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  1. #1
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    Default over sized ac breaker

    hey all

    i know we have been there before--but 2004 house today, with newer ac unit installed. ac unit calls for 40 amp breaker maxed, but there is a 50 amp breaker installed. and yes there is a disconnect but it is a pull out , no breaker. i wrote it up, needs evaluation by licensed electrician

    what yee say

    charlie

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    No evaluation: just change the breaker.

    I have never seen a quad Square D breaker. Is that a QO type?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    i wrote it up, needs evaluation by licensed electrician
    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    No evaluation: just change the breaker.

    Precisely, no evaluation needed, just change the breaker.

    What if the electrician comes out and says the breaker is okay, then something bad happens, and your report is pulled out along with the electrician's report who said it was okay - *both* of you will be on the hook as you should have simply stated the facts, that the breaker needed to be replaced with one which was within the nameplate rating.

    Sounds far fetched, but stranger things have happened.

    When something is that obvious, just write it up for correction.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    thanks all

    thats what i thought, waited to here from you all before i finalized report--it will now state, breaker needs replacment by licensed electrician

    chas


  5. #5
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I would say probably 3/4 of the inspections I do, the breaker is always over-sized in the service panel for the condensing unit. I have always recommended it to be changed out by an Electrician. I don't care if it is just 5amps over, I still write it up.

    rick


  6. #6
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Not sure how common home warranties are in your areas but in NC it is very common for a seller to offer as home warranty to the buyer. Home warranty companies have been known to deny claims on heat pumps and such if it has the wrong size over-current device installed (yep...it happened to me and I had to repair a heat pump on my dime). That is my incentive to make sure the over-current device matches the data plate info.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by neal lewis View Post
    No evaluation: just change the breaker.

    I have never seen a quad Square D breaker. Is that a QO type?
    Nope, that's a Square D HOMeline Quad Tandem breaker - you can tell by the "Type HOMT" (T for Tandem).

    http://www.schneider-electric.us/?Li...2E4&showMeta=0


  8. #8
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    You can tell it's a Homeline breaker by looking at the breaker. That is an expensive breaker but there is room to install a 40 amp breaker across from it. That is a much simpler change than changing the non fused disconnect to a fused disconnect. The common 60 amp pull out disconnects are non fused. The 30 amp ones are fused. Spend $8 and change the breaker. Most places the homeowner can do this himself, not need for a licensed electrician. I'd have to charge about $65 to do this change of breaker if I was called for this. I'm betting this was never inspected by the AHJ when it was installed. No proper electrical inspector would ever let this go. I know I never would.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Most places the homeowner can do this himself, not need for a licensed electrician. I'd have to charge about $65 to do this change of breaker if I was called for this. I'm betting this was never inspected by the AHJ when it was installed. No proper electrical inspector would ever let this go. I know I never would.
    You are recommending to your clients that they swap breakers in panels because it will cost all of $65? Wow!

    I never recommend that clients or homeowners ever take the dead front off any panel. Thats why there are electricians. Our job is to protect homeowners from the house and themselves. Recommending a novice be rummaging around in an electrical panel is just plain crazy.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I am an electrical contractor and I am an electrical inspector. I tell people every day how to safely change a breaker. It's not "rummaging around" in an electrical panel. I give customers the facts that I am qualified to give.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    You are recommending to your clients that they swap breakers in panels because it will cost all of $65? Wow!

    I never recommend that clients or homeowners ever take the dead front off any panel. Thats why there are electricians. Our job is to protect homeowners from the house and themselves. Recommending a novice be rummaging around in an electrical panel is just plain crazy.
    I thought the same thing Bruce. Are things that bad in Michigan that you advise homeowner to poke around in an electric panel?

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I answer questions from people every day. I assist them with electrical problems as well as other problems. Some people have no problem changing a breaker. Other people should not take a cover off the panel. I'm stating facts here. I give customers choices. I don't try to scare them with horror stories. I help them feel comfortable and to have self confidence. Maybe you thrive on putting fear into people but I don't. It all comes back to reward me. I wouldn't do it any other way.
    BTW, I never advise someone to "poke around" in an electrical panel. Changing a breaker and poking around are two totally different things to a professional and to someone having been instructed in how to correctly do the change. Maybe to you it's poking around.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    BTW, I never advise someone to "poke around" in an electrical panel. Changing a breaker and poking around are two totally different things to a professional and to someone having been instructed in how to correctly do the change. Maybe to you it's poking around.
    I agree that a professional is not just poking around in an electrcial panel. They are trained and paid to understand the consequences and take the proper precautions. Homeowners are accidents waiting to happen.

