Largest AC on Standard wall plug???

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Krich, Jul 2, 2017.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
  1. Jul 2, 2017 #1

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    I have a two car garage that has a full size window where I'm planning on installing a window unit.

    I'm just curious what is the largest unit that can be run on a standard wall plug?

    I'm leaning towards this one from Lowes:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frigidaire...-Window-Air-Conditioner-ENERGY-STAR/999990656

    It's a Frigidaire 12000-BTU good for 550-sq

    This shouldn't be a problem should it... granted that there won't be other items on the same circuit pulling nearly as much juice as this AC unit?
     
  2. Jul 2, 2017 #2

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,577
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    I looked at the link you posted and went down to the Q&A section. Two people mentioned that it should be run on a 20 amp breaker...which means all the outlets on that circuit should be run with 12 gauge wire. There was also this.....

    Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 12.05.12 AM.png
     
  3. Jul 2, 2017 #3

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    Well, if I have to pay an electrician to run a special line to the window... I may as well go with 220v

    Actually, my garage has a plug in for a welding machine but it's about a good 20 feet from the window and I'd have to replace the cord on the AC unit so the plug would work

    I guess I need to look in to doing that since a cord would be cheaper than hiring an electrician who would probably try to sell me on re-wiring the house you know for safety and all.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2017 #4

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,577
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    ..as long as the welder and the AC aren't running at the same time :rolleyes:
     
  5. Jul 2, 2017 #5

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    Just found this article which suggests 115 can run on standard 110 outlet...

    Does a 115 Volt Air Conditioner Unit Run on a 110 Outlet?

    When it comes to matching home appliances to your home's electrical capacity, one of the most confusing topics is voltage. Shopping for a window air conditioner can be even more confusing when different models of air conditioners with the same cooling capacity may be listed as 110-volt, 115-volt or 120-volt. Understanding the differences and how it applies to your specific outlet will help you prevent blowing a fuse or having to rest your breaker.

    Standard Household Voltage

    In most homes, the standard household voltage is 120 volts. The power company supplies two, 120-volt cables, or legs, of electrical current to your home. Where large appliances requiring 240-volt service appear in your home, an electrician has married the two cables for a specific outlet to provide the added voltage. Wires going to standard receptacles in your walls are 120 volts and are suitable for 110-volt or 115-volt air conditioners.
    Plugs

    Window air conditioners may use anywhere from 110 volts to 240 volts of electricity to run efficiently. The easiest way to tell what sort of voltage the unit needs if the packaging is not available is to look at the unit's plug. A standard three-prong plug has a round, grounding prong above -- or below, depending on the wall receptacle's orientation -- two straight prongs, one of which is slightly larger than the other. The larger prong is "neutral" and the smaller prong is the "hot" connector. Units with these plugs use between 110 and 120 volts -- standard household electricity. In some cases, a 120-volt window air conditioning unit may have a round, three-prong plug of the same configuration.
    Receptacles

    Window units with standard, three-prong plugs may be used in regular household receptacles, regardless of whether the air conditioner requires 110-, 115- or 120-volt electricity. No special receptacle is required. However, if the unit has a round plug, you may consider changing the wall receptacle to match it.
    Voltage Variations

    The amount of power flowing to household receptacles can fluctuate by several volts due to the distance the power must travel, items plugged into the circuit between the power source and the air conditioner, and other, often arcane variables. The voltage actually supplied at a receptacle may be 120 volts, 115 volts, 110 volts, or anything in between. In most cases, the disparity is unnoticeable and normally does not affect the air conditioner's efficiency, even if the package calls for the unit to run on 120 volts and the receptacle's actual voltage is only 115 volts.

    If you plug the air conditioner into an extension cord, the voltage may drop significantly, and this usually does affect the unit's efficiency. This is one reason extension cords are not recommended for use with heavy appliances like air conditioners.

    source - https://www.hunker.com/12003293/does-a-115-volt-air-conditioner-unit-run-on-a-110-outlet
     
    slownsteady likes this.
  6. Jul 2, 2017 #6

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,038
    Likes Received:
    535
    There are so many archaic terminology in this article, it's hard to know where to start.

    In todays world standard residential voltage ie 120V and 240V and the voltage has little effect on the operation of appliances, however current, IE., amperage does.

    Very few "window AC units" can be operated on both 120V and 240V without internal rewiring and only when those options are clearly stated.

    Is your garage circuit presently on a 20Amp breaker?
     
    afjes_2016 likes this.
  7. Jul 2, 2017 #7

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    No, I was not suggesting a 110 window AC could run on 220... I was just thinking if I were to have to hire an electrician to run a new circuit just for the AC then I may as well have him so do for 220 and I would by an AC that runs on 220

    That way, I could get a unit that is bigger than what I need and have mo cooling power!

