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Old 07-01-2020, 05:17 PM   #1
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AC pops circuit breaker

We are delivering our new to us 87 Jefferson Sundeck home from the Fla Keys and the master AC is now popping the circuit breaker after about a minute of run time. I can run the fan only with no issue but when I turn the control to run the breaker shuts off soon after. This is a relatively new aqua air unit. Worked great the first two days after getting the boat now not so much. Any ideas??
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:27 PM   #2
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How soon is soon after?

Does it pop after resting for an hour or more? Or only after use for a bit?

Do you hear or feel the raw water pump start?

Do you hear or feel the compressor start?

Do you hear anything weird, like a buzzing?

How many btu is the unit? What is the rating of the breaker? Gauge of the wire?

Is the seacock open? Can you look out to see if there is good waterflow before it pops?

If you look at the unit, itself, does it look normal, or frosty? Does it feel normal or hot?

Are you on genset or shore power? What is the voltage under load? What about frequency? If you cant measure frequency directly and on genset what is model and rpm of genset?
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:48 PM   #3
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If it is only popping on the generator, what is the BTU rating of the AC and KW rating of the generator.

Ted
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:57 PM   #4
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If it is only popping on the generator, what is the BTU rating of the AC and KW rating of the generator.

Ted
The OP didn't state the genny was being loaded down on startup. (I have had experience with this)

If this is the case you may need a "soft start" kit.

When you move the knob for fan is the raw water pump running? Does it run when you engage the AC? If not it sounds like the raw water pump is not running.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:16 PM   #5
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The OP didn't state the genny was being loaded down on startup. (I have had experience with this)

If this is the case you may need a "soft start" kit.

When you move the knob for fan is the raw water pump running? Does it run when you engage the AC? If not it sounds like the raw water pump is not running.
I was also thinking a soft start kit, but wanted to make sure to eliminate other causes first.

Ted
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:54 PM   #6
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The breaker pops within one minute of turning the knob from start Position to run which engages the compressor. This happens on shore power as well as generator. The cooling pump is running and putting out plenty of water as the second ac unit which happens to be 33 years old is running fine on the same cooling pump.
I am thinking perhaps the compressor is locked up or the start capacitor Is bad.
This happens even after a long rest so it is not over heated.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:08 PM   #7
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So it is running for almost a minute?

In that time, does it make cold air? Does the compressor start?

My thinking is that if the start capacitor were bad, or if it was "locked up", you'd pop a breaker a lot faster than about a minute.

Having said that, a bad run capacitor will cause a unit to run both high amperage and inefficiently.

Both start and run capacitors can be damaged by overheating and time, as well as overheating and time.

Check to see if the compressor is starting. If it is, it would be interesting to know. If it is, it is almost certainly a bad run capacitor. And, sometimes the same cap is used for both.

If it were me and it were starting, I'd feel really good that it was the run cap and replace it. And, while I was at it, I'd replace the start cap (if it is different), too. It is about the same age and subject to the same environment.

If it wasn't starting, I probably do the same thing hoping it was the start capacitor, and replacing the run capacitor just "while I was at it" for the same reasons as above of environment and age. If that didn't work, then I'd start to worry about it being locked up and if there is anything to be done to free it. But, I sure wouldn't beat on anything, even a little, until I replaced the caps. It is likely to do more harm than good.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:06 PM   #8
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At this point call a marine AC tech and have him troubleshoot it.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:50 PM   #9
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Do yku know the exact model?
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:47 AM   #10
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At this point I would use a clamp / ring style amp meter to measure the amperage load of the compressor. This would tell you whether there is an issue with either the compressor and capacitor or if the circuit breaker in the main panel has a problem. While it sounds like a compressor / capacitor issue, loose / corroded wires or a faulty breaker could also cause the tripping.

Ted
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:37 AM   #11
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That's a really good thought, Ted.
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. The breaker was old and weak. A new one in and we are cold again.
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