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Old 09-20-2020, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Greenburgh/White Plains
41 posts, read 57,833 times
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This past summer I got a mini split ac/heat pump installed for our house. Per electrical we also had an electrical service receptacle installed in the disconnect switch box for the outside compressor. With Halloween and the holidays approaching, I was wondering if it's ok (code-wise) to use the electrical service receptacle to run some lawn decorations? It won't be on 24/7 but maybe a few hours during the night?

Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:56 AM
 
1,056 posts, read 1,075,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack025 View Post
This past summer I got a mini split ac/heat pump installed for our house. Per electrical we also had an electrical service receptacle installed in the disconnect switch box for the outside compressor. With Halloween and the holidays approaching, I was wondering if it's ok (code-wise) to use the electrical service receptacle to run some lawn decorations? It won't be on 24/7 but maybe a few hours during the night?

Thanks.
If you are using the heat pump for heat, then no. If the units are not used for heat, then its just a power receptacle. No one is ever going to find out though. But no, its there for a reason under the code.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Greenburgh/White Plains
41 posts, read 57,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.strangelove View Post
If you are using the heat pump for heat, then no. If the units are not used for heat, then its just a power receptacle. No one is ever going to find out though. But no, its there for a reason under the code.
Thanks for the reply. Is that receptacle not to be used when the compressor is running or is the concern more that we will trip the breaker if the heat pump going and the lawn decorations/lights on as well? I think the Halloween decoration that I have in mind right now will draw ~2 amps total.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:06 AM
 
1,056 posts, read 1,075,781 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack025 View Post
Thanks for the reply. Is that receptacle not to be used when the compressor is running or is the concern more that we will trip the breaker if the heat pump going and the lawn decorations/lights on as well? I think the Halloween decoration that I have in mind right now will draw ~2 amps total.
The code enforcement folks won't care about the amperage, but I think you are on the right path. under 2 amps will likely not be a problem. Look at the panel and check the breakers for the heat pumps. They are pretty low amperage users. Not like the old days of big central air units, these are incredibly efficient. I think you would be fine, but look it over and test it before you put in too much work on the decorations. Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:36 AM
 
2,200 posts, read 1,570,278 times
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Are you sure that it's a 120v mini split (or at least that the outlet itself is 120v?)? If so, I say just do it. The mini split circuits are designed to the absolute design max of the system, which only occurs when it extremely cold outside. When outdoor temperatures are above freezing they aren't working very hard at all.

I actually went against code on my installation because code requires that the mini split be on its own circuit, but I installed one of my smaller units by pulling power from a circuit that also has outlets in the house. I checked- at absolute design max, my mini split only pulls 10A, and the circuit can supply 15A. But 98% of the time, the system is drawing substantially less than that. Even during a hot summer day, the system is pulling substantially less than the design max since it's only trying to correct for a 20-30 temperature differential, compared to a cold winter day when it's trying to correct for a 70 degree difference. And what is so cool about mini splits compared to old fashioned ACs is that there is no startup surge of the compressor since it starts off slow and ramps up to full speed if neccessary.

Lastly, there is no true risk as worst case, the breaker will just trip and life goes on.
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