Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
The wrong AC breaker can cause electric circuits to become irreparably damaged. Everyone is aware that when installing an air conditioner, careful consideration must be given to the required size of the circuit breaker. However, not everyone knows how to choose an appropriate circuit breaker for an air conditioning unit based on size.
Examining the nameplate on the air conditioner is the most effective method for quickly and accurately determining the appropriate size. The answer to the query “What size breaker do I need for an AC?” can be found by looking at the data that is supplied in the “Overcurrent Protective Device” or Breaker” under the “Max Fuse” entry in the plate. This information is printed on the plate’s back. When you have that information, you can consult the standard sizing charts to determine the appropriate wire size.
If you want a range, it’s typically between a minimum of 30 or 40 amps and a maximum of 60 amps. If you want a specific number, you can look it up here. When determining which amp breaker to use for the air conditioning unit, I will explain why it is best to use the plate.
Why Are ACs Different When Determining the Needs for Right-Sizing?
You’re concerned that by following the instructions on the plate, you might wind up breaking the Code; don’t. Let’s say that, at least in part, most refrigeration systems and air conditioners are “free” from it. In the end, it’s more that they have a distinct set of rules of their own, which is the nameplate.
Be aware that these nameplates are necessary for all AC systems. In addition to disclosing the size of the air conditioner circuit breaker, it also includes the minimum circuit ampacity, you to use determines the appropriate wire size. Additionally, it displays the name of the manufacturer, the voltage rating, the number of phases, and the ground-fault safety device ratings.
Since the data plate contains manufacturer guidelines, it is best to abide by them. You’ll almost certainly choose the incorrect AC breaker size if you insist on following the Code! The wire sizes are the same.
What size circuit breaker do I need for a 5-ton air conditioning unit?
Most likely, you can use 8-2 with the ground. Use 6-2 with the ground if you believe a 2P50A breaker will be used to power the condenser unit. A 2P15A breaker can connect the majority of indoor air handlers, which are 240v and typically do not include heat strips, to a 14-2 w/ground circuit. You can use 12-2 with the ground if you want to be positive.
What Size Breaker Is Needed For A 3 Ton AC Unit?
36,000 BTU, or 3 tons, operate on 3,600 watts on average. More efficient units use as little as 3,000W, whereas less efficient ones can operate on 4,200W.
We can see from the calculator above that an average 3-ton AC unit needs a breaker with a minimum ampacity of 20.45A. Therefore, a 25A breaker is the best option for selecting a breaker size for a 3-ton device.
Following is a comparison of 3-ton units with high energy efficiency (EER >10) and low energy efficiency (EER 10):
● A 15A breaker is necessary for 3-ton units with high energy efficiency.
● A 20A breaker is necessary for 3-ton units with low energy efficiency.
What Size Breaker Is Needed for A 4 Ton AC Unit?
4-ton units, or 48,000 BTU, typically consume 4,800 W. More efficient machines use as little as 4,000W, whereas less efficient ones can operate on 5,600W.
We can see from the calculator above that an average 4-ton AC unit needs a breaker with a minimum ampacity of 27.27A. So, a 30A breaker is the best option for a 3-ton device as far as breaker size is concerned.
The breakdown for 4-ton units with high energy efficiency (EER >10) and low energy efficiency (EER 10) is as follows:
- A 25A breaker is necessary for 4-ton units with high energy efficiency.
- A 35A breaker is necessary for 4-ton units with low energy efficiency.
What breaker size is required for a three-ton air conditioner?
The interior unit probably requires a 60-amp circuit breaker. The blower uses less than 15 amperes, and the electric heating components in reserve use the rest. For the past few weeks, my three-ton outside unit has been running on a 20-amp circuit breaker and operating without a hitch.
Is an air conditioner required to have GFCI breaker protection?
Would it be necessary to employ a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to protect the circuit if an outdoor outlet was placed within 25 feet of ACs in a multi-tenant office building? If the receptacle is outside, it must be guarded by a ground fault circuit interrupter, according to Section 210.8(B)(4) of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Can low voltage air conditioning systems be used?
The correct operation of your air conditioner throughout the summer is ensured by maintaining steady energy. Once the voltage is low, the motor will pull more current than it should, and for every 10% drop in voltage, the temperature of the motor windings will increase by 10% to 15%. Your air conditioner’s lifespan may be shortened, and motors may be damaged.
The Majority of The Time, Anticipate That There Will Be a Lot of Different AC Units.
I can at least confirm this based on my personal experience. They nearly never share the same AC breaker size or other electrical needs because each has specific needs and distinctive qualities.
Chart for AC Breaker Sizes (For 1.5-Ton – 5-Ton Units)
This table shows how big an AC breaker should be for a circuit with a 10 EER rating and 220V:
|Air Conditioner Tonnage:||Max. Wattage (At 10 EER):||Amp Draw At 220V:||Min. Breaker Ampacity:||Min. Breaker Size|
|1.5 Ton||1,800 Watts||8.18 Amps||10.23 Amps||15 Amp Breaker|
|2 Ton||2,400 Watts||10.91 Amps||13.64 Amps||15 Amp Breaker|
|2.5 Ton||3,000 Watts||13.64 Amps||17.05 Amps||20 Amp Breaker|
|3 Ton||3,600 Watts||16.36 Amps||20.45 Amps||25 Amp Breaker|
|3.5 Ton||4,200 Watts||19.09 Amps||23.86 Amps||25 Amp Breaker|
|4 Ton||4,800 Watts||21.82 Amps||27.28 Amps||30 Amp Breaker|
|4.5 Ton||5,400 Watts||24.55 Amps||30.69 Amps||35 Amp Breaker|
|5 Ton||6,000 Watts||27.27 Amps||34.09 Amps||35 Amp Breaker|
Hopefully, you can utilize your understanding of how to calculate breaker sizes to properly choose the correct size amp breaker for your air conditioner. The produced chart allows you to estimate the necessary electric breaker size for AC units of various capacities with a high degree of accuracy (tonnages).
If you got more questions or planing to purchase breakers among other electrionics, we at ICRFQ are your one stop manufacturing plant China. Contact us any day any time.
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