Air Conditioner Compressor Relocation

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Old 09-19-20, 02:14 PM
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Air Conditioner Compressor Relocation

I recently bought a house and I am relocating my air conditioner condenser to the side of the home(currently in back).

I don't think the existing setup is correct, I want to avoid repeating a mistake when I move it to the new location.

My existing electrical setup, it is as follows:

- [Not OK] 60amp Breaker (I think this should be a 40amp)

- [OK] 60amp Disconnect w/40 amp fuses installed (the amperage rating for a disconnect is the MAX so using lower rated fuses is OK)

I think this is incorrect as my AC Condenser Unit label (see picture) clearly states a range of 40-45amp for fuse/breaker



 
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Old 09-19-20, 02:42 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A/C Condenser Unit label clearly states a range of 40-45amp for fuse/breaker
Ok

60amp Disconnect w/40 amp fuses installed
Ok

So what's the problem ?
You're protecting the condenser at 40A as specified.
 
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Old 09-19-20, 08:54 PM
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I am a DIY homeowner and I get a fair amount of knowledge through internet research (which can be a bit of a mixed bag). Since I am not a professional tradesman I strive to do things the 'correct' way whenever possible; sometimes things are done a specific way for a reason and I do not have the field experience to know when an simpler approach may be acceptable.

This may just be my ignorance but I was under the impression the breaker also had to be the correct amperage as many building inspectors will fail (there seems to be somewhat inconsistent across jurisdictions).

If the breaker is 60amp there is an increased chance of tripping the fuses (because the breaker will not trip until 60amp, 20amp more than the fuse)... resulting in a high rate of fuse replacement

In theory a higher amperage fuse could be installed (say 60amp) and cause damage. The breaker guards against this.

I assume if I were to use a breaker of a higher amperage than the disconnects max amperage rating that would then be an issue?

Since purchasing this home I have found many things were not properly done by the previous owner (nothing terribly bad, just not 100% up to code). So I am somewhat scrutinizing anything existing.

I am installing all new electrical at the AC's new location I wanted to make sure I wasn't replicating something that was done incorrectly.

I guess my question boils down to this... while I understand it may be acceptable to do it the way it is already implemented, what is the correct way? am I just splitting hairs?

Should the breaker amperage match the disconnects max amperage rating?

OR

Should the breaker amperage match the fuses amperage (because you can install a lower amp fuse in disconnect so that it matches what the AC label specifies)
 
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Old 09-19-20, 09:19 PM
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Here's what happens. Many times a larger system or a system using electric heat is replaced with a smaller system requiring less current. Since the breaker is 60A...... that means you should have at least a #8 wire or more correctly... a #6 wire to the disconnect. The 60A breaker protects that wiring. The 40A fuses in the disconnect protect the condenser.

If you are installing new wiring from the A/C condenser to the panel....... you need #10 wiring and it will be on a 2P40A breaker. In this type of application.... it is allowed to use a larger breaker on a smaller gauge wire due to starting load. You can keep the fused disconnect or my recommendation is to replace it with a 60A non-fused type.

In my opinion..... and what I do..... is to use #8 wiring. That allows me to be 100% code compliant and completely safe.
 
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  #5  
Old 09-21-20, 10:29 AM
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Moving the condenser could be a LOT more complicated than your electrical issues.
Every manufacture has a chart for the length of piping between the condenser and the evaporator, inside and outside units. Extending this distance while possible is probably going to reduce the cooling rating. See the manufactures chart. I have an American Standard and over 35' of piping the cooling capacity starts to suffer slightly. Also at a certain distance the pipe size increases in some equipment again see the install chart from AS.
I am sure you know that you will need to recover the 9 pounds of R-22. Not the the most expensive freon out there but not cheap either. Personally I would not reuse the R-22 as it has been used for 14 years. Yes I have read and seen the folks that say they can clean refrigerants. If it works so well wonder why no one uses it more. A good cleaning of the pipes will be necessary, your opening them up to the air. Finally after all is installed and passed the min vacuum for the unit. You have a 14 year old condenser that you have moved. Operationally most assume that HVAC equipment is good for a solid 20 years, maybe 25 years.
As a suggestion only wait till it dies and then install a new condenser at the new location. If noise is the issue build some temp sound walls to reduce the sound.
Min fuse is 40 max fuse is 45. Having a larger breaker supplying the circuit and then fusing the circuit down at the unit is quite common. HAVR breakers are expensive and most contractors just go bigger and use a standard breaker. After all the breaker is there to protect the wire, not the unit. So its size is not important as long as it is larger then the min circuit requirement. Most OEM's prefer fuse protection over breaker protection. That is a subject that is complicated and is difficult to understand.

Might even be time to investigate a new system. The name plate says 21 amps for the compressor. A new one might save you a few amps in running. When I changed mine I lost 3 amps on the compressor and 15 desibles.
One thing that you might not have considered. After 14 years of operation the indoor coil needs to be cleaned inside and out.
Best wishes on your project.
 
 

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