Your first question reading this might be, “What is an A/C contactor?” Today we’ll tell you, and also let you know what to do if yours goes bad!
What is an A/C contactor?
A contactor is an electrical transmitter or relay in the A/C. More simply, you could call it an electrical switch, and it’s what actually allows your A/C to turn on and off. The contactor regulates the flow of electricity to various parts. It sends current to the condenser as well as for the outdoor fan motor. But it also ensures the A/C unit is not sending power to any part of your system that does not need it. In the most basic terms: a contactor is what allows or prevents power to your unit!
What are some signs that my A/C contactor is going bad?
You might think that if your contactor is bad, then your A/C will stop working altogether. While that’s possible, it may not happen if your contactor just has dirty contacts or a weak coil (rather than completely not working). If that’s the case, you might hear a clicking or humming noise coming from your unit, as a result of the electrical component struggling to make a connection. However, if the contactor burns out or short-circuits, the A/C system will stop working entirely.
This could be because of old age and the build-up of dirt over time on its contacts, but sometimes there are other causes as well. For example, the contactor could go also bad because of a loose wire or contactor terminal. You might notice that your fan is not turning on when it should be, or you are not getting cold air from any of your vents in the house!
What do I do if my A/C contactor goes bad?
If your contactor isn’t working, you should turn off the power and give Ballard a call. Some people will recommend taking the system apart, checking to see if there is dirt on the contacts, and if so, cleaning it with a cloth. However, the reason we don’t recommend a non-professional attempting this is, a contactor is a sensitive electrical device! You certainly don’t want to make the problem worse.
If your A/C stops working in the middle of this blistering summer heat, the contactor could be to blame. But you probably don’t care exactly what the culprit is … just that it gets fixed! The techs at Ballard will come to your Inland Empire home, diagnose and fix the problem. You can rely on Ballard Plumbing, Heating and Air! Serving San Bernardino, Highland, Redlands, Riverside and the surrounding areas. Just contact us online or call us at 909-297-1914.