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Old 06-26-2017, 11:10 AM   #1
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Installing Soft Start in Dometic AC

Has anyone installed a soft start kit in their Dometic AC? We lugged our Honda 2000i to the outer banks, first attempt at using it in four years, only to discover that while the generator would handle the initial AC startup, it would go into overload on subsequent cycles of the compressor. I learned through an email exchange with Tammy that the AC units they're presently installing have the soft-start capability. I've searched this site and watched a few youtube videos, but haven't come across much in specifics for our particular unit.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:22 AM   #2
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I have not installed a soft start on an RV A/C but have installed numerous soft starts on industrial and commercial machinery / equipment.
They are neither mechanically or electrically difficult to install.
The most difficult part was programming them for a particular application . If you can find one that is designed and programmed for your A/C then it will be a fairly simple task.
They help lower starting inrush current
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:35 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure I can order the kit through a Dometic dealer, but I'm curious to know more beforehand so I can at least ask sensible questions. I plan to install it myself. When searching online, I came up with what appear to be replacement starting capacitors, additional capacitors apparently added in parallel with the originals, both for around $30, and some that are a few hundred dollars that are marketed to boaters. I assume these are microprocessor controlled. I'm obviously more interested in something closer to the $30 mark!
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
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Motors ( Inductive loads) have a lagging power factor ( Voltage is not in phase with the current . Capacitors when sized properly bring the power factor closer to unity. The capacitance needs to be properly sized , too much will cause a leading power factor.
A capacitor will help start a motor underload.
Since a starting capacitor is placed in the start windings it is disconnected when the motor reaches 80% of run speed by a centrifugal switch.
You could also place a start timer in the circuit so the pressure in the compressor has time to equalize and prevent starting against high head pressure.
Capacitors are not normally controlled by a micro processor.
The soft start may cost more but it works better and will solve your problem . Good seldom equates to cheap .
For $30 I would try the hard start capacitor and then if the problem persists go to the soft start
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Has anyone installed a soft start kit in their Dometic AC? We lugged our Honda 2000i to the outer banks, first attempt at using it in four years, only to discover that while the generator would handle the initial AC startup, it would go into overload on subsequent cycles of the compressor. I learned through an email exchange with Tammy that the AC units they're presently installing have the soft-start capability. I've searched this site and watched a few youtube videos, but haven't come across much in specifics for our particular unit.
Did she say when they started having the soft-start capacity? I've been wanting to use my Yamaha 2000i to power the AC, but have been worried it would damage the AC. If the 2016 AC's had it, well, wouldn't that be grand?!
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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She didn't say, but I get the feeling yours is already set up that way. In any case, the issue is the generator being overloaded and either stalling or going off line, so I doubt that your AC would be at much risk if you go ahead and try it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:24 AM   #7
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Soft start

Parker did you figure out what to order yet?
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:52 AM   #8
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Adding a larger start capacity capacitor will only help a little during a locked rotor restart of the AC when the pressures are higher on the high side of the system. During the initial start of the AC the low and high side pressures are the same, so less amperage is needed.
The only proven AC add on is the smart start system:
Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:55 AM   #9
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There was a thread with photos here in the archives of an install
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:25 AM   #10
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Hi Eddie. Not yet. I have a call into the local, major RV place that is also a Dometic dealer. I'm awaiting a return call and will post the results.

Thanks for your posts, Jubal and gocamp. I wasn't able to find that thread, am really happy to see it now, although I'm preparing myself for learning that this may not be a $30 venture.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:37 PM   #11
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I just ordered a hard start kit from the nearby Dometic dealer that they say is compatible with our 6403 series AC unit. The cost is about $40, so I assume it's something similar to the Supco aftermarket units. I'll try to come up with part numbers for the device, but if ETI is now supplying AC units with some sort of hard start capability already installed, it's probably not relevant to most folks on here at this point.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:34 PM   #12
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I think you are referring to the soft start VFD
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:05 PM   #13
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I think you are referring to the soft start VFD
Oh, cool. That's the one in the thread referred to earlier. I assumed that was the one that cost $300-400.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:42 PM   #14
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A soft start is not a VFD . They are designed for two different purposes .
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:47 PM   #15
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SKU number 9108850494
Short description SMARTSTARTII
Model VFD Variable Freq. Drive
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:02 PM   #16
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My trailer is a 2014, my next move is to figure out if my unit is has the soft start. I ran mine with a Honda 2K for a short while but don't remember if it cycled the compressor. Thanks for the replies and info.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #17
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I just installed an EasyStart 364 in our Dometic air conditioner. It's not an inexpensive solution, but wow, does it do the job! Our Honda EU2000i would handle the initial start okay (not in eco mode, however) but subsequent compressor cycles would immediately trip the generator's overload protection. After installation, I can now run in eco mode, AC fan on high, battery switch on, and with an additional 3-4 Amp charging load. I am extremely impressed. Here's a view of it installed. It wasn't all that difficult after the initial time spent getting access and understanding the existing wiring setup. I did have to stop a couple of times to get the correct crimp connectors. The tape-wrapped connection in the picture is a three way connection where I had to improvise with three crimp connectors bolted together. I know they make such a connector, but I couldn't find one locally. I'm happy to post more pictures or email them to anyone interested in installing one of these. It's certainly better than having to go up to a 3000 watt generator to do this job.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:46 PM   #18
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The Microair Easystart gets rave reviews for everyone who's installed one, but pricey. The cheap Dometic solution and others also have alot of reviews, but they could be best summarized as "this is a piece of junk." Sometimes I guess you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I just installed an EasyStart 364 in our Dometic air conditioner. It's not an inexpensive solution, but wow, does it do the job! Our Honda EU2000i would handle the initial start okay (not in eco mode, however) but subsequent compressor cycles would immediately trip the generator's overload protection. After installation, I can now run in eco mode, AC fan on high, battery switch on, and with an additional 3-4 Amp charging load. I am extremely impressed. Here's a view of it installed. It wasn't all that difficult after the initial time spent getting access and understanding the existing wiring setup. I did have to stop a couple of times to get the correct crimp connectors. The tape-wrapped connection in the picture is a three way connection where I had to improvise with three crimp connectors bolted together. I know they make such a connector, but I couldn't find one locally. I'm happy to post more pictures or email them to anyone interested in installing one of these. It's certainly better than having to go up to a 3000 watt generator to do this job.
I installed the Dometic SmartStart II in the AC of our current 19'. It works well with our Yamaha inverter generator, operating on propane. Upon reading your review of the EasyStart, I'm thinking about installing that unit on our next Escape. I'd be most interested in your pictures and any particular instructions.

Klaus
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #20
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I'd be most interested in your pictures and any particular instructions.

Klaus
Okay, happy to share some more. I'll either PM you or post a series of photos tomorrow.
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