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AC Capacitors and Upkeep

Posted by on July 22, 2008

It always stands to reason that appliances or technological gadgets always seem to go down at the worst possible time.  Such was the case with the air conditioning in our RV.  The heat index down here has been hovering around 105 degrees the past few days.  You’ll remember a month ago I needed to replace a component of the electrical service entrance to a hefty monetary tune.  This time the front air conditioner compressor wouldn’t fully kick on.  It would try valiantly for a few seconds to come on.  And then revert to just blowing warm air.  Not at good situation during this sweltering heat.  A new acquaintance, Chuck, came to the rescue.chuckhvac.jpgChuck doesn’t have a website but he was such a pleasant experience that I told him I would give him some free advertisement here.  In the torrid heat he climbed atop the roof and removed the housing on the AC unit.  Apparently all I needed was a new starter and capacitor.  He spent about ten minutes atop the rig and another hour sharing some interesting stories about his life.  However, what he told me regarding AC units needs to be shared with other RVers.  Chuck said that most capacitors and starters are not meant to withstand the rigors of use with most fulltimers.  What manufacturers are now doing is to put commercial units into motorhomes, the same kind and quality that you would find in an 18-wheeler. The part was under $200 and well worth it.  We felt the rig getting considerably cooler as he chatted and made out the bill.   So if you find yourself having a bit of trouble with any of your AC units, whereby the compressor just doesn’t want to kick in for some reason, give it a try-replacing your old capacitor with a commercial unit.  It’s about the size of a shore line plug.  Chuck shared with me another idea that I want to share.  AC units need to be cleaned annually. I’m not talking about taking down your vents or louvres and vacuuming them with the wand and brush, that should be done monthly.  What I mean is to get the units cleaned from atop the roof.  In this way, the coils, condensor, compressor, capacitor and all other parts are checked and are running at full speed. Don’t be caught with an AC problem because you can be assured that you will have problems on the hottest days possible. I found Chuck to be one of the most interesting people I have ever encountered.  We chatted about backgrounds and ethnicity, growing up and the changes in society, politics and the not so different of the difference between Democrat and Republican.  The least I can do for him is give him a plug here.chuckad.jpg 

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