Service disconnect

I’ve been seeing more and more AC condenser units on the exterior portion of the house with not service disconnects. Has there been a recent change. I keep writing them up and want to know if there is somethink I don’t know about.

Any thoughts?

There don’t have to be disconnects for the condensers if the electric panel is within sight. Different codes and different AHJ’s define “within sight” differently, but I’m sure some of the code gurus here will have some definitive distances for you.

Most of the AHJs I know here simply want it within sight but no more than 50 feet away. One doesn’t want to have to run the 100-yard dash to get to the electric panel if there’s an emergency at the condenser.

The most unique one I found was where the electric panel was, oh, maybe three feet away from the condenser. Unfortunately, the fencing people had come through and put up a real nice fence separating the condenser from the panel. So the panel was no longer “within sight” of the condenser. And there was no gate on the condenser side of the house either; the gate was on the other side of the house. So one would have to run around the house, through the house (hoping that no doors were locked), or climbed over the fence. Brand new house, too, so the developer wasn’t too happy with me. As I pointed out to him, though, he should be more upset at his general contractor for not following up on the work of his subcontractors. He was speechless.

If they place the main electrical panel (next to the electric meter) on the outside of the houses like they do around here 99% of the time, there are multiple slots available for additional circuits. Sprinkler systems, sump pumps, HVAC equipment, are often found here.

Like Russel states, they must be accessible and within sight of the appliance.