Hard start kit an acceptable replacement for fried PTC?
I have a couple of 1/5hp refrigerator compressors with bad PTC starters. Is there any disadvantage to just replacing them with a supco 3n1? I'd rather not pay the OEM markup and have no idea which generic PTC would be the correct one. The compressors will be used for an engineering school design project.
I'd wager you're going to find about as many opinions about the Supco HSK's as you will techs!
But realistically, many of us have used these to diagnose, repair, and poke units back to life many times with great success, others have used them when compressors were near the end of life to eek a few more months of years out of an old system, or they fail within days! Many times they fail to achieve the desired results. You'll find that the health of the overall system, and especially the compressor are the key to whether or not these solutions can actually provide any longevity. Everyone's personal experience with these units varies largely due to the above.
Best practice for field work is to always, without fail, replace with OEM specified start and overload components.
With your probable budgetary restrictions and the fact that this is for a project / proof of concept, there should be no reason a 3-in-1 shouldn't get you by to get your system up and running. If it's going to be presentable, original start components would look best.
Disclaimer: I keep an RCO410 wired to a pigtail for diagnostic use and both RCO410's and RCO210's on hand when proper components aren't readily available. I really only recommend their use on smaller fractional units, where budgetary restrictions dictate their use. They throw a lot of current and a lot of techs will tell you they will burn start windings, but if the system is that far gone... YMMV!
Well, the compressors are of unknown condition, but they ohm ok and the oil is clean, so I assume they're probably fine. The refrigerators were junked because the starters were bad. I'd rather not risk frying the start windings (instant power recycle on cap tubing would be kind of cool, though).
But being the engineering student that I am (more brains than money), I tracked down the klixon starter datasheet for one of the manufacturer recommended starting devices and found a PTC disk from Mouser for $5 with the same specs. So now $10 should get both compressors starting according to my calculations.
[Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
2 Tim 3:16-17
RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
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use a 3in 1 its your best bet