What Happens When the AC Contactor Goes Bad?

A summer’s worth of heat will keep an air conditioner running for several months. We all experience AC issues sometimes, and some of these issues occur frequently. One common problem is related to the AC contactor. Even though having a broken air conditioner is irritating and distressing, understanding how this occurs could help you identify any issues it might be experiencing.

If you lack repair experience, you might wish to consult a qualified specialist for an AC repair in Cleveland, OH. In either case, if you want to be more knowledgeable and more adept at fixing your AC, you can study a little about it. The contractor’s characteristics and signs of failure are described in further detail below.

What Functions Does The Contactor On An Air Conditioner Perform?

A contactor is an apparatus that controls the flow of electricity to your air conditioner. A contactor controls the power flow to your air conditioner’s compressor, condenser, and motors. The contractors are up while the air conditioning system is off and prevent electricity from getting to the vital parts of your AC. The contactors are lowered and connected to the rest of your AC when the thermostat begins a cooling cycle by sending a nominal voltage.

What Occurs When An AC Contactor Malfunctions?

If the contractor is damaged, the air conditioner won’t be able to sufficiently chill the house and may continue to operate even when the thermostat is off. When the contractor has been exposed to extremely high voltage and heat, pitting happens.

The second observable sign is a burnt contactor caused by the deterioration of wire insulation over time, which results in electrical failure. Insects and residue may prevent an electrical connection, resulting in mechanical failure, and may also cause a poor contactor. An unreliable AC contactor can be repaired, which is excellent news.

Examining An AC Contactor

  • Priority one is safety. Shut off your unit at the thermostat and breaker level to avoid electrical dangers.

  • The condenser side cover should be removed. A vertically positioned black rectangle will be linked to several different colored wires. Your AC’s contactor is located over there.

  • For guidance on reconnecting the contactor and associated cables, please take photographs of them from various perspectives.

  • It would be best if you got a contactor that the manufacturer has approved. Once you’ve bought one, you may either do it yourself or hire a specialist to do it for you.

Reasons You Shouldn't Try To Fix A Malfunctioning AC Contactor Yourself

If you attempt to swap out a broken AC contractor on your own, you risk hurting yourself or nullifying the warranty. If you make a mistake, things can worsen, and you might have to pay a lot for pricey repairs.

Your contractor might malfunction due to frayed wires or a tripped circuit. Your air conditioning repair specialist will identify the underlying source of the issue and fix it.


Booking a yearly AC repair or tune-up with us for an air conditioning repair in Cleveland is the best way to avoid such problems with your contactors. During a tune-up, we’ll inspect all of the electrical parts of your air conditioning system, including the contractors. Make an appointment right now with E & M HVAC Inc!

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