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Thread: A/C Disconnect with GFCI Outlet Wiring Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Middletown, CT

    Default A/C Disconnect with GFCI Outlet Wiring Question

    I will be installing a mini-split ductless heat pump. Power requirement for that unit is 240VAC and a max breaker size of 240 VAC, 2 pole, 15 amps.

    I read that if the A/C disconnect is not within 25 feet of a GFCI outlet the A/C disconnect must have a GFCI outlet built into it to use as a service outlet.

    My question is: If I bring a neutral wire into the box for the neutral terminal on the GFCI outlet can I tap off of the L1 line terminal on the disconnect terminal strip to bring power to the GFCI outlet?
    If the disconnect is pulled, power to the heat pump would be disconnected but the outlet would remain powered and I would add a label stating that. If for some reason there was a short while using the outlet, the L1 side of the breaker would trip (also tripping the L2 side). The downside to this is if you plug a high current device into the outlet with the heat pump running the breaker will probably trip.

    I probably already know the answer and had I known the NEC requirement for the GFCI I would have pulled another wire. I just want to know what the code says so I can do it correctly.

    Thanks for any replies.
    Last edited by Greg_E; 06-09-2015 at 05:16 AM. Reason: clarified GFCI power connection

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Kent, WA


    Yes technically, it will work, but you may have an issue with having a receptacle on a circuit with a fastened-in-place item that draws 50% or more of the circuit rating. If the MCA rating on the HVAC unit is less than 7.5A, then there is no problem. But it is probably larger than that... So ideally, you'd run a separate circuit for the HVAC service receptacle unless you can convince the inspector to waive 210.23 because you believe that the servicing equipment is minimal current draw and the HVAC unit would typically be off if larger equipment is required (such as a refrigerant evacuation machine). The fact that the AC unit would typically be off is reinforced by the part of 210.63 that says you may not power this receptacle from the LOAD side of the disconnect.

    Relevant code sections:
    210.23(A)(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires, shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.

    210.63 Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Equipment Outlet. A 125-volt, single-phase, 15- or 20-ampere-rated receptacle outlet shall be installed at an accessible location for the servicing of heating, airconditioning, and refrigeration equipment. The receptacle shall be located on the same level and within 7.5 m (25 ft) of the heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration equipment. The receptacle outlet shall not be connected to the load side of the equipment disconnecting means.

    Informational Note: See 210.8 for ground-fault circuit interrupter requirements.
    Exception: A receptacle outlet shall not be required at one- and two-family dwellings for the service of evaporative coolers.
    Kent, WA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Middletown, CT


    The MCA of the unit I'm looking at is 10.3 amps so it looks like I'll be pulling wire for a separate circuit into the disconnect. At least I hadn't replaced the drywall that I removed to run the wire for the A/C.

    This was my first post on this site. I'm impressed. Thanks for your help.

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