A/C Disconnect question

Hello evryone ! I have a quick question regarding an A/C unit at an Inspection today. Sorry I don’t have a pic but I will describe it the best I can.

The A/C unit has no disconnect next to it. There is a breaker for the A/C unit in the Service Panel located approx. 30 feet away on the same wall. The panel itself is a Square D all in one(Meter and panel) and is kind of a b**ch to open if you are not familiar with this type. Anyway, back to my question. Does there need to be a disconnect closer to the A/C unit?

I know the IRC and NEC state that the disconnect needs to be in sight of the condensor. I am recommending having a disconnect installed next to the unit.

Richard, if you are familiar with the IRC and NEC with regards to this situation, how did you come up with your recommendation?:slight_smile:

Hi Brian. My recommendation is based on the fact that the disconnect isn’t TRUELY in sight of the condenser. Even though I know and the Client knows that there is a breaker in the Service panel (which is located on the same wall and in sight of the condenser) dedicated to the A/C.

Would you have done anything differently? I am always trying to learn something from you guys out there!


It is my belief that the disconnect should be in sight of the unit and within 5’ I’m not 100% on this. Anyone else?

I think you did the right thing Richard a disconnect needs to be insight for the condenser. I initially did not read your question correctly

No prob Brian. Thanks for the input!

Thanks Thaine!

A breaker in a service panel 30 feet away would be just fine by me and I would not even remotely think to write that up as deficient in any way. Anything more would really be nit-picking I think. Wouldn’t you say the attached example is OK?

Hey Guys,

In this application if the outside unit is on the same wall as a exterior panel and " Within Sight" then it should be fine.

Keep in mind that their is a limit to within sight…it is 50’ and no more…check out how the NEC defines " In Sight From" to up to 50’…so keep that in mind…their is STILL a limit to “within sight”

I’m with Michael and Paul here. A breaker in a panel is a disconnect. If it’s within site, there’s no need to add another.

That is a service disconnect is it not? So yes that is ok by me.

What does the IRC say about condensers? I do not think the breaker in the main panel counts for condensers does it? I do not think even a lockable breaker counts. Hey, I have already miss read this post once, so what do I know.:slight_smile:

One, I do believe a breaker in a main panel within sight of the condenser is sufficient. I can’t find a reference to that in the IRC right now but I’ll keep looking. Two, I think the original question was asking if it was OK that the breaker that was admittedly within 30 feet of the condenser was behind a panel cover and therefore ‘not within sight’…that’s where I was going with my ‘nit-picking’ remark.

I read it that way too at first Michael. But I think the IRC frowns on a breaker in the main panel being the service disconnect. But, I have been wrong before.

And I am wrong again, 03 IRC T4001.5 covers it. As long as it is in sight.

Yep. A disconnect can be a breaker, switch, pull-out, etc., etc., and it doesn’t matter if it’s in a service panel, remote panel, switch or fuse box or whatever. It just needs to be accessible and within sight.

:oops: I got crossed ways with lockable breakers out of sight Jeff.