Electrical Disconnects for condensing unit

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How to install a new 220VAC electrical circuit to an air conditioning condensing unit.

When it comes to air conditioning installations, there is usually very little that the homeowner can do. However if you are relatively handy you can install the electrical service to the outdoor condenser unit and then leave the refrigeration work to the professionals.

Remember that you should always check with your local building department to determine what type of permit is required for the total installation of an air conditioning system. Homeowners are usually allowed to perform electrical and plumbing work without a license. By having the work permitted and inspected you will not only increase the chances for a successful installation, you will not void your homeowner’s insurance policy and you will not have any issues when you go to sell your home in the future.

The Electrical Circuit

The electrical circuit needed to power your outdoor air conditioner condenser...

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If the pressure rises to 1000 microns or less and remains

steady the system is considered leak-free; proceed to

startup.

• If pressure rises above 1000 microns but holds steady

below 2000 microns, moisture and/or noncondensibles

may be present or the system may have a small leak.

Return to step 2: If the same result is encountered check

for leaks as previously indicated and repair as necessary

then repeat evacuation.

If pressure rises above 2000 microns, a leak is present.

Check for leaks as previously indicated and repair as nec-

essary then repeat evacuation.

Refer to the Remote Condensing Unit Service Manual for more

detailed instructions on system evacuation, preliminary charge

adjustment, and final charge...

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Had an install done. I have two units. MY original unit has an electrical disconnect at the unit on the wall. THe new one does not. Just big wires straight to the unit. Is a disconnect required at the unit by code? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There has to be a service disconnect in line sight of the unit. A breaker/fuse box outside by the unit would be considered compliant as well but if the breaker/fuse box is inside or on the other side of the house ect a service disconnect should be installed.

Originally Posted by

jed1154

Had an install done. I have two units. MY original unit has an electrical disconnect at the unit on the wall. THe new one does not. Just big wires straight to the unit. Is a disconnect required at the unit by code?


2011 NEC
440.14 Location.

Disconnecting means shall be located within sight from and readily accessible from the air-conditioning or refrigerating equipment....

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440.14 does not give an definitive number.
..within sight and readily accessible....

Readily accessible is defined as ...."without requiring..to have to climb over or remove pbstacles or to resort to portable ladders or so forth".

What the local inspecter allows is always interesting.

The disconnect is above the condensing unit. The unit is aprox 20 inches away. He said the NEC required 36 inches. I think he is mistaken In my area the disconnect is not allowed behind the condenser, either on left or right side of condenser & nothing allowed 36" in front of disconnect. If it is not allowed behind or to the left or to the right, where is it? I want to add that we also have to adhere to the FEMA reg. This thing is 6 feet off the ground. OK, i see what you mean,i type funny. NOT behind a/c unit.
Can be installed either on right side or left.IS that better????

Originally...

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If the disconnect for the condenser unit is in the electrical service equipment/panel next to/near the condenser unit, then, no, it does not require a separate disconnect at the unit.

Installing a disconnect "on" the a/c unit, condenser unit or air handler unit, is virtually a no-no as the disconnect 'is not allowed' to be on a panel which is removable for service, repair, etc.

When speaking of residential a/c units, there are few, if any, 'non-removable panels' which cannot be removed to allow for service, repair, etc.

When speaking of large commercial units, yeah, there are typically large areas which have fixed in place panels and on which the disconnect 'is allowed to be' mounted, however, most of those guys know that they do not want to work on/replace a unit which has a disconnect on it, so the disconnect is almost always mounted nearby.

Breakers located elsewhere (not near the unit) are not allowed to be used as the disconnect, not even when there is a...

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