    Yes, it's a standard house with 120v so really there's no reason why the AC unit in the link I posted originally shouldn't be able to run on the standard 110v plug which is about 3 feet or less from the window.

    I figure I'd install a new heavy duty 110 wallplug so I can make sure the wired leading to the wallplug are good and clean and have a good connection
     
  8. Jul 2, 2017 #8

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,038
    Likes Received:
    535
    It was a point of clarification of archaic and out dated information found on the internet.

    Your unit has a 5-15p cord end which fits a 15AMP recepticle.

    Several years ago, because of the over use of cheap 120V recep. and the "Plug-n-play" back stabs, standards change so that a 120V, 15A recep. would not accept 12ga. conductors when attempting to back stab, only 14ga conductors.

    The reason I ask, "Is your garage circuit presently on a 20Amp breaker", was to lead you to a 120V 20A recp. and to recommend you use the side screws as the method of attaching the conductors.
     
  9. Jul 2, 2017 #9

    afjes_2016

    afjes_2016

    afjes_2016

    Established Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    146
    Krich: It is not so much as to whether this unit will run on the standard household voltage of 120v (110v, 115v etc); yes it will.

    The question should be: how much power will it draw (consume) as in amperage. Amperage is what pulls on the circuit breaker (layman terms). If this circuit has nothing else on it then less of a chance of the A/C tripping the breaker. Just like any other appliance. If you plug two vacuum cleaners in on the same circuit in your house and run them at the same time it very well could trip the breaker depending on the power the vacuums consume and the total demand on the circuits rating (15 or 20) amps.

    The link you pointed to does not give us (electricians) information that is really needed to provide a good answer except for 5-15P which is a hint to us that it is a 120v 15amp plug configuration. Meaning it can run on a standard 120v 15amp (or even 20 amp circuit) with the standard plug/receptacle configuration which you find in many homes. There is not mention in the specs for amperage or watts. If you go to the Frididare site it lists it as (below). There you will see the power it consumes. Just knowing volts does not give us the ability to know the watts or the amps. You must have two of the three units to determine the third unit as in Ohms Law.

    It is the rating of the circuit you are plugging the A/C into that matters; is it 15amp or 20amp? Also, what else will be on this circuit. The A/C will run on either but the more you plug in on that circuit with the A/C running the better chances are that the breaker will trip especially on start up of the a/c; they tend to use far more power on start up. So, "yes", to your question, it will run on the standard wall receptacle. Will it trip the breaker; that depends on what else you run on the same circuit. Running the a/c and then plugging in a circular saw will probably end up tripping the breaker especially if it is a 15 amp rated circuit.

    Bad answer and totally unadvisable/dangerous to do and it most certainly will void the warranty on the A/C unit. Plug/receptacle configurations are there for a reason. Different configurations are determined by voltage and amperage. These are configured differently on purpose to prevent plugging in a device into a receptacle that is not rated for it. If all receptacles had the same configurations you would could plug an appliance in to a receptacle that it was not rated for an have a serious issue. Take a look here at this chart. It shows the plug/receptacle configurations. You seem like you like to learn so this is something that will help you understand why the question should be how much power does it consume? Also, if the plug for the welder does not match the plug on the a/c it more than likely may be a different amperage or voltage rating. For all you know replacing the plug on the a/c and then plugging it into the welder receptacle you could end up blowing your a/c; especially if the welder receptacle was rated at 240v; you just smoked your a/c unit.

    This a/c is rated at 15amps with the plug configuration of 5-15P (p=plug) the matching female or receptacl for this configuration would be 5-15R (r=receptacle). This is a hint from the manufacturer that you should not plug it into any other receptacle other than this configuration to prevent overheating of the unit, circuit wires etc. i.e.-you plug it into a 30amp rated 120v receptacle. The a/c is experiencing a fault, maybe the motor is wearing, it starts to pull more and more power because of this. It then starts to really labor badly trying to run. If it was plugged into a 15amp rated receptacle the 15 amp breaker will sense this fault (extra power pull) and trip for safety. If you plugged it into a 30amp rated receptacle (which even the welder could be for all we know, even if it is 120v) and if the a/c experience any fault the fault could do far more damage to the a/c unit or even cause a fire because the breaker is not even aware of any problems until the power draw is close to 30amps which if far beyond the manufacturer specifications.

    If you do end up using an extension cord (I can't believe I am actually saying it is ok to use one) be absolutely sure you use one that is the minimum length needed for your purpose and that it is rated for heavy appliance use. Extension cords for a/c units are usually marked that way. I don't advise you using one but sometimes homeowners use the cord instead of spending a bit of money to install the proper rated circuit and receptacle which is far safer than using an extension cord. If you do use one please get one that is 12 gauge not 14 gauge.
    All this information that I gave you is probably more than you wanted but I hope it cleared up the difference between voltage and amperage.


