 21, 2019.

  1. bwanadevil

    bwanadevil New Member

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    I'm in a 2007 Fleetwood Sea Pines with a Coleman AC. In high temperatures (100 degrees), the AC would shut off and throw the breaker. In addition it smoked and slightly melted the outlet.

    Once home, I opened up much of the camper to view wiring and got on top and pulled the cover to clean it. Visually, it all looks fine (except the outlet).

    I was plugged into a 30 amp outlet at the campground which is what the camper needs. Wiring was a 20 amp to a 20 amp outlet.

    Any suggestions on where to look next?

    https://i.imgur.com/1vRYshO.jpg
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    A/C pulling too many amps. Why? Are the coils clean? Dirty coils reduce air flow and increase load. Was the outlet and plug on A/C cord good? A bad connection causes resistance and that increases load. Do you have any way to measure amp draw? With a amb temp in the 80's it should pull around 13-14 amps.
     
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  3. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    If it's a 20 amp outlet on a 20 amp breaker I'll bet either the outlet or the AC plug was the initial failure. You'll need to replace both. It wouldn't hurt to replace the breaker. If the outlet is a double replace it with a single. If you see any signs of discoloration or burning on the wires cut them back to clean bright copper.
     
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  4. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    BigAl and Milemaker13 like this.
  5. Pozi

    Pozi Member

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    The outlets that come in our PUPs are utterly sh!t - specifically made for mobile homes. I'm willing to bet it was a bad connection at the outlet. Pick yourself up an outlet at your local big box store and wire it up properly.

    Did you have something plugged into the outlet at the time?

    Is the AC and outlet on separate circuits? Ideally they would.
     
  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    What was the incoming source voltage under load from the A/C compressor?
     
  7. bwanadevil

    bwanadevil New Member

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    @joet . I took the cover off the AC unit last night and it looks relatively clean. I went ahead and cleaned it a bit. No real way for me to check amp draw any time soon. I'm unplugged and can't plug into a source easily.

    @SteveP I can certainly replace the outlet and swapping it out for a single makes a lot of sense. I can also replace the plug too. Thanks for the tips.

    @Rabid, yep that's what it looks like. Not sure you saw the image I linked in my post. Seems like the same issue as the others.

    @Pozi I don't have to replace it an outlet from an RV parts store? Thought it was a special fit for the wiring etc. Id love it if I can go to Lowe's as that's muuuuch closer.

    @GreyFox that I don't know and will have to move the camper to check. I might be able to check by the weekend.

    Thanks for all the replies and good advice.
     
  8. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    You should be able to use a standard outlet from the hardware store. A single like steve suggested is a good idea. Replace the plug end too.
     
  9. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Don't go cheap on the "standard" receptacle. Many levels of standard at big box stores. Look for the receptacle that contains the wire under a clamp, not a screw. Wires can move under a screw while being tightened, and the push in type should be outlawed.
     
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  10. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Well-Known Member

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    As milemaker13 said, any standard 20A outlet from the big box store will work. I replaced all of the outlets in my pup. Buy a single outlet like the picture below, so nobody will be tempted to plug anything else into the outlet at the same time as the AC.

    Screenshot_20190521-200251.jpg
     
  11. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    WrkrBee is right... the outlet you buy should cost more than 98c...
     
  12. bwanadevil

    bwanadevil New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, all. I got a moderately priced single 20 amp outlet and plug at Lowe's. I'll do the work tomorrow which doesn't look like it will take me too long. You saved me from driving an hour each way to the RV parts store and getting a cheap equivalent.
     
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  13. brwarrior

    brwarrior Active Member

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    You may also need an old work box. These garbage receptacles don't require boxes I guess and any normal receptacle you buy at a store will require a box to protect contact with the terminals.
     
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