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Old 08-03-2010, 15:22   #1
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Cruisair Trips Breaker - Please Help

I've been helping a marina friend with his Cruiseair reverse cycle A/C but I'm stumped for lack of specific information. The system will try to restart after cycling off with the thermostat almost immediately. There is no delay or thermostat differential. This seems to cause high starting current from the high pressure start and circuit breaker trip. When the system is initially turned on there is no problem. The difficulty is only when the unit restarts.

Questions:

The system has the rotary knob control, is there a way to adjust the temperature differential to give the compressor time to equalize pressure prior to restart?

Is there supposed to be a time delay on restart?

Has anyone seen this problem before? Do you have any advice?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2010, 16:32   #2
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Is the temp sensor connected? where is it located?
All the controls I know have a display and keypad and allow you to set many many parameters. It's all excellently explained in the manual too!

Edit: what you mean is the hysteresis of the thermostat. It is adjustable and described in the manual.

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Old 08-03-2010, 17:01   #3
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Thanks for the reply Nick. This control doesn't have a keypad, it's an analog system with three knobs. On-Fan-Off, Fan Speed and Temperature. Obviously an older system. The owners manual for the system gives virtually no information of a technical nature. The unit is located under the dinette seat in a Carver 36.
Craig
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Old 08-03-2010, 17:08   #4
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Bad compressor, bad circuit breaker, bad wiring, corrosion on connectors, problem with the water pump, bad capacitor, pressure switch and a few other issues. WG
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Old 08-03-2010, 17:16   #5
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From memory, there is a hysterisis set screw on the back side of the thermostat, just a screw. But as is almost always the case with these older units you will need to check two other things first. 1, check all of the caps to be sure that you're not starting the compressor with a dead start cap. 2, while running, check the compressor current draw with a clamp on meter. as these things age they are harder to turn, and even harder to start. I'll put my money on the bad start capacitor, caused by a higher current draw.
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Old 08-03-2010, 17:33   #6
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Thanks Sailmonkey, I'll look for the set screw when I get the opportunity. I really didn't consider the capacitors since it starts ok when it has been turned off for a while. It goes off and on again almost instantly when it cycles on temperature. I believe that the start-up without time to first equalize refrigerent pressure is what is causing the overcurrent trip.
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Old 08-03-2010, 18:25   #7
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Is this cycle taking place in cooling or heating mode? If in cooling mode, it may be that you have inadaquate flow from the water pump">raw water pump throgh the heat exchanger. If so, the thermal cut-off on the compressor will shut the system down after which the thermostat immediately tries to restart the unit which it cannot do until the compressor has settled, in which case the circuit breaker blows. We had a similar problem with our 16 year old system and it proved to be an obstruction in the raw water intake line (sea grass) at the through hull. Once we blew water back through the raw water feed line, all was well.

FWIW...
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Old 08-03-2010, 20:09   #8
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Thanks svHyLyte what you are saying seems to fit the symptoms that we are having. Too bad it is still 5 weeks til boating season here in Connecticut. But you have given me a good lead to look into. I'll make sure that the system is clear on this years commissioning. Thanks again.

Craig
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:26   #9
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I have a Cruisair self-contained unit that is about 4 1/2 years old now. Once when I hadn't cleaned the filter for the water intake for several months and some plastic got stuck in there, significantly decreasing the water flow, the pressure switch in the new unit completely shut down the system. They are set up to do this and it's a great safety feature.

Also, I have a 30-amp system and if you have a water heater and small refrigerator running, then add something like a Sears dehumidifier ... **Pop** The internal breaker will flip after a short while. They do have a serious draw:

A/C Air Conditioner-Heater: Cruisair SXR16 Stowaway V with Rotary;
Cool Draw: 11.8 Amp x 115 Volts = 1357 Watts
Heat Draw: 15.0 Amps x 115 Volts = 1725 Watts
Startup Draw: 45 Amps x 115 Volts = 5175 Watts (Surge Capacity)

A/C Air Conditioner Saltwater Pump:
2.5 Running Amps (Max Spec - so may be less) x 115 Volts = 287.5 Watts
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:59   #10
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Thanks for the info D_e_n_n_i_s,
More and more I'm thinking it has something to do with water flow although my friend who owns the system doesn't believe it. With the information I have now, I think I'll be able to check out what is causing the initial shutdown, it may not be the normal cycling of the thermostat control.

Thanks for the current specs. I find it interesting that it draws more on the heat cycle. Does anyone know why? I always thought that the operation was the same for heat or cool with just a positioning of a 4-way solenoid in the refrigerent loop. Maybe the solenoid draws 3.2 Amps.

Since the boat has two 30 Amp shore power circuits I've been able to isolate the A/C unit. The problem happens with nothing else running on that circuit.

Craig
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:20   #11
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How old is this unit? and how large? The other thing may be, if too large and new, that it is always going to short cycle. One last thing is to check the cold air distribution, how far away from the return air?
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:27   #12
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The boat is about 18-20 years old, original system that has worked ok until last season.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:48   #13
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The draw in the heat cycle is more because the BTU output is more.

I have no clue about an 18-20 year old CruisAir unit. I didn't think they would last that long and they will be much different than modern ones. We just replaced ours and went from 16kBTU to 18 kBTU with less power consumption. The old unit was from 2003.

If you have the new types with a control panel with display, it will show you a status code when something is wrong, like "high pressure". It will also clearly show if the thermostat has switched the compressor on or off.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:13   #14
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Most people around here really don't use the air or heat too often. Systems seem to last for a long time. The do come in handy while at the dock during an August heat wave. This unit is a 16 k. Do you have any idea how they develop the additional BTUs on the heat cycle?
Thanks again,
Craig
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:17   #15
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While heating you get to keep the heat generated by the compressor, that while cooling is dumped overboard as lost energy
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