how to install a rheem ac single pole contactor


What is a Single Pole Contactor?

A single pole contactor is an electrical device that is commonly used in air conditioning systems. It acts as a switch to control the flow of electricity in the system. The contactor consists of a coil, a set of contacts, and a spring-loaded armature. When energized, the coil creates a magnetic field that attracts the armature, causing the contacts to close and complete the circuit. This allows electrical current to flow to the compressor and other components of the AC unit.

The purpose of the single pole contactor is to regulate the operation of the air conditioning unit. It ensures that power is supplied to the compressor and controls the cycle of the refrigeration process. Without a functioning contactor, the AC unit would not be able to cool the air effectively.

There are various types of contactors available in the market, but the single pole contactor is particularly common in residential air conditioning systems. It is easy to install and provides efficient control over the AC unit. In the following sections, we will guide you step by step on how to install a Rheem AC single pole contactor.

Prepare for Installation

Before starting the installation process, it is crucial to take some preparatory steps to ensure a smooth and successful installation. Here's what you need to do:

1. Gather the necessary tools and materials: To install a Rheem AC single pole contactor, you will need a few tools and materials, including a screwdriver, wire strippers, electrical tape, and a new contactor suitable for your AC system. Make sure you have everything handy before you begin.

2. Turn off the power: Safety should always be a priority when working with electrical systems. Locate the electrical disconnect box near your AC unit and switch off the power supply. This will help prevent any accidents or electrical shocks during the installation process.

3. Take pictures: It's a good idea to take pictures of the existing wiring setup and connections before disconnecting anything. This will serve as a reference point later on when you reconnect the wires to the new contactor.

4. Double-check the compatibility: Ensure that the new contactor you have purchased is compatible with your Rheem AC unit. Refer to the manufacturer's specifications or consult a professional if you are unsure.

Once you have completed these preparatory steps, you are ready to move on to the installation process.

Disconnecting the Old Contactor

The first step in installing a new contactor is to disconnect the old one. Follow these steps carefully:

1. Remove the access panel: Locate the access panel on your AC unit and remove it. This will expose the contactor along with other electrical components.

2. Identify the wires: Take a close look at the wiring connections on the existing contactor. Identify the different wires and take note of their positions and colors. This will help in reconnecting them correctly later on.

3. Disconnect the wires: Using a screwdriver, carefully loosen the screws that hold the wires in place. Once the screws are loose, gently pull out each wire from the old contactor's terminals. Take your time to avoid damaging the wires or the terminals.

4. Remove the old contactor: After disconnecting all the wires, you can now remove the old contactor from its position. Dispose of it properly or set it aside as a backup if it is still in working condition.

With the old contactor removed, you can now proceed to install the new Rheem AC single pole contactor.

Installing the New Contactor

Installing the new contactor is a relatively straightforward process. Follow these steps to ensure a successful installation:

1. Position the new contactor: Take the new contactor and place it in the same position where the old contactor was installed. Ensure that it is aligned properly and fits securely in place.

2. Connect the wires: Refer to the pictures you took earlier or the documentation provided with the new contactor to correctly identify the terminals for each wire. Take one wire at a time and connect it to the corresponding terminal on the new contactor. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws and secure the wires in place.

3. Double-check the connections: Once all the wires are connected, double-check to ensure that each wire is securely fastened and that there are no loose connections. Loose connections can result in electrical problems and inefficiencies in the AC unit's performance.

4. Test the contactor: Before closing the access panel, it is important to test the new contactor to ensure it is functioning correctly. Switch on the power supply and observe the contactor. You should hear a distinct clicking sound as the contacts close and open when the AC unit cycles on and off.

Once you have confirmed that the new contactor is working as expected, proceed to the final step of the installation process.

Finishing Up

With the new Rheem AC single pole contactor securely installed, you can now complete the installation process by following these final steps:

1. Replace the access panel: Put the access panel back in place, ensuring that it fits snugly. Fasten any screws or clips to secure the panel in position.

2. Turn on the power: Go back to the electrical disconnect box and switch on the power supply to the AC unit. Verify that the unit is receiving power and functioning correctly.

3. Monitor the AC unit: Keep an eye on your AC unit for the next few hours or days to ensure that it is cooling effectively and operating without any issues. If you notice any abnormal behavior or performance, it may indicate a problem with the contactor or other components.

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully install a Rheem AC single pole contactor in your air conditioning system.


Installing a Rheem AC single pole contactor is a task that can be accomplished with some basic tools and a little bit of knowledge. By carefully following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that the installation process is smooth and successful. Remember to prioritize safety by turning off the power before working on your AC unit and double-checking all connections before restoring the power. With the new contactor in place, your air conditioning system will be properly regulated and ready to keep you cool and comfortable.


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