(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: Contactor burning

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member iwen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Blantyre, Malawi
    Posts
    1

    Default Contactor burning

    A supply of 110v was supplied to a 220v contactor, after sometime the contactor got burnt, why? does it mean a 220v contactor could not withstand 110v power? please help.

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    If 110/120 volts were sent into a coil (the magnetic part of the contactor) expecting 220/240 volts, the coil might not have been able to hold the contacts closed tightly enough to keep them from getting hot (like a loose connection). However, I would doubt the coil was expecting 240 volts in the first place since control voltages are usually only 120 VAC or 24 VDC (even when the circuit being controlled has a higher voltage). But if only 120 volts were sent through a contactor (irregardless of conrol voltage) and on to a piece of equipment or device needing 240 volts, the contacts might have somehow been strained or overworked while trying to help get enough power to the choked piece of equipment.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 06-13-2010 at 04:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    However, I would doubt the coil was expecting 240 volts in the first place since control voltages are usually only 120 VAC or 24 VDC (even when the circuit being controlled has a higher voltage).
    Lee, check the OP's location.
    Also, in a motor starter or in a commercial/industrial setting a contactor coil may very well be 240v, and typically is. If you have a straight 240v single or three phase load why bring a neutral in just to power the coil?


    iwen, it is either what Lee said about the contacts not closing properly causing a high resistance situation, or more likely the 240v coil getting 120v simply overheated due to the wrong voltage.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,651

    Default

    The amperage through the contactor determines whether it has the capacity or not, NOT the voltage. A 220/240 feed is just TWO 115/120 lines so each contact in the the contactor is actually handling the lower voltage anyway. Improper coil voltage and how the coil activates the contactor will usually be the cause of it failing.

  5. #5
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    ... in a motor starter or in a commercial/industrial setting a contactor coil may very well be 240v, and typically is.
    I understand, and I have worked on many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    If you have a straight 240v single or three phase load why bring a neutral in just to power the coil?
    In my last project, I did not want to run 480 through the control pendant.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    In my last project, I did not want to run 480 through the control pendant.
    Why? .

  7. #7
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,781

    Default

    I'd like to know where you get 120 volts from in Malawi. I like Blantyre, but it was good ol'
    240 volts the last time I was there eating my chicken and chips with helpings of Nali sauce.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    If the coil is designed for a specific voltage and you apply one below the minimum for the range allowed, you risk two things: either the coil won't be able to close the contacts at all, or, if it does, it doesn't provide the proper pressure to ensure a good, low resistance connection across the contactors. If you need a smaller control voltage, buy a different contactor. As to contact ratings, as long as you don't try to exceed the ratings, either voltage or current, one with higher contact ratings than you will use is often a good thing (except for cost and size). Many items using a contactor have a start-up surge, and the average current is much smaller than the peak, so a larger contactor than you think may mean much longer life.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Why?
    Anything I say here is likely going to be spun into something to try to make me look incompetent, ignorant or even stupid, but oh well ...

    First, because the only thing I actually know how to do with *3-phase* power is that of wiring and connecting contactors and motors. But beyond that, I needed control voltage and pendant wiring for a 110-volt double-acting hydraulic valve (for leveling the beam hanging on the hook) as well as for the reversing starter for the turn motor for the drums and straps ... and along with that, I needed a 12-volt circuit in the pendant for starting the hydraulic pump in conjunction with the aforementioned valve ... and I already had 120VAC available since it was needed for charging the hydraulic pump's and air compressor's battery. But of course, maybe 480 for all of that would have been much easier for a real electrician, eh?!
    Last edited by leejosepho; 06-14-2010 at 08:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Anything I say here is likely going to be spun into something to try to make me look incompetent, ignorant or even stupid, but oh well ...

