Strange Contactor Problem


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mansfield, UK
    Posts
    697

    Default Strange Contactor Problem

    Hi, I've built 3 cabinets, each has a relay with a 12V coil that switches 230V which feeds into the coil of a contactor.
    In one of the cabinets, the relay still works but the contactor has suddenly stopped energizing.

    What's strange is that if I push on the contactor (while the relay is on) then it energizes and if I push lightly then it switches rapidly on and off.
    It looks like there may be a loose wire to the coil within the contactor itself or maybe the coil has a break in it. I've checked the cabinet wiring and confirmed that's not the cause.

    All of these contactors are fairly new and have only been energized for around 24 hours total so I wouldn't expect a fault to develop so quick.
    Has anyone seen anything like this before?
    Is it possible I just got a faulty one?
    Should I be worried about the others breaking?

    These are the ones I bought https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GXM2Q3S/
    Is it worth replacing all 3 with more expensive ones or is this likely a rare occurrence?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Strange Contactor Problem

    It seems the quality of practically everything is deteriorating. Try a different relay and see if the problem goes away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mansfield, UK
    Posts
    697

    Default Re: Strange Contactor Problem

    It's definitely not the relay. I measured voltage across the contactor coil terminals so the relay was doing it's job.

    I had a spare contactor so I've been out today and replaced it then taken the broken one apart.

    The coil has a thin bit of springy metal sticking out either side of it. The top of the housing has 2 screw terminals and when pushed into place, the springy metal touches the bottom of the terminals.
    It looks like 1 of them wasn't quite springy enough and wasn't making proper contact.

    I'd guess that more expensive contactors would have better build quality but I wonder if they would still use the same sort of springy metal technique.
    I'm relived the coil hasn't completely burned out anyway. It's looking like it may just be a 1 off problem but I'll keep testing them and see if I have any more failures.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    3,104

    Default Re: Strange Contactor Problem

    Never trust brands not well known. Especially on marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, Ali... etc.

    I only buy from a reputable reseller, distributor or directly from manufacturer when available.

    Ioannis

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