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  1. #1
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    Default Heat pump circuit breaker

    At first I thought this was a no brainer... heat pump says 25, the breaker in the panel is a 50. Now that I'm home looking at the picture of the id tag I see it says fan motor max amps. Can it be determined from looking at this tag if this is okay or did my picture leave out crucial information.

    Most of these tags I look at seem to be more clear than this one.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    You were looking at it correctly, that line "Min. Ckt. Ampacity 15.6 and Max Fuse or Ckt. Brkr. {HACR Per NEC} 25" line is what you thought it was.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Thanks.... nothing like being 40 miles from a job at home and wondering


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    At first I thought this was a no brainer... heat pump says 25, the breaker in the panel is a 50. Now that I'm home looking at the picture of the id tag I see it says fan motor max amps. Can it be determined from looking at this tag if this is okay or did my picture leave out crucial information.

    Most of these tags I look at seem to be more clear than this one.
    Wasn't there an intermediate fuse or circuit breaker on the exterior (at the disconnect)? (HACR rated & matched at the panel, and the panel in-sight of the HP otherwise).

    So, with only the two photos you've supplied, I'd say yes somethings are missing from your photos and/or presented information: mention of the existance or lack thereof disconnect and/or location of the panel in relationship to the outdoor HP; and a photo of the disconnect (and is it a fused disconnect?). Unknown what conductors are between the panel and the disconnect also, if the disconnect is protected then that 50 amp CB in the panel is for a feeder and the fuse(s) or CB in the disconnect is what would be providing protection for the HP.

    (other assumptions/unknowns not a split, emergency heat, panel in the photo is not within sight of the exterior HP, etc.).


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    I get that question about "was there an intermediate breaker or disconnect." 90% ++++ of the time there is just a pull out disconnect or just a 60 amp breaker no matter how small the breaker for the AC unit is supposed to be. Almost all the time the breaker is in a panel for the AC unit, and sometimes it is the right size. There is just about never, where there is an intermediate breaker, that it is the breaker sized for the unit.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I get that question about "was there an intermediate breaker or disconnect." 90% ++++ of the time there is just a pull out disconnect or just a 60 amp breaker no matter how small the breaker for the AC unit is supposed to be. Almost all the time the breaker is in a panel for the AC unit, and sometimes it is the right size. There is just about never, where there is an intermediate breaker, that it is the breaker sized for the unit.
    I am admittedly confused as to what this entire post was/is saying.

    Not sure where the "was there an intermediate breaker or disconnect." comes from, if its an attempt to quote something I said, it is not a quote, not what I said and is a distortion of what I did post most especially lacking words, and a distortion of punctuation so as to change or twist.

    What I posted was:
    Wasn't there an intermediate fuse or circuit breaker on the exterior (at the disconnect)? (HACR rated & matched at the panel, and the panel in-sight of the HP otherwise).
    A feeder from the panel is a common occurance. The equipment would be protected on the "buisness end" of that feeder.

    IME Light and appliance panels interior to a residence are more common than exterior ones.

    Disconnects are required within site of the equipment, the photo of the label indicates this is exterior equipment.

    We also don't know if there are heater strips.

    A fused disconnect should be matched to the equipment, and if a protected disconnect that would make the supply from the panel a feeder.

    AC fused disconnects for this application often rated at 60 or 30 Amps max. One then inserts the matched fuses for the equipment application.

    Some HP equipment comes supplied with disconnect, often a fused one. Whether or not this is excepted by the AHJ as the required disconnect varies amongst jurisdictions.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    My understanding from Matt's post is that the nameplate information label specifies a minimum circuit ampacity of 15.6 amp and a maximum breaker size of 25 amps with an installed breaker size of 50 amps.

    It is not uncommon, but quite incorrect, to feed the heat pump and the emergency heat strips off the same breaker, hence it needing to be 50 amps. As I said, though, doing so is quite incorrect. The heat pump should be on its own circuit and the emergency heat strips should be on their own separate circuit.