    I do not wish to take on the legal responsibilty for advising a homeowner to do anything inside an electrical panel. My job is to recommend the homeowner hire a licensed professional. Hopefully your clients remember everything thing you tell them and never get hurt.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    That's the difference between a Home Inspector and a licensed electrician and/or electrical inspector. If the homeowner feels confident enough to do it himself we will tell him what needs to be done and answer any questions he might have about the process. Home Inspectors are not qualified to do so.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Right on Bob W. We as Master Electricians & EI's, know the difference between telling a HO to make a change verses one who is going to make a change.

    Giving them pointers is just good customer service and helping them do it correctly.
    I had a HO change one out this year while I verbally guided them so that I could pass the job. Everybody wins.

    I don't know if this would be smart practice for a Home inspector however, I ain't one.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    BOB

    what did you charge the client for that hands on training or job and how did you get the referal??, and what would you have charged him if you did it yourself--if HI didn't recommend client call an electrician, would you have been on that job, don't get your logic on this. if i would have suggested this to client and he or she wasn't around come christmas time because he was charcoal, might as well been in the cemetary business and kiss my luxury home and business goodbye. we as home inspectors are there to help the client on all aspects of their home and if we are not quailfied or master of the trade, we recommend evaluation or repair by licensed technician, which would be you.

    chas


  17. #17
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Charlie, I am also at a loss relative to your response.
    Why/how did I get there? I thought I made it clear, "so that I could pass the job" speaks for itself, I thought.
    Relative to HI's, reread the last line of my post.
    The permit fees pay for the inspections in my jurisdiction and giving/helping with my expertise is only good service rendered. Have I said this already? I also saved the H.O. a reinspection fee by giving them a few more of my minutes not to mention the inconvenience of having to be home for another inspection.


  18. #18
    Darrell Udelhoven's Avatar
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    The ampacity of the conductors should be checked & also be ample for the condenser load.

    Then the breaker can be rated according to what will best protect the compressor.

    A 40-amp breaker is the maximum, not necessarily the optimal amp protection, which could be less.

    Also, the breaker amps must always be less than the amp rating of the conductors, according to the NEC.

    Last edited by Darrell Udelhoven; 10-26-2010 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Breaker amps must always be less than conductor amp rating - NEC

  19. #19
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell Udelhoven View Post
    Also, the breaker amps must always be less than the amp rating of the conductors, according to the NEC.

    Unless otherwise allowed by the code ...

    ... and the code otherwise allows it for certain installations, and HVAC condenser units fall into one of those installations which allows the overcurrent protection to be higher than the ampacity of the conductors.

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    There is a difference between telling a homeowner "to" change the breaker himself and telling him that the breaker must be changed. Is it any of our business who makes the correction?
    As a HI you are making a suggestion as a result of your training. As a licensed electrician or as an electrical inspector I am telling the customer what must be done for code compliance. There is a big difference there. There is a huge difference in liability there. Bob Smit and I operate according to the laws in the State of Michigan. I have found some of the things written up by the Home Inspector to be ridiculous. I have even had a Home Inspector go through a new home while we code inspectors were doing our final inspections on the newly constructed home. Why would someone waste their money on the HI in this case? I've never understood that one. Bob Smit do you understand that one?


  21. #21
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    As a HI I inspect new homes all the time. I did one on Monday. One thing I found was two HVAC registers that had no air flow from them and a thermostat that was in the wrong location. The dual zone controller was also faulty and the bypass duct was not installed. This had all been passed by the AHJ.

    Besides being a HI, I am a licensed electrician (35 years), a licensed plumber, (30 years), and licensed Mechanical contractor, (28 Years).


  22. #22
    Darrell Udelhoven's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Unless otherwise allowed by the code ...

    ... and the code otherwise allows it for certain installations, and HVAC condenser units fall into one of those installations which allows the overcurrent protection to be higher than the ampacity of the conductors.
    True.
    However, those conductors have to be in conduit from the breaker all the way to the condenser.

    How many times are the conductors not properly enclosed in conduit all the way to the condenser.(?)

    Do the conductors run through a hot area exceeding the temperature limit, of say, 86-F.

    As long as the breaker doesn't trip on normal start-ups, I prefer keeping the breaker amperage as low as possible to protect the unit... rather than just using the max allowable.

    NEC Table 310-16 shows that a No. 12 Type TW, THW or THWN copper conductor can safely carry 25 amperes continuously for ambient temperature not exceeding 86F. Where the temperature in an attic or on the roof reaches temperatures in excess of this figure, ampacity correction factors listed in NEC Table 310-16 must be applied, which will make it necessary to increase the size of the conductors to compensate for the rise in temperature.

