hard start kit


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Old 08-09-14, 07:03 AM
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hard start kit

A few days ago, I posted a thread about my heat pump that kept tripping circuit breaker.
Well, my AC tech made three trips and still didn't know the reason. I had him replace the circuit breaker. Later I replaced thermostat and contactor myself.
My AC tech just keep saying the brand (Amana) isn't good and it's time to replace the whole system. it's only 11 years old. But I'm not convinced.

Issue hasn't occurred for last a few days. But I'm nervous.
After some research, it seems that an old compressor can draw more amps upon startup (the AC tech didn't measure amp draw during startup though he measured while AC was running).

So I plan to install a hard start kit. I did some search and it doesn't seem that hard to do myself because I know how to replace capacitor, thermostat and contactor myself.

I have two questions:
1) for a 3 ton heat pump, what kind of hard start kit should I use
2) wiring: most youtube vidoes says it has three wires. one connects to capacitor common and another connects to capacitor HERM. But I'm quite confused for third wire. it says to connect to T1. my contactor doesn't have a label. can anyone give some tips on wiring a hard start?

thanks
 
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Old 08-09-14, 07:39 AM
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the most good type of hard start kit is the 5 2 1
and about the third terminal
just upload us a photo of your ur ac contactor
 
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Old 08-09-14, 09:26 AM
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Below is the wiring of the old contractor. I basically got a new contactor and replaced it the same way though the new on doesn't have labeling.


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Old 08-09-14, 11:35 AM
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U see there is L1 in opposite of T1
check if L1 come from where from L or N
 
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Old 08-09-14, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for your reply. I don't know how to check on it. But here is a zoomed out picture.
by the way, what are L and N?


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Old 08-09-14, 04:18 PM
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L live wire
N neutral wire
 
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Old 08-09-14, 04:41 PM
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ok connect the third terminal of the hard start kit to the T1
 
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Old 08-09-14, 04:50 PM
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as in the photo
 
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Old 08-09-14, 06:27 PM
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There is no neutral on that 230 volt unit.
Connect terminal 1 to Run (which is C on a dual capacitor if you have one).
Connect 2 to Start (which is Herm on a dual cap)
Connect 5 to Common (which is the leg of power that isn't connected to the dual cap Com terminal)

What is the make and model of that unit?
 
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Old 08-09-14, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for the reply. the unit is Amana (2003 model) heat pump RHE36A2D
do you think it will be OK to get 521 hard start kit? will it do any damage.
also, some videos tell how to measure amp draw before and after installing the kit. which wire should I clamp it on? I bought on klein cl1000 clamp amp meter but am confused which wire I should measure.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 07:35 PM
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http://johnstonesupply9.com/TechDocs...ECH%20INFO.pdf

Refer to page 35.


The start relay 5 lands on purple not red.

Your clamp meter grabs the purple wire to the compressor.

I never install the 5-2-1 brand start kit. The relay is slow to take the start cap out of the circuit so they have a very short life, often only around 1 year. The Carrier P296-011 start kits that I install last many years. 1 connects to the start cap and leaves the start cap to connect to Run on the 011 as shown in your diagram. (It actually also does this with the 5-2-1 but I think that part may come prewired).

The 5-2-1 is a good price. I saw an outrages listing for the p296-0011. I don't pay much for the 0011.

I would look into the factory recommended start kit for that unit.
 

Last edited by Houston204; 08-09-14 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-09-14, 08:34 PM
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Thanks so much Houston204.
You inspired me to read the diagram (which I didn't dare to do).
when you say purple, did you mean violet (VT) as labeled by the diagram?
when I look at the diagram, I saw both T1 T2 lead to the compressor. T2 (VT20) leads C and T1 (RD10) leads to R. what's the difference? Why do we measure amps on T2 but not T1?
The diagram actually used 5 2 1 labeling for optional hard-start. is that a generic naming for hard start (rather than branding)?
 
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Old 08-09-14, 09:01 PM
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when you say purple, did you mean violet (VT) as labeled by the diagram?
Yep, I will always call violet purple.

when I look at the diagram, I saw both T1 T2 lead to the compressor. T2 (VT20) leads C and T1 (RD10) leads to R. what's the difference? Why do we measure amps on T2 but not T1?
Common to the compressor will be the highest reading of the 3 wires to it. We want to know the highest reading to verify that we are not pulling excessive amperage.

The diagram actually used 5 2 1 labeling for optional hard-start. is that a generic naming for hard start (rather than branding)?
The terminals are labeled 5, 2 and 1. Naming a start kit this way was a great marketing idea.
(like Best Way shipping)

1 goes to the start cap then to run.
2 goes to start.
5 goes to common.

And odd fact that causes confusion is that Run is labeled Com on the dual cap. That terminal is common to Herm and Fan on the cap but it is Run on the motor circuits.
 
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Old 08-10-14, 06:25 AM
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Houston204, Thanks so much for your time answering the questions.
I have a couple of more questions. I'm sorry about all the questions. I just want to get it correctly before doing it. I like over-prepare it so that I won't screw up and cause damage to my compressor.

Regarding LRA (startup amp), it is labeled pretty high (88). If my circuit breaker is only 30A, how can it even draw 88 amps from where (no hard start yet)?

Secondly, let me confirm my test method on installing hard start
1) before install, measure max and running amps on COMMMON (opposite terminal of the one that connects C on dual run capacitor. Max should be high and running amp should be around 15 (based on RLA)
2) after install, measure
a) max and running amps of COMMON again. Max should be reduced with help of hard start.
b) max and running amps of RUN wire [between start cap (hard start) and dual run C]. once AC starts, running should be 0. otherwise, compressor will be damaged.

Thanks again
 
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Old 08-10-14, 09:28 AM
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1) before install, measure max and running amps on COMMMON (opposite terminal of the one that connects C on dual run capacitor. Max should be high and running amp should be around 15 (based on RLA)
I'd expect both readings to be between 60% and 80% of rating.

2) after install, measure
a) max and running amps of COMMON again. Max should be reduced with help of hard start.
I have seen the starting amps reduced to the RLA of the compressor with a start kit installed but 40 amps would be okay.

b) max and running amps of RUN wire [between start cap (hard start) and dual run C]. once AC starts, running should be 0. otherwise, compressor will be damaged.
It won't damage the compressor. It will smoke the start capacitor in about 90 seconds if the start relay doesn't take the start cap out of the circuit by then. Take a picture of the top of the start cap and check it again in 10 months. We have techs that love that kit because everyone has them but I have not seen many last more than 10 months. My theory is that the start relay takes the start cap out of the circuit. It just does too slowly.
 
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Old 08-10-14, 01:16 PM
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Thanks so much for all the answers and time.
 
 

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