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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    26

    First service call for new guy...weird amp draw

    Just graduated tech school and went on my first service call after a week with another technician. The complaint was a Manitowoc ice machine was tripping the breakers. I checked supply voltage at the breaker, visibly inspected the wiring for anything obvious and started the machine. It made two batches of ice just fine. The only thing weird was the amp draw was jumping between 7.7 and 9.5 amps, constantly the whole time, no matter where the machine was in the cycle. I suspected something was wrong with my amp clamp, so I tested it on another piece of equipment and it read a steady amp draw. I don't ever remember anyone saying anything about an erratic amp draw like that in school. I called one of our senior techs. He just asked if the readings were within range, which they were. He said "call it good." What could I have done different? Did I just happen to miss that day in school when they talked about strange amp draws?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Pas, Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    212
    Welcome to the ice machine twilight zone. The machines are like women. They let you win the odd arguement so just keep trying and good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    36
    What were your pressures? Air cooled? Cycling cond fan? Headmaster?

    Head pressure change? We're you measuring at the comp leads or breaker?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    93
    Welcome to the land of mysterious breaker trips. Just so happens you hit the lottery and got it on your first call.

    Don't feel bad. I've been on so many calls that worked great when you reset the breaker, only to trip after you leave. It could be ANYTHING in that circuit.

    1. Weak breaker
    2. Loose wire in the line circuit to the ice machine
    3. Loose wire IN the ice machine

    I could go on. Don't sweat it, eventually the culprit will show.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    So-Cal
    Posts
    576
    I had one tripping the breaker intermittently and everything checked out OK. got called back a second time and they said they have had to reset the breaker a couple of times.

    Everything checks good! I notice that the run cap the top of it was a little bubbled up. changed the cap and no more tripping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    26
    I appreciate the advice, gentleman. I would like to ask...should I have hooked up the gauges and taken pressures? I was always taught the gauges were a last resort on ice machines because they were so critically charged. This wasn't an "ice problem" but an "electric problem" so when I produced the first batch of ice in a reasonable time, I didn't see any reason to hook the gauges up...didn't seem like a refrigerant issue. I'm looking to learn here...don't be afraid to be critical. I'm new but I'm 40, you won't hurt my feelings.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    So-Cal
    Posts
    576
    I dont believe this is a pressure problem. It is an electrical issue. I'm assuming its a single phase unit? If it is then test your start and run caps.

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