    NEC Section 240-3(d) requires that the “overcurrent protection” must not exceed 20 amperes for a No. 12 conductor unless otherwise specifically permitted in Sections 240-3(e) through (g). Section 240-3(g) permits air conditioning circuit conductors to be protected in accord with Parts C and F of Article 440. Section 440-21 specifically states that the provisions of Part C are “in addition to or amendatory of the provisions of Article 240.” For example, the air conditioner nameplate marking indicates a “Maximum Fuse or Circuit Breaker Size” of 40 amperes. The minimum supply circuit ampacity is 24-amperes. In this case the nameplate on the air conditioner is marked for a Maximum Fuse or Circuit Breaker Size of 40 amperes, which will satisfy the requirements. Consequently, if no derating for ambient temperature is required, No. 12 conductors having an ampacity of 25 amperes are acceptable to supply this unit.

    The concept for protection where a No. 12 copper wire with an ampacity of 25 amperes is permitted to have overcurrent protection of 40 amperes is as follows:

    1. The 40-ampere fuse or circuit breaker at the origination of the circuit will protect the conductors from short circuit [ungrounded (hot) conductors which fault together, line-to-line] and ground fault [ungrounded (hot) conductor(s) which fault to the equipment grounding conductor or grounded equipment].

    2. The conductor is protected from overload by the running overcurrent device usually contained in the motor controller.

    The combination of the two protection elements provides the overcurrent protection for safety.
    Electrical Code - Follow the latest NEC...

    Last edited by Darrell Udelhoven; 10-27-2010 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Follow the latest NEC...

  23. #23
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Bob W., I don't know why someone would pay for an inspection on a new house. Perhaps someone is covering their arse, like a Realtor, and/or it may be required by a buyers' protection plan...who knows...any of U HI's?
    I don't consider it a bad idea Bob, as we AHJ's are usually not given the necessary time to do a really detailed inspection as we would prefer.

    Darrell U., We have totally educated those on this site regarding overcurrent protection and short circuit protection of A/C units on past threads. And, as Jerry has mentioned above, these exceptions are applied to other installations as well. Such as but not limited to: Motor loads and taps.
    Please search the archives so that we don't have to go thru it again.
    Jerry, do U recall?


  24. #24
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Bob W., I don't know why someone would pay for an inspection on a new house. Perhaps someone is covering their arse, like a Realtor, and/or it may be required by a buyers' protection plan...who knows...any of U HI's?
    I don't consider it a bad idea Bob, as we AHJ's are usually not given the necessary time to do a really detailed inspection as we would prefer.
    I have been that home inspector, going about my biz while an authority from the municipality went about his. (I watch discreetly without hanging around like a little puppy dog. ) I spend about 3 hours going over the place and taking umpteen pictures. He comes in, makes a few notes on a clipboard, and leaves. In my area, he does not pull covers off of any panels, that is the job of an electrical inspector, and so that was done prior to the final occupancy inspection. He does not to my knowledge check receptacles for function or wiring errors. Sometimes, there are goof-ups, like remote panels with the bonding screw left in. I find those things fairly often. Reversed hot and neutral on a GFCI, Monday's inspection.

    He generally drives a sedan, does not bring a ladder, and so the roof and attic are not included. He may run the heating system, but does not have time to run up and down the stairs checking registers, etc. In spite of proficiency in their jobs, small items are overlooked.

    When I do an inspection of a new home, I create a deficiency list of cosmetic blemishes which are of no interest to the AHJ, but are significant to the buyer, my client. Chips and scratches, poorly adjusted this and that. I run all the plumbing and find leaks, reversed taps, etc. I find GFCI's which fail to trip. I find garage doors which do not reverse. I find loose vent stacks and exhaust hoses in the attics, and loose shingles on the roofs. Tons of stuff. The home owner gets a chance while the builder is handy, to get the blemishes repaired and the faults corrected at the builder's expense. Before one year is up, they should get a warranty inspection before it's too late. Homes in my part of the world sell for $450 G average. A home inspection on a brand new home is a wise move, believe me.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  25. #25
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Bob W., I don't know why someone would pay for an inspection on a new house.
    Bob, I don't want to ruffle too many feather's here but, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

    With all due respect to AHJ inspectors, I have NEVER inspected a house without deficiencies, especially a new one. Almost always a new house has MORE problems than one 2-3 years old.

    AHJ are responsible for life and safety issues so the little stuff can tend to get overlooked or just fall between the cracks.

    AHJ's around here are usually very good and thorough on the big items but no way can they devote the attention needed to every system of the house.

    A partial list of common new home deficiencies:
    missing insulation,
    defective or mis-wired electric outlets
    missing junction box covers
    defective smoke alarms
    missing weep holes in brick
    improper roof/attic framing with no ceiling joist ties
    water pressure too high
    no thermal expansion device on water system
    improper condensate drains on a/c units in attics
    cross-wired a/c controls on multi-unit houses
    insufficient attic venting
    improper shingle starter strip

    That is just a starter off the top of my head in new houses constructed by big name builders and I don't usually even mention cosmetic defects.
    Now given most buyers don't get a new home inspected, I figure at least 50% of the new homes live with these problems for at least 11 months (if they get a 1 year warranty inspection) and many don't know that they have any problems until they go to sell the house.