    Electrical Specifications


    • Plug Type: LCDI 5-15P
    • Amps (Cool): 9.5
    • Horsepower (Cool): 1.42
    • Power Cord Length: 6' (6-1/2')
    • Watts (Cool): 1062
    • Voltage Rating: 115V 60Hz\

    Sorry for the long reply; I guess I had too much coffee this morning. But this is lesson 1.001.01 in electrical theory.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  10. Jul 2, 2017 #10

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,720
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    If memory serves me a 10,000 BTU unit draws about 10 amps. I have a 10,000 window unit and it works fine on a 15 amp 120v circuit. 10,000 seems to be the cut off point where I see lots of 120v units 8,000 and 10,000 they sell a lot of as anything much larger is more than anyone wants to try and lift into a window.

    12,000 I’m pretty sure will work but I wouldn’t want anything else on that 15amp circuit. Your garage may be well wired for 20amp. Go over to your power panel and see what it says on the breakers.

    I wouldn’t mess around with 220v window unit plugged into a welder outlet.
     
  11. Jul 2, 2017 #11

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    175
    The largest 115v window AC shown in my paper Grainger catalog is 15,500 BTU so I think there is hope for you, depending on if it has soft start and depending on the breaker you have.
    Unfortunately the catalog does not list amp draw.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2017 #12

    Rockrz

    Rockrz

    Rockrz

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    20
    Good replies
     
  13. Jul 3, 2017 #13

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    I was referring to buying an AC unit that is rated at 240v if I had to go to the expense of hiring an electrician to run a circuit just for the AC... I'd have him do it in 220 and I'd buy a 220 AC to match the circuit.

    I don't recall saying I wanted to use an extension cord at all.
    Thanks for the info, I'll read thru it...


    I did, and yes they all say 20 amp... so, it sounds like running a 12,000 BTU on the standard wall plug should not be a problem.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2017 #14

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,720
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    That's correct.
     
  15. Jul 3, 2017 #15

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,038
    Likes Received:
    535
    Do yourself a favor, and purchase a 20A recep.
     
  16. Jul 3, 2017 #16

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yes, I'm going to install a new wall plug and will make sure it's a heavy duty 20 amp wall plug
     
  17. Jul 25, 2017 #17

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    Speaking of replacing wall plugs... I've noticed that some are connected by wrapping the wire around a screw on either side and some have the wire stuck in the back so when the screw it tightened down it holds the wire in place.

    Apparently both are acceptable ways of connecting the white and black wires and it looks like the ground wire always goes to the green screw.

    This is what I'm seeing when looking up info on swapping out wall plugs, so does this sounds right?
     
  18. Jul 25, 2017 #18

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,720
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    There are really 3 methods the ones that plug in the back are mostly called back stabs and are not recommended by me and most people in the know. They don’t clamp by the screw they just rely on the internal spring to make the connection and are known to not work all that well. Making the loop around the screw is the way 99% of them are done. Make the loop so it goes clockwise around the screw and when you tighten the screw it will not open up the loop. There are some that you cut the wire straight and stick it in from the back or there is a clip on the side and the screw does make the connection. Those are fine to use and you find them on most GFCI outlets and some regular outlets.

    Don’t do the back stabs and never use the backstabs to extend the circuit. If you need to branch off an outlet use some short wires called pig tails and then wire nut the group of wires. You will sometimes see people using the other screw to extend a circuit. The pig tail method is better. Never put two wires under the same screw.
     
  19. Jul 25, 2017 #19

    Krich

    Krich

    Krich

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    7
    Here's the wall plug I used:
    Leviton 8300-HGY 20-Amp, 125-Volt, Heavy Duty Hospital Grade, Duplex Receptacle

    Can be found at:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ATRTNY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The product description says it has "Exclusive V-shaped, serrated back-wiring clamps for superior contact"

    So, it appears on this Receptacle that it would be OK to put the wires in from the back.

    I was going to loop the wire on the side the way the original one was done and after spending over 30 minutes trying to get it looped under the screw (there's just no room to do so, it is so tight) I decided to put it in the back.

    And now, after going back and reading the description of this good quality Receptacle this should be OK based on what Leviton says about their product.

    From here I guess it looks like the question is: can we trust Leviton or not?
     
  20. Jul 25, 2017 #20

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,986
    Likes Received:
    3,149
    You can be sure, It will work, unless it doesn't.:p

    The stab in the back is spring loaded and if they heat up a few time or over time they are not held so tight and that is when the problems start.
    Most electricians would sooner use some needle nose pliers and bend a hook in the wire to wrap around the screw a little .

    I would not expect a problem for a few years if ever.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017

Share This Page