Replacing Contactor on Air Conditioner

Posted: 2020-08-08 | Updated: 2020-08-16 | Read Time: 9 minute(s)

The air conditioner stopped working at my home. Come to find out, one of the wires had burned off on the contactor, which resulted in a hot house in August. Definitely not something good. Take a look at the video to see how I diagnosed and fixed the issue.

Video

Video Transcript

ONE DAY I CAME HOME AND I NOTICED THAT THE TEMPERATURE WAS A LITTLE BIT WARMER THAN IT USUALLY IS AND SO I WENT INTO THE SENSE APP AND CHECKED TO SEE WHEN THE LAST TIME THE AIR-CONDITIONER SPECIFICALLY THE LAST TIME THE COMPRESSOR RAN AND I NOTICED AND RAN SINCE ONE O'CLOCK THAT MORNING I HAD TO GO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS WRONG BECAUSE IN THE HEAT OF AUGUST YOU NEED AIR CONDITIONING ALRIGHT SO THERE'S A CONTACTOR AND THERE'S A CAPACITOR SO SEE WHAT HAPPENS SO FAN IS RUNNING BUT THERE'S NO I DON'T HEAR THE COMPRESSOR RUNNING TOO ALL RIGHT SO I DID FIND A PROBLEM ONE OF THE WIRES CRAP WHERE'S IT THEY GO ONE RIGHT RIGHT HERE BURNED ON THE CONTACT AS YOU SEE SO LOOKS LIKE I NEED TO GET ANOTHER CONTACT MAYBE AND REESE TRIPPED THAT WIRE AND REPLACE IT AND LOOKS LIKE THAT WIRE BEHIND IT ALSO STARTED TO BURN AS WELL I GOT THE REPLACEMENT PART FOR MY HVAC BUT CAN YOU BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO HAVE A HVAC LICENSE IN ORDER TO BUY THIS PART LUCKILY I WAS ABLE TO GET IT WITHOUT THAT BUT YEAH AND SAME RIGHT SO THE NEXT STEP IS TO CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY FLOWING TO THE CONDENSER THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IS TO OPEN THIS AND THEN GET ELECTROCUTED SO THEN YOU PROCEED TO OPEN THE CONDENSER THE THIS PARTICULAR MODEL HAS FOUR SCREWS THAT COVER THE HOUSING YOUR MODEL MAY BE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SO JUST PAY ATTENTION TO THAT NEXT YOU'RE GONNA DISCONNECT ALL OF THE WIRES THAT RUN TO THE CONTACTOR BECAUSE AFTER YOU GET ALL OF THE WIRES DISCONNECTED THEN YOU'LL HAVE TO REMOVE THE CONTACTOR FOR MY PARTICULAR SITUATION THE CONTACTOR HAD SCREWS ON THE CONNECTING POINT SOME OF THEM DID HAVE THESE WHAT I CALL QUICK CONNECTORS BUT OTHER ONES HAD SCREWS ON THEM SO FOR THOSE OF HOW THE WIRES ARE CONNECTED TO THE CONTACTOR YOU'LL NEED TO DISCONNECT ALL OF THE WIRES FROM THE CONTACTOR IN ORDER TO REMOVE IT ALRIGHT FOLKS SO I GOT MY NEW CONTACTOR WHICH IS THIS ONE OVER HERE AND MY OLD CONTACTOR WHICH IS THIS ONE HERE FOR THE MOST PART THEY ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THE SCREW ON THIS ONE ACTUALLY I HAD TO SCREW IT ALL THE WAY OUT TO GET THE LEAD OUT OF THERE SO BUT THERE ARE SOME SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES THAT I'M NOTICED SO ON THE TOP OF THIS ONE ACTUALLY YOU STICK THE WIRE IN WHEREAS THIS ONE HAD A CLAMP THAT YOU PUT A CONNECTOR ON IT AND THEN YOU PUT THAT CONNECTOR AROUND THE SCREW HEAD SO THE TOP IS ESSENTIALLY LIKE THE BOTTOM NOW WHERE YOU STICK THE WHOLE WIRE IN AND THEN YOU SCREW THE TO CLAMP IT DOWN ALL THE WAY ALSO THE SAME NUMBER OF PINS HERE LOOKS TO BE THERE'S EIGHT ON THE BOTTOM AND THERE'S EIGHT ON THE TOP HERE I ONLY HAD I BELIEVE THOSE TWO WIRES HERE NEXT STEP IS TO REMOVE THE CONTACTOR ITSELF I WON'T BE USING ALL OF THOSE PINS SINCE I DON'T HAVE ALL OF THOSE WIRES AND THIS ONE ALSO IS ENCLOSED SO AS YOU CAN SEE YOU CAN SEE THE COIL ON THIS ONE FROM BOTH SIDES SO BUT YOU CAN ON THIS ONE AND THE REASON BEING IS SOMEBODY ACTUALLY TOOK ACCOUNT THAT HEY BUGS CAN ACTUALLY GET INTO THIS THING AND