Note: The information provided here is a general guide. Do consult a qualified HVAC technician for guidance in sizing wires and circuit breakers for your AC before making any installation decisions.
If you have a large space, about 2,400 sq. ft or larger that needs to be cooled or heated, then you should consider a 4 ton or 5 ton AC.
Some of these units may be able to heat or cool multiple zones with just a single outdoor condenser.
With all that said, what gauge of wire and circuit breaker should you use with the 4 ton or 5 ton unit?
This post is an indicative guide on what wire gauges you should use to connect the AC condenser to the panel and how to select a circuit breaker.
Note: This is a guide, always consult a qualified HVAC technician.
What Size of Wire and Circuit Breaker for a 4 ton AC?
What Size of Circuit Breaker for a 4 ton AC?
Several 4 ton ACs’ use a circuit breaker rating of 30 amps – always check and confirm what circuit breaker rating the manufacturer is recommending.
You can find out what circuit breaker to use by checking the AC’s nameplate or the AC owner’s manual for the maximum overcurrent specification then use a circuit breaker that matches that rating.
For example, if the maximum overcurrent specification of a 4 ton AC is 30 amps, use a 30 amp 2 pole circuit breaker.
What Size of Wire for a 4 ton AC?
For a 4 ton AC, you’re likely to use 10 AWG (10/2) wire. This gauge of wire is designed to handle the minimum specified current rating of the AC of 30 amps specified on the AC’s nameplate.
Power Consumption of a 4 Ton AC?
There is no one specific figure for power consumption. Actual power consumption depends on the energy efficiency rating of the AC.
The higher this rating is, the lower the AC’s power consumption will be.
How Many Amps a 4 ton AC Draws?
A 4 ton AC has a rated current draw of about 21 amps at 208 – 230 volts.
What Size of Wire and Circuit Breaker for a 5 ton AC?
What Size of Circuit Breaker for a 5 ton AC?
As a guide, a 5 ton AC can use a circuit breaker rating of 50 amps. This is likely to vary from one manufacturer to another.
To confirm the recommended circuit breaker rating, check the maximum overcurrent value that is specified on the AC’s nameplate and make sure your circuit breaker matches that value.
What Size of Wire for a 5 ton AC?
For a 5 ton AC, you’re likely to use either an 8 AWG or 6 AWG ( 8/2 or 6/2) wire gauge. Confirm by checking the specified maximum ampacity value that the manufacturer has specified on the AC’s nameplate.
Make sure that the wire gauge selection can handle the specified current.
Power Consumption (watts) of a 5 ton AC?
It is best to check the AC’s technical specification manual as the actual power consumption will depend on the AC’s energy efficiency rating of the AC. An AC with a higher efficiency rating will have a lower power consumption.
How Many Amps a 5 ton AC Draws?
A 5 ton AC has a rated current draw of about 50 amps at 230 volts.
#1. What Size of Wire Gauge (AWG) and Circuit Breaker for your AC?
What Size of Wire Gauge to use for your AC unit?
Use the maximum ampacity value specified by the manufacturer usually on the AC condenser as a guide for the wire gauge to use with your AC.
You do not need to use a wire gauge that matches the manufacturer’s overcurrent (breaker) rating.
For example, if the circuit breaker rating specified is 40 amps and the minimum ampacity rating is 35 amps, your wire gauge selection should handle the minimum ampacity rating of 35 amps. In this case, you can use 10 AWG.
You can refer to the table below to guide you with the wire gauge selection
|No.||Minimum Ampacity (amps)||Indicative Wire Gauge (AWG)|
|1||Less than 7 amps||18|
What Size of Breaker to Use for your AC unit?
Check the nameplate rating of the AC for the maximum overcurrent protection (breaker) rating or consult the AC’s manual.
Select a breaker with a current rating that matches this value. For example, if a 4 ton AC’s nameplate specifies a maximum overcurrent rating of 30A, wire the AC condenser unit to a 30 A breaker at the panel.
#2. Table Showing Indicative Wire and Breaker Sizes for 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Ton air-conditioners
Below are indicative breaker and wire gauge size for 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5 ton (18,000, 24,000, 36,000, 48,000, 60,000) BTU air conditioners respectively based on the Goodman series. Always check the electrical data for your specific air conditioner model.
|No||Capacity (ton)||Capacity (BTU)||Manufacturer minimum amp rating (A)||Breaker rating (A)||Minimum wire size (AWG)|
Should you use a Dedicated circuit or a Shared circuit for a 4 ton and 5 ton AC?
Use dedicated circuits for the 4 ton and 5 ton AC to avoid tripping from overloaded circuits.
When selecting wire gauge and circuit breaker ratings for your AC, consult the nameplate specifications for the minimum ampacity rating (amps) and the maximum overcurrent rating (amps).
The wire gauge should match the minimum ampacity rating (amps) even though the maximum overcurrent rating may be higher.
For a 4 ton AC with a maximum overcurrent rating (amps) of 30 amps and minimum ampacity rating (amps) of 25, you can use 10AWG for the wire gauge and 30A for the circuit breaker. Always consult a qualified HVAC technician.
While for a 5 ton AC with a maximum overcurrent rating (amps) of 50 amps and minimum ampacity rating of 32 (amps), you can use 6 AWG for the wire gauge and a 50A circuit breaker. Always consult a qualified HVAC technician.