    I can count on one hand the number of new homes that did not have repairs needed which would cost far in excess of my fee. Even then, the peace of mind that the home was sound is worthwhile to my client.
    My question is why would a home buyer NOT have a new home inspected? It just makes good sense for something you will be paying for for the next 30 years

    Ok, I'll get down off my soap box now.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  26. #26
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    best one i ever found was the gas fireplace heatilater with the arrow pointing down.

    csst not bonded or grounded and hanging wildly in basement

    trex deck screws drilled to close to edge and cracks on all planks

    hot and cold water reversed on faucets

    attic furnaces with zero plank boards to service

    95% furnace venting within two feet of ac unit


    Bob why do i need a new house inspected???--because city inspectors don't get enough time to inspect--why is that can you explain

    chas


  27. #27
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Bob, I don't want to ruffle too many feather's here but, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

    A partial list of common new home deficiencies:
    missing insulation,
    defective or mis-wired electric outlets
    missing junction box covers
    defective smoke alarms
    missing weep holes in brick
    improper roof/attic framing with no ceiling joist ties
    water pressure too high
    no thermal expansion device on water system
    improper condensate drains on a/c units in attics
    cross-wired a/c controls on multi-unit houses
    insufficient attic venting
    improper shingle starter strip

    .
    Here are few addittional things,off the top of my head, that found on 1 yr old homes in the past few weeks
    Ceiling register covered with drywall,
    No heating and cooling to a registure on the down stairs bedroom
    Missing attic access to access a furnace that was not accesible from the other access.
    Missing smoke detector in a bedroom
    Smoke detectors that were never connected
    Disconnected HVAC duct in the attic
    Gas leak at the furnace piping . [ Found with the nose test]
    Missing anti tips on free standing ranges
    No Hi loop on dishwashers
    Burnt wires in the electrical panel
    Wires not properly sized for the breaker
    Exhaust vents ending in the attic
    Double neutrals
    Neutral and ground wires on the same bars on [ submarine panels
    3 way light switches not wired properly
    Bath room outlets not GFCI protected

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  28. #28
    Darrell Udelhoven's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: over sized ac breaker

    I didn't have time to search through past posts, & for new members it shouldn't hurt too much for them to be aware...

    Very Good series of posts.

    IMO, every H-VAC contractor ought to solicit new home buyers explaining to them why it would pay them to have a thorough inspection of the H-VAC systems, including duct systems' & air flow.

    The same goes for older home buyers before the deal is finalized.

    Regarding older homes, there are usually many costly conditions that ought to be rectified.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Darrell feel free to post as you please. Not everyone has time to search archives and if someone knows a past thread they will typically post it for you. Even though what you posted might be familiar to most of us, there may be others that read this thread that had no idea about your comment and learned something.
    So post away............

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  30. #30
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell Udelhoven View Post
    However, those conductors have to be in conduit from the breaker all the way to the condenser.

    How many times are the conductors not properly enclosed in conduit all the way to the condenser.(?)
    HUH?

    Please show me the code.

    Electrical Code - Follow the latest NEC...
    Correct, but making something up is not following that advice.

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

  31. #31
    Darrell Udelhoven's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: over sized ac breaker - Need NEC Code Clarifications...

    Thank you, Jerry, for your input.

    That was not my quote of the code, it was someone else's, so it should be questioned. Perhaps he misquoted the NEC 'code'.

    If he did, at least, it would have been on the safe side.

    Do you have the latest NEC 'CODE' there to quote in full on this specific issue, if so, post it for us. I no longer have the code available here.

    It is important that we have that properly posted code so the record will be clear. Any licensed electricians here?


  32. #32
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Licensed for 21 years and I have 2008 in PDF and 2005 Handbook in PDF.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    best one i ever found was the gas fireplace heatilater with the arrow pointing down.
    Bob why do i need a new house inspected???--because city inspectors don't get enough time to inspect--why is that can you explain

    chas
    My best this year - Vents on the roof but no holes cut in the sheathing.

    To the two Bobs - I for one appreciate your inputs here, so don't take these responses personally. As you know, we are all over the map in locations and situations.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  34. #34
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker - Need NEC Code Clarifications...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell Udelhoven View Post
    Do you have the latest NEC 'CODE' there to quote in full on this specific issue, if so, post it for us. I no longer have the code available here.

