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  1. #1
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    Default AC wiring/circuit breaker

    The air conditioner says the Min and Max Amps are 14/25 Amps. At the service panel it's connected with #10 Copper to a 30 Amp breaker. Is this OK? Do you call this out?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    The air conditioner says the Min and Max Amps are 14/25 Amps. At the service panel it's connected with #10 Copper to a 30 Amp breaker. Is this OK? Do you call this out?
    I do call it out.
    My understanding is, if the wiring is not to mfg's requirements it can void the warranty.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  3. #3
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    The wire is fine; no problem using a larger wire.

    I'd next check the disconnect; there might be a fuse or breaker in there - which would be allowed.

    Otherwise, 25amps is a standard breaker, and ought to be used.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    so, just to understand then -- It's OK if the wire is slighter larger then the required breaker, but the breaker shouldn't be larger than the max Amps on the AC unit?


  5. #5
    Norm Peery's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    I see this a lot on older homes when the HVAC unit has been changed out. The original breaker, at the panel, will be larger than what is required for a new, more efficient unit. And, the installer will not change the breaker at the panel nor check the disconnect, which is usually, in my experience, 60 amps. So....................... yes, if both the breaker and the disconnect exceed the max breaker requirements, it should be noted.

    Norm


  6. #6
    Ray Norton's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    It's been awhile since I did an air conditioner inspection. Did you state that correctly? Typically air conditioner name plates contain maximum over current device and minimum circuit conductor info. I would like to see a picture of that name plate. But, I would interpret your post as meaning: 14 amp minimum circuit conductors and 25 amp maximum over current device. so, 14 ga. conductor (good to 15 amps) would be the minimum conductor size and a 25 amp breaker would be the maximum allowed. Although using a 14 ga. wire on a 25 amp circuit doesn't make sense, the motor overload protection provided by the manufacturer protects the circuit conductors from being overloaded as well.

    So, if my understanding here is correct, the #10 wire is fine but the breaker needs to be replaced with a 25 amp.


  7. #7
    Ryan Stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    I also report it. You are supposed to go by what is stated on the air conditioner. If it says 25 amps and the breaker is 30 amps you should call it out. I see it all of the time.


  8. #8

    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    The circuit is sized for the running load, while the breaker is sized for the start-up load.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    My understanding is that regarding maximum sized fusing that it can be over-sized by up to 5 amps. I don't normally call out a 30 amp breaker with 25 amp specs. I certainly can be educated to the contrary.

    JLMathis


  10. #10
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    My understanding is that regarding maximum sized fusing that it can be over-sized by up to 5 amps.
    Where do you find this rule???


  11. #11
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    30A breaker is in excess of maximum amperes, needs to be replaced w/ a 25A or smaller, it could have been compliantly done w/ a 14 AWG feed & a 25A breaker,since it is a A/C unit.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    so, just to understand then -- It's OK if the wire is slighter larger then the required breaker, but the breaker shouldn't be larger than the max Amps on the AC unit?

    Correct.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    thanks for all the responses. Being a newer inspector, this brings up another questions for me then -- as home inspectors, how do you inform the customer of another defect when it's been a couple of days since you've given them their report? do you amend the report and send it along? Just send along a note on the defect? Not send anything??


  14. #14
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    thanks for all the responses. Being a newer inspector, this brings up another questions for me then -- as home inspectors, how do you inform the customer of another defect when it's been a couple of days since you've given them their report? do you amend the report and send it along? Just send along a note on the defect? Not send anything??
    It depends on the item, I still identify elec sub panels as panels that are only used on submarines, haven't yet figured that improper ID would be a problem

    Other items I would let them know that I did some additional research on .......
    and found that this item should of been included.
    I figure it's better to address it now, opposed to answering to a complaint if the item failed, and or when another inspector disclosed it when they sold the home.

    BTW. A few years ago I forgot to add a missing truss plate on a new home inspection, and did not contact the customer after the inspection.
    Evertime I drove by the home it reminded me, the last time I drove by the home it was a vacant repo, seeing that was a relief, and I still wish I would of contacted the customer.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 10-03-2009 at 10:43 AM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  15. #15
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    BTW. A few years ago I forgot to add a missing truss plate on a new home inspection, and did not contact the customer after the inspection.
    Evertime I drove by the home it reminded me, the last time I drove by the home it was a vacant repo, seeing that was a relief, and I still wish I would of contacted the customer.
    Dan you the man

    Best

    Ron


  16. #16
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    [QUOTE=Dan Harris;103710] Other items I would let them know that I did some additional research on QUOTE]


    Send out a supplemental report. no big deal...

    Ron

    Best


  17. #17
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    [QUOTE=Ron Bibler;103713]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Other items I would let them know that I did some additional research on QUOTE]


    Send out a supplemental report. no big deal...

    Ron

    Best
    After thinking about my reply, Jons question made me think/realize , everyday I learn something new here.
    To be consistant I would need to review my past 3200 plus reports, and contact all my past customers letting them know that I missed something.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    My reports stated that I had the right to issue an addendum within 7 days after the report.

    I think I did it one time in 17 years.

    If it is a small item, no big deal and not worth mentioning, but if it is a "biggie" and I forgot to include it in the report, send out an addendum.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My reports stated that I had the right to issue an addendum within 7 days after the report.

    I think I did it one time in 17 years.

    If it is a small item, no big deal and not worth mentioning, but if it is a "biggie" and I forgot to include it in the report, send out an addendum.
    What determines if it's a "biggie"?
    Using this topic as an example, to me the difference of 25-30 amp breaker on an AC unit is no biggie, until a home warrany company declines a compressor replacement due to an improperly sized breaker.

    My missing truss plate would never hurt anything. If disclosed by another inspector it could cost the customer, and or me $ 2-300 for an engineer to design the repair, plus another 100 bucks or so for the repair.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 10-03-2009 at 01:23 PM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: AC wiring/circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    What determines if it's a "biggie"?

    Kind of like you said - if you would not mind paying for it out of your pocket, then it is not a "biggie", but if you go "Oh crap, how did I forget to write that down?" - that's a biggie.

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