Plug in soft starts

Short_Shot

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This came up a few times in a few threads but I just came across this ad on Facebook for plug in soft starts for power tools.

Perhaps this will also work for the portable AC units folks have?

Edit: orrr perhaps not at all.

MAYBE since they claim it's software based they can develop one that does the job in the future? That would depend entirely on how it works. If it's a frequency based thing then perhaps not.

 
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Porch

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-This product model is not compatible with digital applications, air compressors, air conditioners, or dehumidifiers.
 

Lt.Dan

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This came up a few times in a few threads but I just came across this ad on Facebook for plug in soft starts for power tools.

Perhaps this will also work for the portable AC units folks have?

Looks like it says in several areas, "not for air conditioners"
 

Short_Shot

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Looks like it says in several areas, "not for air conditioners"
So it does. Shame. Once again half asleep posting does me in..

I can't find a good explanation why but thinking about it now that I'm awake it could be that the soft start function doesn't actually work at all after the device is turned on since it's constantly drawing power.
 

Hedges

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"Originally built for use with universal motor power tools, this soft starter has since evolved to provide you so much more with a wide-variety of applications"

"Not recommended for induction motor with high inertia load."

It might be a speed control, same as dimmer, with automatic ramp. That is, same triac circuit used for speed control of a drill or Sawzall.
That would gently start a brush-type universal motor.
 

cdevidal

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They do make soft starters for air cons though. NetworkRV’s SoftStartRV and Microair’s EasyStart, but also on eBay is an up-and-coming contender that’s half the price: Search for applianceandair’s RV-AC-Starter.
 

RV10flyer

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For my Soft Starts, I use HutchMountain.Com Order early, like most things, they are in high demand with slow supply chain.

Scroll to bottom of products page.

I do HVAC for a living.
 

Lt.Dan

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They do make soft starters for air cons though. NetworkRV’s SoftStartRV and Microair’s EasyStart, but also on eBay is an up-and-coming contender that’s half the price: Search for applianceandair’s RV-AC-Starter.
They seem much cheaper than the competition. Good to know!
 

Short_Shot

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They do make soft starters for air cons though. NetworkRV’s SoftStartRV and Microair’s EasyStart, but also on eBay is an up-and-coming contender that’s half the price: Search for applianceandair’s RV-AC-Starter.

For my Soft Starts, I use HutchMountain.Com Order early, like most things, they are in high demand with slow supply chain.

Scroll to bottom of products page.

I do HVAC for a living.


But are they "plug in" ones.

Lots of them on the market that require wiring them in.
 

RV10flyer

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But are they "plug in" ones.

Lots of them on the market that require wiring them in.
If you want a soft starter on high starting load equipment like air compressors, heat pumps, window bangers, RV air conditioners...they need hard wired in.

I recommend MicroAir from HutchMountain.

That cheap device mentioned above on eBay is not a true soft starter. That’s why it’s half the price. Just like the cheap cells or panels. Most of the time, you’ll get what you pay for. In this case....

Use our RV AC Starter! A smart time delay circuit (Pat. pending) delays the fan motor for a few seconds, giving the compressor enough time to start up and run at full speed before the fan motor starts. As an additional advantage, the evaporator coil has additional time to cool down before the room blower starts.”

That is not how a MicroAir Easy Start 364 or 368 that I use in my HVAC business works.

If all it does is delay the fan. I can do that for less than half of their price.
 

Short_Shot

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Yeah the price isn't the concern lol

The issue is people wanting to start window units and portables on small inverters.
 

RV10flyer

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Yeah the price isn't the concern lol

The issue is people wanting to start window units and portables on small inverters.
Then they will need to use a 120V soft start hard wired in. It’s for the compressor. A plug n play device won’t work because the electronics/controls/dc brushless fan motors, etc won’t like being soft started.
 

Short_Shot

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Then they will need to use a 120V soft start hard wired in. It’s for the compressor. A plug n play device won’t work because the electronics/controls won’t like being soft started.
Yeah that was my understanding as well. I kind of glossed over that finer detail after I had already posted this, on account of being half asleep.

But I am not one to hide my mistakes and edit everything lol
 

RV10flyer

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Yeah that was my understanding as well. I kind of glossed over that finer detail after I had already posted this, on account of being half asleep.

But I am not one to hide my mistakes and edit everything lol
That’s okay. We all have a solar addiction, but most of us are not professionals at that. We can all help each other from our many backgrounds and that’s what I try to do. Anything HVAC or flying related I can help with.

