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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Hard Start Kit vs New Compressor

    I have a Armstrong Concept 10 Mod SCU10B424-3 central air unit just starting its 4th season. Has worked fine until this 4th season. Original installer was out to service and said compressor was not starting and probably bad. Left saying he would attempt to locate a compressor but did not know how long that would take (unit carries a 5 year warrany - parts only). A few days later different tech returned with a hard start kit and unit now working which is great as its hot out. Said would need to take it up with owner on compressor and where we go from here. While these guys have been very good to work with and may very well opt for a new compressor (they get paid regardless) I'm feeling like I need to be prepared to argue for a new compressor. However; I still need to weigh the labor cost - experience has taught me to be concerned about major fixes (sometimes it's best to leave things alone). On the flip side I don't want to face a new compressor shortly after the warranty expiration. There are many other units like this installed in tha same area and I have not heard of other issues from neighbors. It's an inexpensive unit but I live in a colder climate and we run it less than 2 months a year. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    70
    If the unit didnt originally come with a "hard start" start capacitor and they had to install one to get the compressor to come on then it's only a matter of time before that compressor won't come on even with the added power or torque to start that compressor. I've seen then last a few years after, but I've also seen them last a few weeks after the problem starts. Goodluck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,831
    Not trying to be a wise guy here but,why not ask the servicing contractor these questions first? If you don't trust them,you shouldn't use them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Arapahoe County, Colorado
    Posts
    188
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    Not trying to be a wise guy here but,why not ask the servicing contractor these questions first? If you don't trust them,you shouldn't use them.
    Pffft..........someones always gotta be a wise guy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,677
    Quote Originally Posted by dj3901783 View Post
    If the unit didnt originally come with a "hard start" start capacitor and they had to install one to get the compressor to come on then it's only a matter of time before that compressor won't come on even with the added power or torque to start that compressor. I've seen then last a few years after, but I've also seen them last a few weeks after the problem starts. Goodluck
    Or the capacitor could be weak and instead of a 40mfd(or whatever) it is now only a 20mfd.
    Just because they need a start kit doesn't mean the compressor is bad.
    You can't fix stupid

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,831
    Quote Originally Posted by Refer-Madness View Post
    Pffft..........someones always gotta be a wise guy!
    Yea,I know.Just seems like people come here to get information to hammer their contractor. (Not saying this is the case here) The compressor might be under warranty but,the labor & material will not be. Seems to me, they're doing a decent job of trying to keep the customer happy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,808
    Unfortunately. None of us has checked your system. So far it seems they are trying to treat you right.

    Ask their opinion on weather you should swap out the compressor or not.
    Plus might ask them what they think may be causing it to go out.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    So was this a preseason startup after the unit had sat idle since last summer?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    va
    Posts
    800
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Unfortunately. None of us has checked your system. So far it seems they are trying to treat you right.

    Ask their opinion on weather you should swap out the compressor or not.
    Plus might ask them what they think may be causing it to go out.
    I agree, The compressor might be fine, if it was a real hot day and everyone was running a/c, power co. voltage may have been low causing problem. As another had posted, bad capacitor? I had to install a hard-start on my own unit (new also)2 years ago and runs fine still. On another note, I installed several new weather-king units (all had recip compressors)2 years ago and had many not start out of the box. Hard starts helped out and they all are fine to this day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,854
    Most stuck compressors, no matter the age, that I have installed hard start capacitors on (SuperBoost, KickStart...don't matter that much), have run for years afterward with no further issues.

    There are just too many reasons for a system to require a hard start. Most I have encountered are low voltage issues. A periodic low voltage situation occurs which locks the compressor up and won't start even when the voltage is corrected. A hard start capacitor is simply an insurance policy to kick the compressor a little harder during these low voltage moments.
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    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    I have installed a lot of start assist kits over the years, the majority by far have not needed a compressor after this. A lot of times if the compressor is "locked" to the point of being in-operable, even a good start kit will not free it, in the first place, or as I have had happen, the compressor will start and immediately shoot pieces of the valves into the piston/metering device.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,158
    The compressor runs. If they swap it under warranty and have to send it back and it is checked out, that may come back on the contractor.

    I wouldn't change it out. There are a lot of good reasons posted above.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Thanks

    I appreciate all the input. I'm just trying to educate myself and I have been very pleased with our contractor. This was a 1st of the year startup situation. I live in Minnesota and we use our AC at most 2 months a year. It appears like there is no real "right" answer here but the lean is to leave it alone. A sidenote that may or may not facor in - I have been remodeling the basement and doing some electrical work - the main wire to the AC unit was accidentaly cut and tripped the breaker. I doubt this would cause the initial lock-up?

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