If your air conditioner, or AC, fails to come on in a timely manner, or at all, you may blame the delay on your home's circuit breaker or electricity. Although a tripped circuit breaker can disrupt power to your cooling system, so can a defective relay switch. A defective relay switch can prevent your AC from coming on or shutting off. Learn more about relay switches and what you can do to unstick the relay switch in your cooling system below.
How Does the Relay Switch Work?
The relay switch controls how much electricity flows into and through your cooling system when you use it. The switch sits inside the large condenser unit outside your home. The unit contains several parts that require electricity to run, including the motors that operate the unit's fan and compressor.
The fan and compressor both work together to move heat out of your cooling system. Each component connects to the relay switch through a network of wires. When the relay switch opens, it sends power to the fan and compressor motors. When the motors no longer need power, the relay switch closes.
If the relay switch remains closed, the fan and compressor motors won't receive any power to turn on. Without power, your entire cooling system will remain off or refuse to turn on.
Although you may be tempted to check and repair the relay switch yourself, you want to avoid doing so. The relay switch and unit may still contain a small amount of electricity in them. Rather than repair the switch yourself, ask an HVAC repair contractor for assistance instead.
How Do You Fix the Relay Switch?
A contractor will need to do a number of things to fix your cooling problem, including checking the electrical wiring on the relay switch for damage. The switch uses several wires to transmit electricity to the motors inside your cooling unit. Exposed, frayed, or rusted wires can unexpectedly shock you. If the wires are bad, a contractor can remove, repair, or replace them for you.
A contractor can also reset the switch for you. The switch should be able to toggle off and on whenever you turn on your cooling system. If the switch can't move freely on its own, a contractor can take the appropriate steps to make it do so.
If the relay switch is completely bad, a contractor will simply replace it. You can learn more about replacing relay switches by consulting a contractor directly.
Learn more about how electrical maintenance affects your cooling system by talking with a contractor.