Hvac Breakers oversized ASAP Answer?

I inspected a home today that is three level. Three split system hvac for main floor 3 ton 36,btu LRA. 24.3 with manufacture max breaker 30amp. Basement unit 18,000 BTU 2 1/2 ton RLA 11.9 Manufacture max breaker 20 amp and the upstairs unit 24,000 btu cooling output with RLA. 17.9 max breaker by manufacture 20amp max. This is straight from manufacture plate. At main panel each unit on Double pole 30amp. The home was 2005 built. No problem with hvac company. The manufacture plate should be your guide. What is the problem with double pole 30amp when 20amp is required.

The ones requiring a 20 Amp max are “overfused”, and the appliances are not protected by the breaker, and could result in a fire or worse.

I have been to 5 different HVAC company that do new installations. Even my brother in law who is a lic.Electricain said they see this alot. I write it up every time because over current can cause damage to electrical componets. These areas need address by a Lic. Electricain or Hvac compamy. You know What? I have had them send me references were this is allowed. It is not by codes NEC. I’m Certified Through ICC. I do not know what to tell these people some times. They always try to make us look stupid! When the client pay’s for another opinion and get this answer they are confused on what to do. Why don’t they learn their JOB!!!

Actually it is the components that have failed that result in the breaker tripping.

Hard to damage components when they are already broke! :slight_smile:

You make it sound like big breakers push more current down the wire!??
I’m sure you didn’t mean that.

Curtis -

When I walk into a house I AM the home inspection guru - NOT the repair bozo. If the data tag says MAXIMUM size to be a 20 AMP fuse or Breaker and whats in the panel box is a 30 AMP / Its wrong.

After writing it up I COULD CARE LESS if they correct it or don’t. Not my problem. I DON’T CARE what a dumb *** repair bozo says about it.

IF a buyer calls me and says the ELECTRICIAN says they see it ALL the time, I may simply say: " I see people doing 50 mph in a 40 mph speed zone all the time too / SO what - Its Wrong".

I hope your repair bozo is better at croquet than he is at HVAC, because he doesn’t seem to know squat about HVAC.

Then MOVE ON …

Way to go david i agree.:mrgreen:

There are conditions where this would be acceptable. For example if the sticker on the case says 20 AMP, but the guts have been replaced with a unit requiring a 40 amp breaker. In this case the sticker would be “wrong” for the appliance being used. While this scenario is highly unlikely, it is possible.

I’d write it up as being wrong, and tell my client that if the sellers HVAC tech says it’s ok, get it in writing from the HVAC company on their letterhead or don’t accept their hearsay.


You are kidding… aren’t you?

No, why? As I said, there are conditions where it would be acceptable, as in additional or replacement components needing a higher breaker. However as an HI, you would write it up as being wrong, and let someone else take the heat for saying it’s okay. 99.99% of the time (if not greater) it will be wrong. It’s just not a universal statement.