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Old 07-27-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


I'm getting bids on replacing my heat pump, one company said the disconnect must be moved since it doesn't meet the current regs. (which I gather are the same for an electrical panel, 36" depth, 30" wide).

The house was built in '95. They used aluminum wire, 6/2 with ground, and if I have to move it, I'll do it myself and switch to copper. I was curious though if it really has to be moved just because of the condenser replacement?
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


I would talk to your local electrical inspector. Aluminum wire is HORRIBLE and I would get rid of it. The new heat pump probably uses less juice so you may be able to use a smaller wire. Depends on the ampacity rating of it and your local code. A simple pull plug disconnect is usually all that is required. You may have to downsize your breaker at the panel if the new unit uses less amps.

The heat pump needs proper drainage and should not be sitting directly on the ground. On our Pro site we have pics of a badly damaged unit that did not drain properly and damaged the coil from repeated freeze/thaw action.
http://www.hvacsite.com/f7/condenser...going-bad-101/


Last edited by yuri; 07-27-2009 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:24 PM   #3
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


Dave,

Derby ks here in hays ks that disconnsect is fine. #6 shoukd be fine but I would up grade it to copper.

Code requires a disconnect within 25 ft of appliance and within sight.

This is not considered a load center and does not have min distance requirements for access like a load center does.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
I would talk to your local electrical inspector. Aluminum wire is HORRIBLE and I would get rid of it. The new heat pump probably uses less juice so you may be able to use a smaller wire. Depends on the ampacity rating of it and your local code. A simple pull plug disconnect is usually all that is required. You may have to downsize your breaker at the panel if the new unit uses less amps.

The heat pump needs proper drainage and should not be sitting directly on the ground. On our Pro site we have pics of a badly damaged unit that did not drain properly and damaged the coil from repeated freeze/thaw action.
http://www.hvacsite.com/f7/condenser...going-bad-101/
Here most are wired #10 copper unless it is a 4 or larger ton unit.

Heck, do you even have an inspection office in derby?
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


Thanks for the replies. The new heat pump requires the same min amp circuit of 27.x amps. Currently protected by 30 amp breaker, which I'll keep. I hate wasting money but I think in this case I'll go ahead and do it. I'll use #8 copper even though #10 would actually be legit.

I'll just run the wire, mount a new box now, and then do the disconnect/connect in the panel the day before the install. Actually..no...they'll need the power to pump the r22 into the current condenser...so, i'll make the final connection after that.

Last edited by Dave Carney; 07-28-2009 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:37 PM   #6
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


We're actually outside the city limit....so all we get is county inspection but I would be surprised if there was any inspection at all after this is all done.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


Worked in Ellis, Rush, Barton, Rice and Pawnee counties and yet have had a county inspection.

Most smaller cities require a license, no permits and no inspection.

Bigger cities like Great bend, Larnard, Hays and Victoria require inspections

Make sure your installer has taken the state test. There are alot of guys in our state that are not state tested simply because the smaller towns don't require it. I'm licensed as an eletrician in a couple of towns and have not taken the electrical exam. I have taken the exam for plumber, gas fitter and mechanical as a master.

Good luck
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:34 PM   #8
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Moving condenser electrical disconnect, required?


Inspectors in are area like to see disconnect 3' min and uf cable, conduit, or liquidtite. Aluminum is not used anymore.

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