    It is important that we have that properly posted code so the record will be clear. Any licensed electricians here?
    Darrell,

    (underlining and bold are mine)
    - 240.4 Protection of Conductors.
    - - Conductors, other than flexible cords, flexible cables, and fixture wires, shall be protected against overcurrent in accordance with their ampacities specified in 310.15, unless otherwise permitted or required in 240.4(A) through (G).
    - - - (A) Power Loss Hazard. Conductor overload protection shall not be required where the interruption of the circuit would create a hazard, such as in a material-handling magnet circuit or fire pump circuit. Short-circuit protection shall be provided.
    - - - - FPN: See NFPA 20-2007, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection.
    - - - (B) Devices Rated 800 Amperes or Less. The next higher standard overcurrent device rating (above the ampacity of the conductors being protected) shall be permitted to be used, provided all of the following conditions are met:
    - - - - (1) The conductors being protected are not part of a multioutlet branch circuit supplying receptacles for cord-and-plug-connected portable loads.
    - - - - (2) The ampacity of the conductors does not correspond with the standard ampere rating of a fuse or a circuit breaker without overload trip adjustments above its rating (but that shall be permitted to have other trip or rating adjustments).
    - - - - (3) The next higher standard rating selected does not exceed 800 amperes.
    - - - (C) Devices Rated over 800 Amperes. Where the overcurrent device is rated over 800 amperes, the ampacity of the conductors it protects shall be equal to or greater than the rating of the overcurrent device defined in 240.6.
    - - - (D) Small Conductors. Unless specifically permitted in 240.4(E) or (G), the overcurrent protection shall not exceed that required by (D)(1) through (D)(7) after any correction factors for ambient temperature and number of conductors have been applied.
    - - - - (1) 18 AWG Copper. 7 amperes, provided all the following conditions are met:
    - - - - - (1) Continuous loads do not exceed 5.6 amperes.
    - - - - - (2) Overcurrent protection is provided by one of the following:
    - - - - - - a. Branch-circuit-rated circuit breakers listed and marked for use with 18 AWG copper wire
    - - - - - - b. Branch-circuit-rated fuses listed and marked for use with 18 AWG copper wire
    - - - - - - c. Class CC, Class J, or Class T fuses
    - - - - (2) 16 AWG Copper. 10 amperes, provided all the following conditions are met:
    - - - - - (1) Continuous loads do not exceed 8 amperes.
    - - - - - (2) Overcurrent protection is provided by one of the following:
    - - - - - - a. Branch-circuit-rated circuit breakers listed and marked for use with 16 AWG copper wire
    - - - - - - b. Branch-circuit-rated fuses listed and marked for use with 16 AWG copper wire
    - - - - - - c. Class CC, Class J, or Class T fuses
    - - - - (3) 14 AWG Copper. 15 amperes
    - - - - (4) 12 AWG Aluminum and Copper-Clad Aluminum. 15 amperes
    - - - - (5) 12 AWG Copper. 20 amperes
    - - - - (6) 10 AWG Aluminum and Copper-Clad Aluminum. 25 amperes
    - - - - (7) 10 AWG Copper. 30 amperes
    - - - (E) Tap Conductors. Tap conductors shall be permitted to be protected against overcurrent in accordance with the following:
    - - - - (1) 210.19(A)(3) and (A)(4), Household Ranges and Cooking Appliances and Other Loads
    - - - - (2) 240.5(B)(2), Fixture Wire
    - - - - (3) 240.21, Location in Circuit
    - - - - (4) 368.17(B), Reduction in Ampacity Size of Busway
    - - - - (5) 368.17(C), Feeder or Branch Circuits (busway taps)
    - - - - (6) 430.53(D), Single Motor Taps
    - - - (F) Transformer Secondary Conductors. Single-phase (other than 2-wire) and multiphase (other than delta-delta, 3-wire) transformer secondary conductors shall not be considered to be protected by the primary overcurrent protective device. Conductors supplied by the secondary side of a single-phase transformer having a 2-wire (single-voltage) secondary, or a three-phase, delta-delta connected transformer having a 3-wire (single-voltage) secondary, shall be permitted to be protected by overcurrent protection provided on the primary (supply) side of the transformer, provided this protection is in accordance with 450.3 and does not exceed the value determined by multiplying the secondary conductor ampacity by the secondary-to-primary transformer voltage ratio.
    - - - (G) Overcurrent Protection for Specific Conductor Applications. Overcurrent protection for the specific conductors shall be permitted to be provided as referenced in Table 240.4(G).
    - - - - (Table 240.4(G) does not copy and paste, so I've attached it as a graphic, you will note there there are many conditions covered in the table.)

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  35. #35
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winchester View Post
    Licensed for 21 years and I have 2008 in PDF and 2005 Handbook in PDF.
    Licensed as an inspector for 20-21 years (forgot what year I received my first inspectors licenses, was 1989/1990 as I recall).

    I have the NEC and Handbooks going back to the 1940s (both for each edition), some Handbooks into the 1930s, with the NEC going back to 1897 with many pre-1930 editions missing - i.e., 1897, then jump to 1905, then jump to 1915, then to ...

