I'm about to hit my "10 hours, then call an expert" limit on an electrical issue. 1967 38' Sedan. Port 30A shore inlet works with no problem. Starboard 30A inlet trips the breaker when plugging in, but stays on after resetting until you play with the bow air conditioner (original Cruisair system). The bow air conditioner will charge (ON position), but trip the breaker when you move the switch to "RUN". The weird thing is that unit will charge and run fine if it's drawing power from the generator. The aft air conditioner charges and runs without any problems.

Last clue: Right before I bought it, the guy had both inlets on a 30A to single 30A pigtail. The bow air ran fine when I first looked at it, then cut out when running both units right before I bought it. The on board breakers weren't tripped, but I reset them anyway. No dice.

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Most Likely the compressor has failed. I've replaced a LOT of AC units this year. 

Lee

Are you stating there is only one 30 amp inlet for the boat, both a/c are running on a total of 30 amps?  If so, will the fwd run alone?  If each is separate, follow Lee's advice.

Tim

Sorry, there are two 30 amp inlets and each air conditioner is wired to a separate inlet. The aft air conditioner has no problems. The forward will run fine on the generator, but will trip the shore-side breaker (not the one on the boat) when moving it from fan to compressor. 

I saw the forward air run on shore power once, but both inlets were being run off a single 30A pigtail at the time. Also at that time, it tripped the breaker on shore and the compressor stopped working on shore power after that point, even when that shore-side breaker was reset and it was replicated on a different power source.

Hope that wasn't too confusing.


Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

Are you stating there is only one 30 amp inlet for the boat, both a/c are running on a total of 30 amps?  If so, will the fwd run alone?  If each is separate, follow Lee's advice.

Tim

Matt, breakers have a service life, btdt.  I would switch the cords at the post and see if the problem persists.  If not have the marina change the suspect breaker.  If the problem persists, back to Lee's recommendation.

I agree with Tim. It sounds to me like the shore breaker is getting weak.

Tim is correct.  Swapping cords and pedestal outlets will rule out the bad/weak breaker quickly. A more likely cause than a breaker getting weak is a problem in the circuit either with a bad connection/loose connection that is causing an increase in the amperage draw (don't forget to check the back side wiring connections on each of your shore power inlets). Remember heat raises amps, loose or burnt connections cause heat. Get a clamp on amp probe, preferably one that will record the peak amperage and take some readings. If this is beyond your level of comfort bring in a qualified marine electrician and tag along as he searches for the culprit. The unit may run properly on the generator but that is a much shorter wiring run, again longer runs draw higher amperage. Not sure about the make or model of your AC but many have start capacitors that buffer the starting current. Check the capacitors to make sure they are doing their job. 

 

I did the pedestal and cord swaps and got the same result, so it seems like it's probably not the breaker.

I was just thinking I haven't bought a new tool lately. I'll pick one up and see what's what! Worst case scenario, maybe $50 saves me a trip charge and an hourly. Thanks, folks!

Kevin McKinnon said:

Tim is correct.  Swapping cords and pedestal outlets will rule out the bad/weak breaker quickly. A more likely cause than a breaker getting weak is a problem in the circuit either with a bad connection/loose connection that is causing an increase in the amperage draw (don't forget to check the back side wiring connections on each of your shore power inlets). Remember heat raises amps, loose or burnt connections cause heat. Get a clamp on amp probe, preferably one that will record the peak amperage and take some readings. If this is beyond your level of comfort bring in a qualified marine electrician and tag along as he searches for the culprit. The unit may run properly on the generator but that is a much shorter wiring run, again longer runs draw higher amperage. Not sure about the make or model of your AC but many have start capacitors that buffer the starting current. Check the capacitors to make sure they are doing their job. 

 

You could use an clamp on amp meter to check the current draw of the compressor.  That will tell you all you need to know about the unit itself then go from there. I suspect either a bad start capacitor or a compressor in full lock up 

Not a locked up compressor if it works ok when he runs it off the generator. The amp probe should give him a good idea what he has.

Damm I read that to  it must not have registered in my mind. Thanks for bringing it to my attention 

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