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

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The breaker and wire dimension will mainly depend on the power usage (W) that the air-conditioner.

Older or less reliable units will most likely draw much more power and hence need bigger breaker ratings contrasted to more recent and much more efficient waiting conditioners v the very same cooling volume (ton or BTU). 

these ac devices will likely be linked to their own dedicated circuit because of the large current attract (50-60 Amps).

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

You still need to examine the manufacturer’s website or technical specifications manual to gain the introduce breaker and wire size.

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

Unlike the smaller sized portable units, the main air conditioner and window units will most likely have specialized branch circuits v a breaker and wire gauge sized as necessary to both protect and also prevent damage to the wire.

The guide uses to the larger residential main and home window air conditioners with committed circuits.

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

Using minimum circuit ampacity and also maximum overcurrent security to dimension circuit breaker

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

An excerpt of the electric data because that the Goodman GSXC16 air-conditioner is displayed below.


To discover the air-conditioner breaker rating: use a breaker size to the best overcurrent security value, in this case, 20A. Use the mentioned minimum circuit ampacity value, in this case, 13.6 A to find the wire gauge.

Breaker rating vs minimum ampere rating

The air-conditioner breaker rating may be nearly double the manufacturer’s mentioned minimum amp rating. This deserve to be rather confusing.

This is necessary because, at start-up, the wait conditioner motors momentarily attract a large surge current which ultimately normalizes come a reduced value.

The higher breaker rating ensures that the waiting conditioner does not expedition the breaker at startup.

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

To size, the wire and also circuit breakers refer to the minimum amperage rating and also minimum ampacity values in the electrical data section of her air conditioner.

The breaker rating size need to be set to maximum overcurrent security value.To find the cable 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 above and adhering to the indict 1 and also 2 above, the breaker size should be 20A and the wire gauge 14 AWG.

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

Below room indicative breaker and wire gauge size for 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and also 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 certain air conditioner model.

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

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