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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Doing my best to prepare for another Texas grid failure. Purchased a generator last year after Snowmagedden. I'm disabled. I'm running into some brick walls and hoping y'all can enlighten me.
  • I have 3.5 ton TempStar heat pump unit at my home. It's about 3-years old.
  • I'm trying to find someone to install the EasyStart soft starter as I'm not in any shape to do it myself.
  • I checked with an electrician. He told me he refers people to HVAC folks.
  • Checked with my HVAC business and they never have even heard of soft starters.
Hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Micro Air's dealer map has HVAC "home" installers in Houston (which is 170 miles from my home)
Thank you in advance for any help you may provide!
 

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I'm in Dallas, so I certainly know why you are doing this. My generator saved our butts...literally.

As for the soft start, either an electrician or a HVAC tech should be able to install one. They do hard start kits all the time, but a lot of them don't know what a soft start is so you just get a blank stare.

Keep calling other electricians & HVAC techs, or search for a local handyman. The kits come with all the instructions and are not that difficult.
 

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My cousin, who lives in Conroe, had one installed last year. He said it's not difficult to install. Any electrician should be able to handle it with no problem.

That cousin wanted to run his house, with the central a/c, using a Honda EU7000is. I told him the Honda probably wasn't going to be stout enough to run a 4 ton system even with an Easy Start. He installed it anyway, but the Honda was not enough wattage. But the Easy Start did make a pretty big difference. If he upgrades to more wattage, he should be good to go.
 

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What size would you need for a 2 1/2 ton central AC?
Put your A/C info (2.5 ton/30K BTU) into the "WHICH MODEL DO I NEED?!" selector. Decide on which optional feature you might want also or just call them. Once you have done that, then buy direct from them or see if Amazon might have a better price.
 

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I installed the EasyStart 368 on my 4-ton unit. It's only 4 wires and it took a few minutes. This video shows how easy it is:


One thing to keep in mind is that if your HVAC system uses a TXV to regulate refrigerant pressure, you won't see the full capabilities of the soft starter. A piston type system will likely see close to a 75% reduction in inrush current because the system will equalize a lot faster between cycles.

My system uses a TXV and it reduced inrush by about half. My Honda EU7000IS can't start it. I may get a battery inverter as a secondary backup and hopefully it will be able to start the HVAC if needed. Thinking about the Growatt T6000 (18kW surge) and some Lifepower4 rack mount batteries. Not sure if it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm in Dallas, so I certainly know why you are doing this. My generator saved our butts...literally.

As for the soft start, either an electrician or a HVAC tech should be able to install one. They do hard start kits all the time, but a lot of them don't know what a soft start is so you just get a blank stare.

Keep calling other electricians & HVAC techs, or search for a local handyman. The kits come with all the instructions and are not that difficult.
Thanks for the suggestion!
BigDog
 

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they are super easy to install if you can follow instructions and have a basic skills with ac power.

they are worth the 300-500 bucks depending on the make and model.
some like the new blue tooth version as well.
 

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Well, as long as I'm highjacking the thread... :sneaky:

Below is the plate from my A/C unit. Unless I'm blind or stupid (which is always possible) I didn't see watts or BTUs. So I went with 230V @ 79 LRA = 18,170W, to come up with a number to plug into "WHICH MODEL DO I NEED". Is that correct? If not, can someone correct my math?

This is my generator. I run it on propane. 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Generator - Champion Power Equipment Would it be big enough to run my A/C with a soft start?

And didn't I read that the soft start will save you money on your electric bill on an ongoing basis? Looking for selling points to pitch to the wife.

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I don't think the Champion generator running on propane would start it, but I could be wrong. If you have a piston system, a soft starter might reduce the inrush enough.

The running amps wouldn't leave you much for anything else in the house.
 

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I don't think the Champion generator running on propane would start it, but I could be wrong. If you have a piston system, a soft starter might reduce the inrush enough.

The running amps wouldn't leave you much for anything else in the house.
I didn't think so either. I just wanted to get a few more opinions in case I was wrong. I still have my window units, so I'm good with that if I need them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So which do I have? TXV or Piston? It looks like both according to the label. I'm running the Westinghouse 9500DF on propane. Are you able to tell from the label if I'm able to run my TempStar 3.5 ton heat pump with this generator? And if I can, how much is left to run other items in the house using EasyStart? From what I've been told, I should be able to run the AC in the summer, but not the Heat in the winter.

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The way I am going with my Soft start was to call my A/C maintenance company to inquire about the prospect of adding one to the HVAC they installed here about a year and a half back which is still under a warranty contract I wish to preserve. Said they put them on all the time usually for folks using solar with batteries and inverters. I ordered one so when they it comes in, they will be out to install it. Shouldn't be to much longer now.
 

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So which do I have? TXV or Piston? It looks like both according to the label. I'm running the Westinghouse 9500DF on propane. Are you able to tell from the label if I'm able to run my TempStar 3.5 ton heat pump with this generator? And if I can, how much is left to run other items in the house using EasyStart? From what I've been told, I should be able to run the AC in the summer, but not the Heat in the winter.

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I've never seen that before but perhaps it's because your unit is both an AC and a heat pump. I know my AC uses a TXV on the indoor unit, so maybe your heat pump is using the piston on the outdoor unit as the label indicates. My understanding of the TXV is that it attempts to hold the system pressure longer than a piston, adding some efficiency on single stage systems...but this leaves more backpressure on the compressor when starting back up, resulting in a higher inrush current even with a soft starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: First and foremost, thanks to those who chimed in to help me resolve this issue. After searching for a resource to install an EasyStart 368, the stars are not aligning in Central Texas to do so. I've called a number of HVAC dealers and service techs. The vast majority of them have never even heard of a soft starter. Same with electricians.
My biggest concern is that even if I could find someone to install it, I'm very concerned about getting regular service for the unit with the 368 installed.
That along with my current health issues and back problems, I'm just not able to get around to work on things like I used to.
The reason I was getting the 368 in the first place was to be able to cool off the house when we lose power this summer using my Westinghouse Generator.
As much as I believe in the EasyStart, at the end of the day I think I will get a portable AC unit on wheels to cool off at least one bedroom until power returns.
I guess my next question is does anyone have recommendations on portable AC unit? I've been looking at the Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU or the SereneLife SLACHT108 10,000 BTU.
Should we finally get a dealer who know what they are doing, I can always sell the portable unit and then have the 368 installed
Thanks again for your input.
 

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I guess my next question is does anyone have recommendations on portable AC unit? I've been looking at the Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU or the SereneLife SLACHT108 10,000 BTU.
You might find this thread useful...
Dual inverter window A/C units | Power Equipment Forum

Between the two units you mentioned, I would consider the double hose unit (Whynter) to be the better option. The single hose units tend to draw outside air into the house. Too bad that the Whynter unit is not an inverter type.
 
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