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Softstart

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RonJ

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Softstart
« on: February 17, 2021, 09:21:08 am »
Just wondering if anyone has installed a softstart on their air conditioner? If so what's your experience with it?

https://youtu.be/1BmwfelqGsY
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Phil Grennan

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 10:01:42 am »
id wonder about warranty implications also.  sounds cool. 

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Bangorbob

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2021, 10:32:56 am »
Ron,  I have not installed one yet.  I have read a lot of good things about around the internet, mainly other rv forums.  I will probably buy and install shortly. 
r/Bob

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RonJ

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2021, 05:26:05 pm »
I wonder how long the warranty is for the air conditioner.  The warranty that PC provides ends once the original purchaser sells the unit.  Since I'm second owner, I have no warraty with PC.

Rob...  please let us know if/when you install one. 

I have a 2552 with 50AMP.  If I hook up to 30AMP I can only run 1 AC.  Looks like if I have the softstart on both ACs I could run them both with a 30AMP hookup.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 05:28:00 pm by RonJ »
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donc13

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 08:01:57 pm »
I wonder how long the warranty is for the air conditioner.  The warranty that PC provides ends once the original purchaser sells the unit.  Since I'm second owner, I have no warraty with PC.

Rob...  please let us know if/when you install one. 

I have a 2552 with 50AMP.  If I hook up to 30AMP I can only run 1 AC.  Looks like if I have the softstart on both ACs I could run them both with a 30AMP hookup.

No, you can't.  The 2nd AC is on an entirely separate input power leg.  On a 30 amp plug, there is no connection to that power leg.  To even try it, you'd have to have that power leg rewired, not a good idea at all.

BTW... For all, I had never heard of a SoftStart before.  I was intrigued and did about an hour's worth of research and reviews.   The SoftStart does NOT lower the power draw while the fan and compressor are running (typically 14amps).  It DOES lower the surge current needed to start the compressor and that surge time is also lengthen from 1/6th of a second to 1/3rd of a second.   The peak surge current drops from 52amps to 24amps.   It is mostly designed for use with a generator where that type of surge can pop the generator's circuit protection.   It does help where shore power is running near its limit.  After that research, I decided to buy 1 ($299 right now).  It'll be here Tuesday.  I did that because I do "boondock" a fair amount nights and have had a few times where the generator couldn't handle both A/C and microwave if the A/C compressor kicked it.  A real pain in the butt at night on a Walmart parking lot to reset the generator's circuit breaker.  I figure better safe than sorry.

YMMV
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 08:11:30 pm by donc13 »
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RonJ

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 08:58:58 pm »
Thanks for that info.  I wasn't sure if I couldn't or shouldn't.  I appreciate the clarification. 
Please let us know how your installation goes.
RonJ

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Volkemon

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2021, 08:58:52 am »
Great article on the unit like we are discussing VS a $30 'Soft start/ EasyStart/etc" Capacitor


https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-hard-or-soft-start-caps/
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gandalf42

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2021, 12:10:09 pm »
I installed an EasyStart fall 2019. The only view I have of the input current is the inverter display. Unfortunately, PC wired the inverter to be on any time there is AC incoming.

So with that in mind, the input current for the air conditioner and the inverter after the EasyStart was installed is at 17A. The inverter is probably over an amp and the converter is probably using around an amp, so the EasyStart is probably having the aircon run current close to the 14A many say it should be.

I don't have a way to measure the start up surge current.

I had installed the EasyStart as we had a Mexico trip planned for the following winter and thought it would allow me to run the aircon on the poorer Mexican hook-ups. As it was, I never trusted the connections to do that.

I also hoped that it would allow me to run the micro when running the aircon. Due to no travel since the Mexico trip, I haven't tried that as yet.
Mike & Pat Astley,

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Engineerlt

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2021, 09:21:32 am »
This probably isn't very helpful, but the Houghton AC's have a built in soft start. They use software for to control the condensing fan, evaporator fan and compressor. It actually stages the 3 pieces. It brings on the compressor, than the condensing fan and then the evaporator. When temp is reached it cycles off compressor then condensing fan. It leaves the evaporator fan running until the next call for cooling. This is one benefit, the other is that it doesn't sound like a jet engine when its operating, very quite.

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Volkemon

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2021, 10:00:27 am »
This probably isn't very helpful, but the Houghton AC's have a built in soft start. They use software for to control the condensing fan, evaporator fan and compressor. It actually stages the 3 pieces. It brings on the compressor, than the condensing fan and then the evaporator. When temp is reached it cycles off compressor then condensing fan. It leaves the evaporator fan running until the next call for cooling. This is one benefit, the other is that it doesn't sound like a jet engine when its operating, very quite.

Another piece of handy info about Houghton AC was posted here also - RE: Running a Houghton AC while underway-

Thatís info direct from Frank, their shop manager.  Basically the air speed moving the fans while driving at highway speeds would affect the fans balanced speed.  Iím sure he would explain it better but thatís the jist of it. He did say it wouldnít hurt the unit, just wouldnít work.  How it come up in conversation is when I saw a advanced rv unit that had another brand installed. Not sure of the  brand but it might have been Coleman. Frank told me in cases where people want to run their roof ac while driving the houghton wouldnít be the best choice.   In my case thatís not an issue however I have read where owners of larger rigs need to run the roof ac while under way.

Hope thatís helps
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donc13

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2021, 02:24:30 pm »
I have run Dometic and Coleman A/C's while driving, works well but obviously you need the genset running.   I have only done that in slow driving and high (+90 deg) heat and humidity, otherwise the dash air keeps the front just fine.  For me the "cost" of that is a bit more than 1 mpg.  No biggie.
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donc13

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2021, 05:00:57 pm »
If anyone is interested, the SoftStart and EasyStart are not identical.  I presume they work similarly, but looking at installation instructions, the EasyStart has a 4 wire harness and the SoftStart has a 5 wire harness.

No idea if either is better than the other.  They both have good reviews.

Don
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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Softstart
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2021, 08:05:04 am »
I watched THIS VIDEO of a fellow installing a Softstart in his older Coleman a/c unit.  He mounted the Softstart unit horizontally with the wires coming out the side of the unit.  That is a very bad idea.  Any water that gets on the wires will flow down them right into the Softstart unit.  Make sure to mount the unit vertically or at least at an angle so that water on the wires cannot travel into the Softstart.

That guy's particular Coleman a/c unit, his cover has ventilation louvers near the wires.  Wind-driven rain could drench his wires and prematurely kill his Softstart.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 08:12:03 am by Ron Dittmer »
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