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

  36. #36
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I guess this is getting off post but I have another story for the 2 Bobs. In my opinion, its easier to be a specialist in one field than a generalist in every aspect of a home that we, as home inspectors look at. Lets see, roofing, structure, HVAC (is it a furnace, oil, or gas, is it electric, is it a boiler, is it hydronic, solar, heat pump) electrical, appliances, grading, plumbing ( poly, cast iron, pex, copper,etc.) septic, wells, irrigation, etc.etc.

    A few years ago I thought about taking on another Inspector, I took a Master Plumber out with me. This guy spent 2 hours up close and personal with plumbing things and never looked at the roof, electrical etc. The next guy was a GC, what a joke, he knew nothing about anything. I had heard before anybody with a specific trade behind them generally does not make a good "overall" home inspector, and that is correct in my experience.

    Anyway back to the story of "Why would you inspect a brand new house."

    This was about 5 years ago, in a "Brand new" $6 Million dollar house in Naples Fl. Everything was going Ok, typical new house stuff. But, when in the kitchen, this place had all commercial appliances in this huge kitchen. The buyers entertained alot and they wanted a house with a commercial type kitchen, but one that was beautiful, and they found it here.

    Well, I could not seem to find a ice maker. We looked for 20 minutes, and it just was not there. While going through the cabinets, low and behold a set of prints. So, on the blueprints there was clearly an icemaker " commercial of course" but in the actual house there was a blank cabinet area. Thinking this might have been some hi-tech hidden icemaker we tried everything looking for some hidden release for the icemaker. The double dishwashers were the type that if you dont know where they were, you would never find them.

    Well the buyer, a no nonsense Texan, was getting pissed, and looked under the sink and there was a valve labled "icemaker." So, of course HE turns it on. 5 minutes later water is coming from beneath the cabinet from where the ice maker was supposed to be.

    As if by cue, the builder arrives and sees the water on the floor and gets pissed and asks what happened. So, I explained the "phantom icemaker." The closing was set for two days. I let the buyer, and builder discuss the $ details of the deal, while I continued on my way with the Inspection. The buyer finds me and says the builder is offering 10K held back at closing. Since all the cabinets on that side of the kitchen needed replaced along with a huge slab of granite along with the cost of the ice machine itself I thout 10K was way low. I suggested 30K and the buyer said F it I want 50K held back until its done. It ended up being a $42K job.

    So, Bob and Bob, if the buyer would have settled for 10K do you think the buyer would ever saw him again. I know about warranties and all that crap, but the buyer has a lot more power, either delaying closing, or holding back a substancial amount at closing to get things right.

    So again, why would you ever have a "New House Inspected???"

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Turning on the valve was less than intelligent since no ice maker could be found. Never assume anything. When the owner looked at the home he should have asked to see the ice maker and been shown it or told it wasn't there.
    Inspection records are public domain in Michigan. I would hope they are everywhere. I'm surprised Collier County inspectors would overlook code issues. When my parents lived there and had a house it seemed to me that the inspectors were really fussy. I had talked to one who moved there from Michigan and had been a registered inspector here before moving to Naples.
    The inspectors I've worked with have always been thorough with all inspections. Rough in is where a lot of stuff is caught and no HI will ever see what is "behind the scenes" like we do. When we had our team of inspectors do finals on a house we caught things like reversed polarity or non gfci protected area that were required to be inspected. I always checked EVERY gfci to make sure it worked. When the Monday final failed because none of the GFCI receptacles work because of the weekend storm the electrical was upset but I did my job correctly. Homeowners were looked at more closely than contractors that I was familiar with. It only makes sense. Over the years you develop a relationship with contractors and you learn which ones are sloppy and which ones are always right on the money. When you find mistakes you check so much more. When you check so many things and never find a problem you learn the guy is careful and you don't have to spend so much time with his work. A big contractor with several crews isn't so careful as the smaller ones who are more hands on. You learn over many years. You still don't assume but you see the representation and are confident things are good. I know the home inspectors I've run into on jobs didn't find problems in the houses that we inspected. We took our jobs seriously. I think most inspectors in Michigan are that way. Bob Smit do you agree with me? We are from totally different areas of the state so we don't really know any of the same inspectors here.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Bob as I put in my post HE the buyer turned on the valve. If HE turns anything on or off I could care less.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    The usual story around here re oversize OCPDs is "We oversize them to prevent 'nuisance trips'".

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  40. #40
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Wow Michael. I guess we all should up size our breakers if they become a nuisance. If wire and breaker is propelry sized then nuisance tripping should not be a problem. It would be something mechanical with the unit.........me 2 pennies.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  41. #41
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Hey Bob W. do U feel like our legs have been cut off and were just 'bobbin' in the sea of HI's?
    Well, U mugs need to reread the rest of my paragraph where I stated that paying of a new home inspection isn't a bad idea as we AHJ's aren't given the time to do as complete an inspection as we would like.

