Mini Split Power Requirements (With Wire Size and Breaker Size) - PICKHVAC (2024)

Power requirements for mini split systems are:

110/120 Volt: Most mini split systems up to 12,000 BTUs can use this voltage.

208/220 Volt: 6000 BTU and higher.

It seems strange that some 6000 BTU mini split ACs and heat pumps would use 208/230V power, but it is true.

Let’s get into the details.

Content Navigation

What’s Here

The Mini Split AC/Heat Pump is becoming the method of choice for heating and cooling home additions, workshops, and garages, just to name a few places popular for installation. Mini splits are powered by electricity, so there is the need to extend an electric service line to the area where the outdoor component will be located.

This article focuses on the electrical connection that will provide the proper voltage and watts needed to power mini splits of different sizes. Easy-to-read charts are included, along with examples of how to use them, which will enable you to quickly find the information you need.

There are FAQs at the end of the article.

How a Mini Split Works

A mini split system may either be for a/c only, or a heat pump, which will provide both cooling and heating. They have similar electrical needs, so the information found here can apply to either type.

The mini split has two main units. The condenser is the outdoor unit. The evaporator or air handler is the indoor unit. Between them is a line set, aka lineset, which includes two insulated copper tubes through which the refrigerant flows. Electrical wiring and a drain tube are often bundled with them.

An electrical service line must be run from the main breaker panel in the building to the mini split outdoor unit. This provides all the power needed to run both components of the system. The size of this wire will be determined by the type and size of the mini split system being installed.

The Critical Electrical Connection

The normal configuration of the electrical connection for a mini split consists of the following:

1. A dedicated circuit breaker or breakers in the main service panel of the building. These breakers act as the surge protector for the mini split.

2. Wires of the appropriate gauge (thickness) for the mini split to be installed. These wires are to be run all the way from the main panel to a disconnect box on the outside of the building within just a few feet of where the outdoor unit will be located. Note – the lower the number of the gauge, the thicker the wire. For example, 12-gauge wire is thicker than 14-gauge wire.

3. The disconnect box has either a switch or a removable “plug” that will shut off all power at that point. It may have another fuse or circuit breaker in it. The disconnect box is there so the power may be easily and safely removed from outside the building when the system needs maintenance or repair.

4. The connecting cable provides electrical power to the entire system. This could either be wire that is approved for outdoor use, or an electrical whip, which is a waterproof tube which looks somewhat like a garden hose through which wires are run. Whichever one is used, the connecting cable extends power from the disconnect box to the condenser unit of the mini split.

Mini Split Power and Wire Requirements

All electrical appliances and systems need wires of the correct size (gauge) to safely and efficiently handle the amount of current the system will use. Some of the smaller mini splits operate on 110 volts, while most need 220 volts. Here are some charts that will help you choose the correct wire gauges and circuit breakers for your system.

110V Mini Split Power Requirements

It is important to get the proper wiring for the safe, effective operation of a mini split heating and cooling system.

110v Mini Split Wire Size

110V Mini SplitMinimum Circuit AmpacityWire Size
9000 BTU14 Amp12 Gauge
12000 BTU15 Amp12 Gauge

How many amps does a 12,000 BTU mini split use? You can see from the chart above that the answer is 14 amps. And to determine what size wire for 12000 BTU mini split? The chart tells you that you should use 12 gauge wire.

110V Mini Split Breaker Size

110V Mini SplitBreaker Size
9000 BTU15 Amp
12000 BTU20 Amp

Do you need to know the recommended 12000 BTU mini split circuit breaker size? The chart shows that it should be 20 amp. Notice that the 9,000 BTU system only requires a 15 amp circuit breaker. This tells us that the more cooling power a system has, the more electrical power it will require.

220V Mini Split Power Requirements

As noted, all mini splits larger than 12000 BTUs use 220 power.

220v Mini Split Wire Size

220V Mini SplitMinimum Circuit AmpacityWire Size
9000 BTU12 Amp12 Gauge
12000 BTU15 Amp12 Gauge
18000 BTU18 Amp10 Gauge
24000 BTU20 Amp10 Gauge
30000 BTU22 Amp10 Gauge
36000 BTU25 Amp10 Gauge

What size wire for 18,000 BTU mini split? This chart says you should use 10 gauge wire. The answer to: What size wire for 24000 BTU mini split? It is the same as the other larger sizes on the chart – 10 gauge.