    First, because the only thing I actually know how to do with *3-phase* power is that of wiring and connecting contactors and motors. But beyond that, I needed control voltage and pendant wiring for a 110-volt double-acting hydraulic valve (for leveling the beam hanging on the hook) as well as for the reversing starter for the turn motor for the drums and straps ... and along with that, I needed a 12-volt circuit in the pendant for starting the hydraulic pump in conjunction with the aforementioned valve ... and I already had 120VAC available since it was needed for charging the hydraulic pump's and air compressor's battery. But of course, maybe 480 for all of that would have been much easier for a real electrician, eh?!
    Lee

    I am not sure that I fully understand what you are saying here. No I am not trying to make you look incompetent in any way just trying to understand what you are saying.

    This is what I understand you to have said.

    In the control pendant for the overhead crane you have installed 12 volt circuits for charging batteries. Is this what you are saying?

    These 12 volt circuits for charging batteries are for internal combustion engines that operate an air compressor and hydraulic pumps. Is this correct?

    It would help if you would take the time to explain just what you are lifting and what is being done with the product that is being lifted.

  11. #11
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Lee

    I am not sure that I fully understand what you are saying here. No I am not trying to make you look incompetent in any way just trying to understand what you are saying.

    This is what I understand you to have said ...
    I do not believe a single word of that!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    It would help if you would take the time to explain just what you are lifting and what is being done with the product that is being lifted.
    What would that have to do with anything?!

    In any case ...

    What you see there is half of a septic tank coming out of its form. If it is a top half, it will need to be turned on its side so it can be coated inside ... then turned back and moved to a staging area where it can be set on the floor and released so it can be taken on out to inventory. If it is a bottom half, it needs to be turned rightside-up and hoisted over and released in the staging area ... and to complicate things, the clamp holding it has to adjust to fit five different sizes of tanks ... and that is where the 12-volt air compressor comes in. With its battery supplying power up on the beam, it (the compressor) sends air down from the beam to power the cylinders that close and lock (via air checks and rod locks) the clamp.

    But before any of that can happen, and after the clamp has been engaged around the tank in its form, the beam's hydraulic system is used to level the load so the tank will not be stressed and broken when first lifted. So, and with the air controls directly on the clamp, the first control at the pendant is a DPDT switch for controlling the 12-volt hydraulic pump (on/off) and its 110-volt hydraulic direction valve.

    The other control at the pendant is an SPDT switch for the beam's turn motor.


    Name:  table.jpg
Views: 708
Size:  63.0 KBName:  pendant.jpg
Views: 670
Size:  40.4 KB


    The only thing I know to actually be wrong here is my mis-use of one green wire.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 06-15-2010 at 08:57 AM.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    One thing we always did (but it was DC controls) on relays or contactors, was insert a diode to prevent the coil from chattering upon release when the coil field collapsed. May not be relevant or as easy to do with an a/c circuit. The bigger the coil, the more current, the more chance it could create enough of a pulse to create problems.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    That kind of problem is beyond my knowledge or experience, but the one somewhat similar problem I did have was with the DPDT spring-to-center on/off/on toggle switch (12VDC) that did not always start the hydraulic pump and trigger the directional valve simultaneously unless it was toggled quickly and completely. The pump would start, but then the valve would chatter whenever an operator in training was being timid or someone was trying to get just a very little bit of movement-for-balance at the hook ... and the most challenging factor there is the fact that the tops of tanks have baffles inside (big on one end and smaller on the other) that always cause them to be out-of-balance (and there is no room for error in the first couple of inches while first beginning to lift either a top or a bottom from its every-so-slightly-tapered form).

  14. #14
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Lee, check the OP's location.
    Why? Does his or her location mean s/he cannot ask about any voltage other than 220/240?

  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor sbrn33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fremont, NE
    Posts
    31

    Default

    9 out of 10 times this is a burnt coil not any real problem with the actual contacts or mechanism. Low voltage to the coil for a while will burn em up.

Similar Threads

  1. Contactor replacement
    By Rickcusaf in forum HVAC Heating & Cooling
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 12:13 PM
  2. Best CD burning software
    By Verdeboy in forum Computers and Stuff
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-22-2009, 11:45 PM
  3. Pumptec Plus contactor question
    By xtorq12 in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-13-2008, 08:14 PM
  4. Contactor Question
    By Dungmin in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-17-2007, 09:45 AM
  5. Gas Burning Question
    By chefwong in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-29-2006, 03:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •