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Old 06-10-2017, 08:41 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Power problems-help!!!

HELP! There is an electrical problem in the system we have set up. We have a Xantrex 3012 Inverter/Charger. We bought a Champion 3100 generator that claims it runs a 13,500 BTU Air conditioner. Right now we can't run our AC off the generator, but when we connect the bus to shore power the Air Conditioner will run. We have the power set up so that the generator power feeds directly into a breaker panel. Then from that panel one line goes to the inverter and one to the Air Conditioner. From the inverter the 110 power goes to a second breaker panel to power the outlets. Thought the generator might be bad so we returned and replaced the generator. The Air conditioner runs of our house power so it appears to be ok. Any ideas or suggestions???
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:06 AM   #2
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How many amps does the AC unit read on the nameplate? What else is running at the same time on the outlets? Possibly your genset is undersized to run the bus as wired. Try shutting down everything else and see if it starts. Once running you can slowly turn on other items you need.

John
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:58 AM   #3
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John gave some good advice there.

If that doesn't yield results maybe this will:

I had an identical set of symptoms when I bought my Honda EU3000. Should be plenty of generator too run i 12k roof air. Right?

My roof air ran fine on shore power but not on the generator. I took the generator back and they tested it thoroughly. No problem found...

I wound up installing a "soft start kit" in the AC. It was a couple of capacitors and jumper wires. It was specific to the model of AC, came with good instructions and was easy to install..

Problem solved
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for the good info. It doesn't make any sense that some people have no trouble at all running with the 3000 and then some of us lucky people can't! The Champion generator guy told me he would have them being returning all the time if they didn't run the 13,500 AC. We are currently trying it with a 4000 and it is running fine. Where did you get your soft start from? Thanks again and we will report back with any tricks we find out!!
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:12 PM   #5
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If the nameplate says 10 amps running load, it needs at least 30 amps without the soft start capacitors to "start." Then it will drop back to 10 amps or less once the compressor is running and depending on how the ac unit is set.

Is it on a 15 amp breaker? I hope but if the wiring is undersized (you need at least #12, preferably #10awg) to that receptacle or anything else is on that circuit, then it likely won't start.

I didn't know they made ac's anymore without capacitor start.

John
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevittja View Post
Thanks for the good info. It doesn't make any sense that some people have no trouble at all running with the 3000 and then some of us lucky people can't! The Champion generator guy told me he would have them being returning all the time if they didn't run the 13,500 AC. We are currently trying it with a 4000 and it is running fine. Where did you get your soft start from? Thanks again and we will report back with any tricks we find out!!
I was traveling through the Sacramento area and looked up the nearest RV parts dealer and they had it on the shelf.

Try googling your AC model and "soft start kit" any you may get lucky and find it online.

I have been researching generators lately and read a lot of good things about the Champion from fellow RV'ers. I have also read a handful of accounts similar to yours that were resolved by adding a soft start kit or replacing an ancient AC with a more modern one.

Here is one that appears to be somewhat "universal":https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DZUAPQG...a-314545815829
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:57 PM   #7
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what size wire did you run up to the A/C? have you tried running the A/C directly off the generator? im not understanding an Inverter in the middle when the genny is running..

-Christopher
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
I didn't know they made ac's anymore without capacitor start.

