Vacuum Contactors

Vacuum contactors play critical roles in operating electric motors and other equipment. They function similarly to circuit breakers by stopping current flow when a circuit overloads. While vacuum contactors are ideal for smaller motor and transformer applications that require frequent switching, circuit breakers are better suited for high, continuous load current in larger motors, capacitors and generators.

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How Does a Vacuum Contactor Work?

A vacuum contactor is a contained environment where electrical contacts can make or break a connection between a load and power source inside a vacuum bottle. The vacuum provides a clean, safe environment to avoid contaminants and contain the arc. One side of the assembly is stationary, and the other is movable. 

When energized, a generated electromagnetic force pulls the stationary contact towards the movable contact. An internal spring separates the contacts once de-energized. By initiating the activity inside a vacuum, the switches can happen much more frequently. 

Benefits and Applications of Vacuum Contactors

Although vacuum contactors work much better in low- to medium-duty applications, they still have many advantages. Several examples include:

  • Reliability: Vacuum connectors provide consistent performance in the harshest and dirtiest applications because they work in enclosed environments. 
  • Extended lifecycle: Reduced contact with other components inside the chamber limits the contactor’s mechanical wear, resulting in a longer lifespan.
  • Quiet operation: The contained environment also allows vacuum contactors to operate with significantly less noise than air brakes or circuit breakers.
  • Space-saving: Vacuum contactors are much smaller in size than larger-horsepower contactor devices and their panel housings, maximizing space.

Vacuum contactors are the popular choice for reliable performance in dirty applications and operations needing frequent load switching. They also work well in processes that require motors to perform constant cycling. Vacuum contactors provide high-performing, end-to-end protection for your specific system applications, including elevators, conveyor systems, pumping stations and transfer stations, electric furnaces, data centers, wind power plants and photovoltaic panels.

Some of the most common industries vacuum contactors serve are:

  • – Oil well pumping
  • – Mining
  • – Rock and cement crushing
  • – Wastewater treatment
  • – Pulp and paper
  • – Petrochemical
  • – Earthmoving

Vacuum Contactor Replacement

Despite their high performance and reliability levels, vacuum contactors eventually fail and require replacement. Some of the symptoms that can indicate a faulty contactor include:

  • – The contacts do not open and close smoothly.
  • – The trip and closing coils overheat.
  • – The latch does not engage properly.

Basic repairs can resolve some of these symptoms if the device still has a reasonable amount of shelf life. These include reconnecting the coils, replacing the drive unit, applying the appropriate lubrication and replacing the auxiliary contact block. 

Connect With Global Electronic Services for Fast Vacuum Contactor Repair 

Besides offering new and reconditioned vacuum contactor units to meet the needs of your company’s operation, we can also provide the necessary repairs to get your facility’s contactor operating correctly in no time. We’ll thoroughly inspect and test the unit to diagnose the problem while keeping your team up to date during the entire process. Call us at 877-249-1701 or contact us online today to learn more about our services and capabilities.

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