Air Conditioners are like any other machine with a motor, they will at some point have some hiccups. We here at Nomadic Cooling are dedicated to putting out a great air conditioner, but mechanical items require care and sometimes repair. We support our customers with a great warranty program, which allows us to work closely with you to solve the problem. The advantage of a vehicle with a motor is that you can pretty much pull into any town and there is a mechanic readily available to look over your vehicle and diagnose any issues. Our customers are often out enjoying their rigs and not necessarily in an area where there are professionals able to help with diagnosis and repair. This means that we will have to work with our customers, often over the phone through email, or on facetime to get to the root of the problem. This can be a source of frustration as it takes time and some tools to get it figured out.
Patience is a virtue in air conditioner troubleshooting for sure!
What tools should I have on hand in case I need to troubleshoot my air conditioner or electrical system supplying my air conditioner?
- Digital Multimeter
- Phillips Screwdriver
- 10 mm socket wrench (for shroud removal)
- Anti-static or insulated socket set (if needed for electrical system)
- Fuses in various sizes fitting your electrical system and air conditioner (blade fuses, Mega Fuses, etc)
Nomadic Cooling air conditioners are programmed to convey accurate error codes for most issues that arise from our air conditioners. Most often, the fix is simple and doable for our DIYer. Being that we are working with our customers over the phone, the technical support team will need to have some visual aid to properly assist the customer for the most accurate diagnosis and repair.
Each issue may need a set of pictures from different angles in order to diagnose the issue, but it is a good idea during your installation to take some pictures along the way before you screw the last screw into your faceplate. When you first get your A/C take a minute to take a picture of the placement of the A/C on the roof with the shroud off. From the inside, after you tighten down the bolts, take a picture up into the hole that your a/c is sitting in. Make sure to show how your air separator is placed. Click here for blog entry for proper air separator placement. Pull down the Molex connector and temperature connection wire, take a couple of pictures of it from a couple of angles. It is important to see the wires as they are going to the Molex connector. The control panel before and after it is popped into the faceplate and before it is connected to the Molex connector coming out of the air conditioner. Again, from several angles it is useful for our staff. Take a picture of the placement of the temperature sensor placement. Plug the two ends of the Molex connector and the small black temperature connector together. These are a good pictures to have in a file you can access easily.
Common problems that arise during installation
The placement of the temperature sensor was one that we have found to be a simple fix and immediately helps our customers achieve the results they want from their air conditioner. Click here for proper placement of the temperature sensor blog post
- Foam Gasket placement with proper sealing is common for those noticing that water is dripping from their air conditioners into their vehicle. Simple enough to get up on the roof and check for any leaks and reseal the area again.
- Control panels are very delicate and can be easily damaged. They are the brains of your air conditioner and need to be treated with care. The wires need to have their integrity checked regularly for proper connection, no kinks or pinches, and assessed for any damage like cuts into them. When the control panel is assembled here in our warehouse, it is carefully tested and packaged before it ships out. It is packaged in an anti-static bag for electrical component protection and then boxed separately from the other air conditioner install components to protect it from physical damage. Taking it out of either of these can loosen the wires, pinch them, or loosen their connections. Carefully remove it from the bag and give it a quick inspection before installation. Give the wires a gentle tug to ensure good connectivity.
These are some of the simple fixes that arise and are easy to fix straight away.
Some error codes can be a bit trickier when diagnosing the problem and require a bit more time to work through.
- Error code E4 can indicate coolant levels being low. If you have had your air conditioner for a while and have run it a lot, the coolant might be low enough to send an error code. You can also get this code from other sources, like the temperature sensor being installed in the wrong location. Low coolant can be evaluated in a couple of ways. You will want to take it to a RV mechanic or vehicle mechanic who can hook it up to a machine that measures coolant levels. A quick look for yourself to let our tech support know whether this is a possibility, is if you take the shroud off your unit and look into the sight glass on the top of the silver coolant canister called the accumulator. The maximum amount of coolant to fill it is 600 grams of R134a.
- Error code E2 indicates battery power is insufficient or under voltage. Understanding the amount of power needed, continuously, is what can often be confusing for our customers.
For the X3:
At 12V: Continuous amperage - 8.75A + 100A = 108.75
At 24V: Continuous amperage - 3.33A + 50A = 53.33A
At 48V: Continuous amperage - 1.25A + 30A = 31.25A
For the X2:
At 12V: Continuous amperage - 6.67A + 55A = 61.67A
At 24V: Continuous amperage - 2.5A + 35A = 37.5A
At 48V: Continuous amperage - 1.25A + 15A = 16.25A
When customers purchase our air conditioners, they are not aware of the amount of sufficient battery power needed to run it or that it needs to be able to run for long periods of time. With an E2 error code, there is some information that is helpful for the customers to provide for our technical support, in order for them to assist you with this issue. They will ask you for some pictures of your electrical system. The reasoning behind this is for a couple of reasons. They may need to see what your battery bank is or are there any obvious reasons that power would be diminished like rusted connections, kinked cables, components not hooked up correctly, etc. Technical support may ask for some voltage readings from your batteries. You can check your battery voltage by hooking it up to a Digital Multimeter, if you do not have a battery management system that gives you readings. This tool is great for tracing the source of power loss from other areas. Your positive readings can be obtained by first grounding your negative reader tip (black) and then touching the positive reader tip (red) to any positive source, like your battery terminal. Shown in these pictures below.
Some examples can be from blown terminal fuses on the battery, rusted posts, loose connections at the post, length of cable being too long between power source and air conditioner, blown fuse in your distributor or busbar, or a breaker that has tripped.
A surge of current to your compressor can blow your inline fuse, and requires a 20A blade fuse to replace it. You would want to investigate further with our tech support if you blow your fuse again.
- If an error code comes up for F6 (high current protection) or F7 (electronic fan fault), there can be a few items to consider for what may be happening. Your condenser (metal coils under the top fan) could be blocked with dirt or debris. The air travels from under the coils up towards the fan, so when looking at the coils, look from under them. Leaves or dirt could build up under it and may need to be blown out. The terminal or plug-in of the power line could be loose. Check all power connections and make sure they are secure and not easily able to disconnect from each other. The top fan plug can cause this error and by gently unplugging it, checking it for any damage before plugging it back together. Lastly the condenser fan (top fan) may fail and replacing it is an easy fix.
(Coils as seen through top fan and the space underneath the coils that can collect debris)
- E0 or E1 error code is indicative of an issue with your temperature sensor. First you will want to check the temperature sensor for a solid connection; it will not easily separate. You can try to unplug it and replug it together to make sure it is secure. Potentially the sensor has failed and is an easy fix by simply swapping it out for a new one.
Our dedicated team here at Nomadic Cooling is happy to help and is standing by to assist you in any way they can! For tech support for your air conditioner you can email directly to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call into the office at 480-576-2489