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Thread: super boost cap

  1. #1
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    I saw this statement posted on another thread

    Make sure that they use a real hatred start kit, and not a "Super Boost". A real kit has a start capacitor, and a relay.


    Ive seen start caps and potential relays and understand how they work but whats wrong with a Super Boost cap? no relay? to small?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2001
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    Some people don't like the start assist type devices (superboost, kickstart, etc). I have had problems with kickstart, but I've had good success with the superboost SPP6. It is a solid state type relay. If you open it up, you will see the relay under the top above the capacitor. With that said, if I have the manufactuer's potential relay and cap, I would use it instead. We usually only put these on units that are still under warranty, and we put superboosts on older units.

  3. #3
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    I've had more problems with potential start relays going bad and causing a real mess with melted wiring and compressor connections then I have ever had with Kickstart of superboost type of start kits.

    They work basically the same.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  4. #4
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    Dave you're lumping SuperBoost and KickStart together. But they are very different products.

    Supco makes better start devices. But the SuperBoost is what they're famous for and it's crap IMO. The switching device for the capacitor depends on heat to turn off the capacitor. Then the switching device has to cool off before it'll activate the start capacitor again. On a hot day it may take several minutes to reset. But when it's 115 degrees on a roof and the sun is beating down on a condenser, that switching device won't reset at all and the capacitor becomes useless until the outside temperature drops.

    The KickStart has their version of a potential relay that can cycle on and off as often as is needed. It's as close to OEM as you can get without going OEM. In other words ct2, the KickStart works just about as well as the "real kit" from the OEM.

  5. #5
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    The switching device for the capacitor depends on heat to turn off the capacitor. Then the switching device has to cool off before it'll activate the start capacitor again. On a hot day it may take several minutes to reset. But when it's 115 degrees on a roof and the sun is beating down on a condenser, that switching device won't reset at all and the capacitor becomes useless until the outside temperature drops.


    so for that reason it sounds like a start cap and relay are the safest choices to use----and not left in the box taped to the unit

  6. #6
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    I don't deal in such adverse conditions to have a problem with the superboost not cooling off enough to operate. If that is the case then the soft start components that Carrier and Goodman have been so fond of using must not work either.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  7. #7
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    That may or may not be Robo. I can of course only speak to my ten years as a service tech. I've had more than one SuperBoost refuse to reset during the 2 to 10 days of triple digit weather that we get out here each year. I had a KickStart that outright failed before. But it wasn’t specific to the weather and it was only once thus far.

    The Carrier comparison may not be a good one because I'm sure not all PTC devices are created equal. I'm sure engineers could easily specify a high enough quality PTC device that it would work well in any weather. And certainly I'd concede that my experience proves nothing. It may have simply been that Supco had a bad run for a brief period and I was lucky enough to have seen a few of them.

    But whatever the truth may be there's no denying that the basic design favors a potential relay device, be it Kickstart or OEM. Potential relays can cycle on and off instantly unlike a PTC device. The boost they provide is more accurate. And they're not nearly as susceptible to the influence of extreme hot weather. Or so the propagandist advertising has taught me. I welcome any new information contrary to those thoughts.

  8. #8
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    I was just refering to start assists that are all in one type devices (simply plug onto run cap). I live in Florida and have never heard of or had any trouble with the superboost not working in hot temps. The OD ambient temp can't be hot enough to keep it from coming on. You must be refering to the cool down time it takes for the solid state relay after shut down. It should have plenty time to cool down between cycles unless the unit is short cycling or you are repeatedly testing the unit (cutting it on and off without allowing pressures to equalize). I have never seen a superboost fail (maybe I'm lucky), but I have pulled a few kickstarts out and replaced them with superboosts. In my area, we only use superboosts because of the consensus that kickstarts are unreliable. This has been the practice for the last 3 companies I have worked for.

  9. #9
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    Right you are. I'm referring to the cool down time. Obviously the hotter it is the longer the cool down time and the longer to reset. In theory, if it's hot enough that cool down time could be a long time and it might not be ready on the next call for cooling. But as I said, my experience may be unique in that regard.

    But what isn't unique are the other points about the drawbacks to a SuperBoost. Compressor OEMs do not like them one bit. Of course... they don't like a lot of things. But I agree with them on this one. The potential relay that's incorporated into a KickStart is superior to a PTC and is easier on the compressor. And the KickStat is a two wire universal device.

    But if I had seen the same failure rate that you have then I might have come to the same conclusion. Either that or perhaps I'd try Supco's version of the KickStart. They make one you know. It costs more but it IS better for the compressor.

  10. #10
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    I have used the superboost for years with no problems but only on older units that would not start. The KickStart is approved for Yorks hard start kits and I also have not had any problems with them. The KickStart comes in two different sizes and when installed in the right units we have had no trouble.

  11. #11
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    superboost have worked for me.....for years I have heard that you are best to get what is recomended for each unit.....like I carry one for every brand and model. I guess if I would have had a problem with them in over 20 years I would worry....I havnt

  12. #12
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    I suppose we have to adapt to different conditions. Rooftop equipment can get a lot hotter in the sun then ground level equipment will due to roofing heat.

    It seems that several of us have had adverse issues with different start kits. I have had superboosts that needed a longer then usual cooldown after being overheated, have never had an issue with a KickStart but have seen several OEM potential relays overheat and cause a real mess, mostly on Rheem/Ruud equipment.

    The most start component failures I come across though are PTC and most usually in Carrier. Damned things just explode. I have always replaced them with a superboost and have never had an issue about doing so.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  13. #13
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    When I went to college, they taught us how to match up potential relays to the requirements of a compressor, so I have never felt a need to use Kickstarts or Superboosts.

    The Superboost product is worthless where I am. The PTC just takes to long to cool off.
    Kickstart is better, but the relay in them does not reset fast enough. When it gets really hot, the electric provider shifts loads around a lot. It isn't unusual around here for the power to flicker off and on quickly as they switch the loads around during peak times, sometimes more than once an hour. Kickstarts just don't respond fast enough.

    One size does not fit all in my opinion.

    I do keep one Kickstart on my truck though, as a diagnostic tool to unstick compressors. If things run fine after I get it started, I make up a real start kit for the unit.

    Match up a potential relay with the actual requirements of the compressor.
    Install in the smallest start cap that will start the compressor every time when you switch the power off and right back on.
    Install a RESISTOR across the terminals of the start cap
    Securly mount the components in the control compartment.

    There is no substitute for doing it right.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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