Under the hood of an AC, a complicated system of electrical parts that function together enables the system to throw cool air. Although it’s not important to know precisely how the whole electrical system operates, there are a few pointers you need to know if something goes bad. We’re going to talk about what an AC contactor is and what can go wrong with your cooling system if it malfunctions!
What is a Contractor?
A contactor is an instrument that regulates the flow of electricity to your AC. A contactor either blocks or permits the flow of electricity to your air conditioner’s compressor, condenser, and motors. When the air conditioning system is off, the contactors are up, and they obstruct electricity from reaching your AC’s main components. When the thermostat starts a cooling cycle, it sends a nominal voltage to the contactors that lower them and connect the electricity flow to the rest of your AC.
What Happens When The AC Contactor Goes Bad?
A bad AC contactor can be recognized by physical indications of a type of breakdown called pitting. Pitting occurs when the contactor has experienced severe voltage. A pitted contactor sticks result in a continuous flow of electricity to the air conditioning unit.
If the contractor is faulty, the air conditioning system will lose its power to sufficiently cool the house and may run continuously, even when the thermostat is turned off. The second noticeable indication is a burned contactor resulting from wire insulation breaking down over time, leading to electrical failure. Insects and residue can also be the reasons for a bad contactor by not allowing an electrical connection, thus causing mechanical failure. The good news is that a bad AC contactor can be repaired.
A bad AC contactor results in:
- Insufficient cooling
- Electrical failure
- Cracked evaporator coils and condenser
- High electricity bills
- Peculiar noises
- Frequent repairs or replacement
What Can Go Wrong With an Air Conditioning Unit’s Contactor?
- Burn Out: Contactors can burn out because of normal wear and tear and overheating. When a contractor burns out, the component that it procures power to will not turn on.
- Stuck Down: A contractor can get stuck while it’s down for numerous different reasons. When this happens, electricity will continually flow through the contactor. Some air conditioning unit components might continuously operate even if the rest of the system is shut down.
- Stuck Up: A contractor can get stuck while it’s up. When this occurs, the parts connected to it will be starved of electricity and will not turn on when they have to.
The best way to prevent such difficulties with your contactors is to schedule an annual AC repair Babylon or tune-up with Cool Air Designs. We’ll examine all of your air conditioning system’s electrical components during a tune-up, including the contractors. We will clear any dust accumulated on the contactors since your last inspection and supplant worn-out contractors when essential.