There are many components that make up your air conditioning system. Most people are concerned with the larger components such as the condenser, evaporator coils, compressor, and the blower going out. However, sometimes it is the smaller components that can have a bigger impact on your home’s cooling system. One of the smaller components that can have a major impact on your cooling system is the contactor. When the contactor fails, the entire air conditioner unit may fail to operate. Hal Mechanical will share the symptoms of a failed contactor and what needs to be done to repair your cooling system.
What Does an AC Contactor Do & How Does it Work?
A contactor is basically an electrical transmitter or relay that regulates the flow of electrical current to the various components in the air conditioning system. The contactor can supply or cut off power to the various components in that air conditioner. It is basically controlling when each component is triggered on or off. Throughout a single cooling cycle, the contactor is turning on and off the different components when it is time to do so. A contactor is much like a breaker. When the contactor closes, two conductive metals touch one another to allow the electricity to flow. Depending on the type of air conditioning system you have, there may be a contactor with two or more electrical switches which supplies and cuts off power to each of the major components. Some air conditioning systems have two different contactors. One contactor is used for the compressor and the second for the fan motor. You will need to know your air conditioner type and its contactor.
How Do I Know if My AC Contactor is Bad
When a contactor develops problems or goes bad, they will need to be replaced. Contactor replacements is not an uncommon problem and happens all the time. However, you will need to know when your air conditioner’s contactor needs to be replaced. Here are some of the classic signs or symptoms of a failing or failed contactor:
Chattering Noise – There are little plungers inside the contactor that opens and closes. When the plungers try to open or close but is having a difficult time doing so, you may hear a chattering noise. When the plungers are worn down and making noise, it is time to replace the contactor.
Humming Noise – While the air conditioner is turned on, you will hear a soft humming sound which is completely normal. However, if your air conditioner is not running or is turned off and you are hearing the humming noise, know that this occurs when the contact button isn’t being pulled in. You can push the button back in manually which will restore your cooling system,. However, the humming or stuck contact button is a sign the contactor is dirty and needs to be cleaned, or the contactor needs to be replaced.
Melted Plastic – Sometimes the contactor may get very hot where the outside plastic casing will melt. When the melted plastic interferes with the function of the contactor, it is definitely time to have the contactor replaced.
Central Air Conditioner Repair & Maintenance Services & More in Aliante, Centennial, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Enterprise, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Lone Mountain Village, North LV, Peccole Ranch, Paradise, Silverado Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise Manor, Tuscany Village, Whitney, Winchester & Las Vegas Nevada
If your air conditioner’s electrical control system has been compromised, you will want to seek a professional HVAC technician to come inspect and replace or clean the contactor. For HVAC services, contact Hal Mechanical today.