Conductor and HVAC Breaker Compatibility

I’m purchasing a new build with some issues with the wiring of the HVAC system.

The home has a AC unit that says it is rated to a minimum current draw of 36A.

So my home inspector informed me that the 8AWG wire leading from the AC Unit to the 60A breaker was improperly set up, since 8AWG wire is not rated for currents that high.

However, a 3rd party inspector hired by the home builder to counter-act that stated that it would be okay, since due to code, the Maximum breaker allowed would be 60A, and that the maximum current that the conductor has to carry is 45A, so that an 8AWG wire is okay.

When presented with this, my own inspector stated that you’re still not allowed to mix a 60A breaker with 8AWG wire which will fail at currents lower than 60A, and I’m inclined to side with him.

Does having an AC unit of 36A draw on a 8AWG wire and 60A breaker meet code? Or do I need to require them to replace the 8AWG wire with 6AWG as suggested by my inspector?


The label on the AC unit states the minimum circuit ampacity and the maximum breaker size permitted.

Check the label and contact the mfg of the AC if needed.

Well, if minimum ampacity is 36A, and the Maximum Breaker is 60A, does that mean its okay to use an 8AWG wire to hook the AC up to the 60A breaker? My inspector was under the impression that 8AWG line was not okay with 60A breakers…


8 wire is rated for 50 amps. my question of you is where is the 60 amp breaker located at the unit or in the main distribution panel. What typically happens is the 60 amp breaker is located at the exterior unit and serves as a disconnect device only and a 40 amp breaker would be located in the main distribution panel serving as over current protection.

If the plate states a minimum ampacity then the wire can be sized to that amperage. The max overcurrent is largest the breaker can be.