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Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved into a new home that has an older HVAC system, approximately 20 years old for one of the condensers. I would like to install a 5-2-1 hard starter kit for better performance and prolong the life of the compressor. Thank you in advance for your help!

Model # = NAC036AKA4

Questions:

1. Is my unit a 3-ton condenser? I divided 36/12 and I think this is a 3-ton unit?

2. The current capacitor terminals have rust, should I replace the capacitor since it's not too expensive with a new one even if this is still working?

3. If I want to install a 5-2-1 hard starter kit, should I get one that is rated 1-3 ton or 3.5 - 5 ton?

4. Where do I plug the black wire from the 5-2-1 hard starter kit? From the pictures below, it looks like the RED color wire is plugged into the common section of the capacitor. Should I follow that same RED wire to the brown relay and plug the black wire into the available slot where I circle in red?

 

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If the compressor starts fine every time and doesn't dim the lights too much, there's no reason to add a hard start.

You're right in that it's a 3 ton.

If you insist on doing this, just follow the diagram:


The capacitor should say H or herm.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply!

As for the rust on the capacitor connection and contactor. Should I change these both as well even if they are functioning?

Also how do I tell which contactor is compatible for my unit?
 

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You can try removing the rust with some sand paper or steel wool.

Follow the wires from the contactor, it has two sides - one side goes to the capacitor common, the other side is where you hook the black from the relay.
 

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Get the 1-3 ton kit.

Leave the corroded things alone... perhaps you live close to the ocean or near some industrial area that exudes toxic fumes, such as sulphur from crude oil processing. Maybe just a high humidity area that has temperature swings that encourage dew pointing on equipment. The condenser coil will be the most likely component to fail if a corrosive atmosphere is at work... those electrical components still have good pressure tight connections that aren't affected by the corrosion on their other surfaces. If you disconnect any of them, you should clean the rust away from the lug or terminal and replace the connector, since you can't land it exactly as it was when plugging it back in. There is no reason to disconnect or disturb any of them to install this start kit.
 
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