QUESTION: Will EasyStart Work on My Refrigerator or Freezer?
We often get asked if a refrigerator or freezer will work with EasyStart. This is a somewhat complicated question to answer since to understand the answer you need to know a little about your application.
EasyStart works on air conditioners because they often use an orifice between the high and low-pressure sides that equalizes the pressures quickly after the system is shut down. Freezer and refrigerator system sometimes use expansion valves to replace the orifice. These valves hold the refrigerant high pressure against the compressor rotor. This forces the compressor motor to use a large amount of torque to overcome this pressure which translates to a current surge.
To complicate this issue, some systems use expansion valves that bleed off pressure and others have bleed ports or equalizing valves in them. These all serve the purpose of reducing the pressure so the motor can start easily. Some systems however have none of these and must start against high refrigerant pressure each and every time.
To determine if EasyStart will work in your system, you need to know if it will equalize refrigerant pressures in less than five minutes. Equalize means the high- and low-pressure sides of the system are equal in pressure. Since this is an engineering detail of a system, most times it is hard to get this information from a manufacturer so often the best resource is an HVAC technician. HVAC techs can use gauges to check for this condition and some experienced techs understand the equipment well enough to know how it operates without connecting gauges.
If you are sure that pressures equalize then EasyStart will work for you. You can approximate the BTU rating by using one of these formulas:
BTU = continuous amp draw @ 120 volts X 1000
BTU = continuous amp draw @ 240 volts X 2000
Then use our model selector to determine the model that is right for you. For example, if you have a refrigerator that draws 5 amps @ 120 volts then use 5x1000 or 5000 BTU (5K BTU) as your reference in the model selector. Please note that EasyStart requires a minimum of 3 amps of continuous current to operate. Systems that draw less probably do not need EasyStart since their peak current is well within the capability of most small electric generation systems.