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Old 06-22-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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Hard start caps for AC

Ok, can someone explain how a hard start cap for a 13.5 btu AC works and how hard is it to install?

I have a 2014 RP172 rPod. If I have understood correctly, this would make life easier for my two 2k Hondas.


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Old 06-22-2015, 04:55 PM   #2
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On my 13.5 it took longer to remove the top a/c shroud.
Once removed there was room inside the current capacitor housing to install the hard start right next to it.
30 minutes.

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Old 06-22-2015, 04:58 PM   #3
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http://www.modmyrv.com/2009/05/27/rv...tart-capacitor

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Old 06-22-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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A hard start cap is a capacitor that will store voltage and discharge into the line when there is something looking for power and current load is lacking. People who have large car stereos often use them to supply their amps with power for low extended bass notes, when the battery lacks the 14volts the caps kick in the power needed to make the note last.

Same for the AC, it first kicks in and asks for a lot of juice, the cap will discharge if the line feeding the AC does not have all the current it needs getting the AC past the initial startup that requires more effort.

Things to watch out for, if anyone is ever working on your electrical system you need to tell the, it is there. If they kill the power thinking the system is clear, place a load on it to test something cap can unload. Hopefully the cap wiring is restricted to the AC which can help in these cases.

I would think, two Honda 2000s running parrelle, which provides are 3800 watts will provide more then a enough juice and not need the cap. I had one installed in my last camper running a single Kipor 2000, very similar to Honda, so similar Honda sued them, and it would run a 13.5 AC with the hard start cap.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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I also have a compressor fan delay mod which let's the compressor start up and get running before the fans kick on.
Helps a ton if your generator has a hard time starting compressor and fan @ the same time.

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Old 06-22-2015, 06:28 PM   #6
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I like to run gens on Eco mode so not running gens full out when AC is cycling off. I have a Surge Guard monitor and in the past when AC was cycling on, I could hear the contacts on the monitor clicking. I was to understand that the hard start caps would make it easier on the gens, hopefully on Eco mode. So, is this a practical option or not really worth it. Also, having a repair place do it, I shouldn't be gouged to badly? On an rPod, there's not much of a roof or room to crawl around.

Thanks guys. I knew I'd find an answer here.


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Old 06-22-2015, 07:40 PM   #7
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For my generator on Eco mode means the generator runs only at the rate needed to produce the draw being asked for, the second there is more need the generator revs up to produce it.

While the cap most likely will discharge and help the AC start with less run from the generators, it will then draw current to recharge itself. Personal, I do not think the installation is worth it where you have more then enough power to start it with out the cap. I would think the saving on the quick jolt it gives you to start, will be lost during its recharge. I have only heard of people using them when they had issues starting their AC and cannot say for sure based on your application of it if worth it or not.

They should not charge you a lot to install, 1hr tops.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
RV Air Conditioner Hard Start Capacitor | ModMyRV

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Easy enough. I do wish the instructions placed emphasize on the handling of removed capacitors. They can bite you.

Most of us shop guys can remember tossing charged ones around to unsuspecting guys and having them instinctually catching them.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:19 PM   #9
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While the cap most likely will discharge and help the AC start with less run from the generators, it will then draw current to recharge itself.
That's not exactly how it works. The capacitor actually works by passing more current through the a/c during the start cycle. This can give you as much as 300% more initial torque. After the a/c is running the cap basically does nothing at all. The only cost in energy is that short burst at the beginning. In most cases with a good A/C and longer recycle times you don't need any extra starting caps. But if the A/C line differential pressures are high, you may need a boost..
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:02 PM   #10
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It was the second mod I did after installing an EMS unit. My ac would not turn on in the extreme heat without it (whole other long story). It helps the compressor with not making it work as hard on startup so in theory- it may help the unit last longer. They are only $10-12 bucks on Amazon. I now keep a spare (goes along with that other story thing)
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