Understanding Air Conditioning Circuit Requirements
Electrical Troubleshooting tips for an Air Conditioner: I need a 2 pole 20 amp breaker for my panel box, It is for the wire to my air conditioning unit. The specs are rated voltage…
The Air Conditioner Specifications Tell It All
[ad#block]Electrical Question: I need a 2 pole 20 amp breaker for my panel box. It is for the wire to my air conditioning unit. The specs are rated voltage 208/230 phase 1 hertz 60 voltage min 197 max 253. Minimum circuit ampacity 18.9.max. Fuse or circuit breaker 30 amps. I was told that on the 12/2 wire I need a 20 amp breaker, but in looking at different 20 amp breakers I see also other nos. as q22o etc. Can you please tell me what is the proper breaker for me to use. Thank you.
This electrical question came from: Kevin, a Homeowner from Canada
Thanks for your electrical repair question Kevin.
- Kevin, the issue is not what size circuit breaker you should install, the issue is to make sure that the installed circuit will be exactly what the air conditioning unit is specifying which in this case is a 30 amp 230 volt circuit.
- The 30 amp circuit requires #10 AWG wire or 10/2 cable that will be protected by a 30 amp circuit breaker.
- Kevin, you should not use 12/2 cable for this circuit because it will be too small because the circuit will be limited to 20 amps and the 18.9 amps required for this load is over 80 percent of the rated load for the 20 amp circuit.
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What size wire and breaker do I run use for a Fridgare 18000 btu window unit 230 volts 12 amp?
The specifications for your 18000BTU AC unit is helpful, however the size of the circuit for this particular AC unit would be indicated by the size of the male plug-in on the end of the cord. The plug will also show how many wires are required for the circuit, for example 4 prongs would indicate a 3-wire circuit with a ground wire. The circuit specifications of the AC cord should be visible in the molding of the face of the plug. Note also the configuration of the plug prongs which will indicate the receptacle outlet counterpart that is required.
If the plug indicates that it is rated for 20 amps then a dedicated 20 amp circuit will be required consisting of #12 copper wire and a 2-pole 20 amp circuit breaker.
I hope this helps,