John

The AC that I installed the kit in had start capacitors. The kit added more.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:22 PM   #9
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every unit Ive seen has a capacitor start... I installed a secondary cap on my neighbor's dometic Camper A/C a few years back as it had trouble restarting.. seemed to want to short cycle for a small trailer .. with the facotry and secondary cap it kicked over every time.. I cant remember what size Genny he had
-Christopher
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:39 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, a lot of good information. I'll try to explain the system a little better, hopefully that will clear some things up. The wire size from the generator/shore power is 8 gauge. The wire size leading to the air conditioner is 10 gauge. The wire size to the 110V outlets is 12 gauge. The air conditioner compressor rated load amps is 12.4 and the fan motor is 2.5 amps. I have the generator/shore power going to a breaker panel. In that panel I have two breakers. One is a 30 amp breaker that goes to the 3000 watt inverter/charger. The other breaker is a 20 amp going to the air conditioning unit. The air conditioning unit wiring does not go through the inverter. From the inverter 10 gauge wiring goes to a breaker panel that powers the outlets. When generator or shore power is present, the inverter automatically goes into by-pass mode and the 110v power is supplied to the outlets and the air conditioner is powered directly from the generator/shore power. Also the inverter is charging the house batteries. I have a Champion 3100 watt max startup/2800watt continuous generator. The first one I used would run the air conditioner for about 25 minutes to 1 hour, then kick off. The second one (same kind) won't even start the air conditioner. It kicks off right from the beginning. The air conditioner will run from the house power and a 4000/3200 generator. The Champion folks and other users have said that the generator will run the unit no problem. I'm wondering if I could have done something different with the wiring or anything. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:43 PM   #11
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is there a chance the generator is trying to run the A/C and charge the house batteries at the same time? when you say kicks off after 25 minutes, the generator trips its internal breaker? or does it get hot and shut down? or the A/C unit stops cooling aftyer 25 minutes?
-Christopher
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #12
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That is what I am not sure of. The way I understand it is, the generator is powering up the A/C and sending power to the inverter to charge the batteries. The A/C stops running (completely shuts off). The generators internal breaker trips. Right now it shuts off as soon as I switch the A/C on. The generator or the A/C doesn't have a chance to get too hot.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:20 PM   #13
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Temporarily disconnect the battery charger and try the air. Your ac unit needs 15amps alone without anything else on that circuit. Without an ammeter it's hard to test amperages but I would think that the battery charger draws significantly.
Does your battery charger give you any indication what it draws?
Your wire size seems fine but maybe you should rewire for a 50 amp outlet for shore power. The #8 is good for 40 amps so is borderline I would say for that load of the ac among everything else. You could increase that to #6awg to prevent that wire being worked to the max which is a fire hazard too.
Like others have suggested, see if the genny all by itself will start and run the ac unit only.
Good old Ohms law at work here it seems.

John
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:42 PM   #14
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What John says.. isolate it out, or if you have a clamp on meter to see what the output current pull of your genset is when the air condition is turned off.

If you can isolate put your batteries or charge them fully at the home before trying the gen set.

Ultimately it sounds like if you were to run your house bats dead and want to recharge via gen and run the air you may have too small of a set. But yes isolate first like John says
Christopher
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:43 PM   #15
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I know this is a stupid question but have you checked the oil level in the genny? A company I worked for bought a few air compressors from HF and didn't know that the compressors were shipped and sold dry and you had to buy oil separately?
Have no experience with there gennies and just a thought?
I had a chance to buy two xantrex inverters a while back priced from a friend who got them for free but anyway someone here when asking about them told me to look at the date codes cause (can't remember) before a certain year they were US made and golden but after that they were sold to China and went to ****? Post was around a year and a half ago and I hate to call names but it might have been family wagon? If it's not I am sorry FW.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:35 PM   #16
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Can you describe what type of ac unit you have? The make? Is it the roof mount RV type or something else?
Has it been cleaned lately if not new? Dirt will clog the fins and muck the fan up too. Has it been recharged lately or ever?
These conditions will lead to poor performance and tripping of the breaker.
Better inspect it if you haven't yet.

John
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:07 PM   #17
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I have isolated the generator and A/C by tripping the inverter breaker. So the only place the generator power can go is to the A/C unit. Still has the same effect. Generator overloads and A/C shuts off. The A/C unit is a Dometic Air Brisk II 13,500 BTU roof top. I installed it new. This is the first season using it. I'm not sure of the date code. I'll have to look at that tomorrow. The generator is new also. I put 20 oz of oil in it. Thanks for the help again. Little by little I may narrow it down, or at least rule out some things.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:27 PM   #18
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are you using a 30 amp plug into the genny or the smaller 20 amp plug?
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:27 AM   #19
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I have used both the 30 amp plug and the 20 amp plug into the generator. Same result.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:29 AM   #20
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what if you plug the AirCon directly to the generator?
-Christopher
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