What is code for AC disconnect?

Asked By: Carol Casiraghi | Last Updated: 4th March, 2020
Category: home and garden indoor environmental quality
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The 2008 National Electric Code requires: 440.14 Location. Disconnecting means shall be located within sight from and readily accessible from the air-conditioning or refrigerating equipment. The disconnecting means shall be permitted to be installed on or within the air-conditioning or refrigerating equipment.

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Also question is, is a disconnect required for air conditioner?

A disconnecting means is required to be located “within sight from and readily accessible” from the air-conditioning equipment. This disconnecting means can be installed on or within the air-conditioning equipment itself.

Also Know, what is an AC disconnect? An AC disconnect is also known as an air conditioner switch box or fuse box. It contains the controls for the main energy supplier of the air conditioner, like the breakers and fuses. Usually AC disconnects are found outside, with the end of the AC showing inside the house.

Regarding this, how far can a disconnect be from an AC unit?

This distance is typically described as within 50 feet (15 meters), and in practice at most residential properties the disconnect is much closer (3-6 ft), on a wall or standard near the compressor/condenser unit.

Can a breaker be used as a disconnect?

When a circuit breaker is designed to also be routinely used as an on-off switch to control 277 volt florescent luminaires they are marked SWD, for switch duty. While circuit breakers can be legitimately and safely used as switches, the frequency and duration of such use is very limited.

36 Related Question Answers Found

How do you install AC disconnect?

How Do I Install the Disconnect Box for an Air Conditioning Unit?
  1. Determine where the air conditioning condensing unit will be placed.
  2. Run wire from the circuit box to the wall where the condensing unit will be installed.
  3. Mount the box outside the house in a convenient location 2 feet or more from the ground.

Do I need a service disconnect?

The NEC only requires a disconnect/OCPD when entering a structure, you can run service conductors all around the outside of a building, but once you enter, 230.70 require a disconnect/OCPD's.

What is a local disconnect?

Electrical disconnects are switches that isolate all wiring in a home or other building from the source of power, typically the utility power service. Also called the service disconnect, this is the first disconnect device after the utility meter.

What is the purpose of a disconnect?

In electrical engineering, a disconnector, disconnect switch or isolator switch is used to ensure that an electrical circuit is completely de-energized for service or maintenance. Disconnectors can be operated either manually or automatically.

What is the difference between a circuit breaker and a disconnect switch?


A fused disconnect switch is a combination of a switch to disconnect the circuit and a fuse to shut the circuit off in the event of a problem. A circuit breaker combines the functions of a switch and an overcurrent disconnect into one device.

What is the difference between a fusible and non fusible disconnect?

Fusible switches have a fuse provision in the switch and enclosure assembly, enabling you to open and close the circuit while providing overcurrent protection. Non-fusible switches do not have an integral fuse option and provide no circuit protection.

How low can disconnect be mounted?

The NEC does not mandate a minimum mounting height for panelboards, disconnects, or meter enclosures. But switches, and circuit breakers used as switches, shall be installed so the center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker, when in its highest position, is not more than 6 ft 7 in.

What size wire do I need for AC?

It's going to completely depend on the unit that's being installed, but commonly it'll be 30-60 amp with 10-4 AWG wire. You're probably looking at a 3.5 ton unit, so you'll be in the 30-40A (10-8 AWG) range. It might be worth it to get a few quotes from local HVAC companies, and see what they want to install.

Where is the disconnect means for a motor required to be located?

Section 430.102(B)(1) requires a disconnecting means for each motor, and it must be located in sight from the motor location and the driven machinery location. “Within Sight” is visible and not more than 50 ft from each other [Art.

What is a disconnect HVAC?


A disconnect, disconnect switch or isolator is used to ensure that the electrical circuit is completely off. Disconnects are not used for regular control of the circuit, but are employed as a safety precaution.

How do you remove an outside AC unit?

How to Disconnect My Air Conditioner
  1. Lift the cover of the disconnect box, which located near the outdoor air conditioning compressor unit.
  2. Grasp the pull-out tab, if your unit has one, and pull until it comes free of the disconnect housing.
  3. Flip the power switch from "On" to "Off" if your disconnect is a switch and not a pull-out tab.

What is the maximum height of a service disconnect?

There is no maximum height listed for the service disconnect, other than it must be readily accessable. The max height for other similar switches is 2.0 meters (6 ft, 7 inches), but this dimension does not appear to be associated with service disconnects for some reason.

When a disconnecting means must be located within sight from a motor the disconnect must be visible?

This disconnecting means must be within sight from the controller location. Within sight from is defined as “to be visible and not more than 15 m (50 ft) distant from the other.” Subparagraph (B) requires a disconnecting means to be located in sight from the motor location and the driven machinery location.

Do mini splits need a disconnect?

There is no requirement for a disconnect for the inside unit. The mini split is considered a single system and as such the disconnect at the outdoor unit is sufficient.

Does an air conditioner need and GFCI breaker protection?


Is ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection required for an outdoor receptacle that is installed within 25 feet of air conditioners in a multitenant office building? If the receptacle is installed outdoors, Section 210.8(B)(4) of the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires it to be GFCI--protected.

How do I reset my air conditioning unit?

Here are the steps you need to take to reset your AC thermostat.
  1. Shut Down Your AC at the Thermostat. The first step in resetting your AC thermostat is to turn it off at the AC unit.
  2. Find Your Circuit Breaker Box.
  3. Reset the Circuit Breaker for Your AC Unit.
  4. Wait 30 Seconds.
  5. Turn the AC Thermostat Back On.

How do disconnect switches work?

Among these are disconnect switches. These work by rapidly disconnecting circuits from power supplies in the case of an emergency. Disconnect switches work in conjunction with circuit breakers that interrupt the flow of electricity along a circuit when the current exceeds the circuit's capacity.