    Having read all the posts since mine, I would change my language from "not a bad idea" to 'a good idea'.

    I agree with U Bob W., most inspectors I know here in MI do a pretty good job, (with time allowed). Having a HI follow us is can't hurt. How many times have we returned to do a final and found something we overlooked on the rough. Not to often I trust, but does happen.


  42. #42
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    Thumbs down HI forum--not an AHJ forum

    Bob S, as an inspector, you should have noticed this site is a forum for Home Inspectors---not AHJs so yes, you and I are bobbing in a sea of HIs.

    As for the use of a fused disconnect, that has been covered as well and to reiterate once more, the fuse on the d/c is to protect the fan--not the wiring. The breaker protects the wiring.

    Now, as for the notion of an AHJ giving out DIY advice to unqualified homeowners how to replace breakers:

    Are you kidding me? Seriously? Let me ask this another way Bobs:
    You are advising someone who is outside of your immediate supervision and scope of employment how to open an energized electrical panel, stick their hands in there, remove some wiring off a large breaker, move the wires to the other side of the panel, properly attach it to the proper size and type breaker, and reinstall the new breaker? How do you know Harry the Homeowner will kill the main disconnect before opening the panel and sticking his hands in there? What about those panels that have a live uncapped wire lying right behind the panel? What if he cannot locate the correct breaker for that panel so he tries to force an improper substitution? What if he doesn't make a firm connection? What if he removes the panel, leaves it hot while he runs to the home center to get the breaker and his kid sticks something into the hot panel?

    If this was a HI giving this advice, I'd admonish them for risking lives and taking on the liability, which I'm sure their insurance carrier would not appreciate. However, being AHJs, you are immune to prosecution so you don't have to worry about the consequences of your actions or advice the way we do----as long as you're within the scope of your employment. Once you wander outside that scope, you are on your own. This means you could be liable personally. Moreover, as professionals, you could be found guilty of gross negligence and reckless endangerment which could bring criminal charges against you in the event of a severe injury or death. Still, I won'der what your jurisdiction's manager and attorney would think about your activities.

    Why stop at the breakers? Why not just open classes on DIY wiring for homeowners so they can save a buck? I mean, logically, where do you draw the line? BTW, since many jurisdictions require inspections of all wiring, how do you handle this? If you don't advise them to pull a permit and have it inspected, you are circumventing the jurisdiction's regulations and screwing them out of a source of revenue.

    I just find it shocking and sad that you are willing to put people at risk over a few lousy dollars here yet bust on them for other infractions. This seems hypocritical, reckless and irresponsible to me. You don't need an electrical degree to see this is wrong and outside the scope of your employment.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    ac unit calls for 40 amp breaker maxed, but there is a 50 amp breaker installed. and yes there is a disconnect but it is a pull out , no breaker.
    what yee say

    charlie
    To throw my 2 cents in. Just because there is a switched disconnect does not mean that the switch in the disconnect is a breaker.

    Most disconnects that have the switch that looks like a breaker isn't a breaker. It is just the rating of the switch. So if you have a 40 amp maximum breaker and the disconnect has a 40 amp switch you still have to check the breaker at the service panel to verify that it isn't larger than the maximum size allowed.

    Just changing the switch out for a breaker in the disconnect doesn't work either! The disconnect must be manufactured with a breaker installed at the manufactuer for the disconnect to be allowed for the protection of the equipment.


  44. #44
    Mike Richart's Avatar
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Per code breakers need to match what is listed on unit.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Yes Bob H., we're all aware here that this is primarily a HI site.
    Your mention that the breaker is just to protect the conductors is only partially correct. It is only for short circuit/ground fault protection in this application (ac).
    And yet again your incorrect in assuming that in my jurisdiction it isn't part of my job to give advice or possible methods. It is.
    You also failed to understand that myself and the other AHJ's on this site limit our advice to H.O's under their lawful permit to do their own work on their own home. If they are going to do the fix, then yes it is my job to offer suggestions or even guide them if asked.

    If a contractor asks advice, it will give it freely also. We are servants of the public.
    Stop the assuming, sheesh


  46. #46
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I got quite a chuckle out of Bob H.'s post. I'll leave it at that so not to offend anyone here. I'll be smiling all evening on this. What if, what if, what if. Amazing. When I coached little league baseball I told the children "No What If Questions Allowed". I wonder why. Any guesses?