CAUSE PROBLEMS SO WHAT THEY DO NOW IS THEY ACTUALLY SEAL IT UP ENTIRELY SO ALL THIS MECHANICAL STUFF LIKE THIS RIGHT HERE IT'S NOT EXPOSED TO THE ELEMENTS HOWEVER YOU CAN TAKE THESE TWO SCREWS OFF AND THIS PLAY TO COME UP AND THEN IT WILL LOOK JUST LIKE THIS INSIDE UNDERNEATH THIS COVER HERE SO THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NEW CONTACTOR AND THE OLD CONTACTOR AND ONE OTHER DIFFERENCE THEY DID NOT HAVE IF YOU CAN KIND OF TELL THIS ONE IS RATED AT 25 AMPS AND THIS ONE IS RATED AT 30 SO THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE SAME RATING BUT IT IS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME PART JUST THE WRITING IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SO AS YOU SEE IS STILL OPERATING WITH A 24 VOLT COIL LIKE THIS ONE IS HERE AND SO IT'S ALSO A DIFFERENT BRAND BUT I DON'T THINK THAT REALLY MAKES MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE AND BE SURE TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE SCREWS BECAUSE THIS THING DOES HAVE TO GO BACK IN AND TRYING TO FIND THE SCREWS THAT MATCH OR WILL FIT ME HOLES THAT IT'S IN THIS PARTICULAR PANEL OR CONDENSER IS PRETTY DIFFICULT I'M YOU COULD USE ONE OF THE OTHER SCREWS AND PUT IT THERE BUT AGAIN THE HASSLE OF GOING THROUGH THE STORE AND TRYING TO FIND ANOTHER SCREW TO REPLACE THAT ONE CAN BE DIFFICULT AND SO ONCE YOU GET THE OLD ONE OUT YOU CAN PUT THE NEW ONE IN AND PRETTY MUCH PUTTING THE NEW ONE IN IS THE REVERSE STEPS OF TAKING THE OLD ONE OUT AND MY PARTICULAR SCENARIO I HAD WIRES THAT BURNED I'M NOT SURE IF THERE WAS JUST AN ARC OR JUST CORROSION OR MAYBE EVEN A CRITTER OR SOMETHING GOT INTO THE EAR AND SHORTER THINGS OUT BUT NONETHELESS THE WIRES WERE BURNED AS I SHOWED YOU EARLIER IN THE VIDEO SO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS PULL OUT MORE WIRE CUT OFF THE BURNT SECTION IDEALLY THERE'S A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF WIRE LEFT IN HERE IF NOT YOU MAY HAVE TO WHAT THEY CALL KIND OF LIKE PIGTAIL SO YOU PUT IN A NEW WIRE OF A LONGER LINK AND JOIN THE TWO WIRES TOGETHER AND THEN YOU'LL BE ABLE TO YOU KNOW RESIZE IT BACK TO THE APPROPRIATE LENGTH BUT IN MY CASE I HAVE PLENTY OF WIRE AS YOU CAN SEE HERE AND SO THAT ADDING ADDITIONAL WIRE WAS NOT NECESSARY I WAS JUST ABLE TO CUT OFF WHAT I HAD AND WIRE IT IN THE CONTACTOR THAT I'M USING DOES NOT HAVE THE QUICK CONNECTORS ON IT OR REQUIRED THAT THEY BE USED AND SO WHAT I WAS ABLE TO DO WAS TO STICK THE CONNECTOR I'M EXCUSE ME TO STICK THE WIRE INTO THE HOLE AND THEN TIGHTEN THE SCREW DOWN AND THAT HELD THE WIRE IN PLACE TO THE CONNECTOR SO YOU DON'T HAVE THAT QUICK CONNECTOR ON THERE ANYMORE ONCE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING CONNECTED YOU'LL NEED TO REARRANGE THE WIRES AND SECURE THEM BACK INSIDE OF THE ENCLOSURE OR THE PANEL IDEALLY YOU DON'T WANT TO YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT NONE OF THE WIRES ARE TOUCHING EACH OTHER IF YOU HAVE TO USE ZIP TIES ORIGINALLY BEFORE I PULL THIS PANEL UP ALL THE WIRES WERE CONNECTED TOGETHER IN A LARGE BUNDLE WITH A ZIP TIE SO TRY TO PUT IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE YOU START MESSING WITH IT THAT WAY YOU CAN ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY ISSUES IN THE FUTURE AND AS YOU CAN SEE HERE I HAVE THE ENTIRE WIRE SET WRAPPED IN BUNDLES I MEAN EXCUSE ME WRAPPED IN ZIP WITH A SINGLE ZIP TIE LIKE IT WAS BEFORE AND I'M MAKING SURE THAT EVERYTHING FITS THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE I