A 4 and 5-ton air-conditioner will likely need a circuit breaker rated 45-50 A associated with 8-10 AWG wire when supplied through 197-253 volts.

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The breaker and also wire dimension will largely depend ~ above the power usage (W) that the air-conditioner.

Older or less efficient units will most likely draw much more power and hence need larger breaker ratings compared to newer and much more efficient wait conditioners with the same cooling volume (ton or BTU). 

these ac units will likely be associated to their own specialized circuit because of the large current attract (50-60 Amps).

Keep in mind though the these breaker and also wire sizes room a guide.

You still require to examine the manufacturer’s website or technological specifications manual to acquire the recommend breaker and also wire size.

Central, home window or portable air-conditioner wire and circuit breaker sizing

Unlike the smaller portable units, the main air conditioner and window units will likely have committed branch circuits v a breaker and also wire gauge sized appropriately to both protect and prevent damages to the wire.

The guide applies to the larger residential main and home window air conditioners with specialized circuits.

Smaller portable air-conditioner devices may most likely use present receptacles listed the wire and breaker room sized appropriately.

Using minimum circuit ampacity and also maximum overcurrent defense to size circuit breaker

The minimum circuit ampacity and maximum overcurrent defense values help size the wire and breaker appropriately. 

An excerpt the the electrical data for the Goodman GSXC16 air-conditioner is presented below.


To discover the air-conditioner breaker rating: usage a breaker size to the preferably overcurrent security value, in this case, 20A. Usage the mentioned minimum circuit ampacity value, in this case, 13.6 A to uncover the wire gauge.

Breaker rating vs minimum ampere rating

The air-conditioner breaker rating may be nearly twin the manufacturer’s specified minimum amp rating. This have the right to be rather confusing.

This is important because, in ~ start-up, the wait conditioner electric motors momentarily draw a big surge current which ultimately normalizes come a reduced value.

The higher breaker rating ensures the the wait conditioner go not expedition the breaker at startup.

Guide come sizing circuit breaker and wire gauges for air air conditioning (with example)

To size, the wire and also circuit breakers describe the minimum amperage rating and also minimum ampacity values in the electric data ar of her air conditioner.

The breaker rating size should be set to maximum overcurrent defense value.To find the wire gauge, choose a wire gauge that can safely lug the minimum ampacity values.

For example, making use of the Goodman GSXC16 air-conditioner’s electrical data over and adhering to the indict 1 and 2 above, the breaker size must be 20A and the wire gauge 14 AWG.

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Indicative wire and also breaker sizes because that 1.5, 2, 3, 4 and also 5 Ton air-conditioners 

Below room indicative breaker and also wire gauge dimension for 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and also 5 ton (18,000, 24,000, 36,000, 48,000, 60,000) BTU air air conditioning respectively based upon the Goodman series. Always examine the electrical data because that your details air conditioner model.

NoCapacity (ton)Capacity (BTU)Manufacturer minimum amp rating (A)Breaker rating (A)Minimum wire size (AWG)

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