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

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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My understanding from Matt's post is that the nameplate information label specifies a minimum circuit ampacity of 15.6 amp and a maximum breaker size of 25 amps with an installed breaker size of 50 amps.

    It is not uncommon, but quite incorrect, to feed the heat pump and the emergency heat strips off the same breaker, hence it needing to be 50 amps. As I said, though, doing so is quite incorrect. The heat pump should be on its own circuit and the emergency heat strips should be on their own separate circuit.
    Yep, JP answered my question.

    fwiw, the exterior box at the heat pump was just a pull out plug (no overcurrent protection), although most I see around here are circuit breakers outside in addition to the ones in the panel.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    although most I see around here are circuit breakers outside in addition to the ones in the panel.

    Matt,

    Are you sure they are "circuit breakers" and not "molded case switches"?

    "Molded case switches" look identical to circuit breakers. The only difference on the exterior is a label which states "Provides no overcurrent protection.", i.e., it is simply a "switch" in a circuit breaker housing and the handle trips the "switch" on or off.

    I suspect that 'most' of the circuit breakers you see outside are actually only "molded case switches", especially if they say "60 amps". If the exterior breakers are lower amp rated, they may actually be circuit breakers.

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

  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Do you have a picture of the marked breakers in the panel. Heat pumps will have their own breaker and heat strips and air handler will be on its own as has been said.

    My post earlier was to the fact that everytime this is brought up where the breaker is over amped no one ever questions the wire to the heat pump or AC condenser.

    Molded switches or pull outs are also the most common which has been mentioned. I was just staing that the disconnects I see are never the over amp protection.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Right after I typed that I started thinking about it and realizing that I see a lot of both. I think the circuit breakers just stick in my mind because when I see them I have to note the amps and check the heat pump or A/C compressor whereas the pull out ones are just a quick check.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Lets make one thing perfectly clear.

    There is absolutely nothing incorrect or wrong in supplying multiple appliances via a panel which is properly supplied by a feeder.

    Heat strips MAY be supplied via a common panel supplied by a feeder (the infamous "sub" panel). Protection for the individual supply circuits may be at a panel on the "buisness end" of said feeder.

    IF a 50 amp breaker is for a feeder it could be supplying other than just the HP, or just the HP via a fused disconnect (fused at a lower rating). If there is protection on the "business end" of the feeder at a lower ampacity that would protect the equipment and the feeder.

    Lets make another thing perfectly clear, not all heat pumps are split systems. It is NOT uncommon for the air handler/condenser unit to be outdoors, or for it to have FUSED disconnect(s) (which is the more common method). For example one can have a Fused disconnect which is rated for 30 amps and insert 20 amp fuses to protect equipment requiring 20 amp protection. It is more common than not to have the HP or AC equipment more than 25' of "run" length from the panel and even minor voltage drop can cause nuisance issues with the system less than idealy balanced during high demand periods.

    IF the HP or AC is only being protected by a circuit breaker in the panel - the circuit breaker would need to be at the correct rating for said equipment AND be HACR type. IF said circuit breaker was also serving as the Disconnect, then said panel would have to be IN SIGHT of the HP or AC.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Some HP System equipment comes supplied with or field installed with (intregal panel/s) disconnects, often fused one(s). Whether or not this is excepted by the AHJ as the required disconnect varies amongst jurisdictions, but the fused protection is most always acceptable.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Heat pump circuit breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Lets make one thing perfectly clear.

    There is absolutely nothing incorrect or wrong in supplying multiple appliances via a panel which is properly supplied by a feeder.

    Heat strips MAY be supplied via a common panel supplied by a feeder (the infamous "sub" panel). Protection for the individual supply circuits may be at a panel on the "buisness end" of said feeder.

    Let's make one thing perfectly clear.

    There is absolutely everything incorrect and wrong in supplying a heat pump and the emergency heat strips through the same breaker for equipment as shown in the photo.

    That *IS*, after all, WHAT WAS BEING DISCUSSED.

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

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