While our customers are wholesalers, Packard knows that you, the contractor, have a choice. You are often presented with many buying options, and being well-informed about your purchase can help make your job easier and more successful.
This is why we have dedicated a section of our site for contractors. In this section, you will find helpful product tips, tools and some clips from our training classes. We’ve also provided a distributor locator so you can find the nearest wholesaler who can give you access to Packard products.
Improving Contactor Life.
Over the life of the contactor many things can lead to failure: insects, contaminated contacts, moisture or other liquids, corroded connections, loose connections, under sizing of the contactor to its amp load or voltage, heat, spring wear, improper voltage to the coil, and contact arcing.
The contactor should be sized so that it is capable of handling the voltage and current of the devices it will be controlling. If sizing for a motor, the amp rating on the contactor that should be referenced will be shown as inductive amps or Full Load Amps (FLA). If the devices being operated by the contactor are heating elements or coils, then select the proper size contactor based upon its resistive amp rating. Always make certain that the voltage going to the contactor coil matches the coil rating. It is easy to make the mistake of using a 230 volt primary connection on the transformer, expecting to get 24 volts on the secondary, when the proper connection should be 208 volts, matching the actual source voltage. Always assure that all connections are clean and tight.
Utilizing a contactor with a cover over the contacts and then mounting it in an environment that will isolate it from contaminants will also help extend contactor life.
A major reason for contactor failure is contact arcing. Arcing occurs upon opening and closing of the contacts. This results in pitting or even welding of the contacts, and eventually premature contact failure and even motor failure. An easy solution to this problem is to add an arc suppressor to the contactor. When properly connected to the contactor the arc suppressor detects the nascent arc as it forms and suppresses its energy. The resultant arc energy passing through the contacts is reduced to a few microjoules as compared to the normal hundreds of milijoules or more. This is a substantial reduction of arc energy, and can result in extending contactor life by ten times…not to mention better protection of motors!
The next time you get frustrated by contactor failure, which always happens at the most inopportune time, remember that there may be an easy solution for improving contactor life!
Packard has developed a complete HVACR critical components training program, which has received approval by North American Training Excellence (NATE) - the leading certification program for HVACR technician, and the only test approved by the entire industry. Below are some video excerpts from our instructor led training courses which we hold at Wholesaler locations nationwide.
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