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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    In a related thread we have been discussing my problem with starting my ac compressor on my new generator. If it turns out the ac is fine and generator just doesn't quite put out enough power for initial starting surge what are some options? 1) Hard start kit 2) I have read on related industrial motor sites about kits that allow generators to start larger motors during the surge referred to as in line reactive starting or something along those lines. I would like some advice for if the AC is fine.

    You folks are the best!

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    If it was 3 phase (and its not)and you could find a compressor that small with a part winding start (and you wont) it could be done (but it cant).

    You will likely lock the compressor and be filing a warranty claim for something that is not an equipment problem. The only alternative would be convert it to a pump down system (thermostat operates a solenoid valve and a low pressure switch operates the unit).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    Doc,

    Interesting reply though I didn't quite follow the second part about filing warranty claims for equipment. I have been reading on the RV forums where guys run air conditioners off of single phase generators that are small, low quality gasoline generators. Everyone says to add a soft start kit to the generator. I have read about soft start capacitors, hard start capacitors (several on this site have recommended I add one). Are the hard start and soft start actually the same thing? Apparently they help....

    What do you think of them?

    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    docholliday,

    is there a kit for converting to a pump down system and would my carrier dealer know about this?

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Mike does your system have a time delay? I mean if you cut it off can you cut it right back on immediately?

    Also have you ever had to add refrigerant?
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    Steve Wiggins,

    It does have a time delay. If I go to the digital thermostat and push mode = off to mode = cool. It starts a delay and after I want to say 2 minutes the blower kicks in and then after a delay the compressor attempts to start. Last year was the first summer for this carrier air conditioner and they came and loaded it with refrigerant about this time last year. The winter before that was the first winter for the furnace portion. The installer came out and charged the unit and then I ran it last summer.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Originally posted by mikecales


    they came and loaded it with refrigerant

    This may be part of the problem. An overcharged system might have difficulty starting.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    Steve,

    Would that make sense with the fact that I ran the air last summer with no trouble?

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Yes
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    698
    Mike:

    One possibility is to have someone qualified install an on-delay timer on the blower on the compressor unit. This would allow the compressor to start on its own, and 5 or so seconds later the blower would start. This would reduce the inrush of trying to start both motors at the same time. You could test this by disconnecting a wire on the blower motor, and see if the compressor will start. Caution: do not run the unit for more than 30 to 60 seconds without the blower running, or high head pressure in the compressor will occur. Also a short delay on the air handler fan may assist with getting the compressor going.

    As I had commented earlier, it seems that the generator does not have much reserve capacity for starting inrush. There is not much that can be done, short of exchanging the generator itself. There are various soft start technologies available, but not too much for single phase equipment, and the cost is likely prohibitively high. Also any electronics in the compressor unit would not like the possible side effects of a soft start controller.

    paul

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    28
    Steve, You are saying that even though the system seemed to run well last year (filled last spring) that could still be the problem with it this year? You can see how that seems confusing to a novice like me. I just want to make sure we are on the same page of music. I am going to discuss this with my installer/dealer. If he ever calls me back.

    Tecman, What do you think of the RV crowd that uses starting capacitors to help cheap gas powered generators start their air conditioners?

    Mike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    698
    Mike:

    Not familier with that. Not sure what a capacitor would do in a situation like that.

    paul

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,400
    Mike, I'm pretty sure the component the RV sites are talking about is added to or already is part of the air conditioner, not the generator.

    Some manufacturers call their start kit a "soft start" to keep from putting a negative slant on its name.

    Hard start, soft start, start kit, are pretty much the same thing.

    The type sanctioned by most equipment manufacturers is NOT a "one-size-fits-all".
    Rather, it is a critically sized potential relay and properly sized start capacitor.
    These items are in addition to the run capacitor shipped as standard on all single phase units.
    That would be the one I would be shopping for.
    Your equipment may already have these items, but either one could be defective.

    The time-delay relay idea is a good one, to stagger the starting of the three motors.
    You might try turning EVERYTHING else off, including the refrigerator, and see if the unit will start reliably.

    Since there is some question about the quality of the power supply, you may need to bring in a third party - a qualified electrician, with a "TRUE RMS" meter.
    This would rule out that part of the equation.
    Measurement would need to be made at the unit, while it is attempting to start, in order to find out if there is a supply problem.

    Ideally, both the electrician and the HVAC contractor's best tech would be on-site at the same time, so that they can establish the EXACT problem.





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