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Old 09-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
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Dometic Penguin Air Conditioner Starting Capacitor

I ran out of patience trying to find information via a search. The starting capacitor on my Dometic Penguin Air Conditioner appears to have failed. This A/C was installed in 2005 to replace the original unit which the PO had burned out on low voltage. I've ordered the O.E.M. capacitor using the A/C model number. A tech told me the capacitor was generally located under the shroud and fairly easy to get to - but he didn't have specific model information. I'm aware that there are cautions involved in handling the capacitor and I was wondering if someone could walk me through the replacement procedure??? Does the capacitor simply "plug in," or do wires have to be attached to terminals on a circuit board. In the latter case, what's the procedure for discharging the existing capacitor (if necessary) prior to removal?
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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I ran out of patience trying to find information via a search...
when that happens EXPAND da'search...

RV Air Conditioner Hard Start Capacitor | ModMyRV

and it's possible the many manuals linked in POST #4 below may help...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ace-68357.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I ran out of patience trying to find information via a search. The starting capacitor on my Dometic Penguin Air Conditioner appears to have failed. This A/C was installed in 2005 to replace the original unit which the PO had burned out on low voltage. I've ordered the O.E.M. capacitor using the A/C model number. A tech told me the capacitor was generally located under the shroud and fairly easy to get to - but he didn't have specific model information. I'm aware that there are cautions involved in handling the capacitor and I was wondering if someone could walk me through the replacement procedure??? Does the capacitor simply "plug in," or do wires have to be attached to terminals on a circuit board. In the latter case, what's the procedure for discharging the existing capacitor (if necessary) prior to removal?
Cracker,

PM me for the 'how to' on changing out your start capacitor.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Hi, I just ordered a new shroud for my Duo-therm Pengiun air conditioner and was thinking that it might just be a good time to replace my start up capacitor with a hard start one. But I have a few questions first.

(1.) My Yamaha 2400 starts and runs my 11,000 BTU air conditioner OK, even at high altitude. Should I just leave it alone.

(2.) On the other sites mentioned, [Mod My RV] they seem to speak more about the larger 13,500 & 15,000 BTU models; Once again making me think that the 11,000 doesn't need to have this done. Or does it?

(3.) There seems to be a lot of disagreement about capacitors with the "E" for electronic versus those without the "E" in the part number. Then the different voltage ratings of each. If I do decide to replace my capacitor with one of these, is there a definate one / part number that is the correct one and not just a guess? Seems to be opinions all over the place on this topic on the other forum; I would rather get a definate experienced answer from someone like Lewster on this. I don't want to experiment or guess.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:10 AM   #5
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Doesanyone know if the Supco SPP6 hard start capacitor would work on a Coleman13,500 BTU AC? Sal.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I just ordered a new shroud for my Duo-therm Pengiun air conditioner and was thinking that it might just be a good time to replace my start up capacitor with a hard start one. But I have a few questions first.

(1.) My Yamaha 2400 starts and runs my 11,000 BTU air conditioner OK, even at high altitude. Should I just leave it alone.

(2.) On the other sites mentioned, [Mod My RV] they seem to speak more about the larger 13,500 & 15,000 BTU models; Once again making me think that the 11,000 doesn't need to have this done. Or does it?

(3.) There seems to be a lot of disagreement about capacitors with the "E" for electronic versus those without the "E" in the part number. Then the different voltage ratings of each. If I do decide to replace my capacitor with one of these, is there a definate one / part number that is the correct one and not just a guess? Seems to be opinions all over the place on this topic on the other forum; I would rather get a definate experienced answer from someone like Lewster on this. I don't want to experiment or guess.
Simple answer: IF IT AIN'T BROKE....DON'T FIX IT!

Also, it is not a bad idea to have a spare hard start kit ready just in case yours burns out. Dometic changed the PTCR (positive temperature co-efficient resistor) or motor starter that was directly attached to the start capacitor about 3 years ago to a more robust, remotely mounted model, but I would not change it unless and until yours fails.

I am also not a fan of changing the ratings of these capacitors. The engineers that design these units use specific design parameters when choosing components like capacitors, relays and other electronics that closely match the requirements of the compressors and motors that are in the A/C units. I would stay with the OEM specs.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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I am also not a fan of changing the ratings of these capacitors. The engineers that design these units use specific design parameters when choosing components like capacitors, relays and other electronics that closely match the requirements of the compressors and motors that are in the A/C units. I would stay with the OEM specs.
Lewster speaks my mind.

Installing a "hard start" kit -- essentially an oversized starting capacitor -- increases the current flowing through the start windings in the compressor.