  47. #47
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    bob w

    no offense--but if i was your little league player i would have to question what the hell you said "no what if questions allowed". i wonder why--any guesses . tell me again how to change that breaker , and make it a little clearer--thanks

    you and the other bob, state why would anyone pay for a new home inspection and then say it's not a bad idea. CONFUSING

    you have seen horry stories on what we HI'S find in new home inspections. please BECOME A BELIVER IN BAD NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION

    so many times here in colorado, because of hail damage ,many roofs are replaced and the roofer doesn't bother to re-attach the bathroom exhaust vent to the exterior. city inspector finals the permit. did he look in the attic or even get out of the car. my guess NO. DO YOU???

    again this is a home inspector forum, but we welcome all, and learn from ever post--hope bob and bob have also

    cvf


  48. #48
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    Cool AHJ and Dept. of Public DIY advice

    Could either Bob provide a link to their jurisdiction or a pdf showing specifically where they are empowered and charged with providing DIY advice? I understand many jurisdictions allow non-licensed homeowners to do their own work as long as they pull the permits and it passes inspection. That's great. What is being questioned here is now twofold: the assertion you have the authority to give out DIY advice and you have the duty to give out that advice. Any supporting documents or code references would be appreciated.

    To my point about the breakers, my point was that you, the experts missed the fact that a fused disconnect may be required for additional protection of equipment on a circuit in addition to a breaker.

    My comment about this being a HI forum was due to your wisecracking about your legs being cut off and bobbing in a sea of home inspectors. Who the heck else do you think would predominate a home inspectors forum?

    Yes, you are recognized as experts in your field but you don't have to come across so cocky and arrogant about it.

    Giving advice such as recommending to replace an oversized breaker in order to promote safety and well being for a homeowner not to mention passing their upcoming inspection is a lot different than instructing him how to work on an energized panel unsupervised. What I'm looking at is the hazard in relation to the gain. I would love to see you try to explain in a deposition why you felt it was not only justified but your duty to instruct a homeowner step by step how to work on an energized panel all to save $65.00.

    Circuit breakers, fuses, GFCIs and AFCIs are all safety devices designed for when things go wrong and should not be wholly relied upon to save you. However, just like airbags in your car or emergency parachutes, you don't want to road test them. You often get one chance to be wrong with electricity.

    Have a nice day guys.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Bob Smit, I am also a municipal inspector and I will have to respectfully disagree with your statement about giving advice on how to perform a specific repair. If something were to go wrong then you would be liable to a certain extent in my opinion.

    I always inform contractors and homeowners that it is my responsibility as an AHJ to review any applications for work and that work meets the minimum codes. If a contractor or homeowner is not competent in whatever type of work they are trying to perform, I always recommend they speak with a professional in that line of work.

    I am not there to be professional designer. I am there to review the proposed work and inspect the work according to the code. Yes we are public servants however that requirement to serve the public stops at designing.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Does anyone else not see the humor (other than Bob. H.) with my "bobbin in the sea of HI's? I thought that was a good one. Not meant to be serious and/or nose up.
    Also, did I not concede after reading following posts from others and stated "a good idea". Again, sheeesh

    Bob Harper, I respect your view above also. However, I don't believe I'm liable when helping a permit holder while using certain constraints spoke about already.
    It is my employer who requires me to help the one who payed for the permit. Again, within certain constraints.
    I agree with U on the no-designing rule. My Employer would like me to do that as a service also, but experience has shown us that it usually backfires.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Does anyone else not see the humor (other than Bob. H.) with my "bobbin in the sea of HI's? I thought that was a good one. Not meant to be serious and/or nose up.
    You appear to be keeping your head up. You won't mind if we call you 'the Bobber', will you?

    Next time you 'bobbers' throw us a line like that, make sure it has some weight to it.

    A longer leader would help. For fish with teeth, we use stainless steel.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  52. #52
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    You appear to be keeping your head up. You won't mind if we call you 'the Bobber', will you?

    Next time you 'bobbers' throw us a line like that, make sure it has some weight to it.

    A longer leader would help. For fish with teeth, we use stainless steel.

    Now that was funny..I don't care who you are!


  53. #53
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    These posts are better than the movie I saw last night.


  54. #54
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    Talking resusitated thread

    It's probably a FPE panel anyway......

    BTW, Bob S tried to steal by joke about bobbing in post 42.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  55. #55
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    Default Re: over sized ac breaker

    I can't believe this thread is still going, er revived, for a year now...
    And I didn't steal anyone's joke Bob ABCorD... your's was post #42 and mine #41, so there.
    I have to get ready for a day of inspections now... rereading this thread again has given me a laugh and a "tude". I thinks me answers today will be,
    "Sorry, I don't iganeer electrical work". "Sorry, I don't give advice". "Sorry, I only enforce the Code Complacenceys, not how to do it".
    This aught to make my life easier... wonder when I'll get called in the main Man's office...
    I will without a doubt be thinking of the liable issue however. Perhaps 'I'm only allowed to evaluate...no.... how about 'As a register Code Official, I can only...no... how about 'Code Officials are to... "Code Officials ..
    I'll work on this later.


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