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Old 10-12-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Installing hard start cap on 13.5 Coleman AC unit

I purchased one of the new HF Predator 2200/2500 inverter generators after I got a $399 coupon on email recently. After measuring my Coleman/Mach 13.5K BTU AC amps at 10.8 steady and about 18 amps startup, I thought this would be all the generator I would need. At first test, the gen did NOT supply enough startup current to power the AC. I then went to amazon and ordered the SUPCO HS6 (SPP6) hard start cap ($11.50). I got it in two days. I then installed it but failed to take note of WHICH cap of the two inside my AC unit was the correct one to connect the additional part. I looked at the visual install instructions on the package of the HS6 and it showed the run cap was oval shaped. I had two caps in my AC, one round and one oval so I installed the new cap wires to the oval cap like it showed on the install picture.

Well, that did not work... as a matter of fact it did not even allow my fan to go full speed. I went back on the roof and looked again. This time I noticed a wiring diagram showing color coded wires to the two different caps. Following that diagram, I saw the run cap was the tall round one, NOT the oval one. So I changed the connection and tried again. Now my AC worked fine. It even worked fine with the HF Predator 2200/2500 inverter generator... so I will be happy when I hit the Everglades primitive campgrounds this January. The inverter/gen IS louder then a Honda 2000, but I believe it will not be overly noticeable when running in the campground.

It took me a little time to figure out how to get at the guts of the AC, so I took some pics the second time up there and publish these for someone else to learn from. At first I did not see the small access panel on the side (road side) of the metal cabinet that surrounds the AC that gave me access to the caps.

Tools I used were a screw gun,
a #2 Phillips bit,
a #T-25 torx bit to release AC hood,
a 1/2 inch wide wood chisel (or a thin blade screwdriver) to break plastic hood apart (you cannot remove the hood unless the sides are apart),
a long handled needle nose pliers to place the connectors on the existing cap,
about 18 inches of foam sleeve (I insulated the cold return line while I was up there, as I thought that might help efficiency just a bit)

Total install time might be 15-20 minutes IF you look at this tutorial. It took me 45-50 minutes and several trips up/down the ladder to figure out the first time. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:06 AM   #2
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Nice, this is on my to do list this summer.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:39 AM   #3
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Sounds like a good mod to do!
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