how to replace rheems ac contactors


How to Replace Rheem's AC Contactors

As the summer heat starts to set in, a malfunctioning air conditioner can be a real nuisance. One common issue that can occur is a faulty AC contactor. The AC contactor is responsible for activating the compressor and condenser fan motor, allowing your air conditioner to function properly. If you are experiencing problems with your Rheem AC unit and suspect a faulty contactor, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the process of replacing Rheem's AC contactors, ensuring that your air conditioner runs smoothly and efficiently all summer long.

The Importance of AC Contactors

AC contactors play a vital role in the overall functioning of your air conditioner. When the thermostat signals the need for cooling, the contactor provides the electrical connection between the power supply and the compressor and condenser fan motor. This activates the key components of your air conditioning system, allowing it to circulate cold air throughout your home.

Over time, AC contactors can wear out due to constant use, electrical arcing, or exposure to extreme temperatures. A faulty contactor can cause your air conditioner to work inefficiently or not work at all. Hence, it is crucial to replace a faulty AC contactor promptly to ensure the optimal performance of your Rheem AC unit.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin replacing the AC contactor, make sure to gather all the necessary tools and materials. This will help save time and ensure a smooth replacement process. Here are the items you will need:

1. Screwdriver – to remove the access panels and disconnect wires.

2. Voltmeter – to check for voltage and ensure electrical safety.

3. Wire cutters/strippers – to cut and strip wires as needed.

4. Replacement contactor – make sure to purchase the correct contactor suitable for your Rheem AC model.

5. Safety gloves and goggles – to protect yourself from potential electrical hazards.

Ensure that you have all these tools and materials on hand before proceeding with the replacement process.

Step-by-Step Guide: Replacing Your Rheem AC Contactor

Now that you have everything you need, let's dive into the step-by-step process of replacing your Rheem AC contactor. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful replacement:

1. Safety First

Before you initiate any repairs or replacements, always prioritize your safety. Turn off the power supply to your air conditioning unit by switching off the circuit breaker dedicated to the AC system. Always wear safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself from potential electrical hazards. Safety should be your utmost priority throughout the entire replacement process.

2. Remove Access Panels

To gain access to the AC contactor, you need to remove the access panels on your Rheem AC unit. Start by removing the screws that secure the panels in place. Carefully set the panels aside, making sure you don't misplace any screws. Examine the interior of the unit to locate the contactor.

3. Disconnect Wires

Using a screwdriver, carefully disconnect the wires connected to the faulty contactor. Take note of the wire placement and connections to ensure correct reinstallation later. It is helpful to take pictures or make a diagram to document the wiring configuration. Double-check that the power supply is turned off and use a voltmeter to verify the absence of electrical current before touching any wires.

4. Remove the Faulty Contactor

Once you have disconnected all the wires, you can proceed to remove the faulty contactor. Unscrew and detach the contactor from its mounting brackets or base. Take note of the orientation and positioning of the contactor, as the replacement should be installed the same way.

5. Install the New Contactor

Position the new contactor in the same orientation as the old one and secure it in place using the mounting brackets or base. Ensure that it is firmly attached and aligned correctly.

6. Reconnect the Wires

Now comes the critical step of reconnecting the wires to the new contactor. Refer to the pictures or diagram you took earlier to ensure the correct placement of the wires. Use a screwdriver to secure the wire connections, ensuring they are tight and properly fitted.

7. Test the Replacement

Once you have securely connected all the wires, it's time to test the replacement. Turn on the power supply to your AC unit using the circuit breaker. Adjust the thermostat settings to activate the cooling mode and listen for the sound of the compressor and condenser fan motor starting. If everything sounds and functions correctly, you have successfully replaced the AC contactor.

8. Replace Access Panels

With the replacement successfully installed and tested, it's time to restore the access panels. Carefully place the panels back in their original positions and secure them with the screws you removed earlier. Make sure all the panels are fastened securely before moving on.


In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to replace Rheem's AC contactors. Remember, AC contactors are essential components that enable the proper functioning of your air conditioner. If you experience any issues with your AC unit, such as failure to cool or irregular functioning, it is crucial to check the contactor for any signs of damage or wear. By following the step-by-step guide we have provided, you can replace the faulty contactor with ease, ensuring the optimal performance of your Rheem AC unit and keeping your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months.


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