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Old 11-28-2015, 01:02 PM   #1
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Default AC thermal overload protector

Just out of curiosity, Has anyone ever checked or replaced, the thermal overload protector relay, on the ac of their boat? The AC (or heat setting) is having a hard time starting on either shore power or genny. It will eventually start, but somethings not quite right. Seems to be a common problem with these older models. (circa 90's
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:12 PM   #2
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Jim is the AC breaker tripping? Not sure what is ment by a hard time starting.

If you put you volt meter across the thermal protection it should read zero volts if the unit is closed for normal operation. If it is opening the voltage will read the lines power (120V). Another test is to measure the temp sensor if it is opening to verify it is tripping at its rated temp.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:16 PM   #3
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Not the breaker in the boats panel, but the over load protector on the compressor is.
My next step is to measure.
The PO said it always did that for him too, but if you kept trying, it would eventually start.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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Odd as the if the thermal protector heats up and opens it takes time to dissipate that heat so when it closes it is still retaining heat and will hit its threshold quicker which seems hard to understand that would eventually work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:28 PM   #5
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However if it has always done this the thermal protector may have been bad from the start.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:30 PM   #6
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Lets make sure I'm calling it the right thing.
Whenever it trips, i can hear it click from the compressor area.
The digital display goes blank.
Within 30 seconds or so, it resets and the cycle begins again.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:36 PM   #7
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Sounds correct, the thermal protection is a bi-metal circuit that if it heats up bends quickly, clicking noise to open. Once it cools down it snaps back.

Do you have a current probe to measure the inrush current? Or a thermal probe to strap to it to check its set point!
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:39 PM   #8
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No, my best meter is a fluke 87. It maxes out at 10a, i believe
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:44 PM   #9
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Ok since you hear the click I would assume it's the thermal protector but you could put the voltmeter across it to verify it opens, closed zero volts open 120V.

I would try replacing it but if that does not work the compressor must be drawing too much current at start up. Does this system have a start capacitor? If so these can be leaky and cause the high inrush current.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:47 PM   #10
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It does have a big ole start cap and that was the first thing i replaced! (Great minds, eh)
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