An air conditioner is an expensive machine. You’re Undoubtedly Grateful For Central Air Conditioning If You Live In A Hot Environment. You May Begin To Wonder About The System’s Endurance Since You Rely On It So Much For Comfort. However, did you realize that voltage and current supply variations might cause harm to your air conditioner?

A circuit breaker is the only solution to keep it safe. And that is using the correct circuit breaker size! The sizes of air conditioning circuit breakers, their importance, use case, Maintenance, and all the relevant topics will be discussed in this article. We’ll show you how to use the correct size circuit breaker to safeguard your air conditioner. Let’s get started.

what size breaker do I need for a 3 ton air conditioner

What Size Breaker Do I Need For A 3 Ton Air Conditioner?

According to the experts, you can utilize a 30-60 amp circuit breaker and an 8-10 AWG wire. You should also seek a quote from your air conditioning company or any local specialist to receive a more accurate estimate.

Is A Circuit Breaker Required For The Air Conditioner?

Yes, a circuit breaker is needed for the air conditioner. A separate circuit breaker for your air conditioner is highly recommended.

The reason for this is that a circuit breaker is critical for your safety, the safety of your home, and the safety of your air conditioner. It protects your electrical appliances from catastrophic harm as well as prevents housefires.

The circuit breaker cuts the circuit and prevents current from entering your house if the voltage fluctuates. You will be protected against a possible house fire and other disasters in this manner.

That is why professionals usually advise that you have a circuit breaker installed in your air conditioner.

Why Is A Circuit Breaker Essential For An Air Conditioner?

You’re probably on the lookout for more persuasive and logical explanations why your air conditioner needs a circuit breaker. A full description of why you need a circuit breaker for your air conditioner can be found here:

  • On the other hand, your air conditioners have a pretty high energy consumption. AC units use many amps.

What exactly is amperage? It is a metric for determining the strength of an electric current (the number of electrons that are flowing through a circuit).

More amperage equals more heat production. Any voltage fluctuation might cause harm to your air conditioner. The relationship between voltage and amperage is inverse. When the voltage drops, the amperage rises. When the amperage is increased, the heat is also increased. 

If there isn’t a circuit breaker in place, the heat will rise, eventually resulting in an electrical fire. It can result in losing life, equipment, and significant property damage.

  • On the other hand, you will be protected against electrical fires if you install a circuit breaker.

Your electrical circuit is connected to the circuit breaker. It permits electric current to flow while it is closed. It interrupts the passage of electric current while it is open.

Your circuit breaker will break the circuit and stop the flow of electric current if it detects a harmful voltage fluctuation. This will safeguard your home from electrical fires and other significant harm.

As a result, we will always advise you to install a high-quality circuit breaker for your air conditioner.

Read more: 10 Common Window Air Conditioner Thermostat Troubleshooting

Air Conditioner Circuit Breaker – Perfect Size

It would help to consider the minimum and maximum sizes available when determining the proper circuit breaker size for an air conditioner. If you’re going to install a circuit breaker for your air conditioner, look at the manual papers and ensure it’s the proper size. It will give you more security.

The circuit breaker must also be large enough to handle the circuit’s minimum ampacity. An oversized circuit breaker is the most typical problem we encounter. This usually occurs when an air conditioner is replaced with a more efficient unit, but the panel’s circuit breaker is not changed with a smaller one. It would be allowed to have a larger circuit breaker if the electrical disconnect at the outside contains fuses that are sized suitably.

Inefficient and older AC units consume more power, necessitating a higher-rated circuit breaker than newer, more efficient equipment. However, the actual size of the wire and breaker is determined by the quantity of electricity used by the air conditioner unit.

To figure out the breaker size, divide the modified wattage by 240 volts to get the rated amperage for your subpanel. The result is frequently not a standard circuit breaker size. Alternatively, you can round up to the next larger breaker size.

If you have a 220 to 230-volt air conditioner, a 30-ampere circuit breaker with a 10/2 wire connection is appropriate. But a 60 amp will surely do for your 3 ton AC.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Tripping The Breaker?

If the air conditioner is tripping, it might be due to overheating. When an air conditioner overheats, more amps (a unit of electrical current) are drawn from the circuit. As a result, the air conditioner overheats and trips the breaker.

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How Do You Check The Circuit Breaker For An Air Conditioner?

Continue reading if your air conditioner is constantly tripping and you don’t know what to do about it.

We will guide every step.

  1. At the thermostat, turn off your air conditioner.
  1. Now turn on your air conditioner’s circuit breaker.
  1. Turn off your air conditioner and thermostat and wait 30 minutes. It will assist in resetting your air conditioner’s internal circuit breaker. It will not happen if your air conditioner and thermostat are turned on, so turn them off.
  1. After 30 minutes, please turn on the air conditioner and set it to cold. If you’re lucky, your air conditioner will now start up without a hitch.

