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Q1. Is a SoftStart Home device basically a transformer? If not, what’s the difference?
A. No. SoftStart Home is NOT a transformer. Transformers either step up or step down voltage. A SoftStart Home is a solid-state system that protects A/C and heat pump motors and compressors from damage caused by sudden influxes of power. It greatly limits the inrush of high current typically associated with the motor startup of an inductive-load device, such as an air conditioner or heat pump. SoftStart Home provides a gentle ramp up to full speed (0.06 sec) and only works during startup.
Q2. How is SoftStart Home different from a Hard Start or Start Assist?
A. A Hard Start or Start Assist is a device that stores a large amount of power and releases its power all at once. That is why you hear a heavy thud when a motor/compressor is started with one of these devices. Hard Start and Start Assist devices are hard on the motors and compressors due to the extreme heat created by the large electrical inrush that they allow to reach these vital components.
Q3. Is a SoftStart Home unit watertight and able to be mounted outside the A/C unit?
A. A SoftStart Home is water-resistant and should be installed with the wires pointed down, preferably inside the air conditioner or heat pump housing.
Q4. How long will a SoftStart Home unit last?
A. SoftStart Home is built to last for many seasons, but it is an electronic device and there are many factors that can shorten the life of electronics.
Q5. What is the warranty on the SoftStart Home?
A. SoftStart Home is warranted for one year plus an additional year free with online registration.
Q6. How does a soft start actually work?
A. SoftStart Home is a solid-state system that protects A/C and heat pump motors and compressors from excessive heat damage caused by sudden influxes of power. It greatly limits the inrush of current associated with motor startup by providing a gentle ramp up to full speed (0.06 sec) SoftStart Home only works during the startup, then it gets out of the way until it’s needed for the next startup. It does not operate while the air conditioner is running.
Q7. Can a SoftStart Home replace a hard start device?
A. Yes! The SoftStart Home can and DOES replace a Hard Start or Start Assist (to use a SoftStart Home, the Hard Start or Start Assist device MUST be disabled before powering up your unit). The SoftStart Home performs a “self test” before starting. If it detects the presence of a Hard Start or Start Assist device, it will not power up (a red light on LED 3 will appear).
Q8. Can a SoftStart Home replace a surge arrestor?
A. A SoftStart Home does not offer typical surge protection capabilities.
Q9. What type of compressor will a SoftStart Home work with (single-stage, two-stage or variable)?
A. A SoftStart Home will work only on single- and two-stage systems – not a variable speed system.
Q10. Does a SoftStart Home work on refrigeration systems and circulator pumps?
A. SoftStart Home will work on refrigeration systems, but it will not work on circulation pump motors.
Q11. Can a SoftStart Home be taken off an old A/C or heat pump unit and reused on a new or different unit?
A. Yes! The SoftStart Home can be removed and used on a new unit if the older one is replaced. Installation may be different on the new A/C or heat pump, depending on the brand of the units.
Q12. Does each A/C or heat pump unit need its own SoftStart Home device?
A. Yes. Each A/C needs its own SoftStart Home unit if there are multiple A/Cs.
Q13. Will a SoftStart Home affect the air conditioner manufacturer’s warranty?
A. It should not affect the warranty, but it depends on how the SoftStart Home is installed. A SoftStart Home uses wiring connectors that work on many units without changing any wiring connectors. However, there are some air conditioners and heat pumps that require changing one or two wire connectors on the last step of the SoftStart Home installation.
Q14. Is the SoftStart Home unit tested?
A. The SoftStart Home is tested at the factory to withstand temperatures ranging from -40ºF to 185ºF. It is also cycle tested to last more than 100,000 cycles and operate more than 45,000 hours at working temperature.