STARTED MESSING WITH THINGS AND THAT NONE OF THE WIRES ARE CROSSED OVER OR ALL THOSE TYPE OF THINGS TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T SHORT OUT THE SYSTEM OR CAUSE YOURSELF FUTURE PROBLEMS THAT YOU OR A TECHNICIAN MAY HAVE TO FIX ONCE YOU HAVE ALL THE WIRES IN PLACE AND EVERYTHING YOU THINK EVERYTHING IS READY TO GO THEN GO FLIP ON THE SYSTEM AND MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD ALL RIGHT SO I HAVE CONDITIONING AGAIN YOU WANT TO DO THIS BEFORE YOU PUT THE COVER BACK ON BECAUSE IF YOU TEST IT AFTER YOU PUT THE COVER BACK ON AND SOMETHING'S NOT RIGHT THEN YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE COVER BACK OFF WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFICULT NOW I KNOW ON SOME SYSTEMS IN ORDER TO ACCESS THE CONTACTOR AND THE CAPACITOR YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO TAKE THE FAN OFF AND SOME OTHER COMPONENTS SO IN THAT CASE IF YOUR SYSTEM IS SET UP THAT WAY YOU'LL NEED TO PUT THOSE ITEMS BACK ON BEFORE TESTING BECAUSE IF THE FAN IS NOT SECURED AND YOU SWITCH IT ON THE FAM MAY DISLODGE ITSELF FROM THE UNIT AND ALSO BE A HAZARD TO ANYBODY THAT WOULD BE STANDING NEARBY IF IT WERE TO COME APART FROM THE SYSTEM ONCE YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THAT EVERYTHING IS WORKING AS IT SHOULD BE THEN YOU CAN PUT THE PANEL AND SCREWS BACK IN PLACE AND THAT WILL BE IT ALSO WHILE YOU'RE AT IT YOU CAN CHECK THE OTHER PARTS OF THE CONDITION COAL SUCH AS THE LINES THAT RUN IN AND OUT AS WELL AS THE WIRING THAT GOES IN AND OUT TO THAT UNIT THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO DO THAT SINCE YOU ARE ALREADY HAVING TO DO REPAIRS ON THAT TO LOOK IT OVER AS WELL AND I'VE BEEN MENTIONING IT EARLIER IN THE VIDEO BUT IF YOU HAVE BUGS OR ANYTHING INSIDE THE PLACE WHERE THE CONTACTOR AND CAPACITOR ARE TRY TO CLEAN THOSE OUT THE REASON BEING IS BECAUSE OFTEN TIMES THOSE ARE THE CULPRITS FOR YOUR CAPACITOR OR CONTACTOR TO STOP WORKING THEY SOMETIMES WILL CRAWL IN THERE AND WHEN IT COMES TO THE CAPACITOR THEY ACTUALLY CRAWL INSIDE OF THE CAPACITOR AND WHEN THE CAPACITOR GOES TO SWITCH ON IT WON'T BE ABLE TO SWITCH ON BECAUSE THAT BUG MIGHT BE BLOCKING THE MECHANICAL PORTIONS OF THAT FROM MOVING AND SIMILAR FOR THE CAPACITOR IF THERE'S A BUG OR SOME KIND OF ANIMAL IN THERE AND IT'S TOUCHING THE YOU KNOW TWO MORE POINTS OF THE CAPACITOR AND THAT CAPACITOR SWITCHES ON IT CAN ACTUALLY CAUSE THAT CAPACITOR TO SHORT OUT BECAUSE THAT OTHER ANIMAL IS ACTUALLY GIVEN A PATH BETWEEN TWO OF THE TOOL BOARD THE TERMINALS ON THE CAPACITOR SO AGAIN CLEANING OUT THE BUGS COBWEBS ANYTHING ELSE OF THAT NATURE ALSO TAKE NOTE IF THERE ARE ANY CHEWED WIRES BECAUSE IF THERE SHOOT WIRES THEN YOU PROBABLY HAVE A RAT OR RODENT PROBLEM AND THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AS WELL HOPEFULLY YOU'VE LEARNED A LITTLE BIT AND ARE ABLE TO APPLY THIS IN THE FUTURE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTACTOR OR RELAY PLEASE HIT ME UP AND DROP A COMMENT IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW ALSO PLEASE CHECK OUT ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER AT ALMOST ENGR AND CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE THE ALMOST ENGINEERED DOT COM [MUSIC]

Published: 2020-08-08
Updated: 2020-08-16
Author: Kenny Robinson, @almostengr
Category: Handyman
Keywords: contactor, air conditioning, hvac repair, diy hvac repair, electrical engineering, electrical work
Video URL: https://youtu.be/lHrUWtT6xdg
Read Time: 9 minute(s)