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cliffy49

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Posted: 05/12/20 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have this posted on another forum and don't seem to be getting any answers to the question.

Okay guys, my knowledge of electricity does not even make me dangerous. I have been doing a lot of reading in regards to getting a generator for my toy hauler and came across the term "Hard start capacitor". From what I could gather this works the same as a soft start kit.

If that is true, why would you use one versus the other. The only reason I can find after doing very limited research is that the soft start kit is $300 versus the $10-$15 for the capacitor. If some one could please explain the difference and also the pros and cons for each, I would greatly appreciate it.

Please take it easy on me, as I stated I know nothing about electricity other than don't stick a butter knife in the wall outlet. Thanks for all your help.


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2oldman

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Posted: 05/12/20 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are 3 pages of posts containing 'hard start', if you care to peruse them.

Mike134

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Posted: 05/12/20 03:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

short course about motors.
When starting they initially draw up to 6 times the running current for a brief second then come up to full speed and drops to the running current. That is to much for a small generator so the motor doesn't start. the $300 soft starter slowly speeds the motor up allowing a small generator to carry the load.
The $15 capacitor does nothing in this application.


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Blacklane

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Posted: 05/12/20 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Coleman Mach air conditioner came with a hard-start capacitor already installed.

I replaced it with a soft-starter with good results. I can run my air conditioner using a modest generator, but I rarely do. It also reduced the clunking sound when the compressor first starts, which is nice.

The two technologies are totally different. The hard-start capacitor stores electrical energy which it then releases into the compressor start winding on start-up. The soft-starters, such as Easy Start, work by limiting the current to the main (run) winding during start-up and allowing the current to ramp-up over a quarter of a second or so. The result is far less in-rush current and a smooth start.

As stated, there is much more posted here if you do a search for it.

* This post was edited 05/12/20 07:06pm by Blacklane *

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 05/12/20 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike134 wrote:

short course about motors.
When starting they initially draw up to 6 times the running current for a brief second then come up to full speed and drops to the running current. That is to much for a small generator so the motor doesn't start. The $300 soft starter slowly speeds the motor up allowing a small generator to carry the load.

The $15 capacitor does nothing in this application.

Getting just a wee bit technical ... a "soft starter" temporarily switches a current limiting resistor inline (series) with the motor windings. It then removes the resistor after a few seconds (deluxe models may monitor the current and keep the resistor in the circuit until the current drops below a certain value).

red31

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Posted: 05/12/20 04:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Blacklane wrote:

My Coleman Mach air conditioner came with a hard-start capacitor already installed.

I replaced it with a soft-starter with good results. I can run my air conditioner using a modest generator, but I rarely do. It also reduced the clunking sound when the compressor first starts, which is nice.


Amazed at the reduction in compressor start noise with the micro-air.
waiting on hot weather to test with generator.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/12/20 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2, mike. OP, do some more reading.


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troubledwaters

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Posted: 05/12/20 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Put the $300 into a bigger generator. The increased wattage is much more useful for all kinds of other uses around the house and the toy hauler. The soft start is a one trick pony, wattage has multiple uses.

philh

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Posted: 05/12/20 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

get EZ start instead.

Mike134

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Posted: 05/12/20 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Getting just a wee bit technical ... a "soft starter" temporarily switches a current limiting resistor inline (series) with the motor windings. It then removes the resistor after a few seconds (deluxe models may monitor the current and keep the resistor in the circuit until the current drops below a certain value).

Not so sure the micro air uses that old school method of starting motors. Have to deal with the heat from the resistors and the unit comes in a sealed plastic housing. I've serviced a few industrial motors and those reduced voltage starters using resistors you described get replaced with either soft starters or if speed control is desired VFDs.

* This post was edited 05/12/20 07:32pm by Mike134 *

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