If you’re lucky, your air conditioner will now start up without a hitch. On the other hand, there is a problem if the circuit breaker begins tripping again right away.

A refrigerant leak, compressor failure, clogged filters, power surge, short circuit, loose wire, or any other electrical component, for example, might cause this. As a result, you may consult an expert and examine it properly.

How To Install An Air Conditioner Circuit Breaker?

An air conditioner’s circuit breaker must be installed by a professional. It must be done with the utmost caution, as there is a risk of electrocution if not done correctly.

As a result, if you lack technical knowledge, we recommend that you hire a professional electrician to install the circuit breaker on your air conditioner unit.

Is A Separate Circuit Breaker Required For My Air Conditioner To Function?

Yes, a separate circuit breaker for your air conditioner is recommended. It will improve your safety and protection and prevent you from stumbling over things.

Another advantage of having a separate circuit breaker is that only your air conditioner will be turned off if it trips. At the same time, the rest of your house will continue to get electricity.

How Much Power Does An Air Conditioner Consume?

115, 125, and 220 volts are the most typical voltage ratings for AC units, with amperage values ranging from 15 to 20 amps. Smaller units typically use the lowest two voltage classifications, but ones with a BTU value of more than 15,000 BTUs require a 220-volt circuit.

A 3-ton air conditioner uses three thousand five hundred watts per hour. A 12,000-watt window unit consumes 1200 watts per hour as a rough guideline.

Is It Possible To Put An Air Conditioner Into A Standard Outlet?

Regardless of whether the air conditioner uses 110-, 115-, or 120-volt energy, AC units with conventional three-prong connectors may be plugged into standard household sockets. However, if the unit has a circular plug, you might want to change the wall receptacle to match.

For HVAC Equipment, What Sort Of Circuit Breaker Is Recommended?

According to the manufacturer’s identifying label, the required circuit breaker for the air conditioner compressor unit should be fitted in the electric service panel. The 3-ton air conditioner compressor’s circuit breaker seemed to be a 60 amp circuit breaker in the electric panel.

How Can You Figure Out The Size Of A Circuit Breaker Wire?

Divide this amount by the voltage at which it runs, either 120 or 240 volts, to determine the current consumption. After that, multiply the result by 125 percent. Divide it by 100 and then multiply it by 125 for a simple solution. Your circuit breaker’s rating must be higher than this total.

How To Convert Tons To Amps In HVAC

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in tons in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) business. One HVAC ton, for example, is equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour. 

The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit is measured in BTUs. Convert tons to amps, convert tons to BTUs per hour, convert this figure to watts, and then solve amps using the formula amps = watts/volts.

By multiplying tons by 12,000, you may convert tons to BTUs per hour. Multiply three by 12,000 to obtain 36,000 BTUs per hour if your air conditioner has 3 tons of cooling power.

To convert BTUs per hour to watts, multiply by.293 Multiply 36,000 by.293 to get 10,548 watts in the example.

Subtract watts from the voltage value. Because air conditioners in the United States run on 120 volts, divide 10,548 watts by 240 volts to get 45.5 amps as a final solution. (This is an example measurement).

Understanding The Power Of Your Air Conditioner

Before you go out and buy an air conditioner, it’s crucial to understand how an AC system’s electricity works so that you can spend your money wisely and chill your home efficiently.

Take notice of the distinctions between the units you’re looking at, such as voltage (electrical potential), amperage (electrical flow), and watts (electrical power). Consider the changes in power needs between central air and window units, as well as how those voltage variances may affect the outlet you’ll require. If you’re not sure what you require, get advice from a specialist.

Finally, before you go shopping, have a plan. Consider where the air conditioner unit will need to be plugged in, and make sure you have a dedicated outlet for it if it does.

You should be able to choose the best alternative for your home with some preliminary information about the inner workings of air conditioning machines and systems.

Read Carefully And Make Your Plans Accordingly

When looking at the various breaker alternatives, take note of whether or not there is a picture of the plug type necessary for the item you’re searching for. These receptacles might help you figure out if the outlet you want to use for your air conditioner is enough or if you’ll need an electrician to install it.

Depending on the size of your air conditioner, a dedicated circuit may be required, which means no other appliances may be connected to the outlet at the same time. This is especially crucial to remember if you’re placing the air conditioner in a room with many other devices that need to be plugged in, such as a kitchen.

What SEER Rating Should I Choose For My Air Conditioner?

In some situations, a higher SEER number means more energy efficiency. Air conditioners must meet a minimum SEER of 13, while most modern air conditioners have a SEER ranging from 13 to 21.


After all of these processes, finding the correct breaker and fixing it may seem daunting. Your efforts will produce fruit if you keep your anxiousness away, attentively follow our suggestions, and be motivated to take care of your AC. After all, nothing beats a perfectly sized breaker for a high-efficiency Air Conditioner. I hope this article was helpful to answer your question about – “what size breaker do I need for a 3-ton air conditioner.”

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