The heat generated in the windings goes by the square of the starting capacitor size. So, a 40% larger capacitor will double the heat produced in the starting windings. At some point, depending on conditions, a larger starting current will produce overheating and insulation breakdown before the thermal overload trips.

Hard starting kits make sense when installed on older equipment that otherwise would have to be replaced anyway or where the supply voltage is low and there's no economically feasible way to fix it.

I'd leave it alone or maybe replace the capacitor with a new one that's the same size. They do degrade over the years.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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BTW,

When you order a 'hard start kit' from either Dometic or RVP (Coleman), you get the exact same start capacitor and a new PTCR. They call it a hard start kit because if you need one, your compressor is not starting due to either a burned PTCR or out of limits start cap.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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Jammer and Lewster

You both seem not to like the Supco offering. What are your thoughts on the SmartStart product from Dometic?

Let's assume a new Dometic Penguin 15K unit will not start when using a new 2500 watt generator. Has anyone tried the Dometic SmartStart which will definitely reduce the startup demand far exceeding what the Supco SPP6E will do. Dometic did a controlled test and the reduction in startup amps was very impressive.

Honda eu2000i and air conditioning - Page 3 - SailNet Community

It is a Dometic marine product and is expensive (around $350). The size of the unit is 5 x 3 x 2 in.

A Dometic video.
SmartStart Videos - Dometic
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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Attached is a SmartStart installation on a new 11K Penguin.

The user is in Canada and thus it is not warm enough to properly test with the Honda 2000 generator. The installation has been tested only with an electrical outlet. The user will be reporting back after he has given it a proper test on a hot day with the generator.

My question for the Penguin experts is how does the space available for installation on a 11K Penguin compare with the space available on a 15K Penguin? Does it make a difference if the 15K unit is a heat pump model?

Barry
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SmartStart Installation.pdf (2.18 MB, 1778 views)
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:05 PM   #11
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Dometic SmartStart 4220040 Soft Starter

I am interested in anyone's recent experience with the Dometic SmartStart 4220040 soft starter as used on a Dometic Penguin roof top air conditioner.

Is there a UL listed version of this marine unit? I have sent a query to Dometic, but do not yet have an answer.

Is there any reason not to use the marine unit on a travel trailer?

Are there any installation problems that would not be obvious to a reasonably skilled Airstream owner?
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:45 PM   #12
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I would assume that the Smart Start is either UL or CE listed and rated. There are generally no problems installing marine rated items like appliances or electrical equipment into RVs with the exception of cost; marine products are generally much more expensive due to the requirement of more stringent regulations and the need to operate in a potentially corrosive marine environment.

Let me say that this is the first that I have heard of the 'Smart Start'. Most of my clients own larger motor homes and 5th wheels and either have large on-board generators or are connected to 50 amp shore power for most of their usage. The hard start kits available form Dometic and RVP-Coleman will usually correct any compressor starting problems within the operating and design parameters of the roof A/C units ion question.

The only plausible reason I can see for using a Smart Start device would be operating the A/C on marginal available amperage like a too-small generator, but without actual working experience of the device, I can't comment in a definitive way.

If I were facing this problem, I would NOT use such a device and opt for a properly sized generator to start and run my roof A/C appliance.

And BTW, I would NEVER use a line tap like the one shown in the installation demo, especially for 120VAC. I don't even use them for 12VDC. These tend to cut thru the wires over time and leave you with no current flow in the wires. I would either use a proper splicing device or a taped wire nut for the splice. Also note that soldering is NOT preferred as these hard joints can break over time after work hardening from vibration. Cold mechanical connections are preferred here.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #13
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Lew,

In some cases one cannot just get a bigger generator. For example, the Airstream Interstate comes with a 13.5K AC unit which is barely adequate for Texas. The newest Interstate change for 2012 is the CCC2 thermostat. If I bought a new Interstate, I would replace the 13.5K with a Penguin model 651816 which is rated high capacity. Dometic says the rating is close to 16K. You talked about a new Penguin 2 coming out. Maybe this is it.

In any case, the Interstate on board generator is an Onan 2500 watt propane model. It probably would not start the 16K Penguin. This is a good case for using the SmartStart to lower the start up amps when one cannot physically use a larger on board generator.

Barry
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
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.....
If I were facing this problem, I would NOT use such a device and opt for a properly sized generator to start and run my roof A/C appliance.
....
.
In my case, I do not have a generator, nor do I plan on getting one. My interest in the SmartStart is in doing what I can to keep from having breakers trip on the 30 amp shore power system that is standard on the 2006 30' Classic. My problems are primarily with RV parks that experience low voltage on the supply.

The following link may be of interest.

SmartStart Installation Video - Dometic
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