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Air Conditioner Size and Room Electrical Circuit

The NEC states that the total rating of a plug-connected room air conditioner, where lighting units or other appliances are also supplied, shall not exceed…

Electrical Code for Room Air Conditioners
Question: The NEC states that the total rating of a plug-connected room air conditioner, where lighting units or other appliances are also supplied, shall not exceed what percent of the branch-circuit rating.
Background: Eddie is a Student from Sacramento, California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Eddie.

Where the branch-circuit supplies lighting outlets and general use receptacles, the total rating of a plug-connected room air conditioner cannot exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit rating. An example would be that an air conditioner with a full-load current of 10 amperes or less may be installed on a 20-ampere branch circuit that supplies other loads, and the receptacle that supplies power to the air conditioner should be rated for 20-amperes.

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
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NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Question of the Day

Wiring a Switch for an Air Compressor

Wayne asks:
I am wiring my 240volt air compressor using 10/3 to a lighted 30 amp switch to place by exit door to turn off when im away.
My question is: when I wire the switch I will have essentially two hots, do I place both the black and red on one screw and the black and red on the other?
Also its the lighted Leviton 3032-plr, a lot of the comments say I need to use the neutral to operate the light.
I dont know what to do with that.
Thanks for your help.

Dave's Reply:


Wayne, The Leviton 3032-plr switch that you have described is for 120volt applications and will not work on a 240volt circuit.
A typical 240 volt air compressor requires two hots and a ground wire.
A neutral wire is not required.
A 120volt lighted control switch could be wired as an add on control circuit, however this would require a separate 120volt control circuit, a 120volt lighted switch, and a 120volt control relay with 240volt contacts rated for 30amps.


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