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Whirlpool A/C - compressor cuts out, smells

4 posts in this topic

Whirlpool thru-wall A/C, 10000-12000 BTU range.

220v unit running in a small condo unit.

Set up to cool living room and kitchen, not sure of sq footage but these rooms are small.


The unit initially cools but compressor cuts out within 15 minutes and usually doesnt come back.

Makes a smell described as "musty".


I measured 206v at the outlet, changes less than 1/2 volt with load (compressor on/off).

I assume this means that the condo building is supplied with 3-phase power.

Unit draws ~3.25A with compressor on.

It didnt cut out while I was there, maybe a hot day makes a difference.


This unit has been replaced twice, so cant be manufacturing defect.

There are no obstructions on the exhaust as far as I can tell.

It is on the sunny south-facing side of the condo but I cant imagine that makes a difference.

My hunch is that these units cant tolerate 208v power supplied by 3-phase service, and the compressor is overheating.

So easiest solution is to install a 110v unit, rewiring the outlet?


Any ideas appreciated.





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220 Volt Single Phase A/C cannot run @ less then 10% of rated voltage so 206 Volts Single Phase in the ball park.

220 single phase = 2 hot wires 1 ground   220 three phase = 3 hot wires 1 ground. Residential does not use 3 phase

Whirlpool does not make three phase A/C's.

Check with a voltage monitor.

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Dont have the model number handy, may have to slide the chassis partly out to get it.


I realize this is not a 3-phase unit, and the power delivered to the (220v/20a) outlet is not 3-phase.

But if on a 3-phase 120/208v system 2 phases are used as the hot wires then the voltage will be 208v single-phase.

Which may be what was done in this building - it was built in the 70's, is a low-end building originally build as apts so possibly the only requirement for 220v back then was for the electric heat which would tolerate a lower voltage. (A/C is on the same circuit as the heat, there was no more breaker box space left so maybe the circuit was added later).


thanks for replies...

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