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Thread: AC disconnect

  1. #1
    emmy mendoza's Avatar
    emmy mendoza Guest

    Default AC disconnect

    I am installing an 18K BTU split AC which takes 240V. My service panel is full. there is only (1) half size slot available - good for a thin single pole breaker. My plan is to run a sub panel from the service panel and install the sub panel (30 Amp breaker) in the back yard where the AC outdoor unit will be mounted.

    One other thought is to piggy back (2) single pole 15 Amp breakers to make room for a double pole breaker, run (4) wire conductor to the back yard to a fused disconnect.

    any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Are you a qualified electrician? If not, my suggestion is to hire one.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    112233

    Last edited by ken horak; 03-30-2012 at 05:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by emmy mendoza View Post
    I am installing an 18K BTU split AC which takes 240V. My service panel is full. there is only (1) half size slot available - good for a thin single pole breaker. My plan is to run a sub panel from the service panel and install the sub panel (30 Amp breaker) in the back yard where the AC outdoor unit will be mounted.

    One other thought is to piggy back (2) single pole 15 Amp breakers to make room for a double pole breaker, run (4) wire conductor to the back yard to a fused disconnect.

    any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Emmy,

    From your description of what you need and what you are thinking of doing, I have to agree with John and Ken - sounds like you need to hire a qualified (licensed) and competent (knows what they are doing and does it all correctly) electrician.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: AC disconnect

    It always amazes me how many people think that they are qualified to do home repairs, especially electrical. Do they consider cutting into themselves when it comes time for a minor surgical or dental procedure?

    Judging from most of the homes I inspect, they cant even put on a decent paint job, why would they think they can do plumbing and electrical?

    Lots of house fires and electrocutions are the result of handyman type installations.

    Dont be cheap. Hire a professional. It will pay off in the long run.


  6. #6
    Jim Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    You can do it, if you know or study up on what needs to be done. Then call the city inspector and he will buy it off.


  7. #7
    Joao Vieira's Avatar
    Joao Vieira Guest

    Default Re: AC disconnect

    agree with Jim Green..If you do your home work first, you can do it...get the code book when you call the inspector or if you don't have a code book look it up on the internet..and show him/her that what you did is in conformance...If in doubt ask for a master electrician on the place you buy your hardware . -No pun intended for everyone else..


  8. #8
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    Cool Re: AC disconnect

    June 8, 2009

    Hi, Emmy,

    If your panel is full, and your talking about half size breaker slot available,
    its in your best interest to hire a pro aka license electrician to do this job.

    Also check your home owner insurance pollicy** to see its cover your home if you do this work on your own.

    By hiring a pro you also learn from his knowledge.

    Do it yourself books, aka. D.I.Y. with their pretty pictures make it look all to easy. My answer is this the one job in your home that needs to be done by a train professional person.

    Robert


  9. #9
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
    Craig Ervin Guest

    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Ok, I'm cheap and do a lot of stuff myself too. But when is comes to electrical changes you need to get a permit. WHY?? Insurance is the reason. If for some odd reason there was a fire, the insurance company would drag it's feet on your claim for like a year!! Since we live in America last time I looked, the home owner is the fully qualified lincesed professional. Meaning a Homeowner is allowed to work on there home. Now since you mention there is room for a single thin breaker I suspect you know more then your letting on too. A A/C condensor need a full sized breaker, not a thin. The reason for that is they pull a lot of juice and run for long periods of time. So the bi-metal in the breaker needs to be full sized. I would just put the sub panel right next to the main panel, unless that won't work. Read up on grounds as your correct in needing 4 wires as one of those needs to be and isolated ground. You can install a couple of "thins" for the 15 amp's to make room for the A/C breaker too. Just don't skip the $58 permit as that will be money well spent. Don't worry there not the Police.

    Edit.. Also read the installers guide on the 18K BTU unit as 30 amp is not correct!!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    Ok, I'm cheap and do a lot of stuff myself too. But when is comes to electrical changes you need to get a permit. WHY?? Insurance is the reason. If for some odd reason there was a fire, the insurance company would drag it's feet on your claim for like a year!! Since we live in America last time I looked, the home owner is the fully qualified lincesed professional. Meaning a Homeowner is allowed to work on there home. Now since you mention there is room for a single thin breaker I suspect you know more then your letting on too. A A/C condensor need a full sized breaker, not a thin. The reason for that is they pull a lot of juice and run for long periods of time. So the bi-metal in the breaker needs to be full sized. I would just put the sub panel right next to the main panel, unless that won't work. Read up on grounds as your correct in needing 4 wires as one of those needs to be and isolated ground. You can install a couple of "thins" for the 15 amp's to make room for the A/C breaker too. Just don't skip the $58 permit as that will be money well spent. Don't worry there not the Police.

    Edit.. Also read the installers guide on the 18K BTU unit as 30 amp is not correct!!
    Craig,

    You have made generalisations about whether or not the person can legally do electrical work in their own home. Here it varies by jurisdiction. One requires the homeowner to take a proficiency test before a permit is issued. Another only allows a licensed and insured person to take out a permit.

    Even if the jurisdiction allows you to do work in your own home hardly counts as making the homeowner qualify as licensed individual. Again, licensing in some areas requires years of verified work experience and a testing procedure. Then there are still the insurance issues in order to be licensed.

    Not all areas would the permit fee be as reasonable as you quote. I spend almost half of your quoted fee just for the pleasure of handing the permit office an application.


  11. #11
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
    Craig Ervin Guest

    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Luckily here is the peoples republic of California we can do anything except drill our own wells The inspector will fail the work if its done wrong. I don't expect somebody that is clueless will just start playing with 240, but thats one way to clean up the gene pool. Do home owners make thing worst, sure some do. Do contractors make things worst, sure some do. Yes, Homeowners do to lack of knowledge make more mistakes. a better place to ask these Q would be a DIY forum


  12. #12
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    I don't expect somebody that is clueless will just start playing with 240,
    Which gets us back to where we started - the original post - and why most of us said they should hire an electrician.

    a better place to ask these Q would be a DIY forum
    Sometimes the deadliest information is given out on those forums.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    gary gramling's Avatar
    gary gramling Guest

    Default Re: AC disconnect

    In California, work such as you describe requires a permit. Not for insurance; but, for health and safety. This work needs to be inspected! A sub panel seems to be the best bet; maybe, the only way. Anything else and you will be trying to combine existing circuits to give you more room in the box.
    While you sound as if you know more than is typical, I agree that the best advice is to obtain the services of a qualified, licensed, electrician.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: AC disconnect

    Emmy it sounds good go for it.


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