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Old 03-22-2020, 07:21 PM   #1
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Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


I am in the process of buying a portable generator for the whole house. A big whole house Generac is not in the budget right now so I'm leaning towards this ....





I had the central ac unit replaced about 1 year ago with a Amana 5 ton ASX16 unit and new Goodman air handler. I spent the better part of yesterday with my son testing the amp draw at the main panel on all our major appliances, lights, TV etc. in the home.


After my math I am confident that this generator will be able to run my whole house but some common sense will need to be used when running. Meaning, certainly cant use the dryer, ac and refrigerator at the same time.



Upon startup, the AC draws 49 amps but only needs 10 to run. Air handler pulls 6 amps at start and needs 3.5 to run. That is right at the limit of this generator. I was thinking about adding the CSR-U-3 hard start kit to save a few amps from the compressor on startup. This model (CSR-U-3) is listed in the Amana spec sheet as a optional accessory.


Found some conflicting information in regards to using these hard start kits on "new" units so that's why I come here to ask if its good to go. I figure listing the kit in the optional accessory section would be good enough but just want to make sure.





Last edited by anthony21078; 03-22-2020 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


10 amps running is very low for a 5 ton.

It's closer to what I would expect for a 3 to 3.5 ton 13+ seer.

If it's a 2-stage, make sure it was running on second stage.

Keep in mind too, amp draw goes up as it gets hotter outside.

Under normal conditions - compressor in good shape and on utility grade electricity, scroll compressors don't need hard starts and recips need only if there's a txv.

On a generator, it should have a start start kit -> use a two piece/3 wire kit with a real relay.

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Hard starts don't reduce maximum starting current, they greatly reduce the duration so the generator doesn't strain and voltage drop. Gets the motor up to speed fast.
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I am not in the business of any trade I give advice on. I have non-professional hvac experience + good knowledge of theory. Attempt repairs at your own risk. Never jump out safeties - especially pressure switches - on a furnace for testing with fuel supply on; use a meter. Do not troubleshoot with live line voltage present unless there's no alternative.

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Old 03-22-2020, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


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Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
10 amps running is very low for a 5 ton.

It's closer to what I would expect for a 3 to 3.5 ton 13+ seer.

If it's a 2-stage, make sure it was running on second stage.

Keep in mind too, amp draw goes up as it gets hotter outside.

Under normal conditions - compressor in good shape and on utility grade electricity, scroll compressors don't need hard starts and recips need only if there's a txv.

On a generator, it should have a start start kit -> use a two piece/3 wire kit with a real relay.

---------
Hard starts don't reduce maximum starting current, they greatly reduce the duration so the generator doesn't strain and voltage drop. Gets the motor up to speed fast.
---------

I wont pretend like I'm well versed in central ac units so I have no idea if its a 2 stage unit. I know I tested the line at the main house breaker on 3 different occasions yesterday. This was also the first time the AC has been started since October. I had it running for 20 minutes and it still read 10 amps.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


What temperature was it outside when testing?

What is the model number of the outdoor unit?

Keep in mind, the generator doesn't actually need to be rated for peak current of motor starting as it lasts a fraction of a second.

Also, many clamp meters won't react fast enough to pick up the absolute peak.

In the end, it should be okay with a hard start on it.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


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What temperature was it outside when testing?

What is the model number of the outdoor unit?

Keep in mind, the generator doesn't actually need to be rated for peak current of motor starting as it lasts a fraction of a second.

Also, many clamp meters won't react fast enough to pick up the absolute peak.

In the end, it should be okay with a hard start on it.

Yesterday when I was testing it was about 58 degrees outside, 70 degrees inside the house with the thermostat set to 60



I just checked Amana sit and it says my model is a single stage compressor. Model number ASX160601
https://www.amana-hac.com/products/a.../16-seer-asx16


Truth is, I have heard from quite a few neighbors that have lived in this area for many years and they stated power loss is extremely rare.



Is the hard start kit perhaphs an item that I should just buy and keep in the drawer if that time ever comes when I need to power the house with the generator? Seems like a simple 20 minute install.



Or is it a safe long term item to be used on daily basis?
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:01 PM   #6
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


I would just put the hard start on and test with the generator before it's required.

Quote:
Yesterday when I was testing it was about 58 degrees outside, 70 degrees inside the house with the thermostat set to 60
That's why the amp draw was so low.

It will closer to 15++ amps in normal conditions - 75 or so inside, 90+ outside.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


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I would just put the hard start on and test with the generator before it's required.



That's why the amp draw was so low.

It will closer to 15++ amps in normal conditions - 75 or so inside, 90+ outside.



Good to know. Even at 15 running amps I will have plenty of wiggle room to run other items. Thanks
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:09 PM   #8
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


Could be higher than 15. i would go with the fla and rla ratings on the unit for the compressor and fan to be safe.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


I stumbled across the Sure Start Soft Start by hyper engenering and it seems to get great feedback in the Generac whole house generator world

https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect...30/p99614.html

Wiring is a bit different then the 5-2-1 hard start but appears to have great results. Not sure which way to go.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:50 PM   #10
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


They work completely differently - either will save the generator from straining.

The hard start increases the phase shift between run and start to raise torque so the motor gets up to speed faster - the duration of the current spike gets shortened.

The soft-start to my limited knowledge under-volts the motor at first to limit current - starting inrush current is reduced by time increased. Motor gradually speeds up instead of getting a swift quick.

The soft-start is probably more gentle on the motor's wiring and scroll mechanism.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


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Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
The soft-start to my limited knowledge under-volts the motor at first to limit current - starting inrush current is reduced by time increased. Motor gradually speeds up instead of getting a swift quick.

The soft-start is probably more gentle on the motor's wiring and scroll mechanism.

Yes thats what Ive read as well.



Without actually testing both units, is there a general consensus on which item would be better suited for long term use on a central AC with the occasional (maybe once a year) need to run the system on a generator?
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:56 PM   #12
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


Instead of making a new thread, Ill ask here. Is this the correct location on the contactor to attach the the black wire from the hard start relay? Probably hard to tell with all the wires in the way. Im not sure if its the top or bottom
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Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC-contactor.jpg   Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC-ac.jpg  

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Old 03-24-2020, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


Follow the schematic that comes with the kit.

I can't tell which side of the circuit that is. You do want it on the output side of the contactor.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:48 PM   #14
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


"Common - Connect the loose end of the Black wire to T1 of the contactor. Check to see thatthe Common “C” terminal of the compressor also connects to T1. In most cases you will find a Black wire coming from the Common “C” terminal of the compressor."

To me it looks like my contactor is flipped upside down compared to most other pictures online. I really just dont know
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:17 PM   #15
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Re: Hard Start Kit for 1 year old 5 ton Amana AC


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Originally Posted by anthony21078 View Post
Instead of making a new thread, Ill ask here. Is this the correct location on the contactor to attach the the black wire from the hard start relay? Probably hard to tell with all the wires in the way. Im not sure if its the top or bottom


Yes thatís correct, you can put the red on the right side and the yellow with the yellow wire on the capacitor
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