Solar...I’m just in the “testing and learning stage with my 1.6 kw 12V pv shop system, starting my 20.6 kw home system”. Learning a lot on here.
 

pvdude

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How do I decide between these two different soft-start systems?

They both sell a version to start my 5 ton, Copeland scroll compressor equipped Goodman heat pump.

I measured the LRA @ 132. My Solar inverter won’t start anything more than about 50A.
 

RV10flyer

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How do I decide between these two different soft-start systems?

They both sell a version to start my 5 ton, Copeland scroll compressor equipped Goodman heat pump.

I measured the LRA @ 132. My Solar inverter won’t start anything more than about 50A.
I’ve used both of them. They both work the same and do well. I also use a Copeland version. But those two that you noted or just fine I would get whichever one I could get. My last ones took 6-8 weeks.

And you can always get your local HVAC guy like me to install it for you. Testing inrush amps before and after installation. You’ll be surprised. Have them check, test and replace any undersized wires going from panel to compressor. Those wires inside unit are always a size smaller than my American Standard 5 ton units. You should have a 6 ga circuit for a 5 ton. Put a new run capacitor on if not at capacitor new specs. Goodman unit wiring and run capacitors are very problematic.
 
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pvdude

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Thanks! My Goodman was installed in 2017, Florida heat has probably taken a toll on the capacitor.
There might be some factory warranty remaining, I would expect that adding the soft start would void any warranty.
But I'm not sure if Goodman would honor a warranty claim on the un-modified unit anyway, I installed it myself, as I could not find any
HVAC business here that could do it, except the companies that sell their own brands (Trane, Carrier, etc)
I used #8 wiring from the disconnect. I used a Square-D QO breaker (50A, as per the goodman manual)
 

RV10flyer

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Thanks! My Goodman was installed in 2017, Florida heat has probably taken a toll on the capacitor.
There might be some factory warranty remaining, I would expect that adding the soft start would void any warranty.
But I'm not sure if Goodman would honor a warranty claim on the un-modified unit anyway, I installed it myself, as I could not find any
HVAC business here that could do it, except the companies that sell their own brands (Trane, Carrier, etc)
I used #8 wiring from the disconnect. I used a Square-D QO breaker (50A, as per the goodman manual)
50A breaker is fine, but I would recommend 6 ga all the way from your panel to the contactor at least. Use that 8 ga on something else. Then inspect terminals and wires from contactor to compressor. Replace with larger wire size and better quality terminals if you notice any signs of overheating. You’ll get much less of a voltage drop at start up. Remember, when the volts go down the amps go up on those inductive loads.

No warranty on DIY Goodman installs from my Goodman distributor anyway.
 

Hedges

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Use our RV AC Starter! A smart time delay circuit (Pat. pending) delays the fan motor for a few seconds, giving the compressor enough time to start up and run at full speed before the fan motor starts. As an additional advantage, the evaporator coil has additional time to cool down before the room blower starts.”

Just the opposite of what you would want if using an inverter generator, which idles the engine with no-load.
For that, "Ready! Set! Start!" by turning on the small fan first and causing generator to come up to speed would be better.

Remember, when the volts go down the amps go up on those inductive loads.

Amps go up on inductive motor loads run at reduced voltage.
While motor is stalled, coils present DC resistance and whatever inductance they have. So wiring from panel adds resistance, reduces rather than increasing amps.
With reduced current, motor takes longer to start or fails to start. So it sits at locked rotor amps instead of decreasing to running current.

I'm accustomed to motors with starting windings and a centrifugal switch, also motors with no switch just start/run capacitors.
The switched in additional capacitor for higher starting torque would be good for my utility powered tools.
The true soft start sounds nice (for loads that don't build resistance too quickly as compressor might).

I do have a small central A/C which occasionally trips breaker when overworked on a hot day. It also one time froze up the cooling coils. I've considered adding a thermostat to do a thaw cycle, but I think that is only supposed to be necessary for freezers not for A/C that should operate above freezing. Maybe a refrigerant charge issue, or airflow (which is settable by jumpers on control board.)
 

RV10flyer

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From my experience a 5 ton a/c or hp with a standard PSC compressor needs 6 ga wiring from panel to reduce voltage drop during running and help start the compressor faster during inrush which is around 110-130 Amps.

The soft starts work great on start up to reduce the dimming of lights, outdoor security light nuisance shutdowns, generator and solar installs. I’ve used them for all of the above. The current draw on startup is less than 50%.
 
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