Sizing the Air Conditioner Circuit Breaker
Do you know if your air conditioner breaker is the right size? In Florida, we have inspections for insurance that can be conducted with home inspections and stand-alone requests. Inspectors have to provide pictures of the exterior of the panel as well as the interior of the electrical panel.
One of the standard things a home inspectors look at while inspecting the electrical is the wire size of the air conditioner circuit breaker. The home inspector wants to ensure that a wire is not too small for a circuit breaker because this is a potential fire hazard.
The air conditioner circuit breakers protect the wires from overheating. There is an extensive formula for figuring this out but most home inspectors with use a simplified version for the branch circuits in the electrical panel such as the one below.
Another reference for you is table 310.15(B) (16) in the National Electric Code. There are still exceptions and one place where the rules for circuit breakers/fuses don’t apply is for air conditioning and heat pump circuits. Check out this video below on air conditioner circuit breakers and wires.
If you have additional questions and want to get in contact with GGR Home Inspections please send us a note, text, or call.