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Friday, October 30, 2009

With or Without Relay

I recently bought a 32-foot motorhome with two roof air conditioners. Recently I had to have the front unit replaced. The problem is that before, if the units were in the “on” position and the generator was started, there would be a delay of about thirty seconds before the air conditioners would come on. Now since they installed the new unit, if it is left in the “on” position and you start the generator it comes on right away. The explanation I get from the dealer is that is the way it should be. It doesn’t make sense to me that the generator is under load now while trying to start if the air conditioner was accidentally left on.
Rick, (Orange, CA)

Rick, it is obviously quite difficult to diagnose an electrical problem without the ability to view firsthand what is happening and to take accurate electrical measurements, but it sure sounds like the installers have bypassed the delay relay when they installed the new unit. I'm not sure where on your coach the relay is located, perhaps in the panelboard distribution box, but something has obviously been altered. It’s a very good habit to always disconnect or turn off all loads before starting or stopping the generator. Damage to the compressor in the air conditioner could occur if the generator is shut down while it is still in the compress cycle. With or without the relay, always shut the roof airs off first before shutting down the gen-set. But, I would still follow-up with the installer and find out exactly how they wired that new unit. A quick call to the manufacturer may yield some insight as to the original wiring scheme for those roof air circuits as well.


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