220V Mini Split Breaker Size

220V Mini SplitBreaker Size
9000 BTU15 Amp
12000 BTU15 Amp
18000 BTU20 Amp
24000 BTU25 Amp
30000 BTU30 Amp
36000 BTU30 Amp

What size breaker for 24,000 BTU mini split? A 25 amp circuit breaker is the correct size for a 24,000 BTU mini split. Using a 30-amp breaker is fine too.

Should I Use A 10/2 Or 10/3 Wire For A 220v Mini Split?

Definitely use 10/3 – and this should also have a ground wire (“10/3 w/ground”). While a 110v system only needs two wires to conduct the electricity, a 220v system requires three. Two of them are considered “hot”, and one of them is the “neutral”. The additional ground wire is a safety measure to prevent a house fire or an electric shock if there is excess electricity in the wiring system.

Mini Split Power and Wire Size FAQs

What is 14 4 wire for mini split systems?

Some mini split heat pumps require a 4-conductor control cable. The installation manual for your ductless system should specify what wiring is required.

Is a 110 or 220 mini split better?

It depends on what “better” means for you. Here are some ways to compare a 110v and a 220v mini split:

1. System Cost – Generally speaking, a 220v mini split will cost more than a 110v system of the same brand, BTU, and SEER. This could vary, depending on sales, special discounts, etc.

2. Installation Cost – a 220v mini split will require an additional circuit breaker and more expensive wiring than a 110v mini split. This means the installation cost will be higher for a 220v mini split.

3. Efficiency – this is the SEER rating. The voltage of a mini split system does not affect its efficiency.

4. Operating Cost – this will be the same with either voltage for models of the same BTU and SEER.

Are there any 18,000 BTU mini split for 110 volt power?

To our knowledge, only mini splits that are 12,000 BTU and smaller are available in 110v models. 18,000 BTU and larger all require 220 volts.

Mini Split Power Requirements (With Wire Size and Breaker Size) - PICKHVAC (1)

Written by Rene Langer

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

Mini Split Power Requirements (With Wire Size and Breaker Size) - PICKHVAC (2024)


How do I know what size breaker to get for my mini split? ›

Use a 20A breaker and 12 AWG (or larger) wiring.

Regardless, the MCA is the required Minimum Circuit Ampacity, meaning your circuit needs to be sized appropriately for at least that amperage. The 24kBTU unit has an MCA of 15, so you'd need a circuit capable of supplying at least 15A.

What size wire do I need for a mini split system? ›

Otherwise, the system will not operate correctly. It is recommended to use 14 gauge stranded wire for most installations. Pictured is a 14 gauge solid wire which will work but should only be used if the stranded wire is unavailable. Total Home Supply offers Honeywell 14/4 Mini Split wire in 50 ft and 250 ft rolls.

What size wire for a 12000 BTU mini split? ›

220V Mini Split Power Requirements
220V Mini SplitMinimum Circuit AmpacityWire Size
12000 BTU15 Amp12 Gauge
18000 BTU18 Amp10 Gauge
24000 BTU20 Amp10 Gauge
30000 BTU22 Amp10 Gauge
2 more rows
Nov 18, 2022

What size breaker do I need for a 27 000 BTU mini split? ›

Product Specifications
27,000 BTU 23.8 SEER Perfect Aire Mini-Split Heat Pump
Suction Line3/8" (3)
Electrical208-230 V. 1 Phase 60 Hz
Max Breaker Size30
Min. Breaker Size24.5
18 more rows

What size breaker do I need for a 18 000 BTU mini split? ›

For the 18,000 BTU unit they call for a 25a breaker. A good electrical inspector will match the spec sheet against the installation.

What size breaker does a 36k Mr Cool mini split take? ›

Product Specifications
MRCOOL DIY 36,000 BTU 16 SEER Ductless Mini Split AC and Heat Pump with Wireless-Enabled Smart Controller
Max Breaker Size40 Amps
Min. Breaker Size25 Amps
BTU/Tonnage36,000 BTU/3 Ton
Mini-Split TypeWall Mounted
27 more rows

Should I use a 10 2 or 10 3 wire for a 220v mini split? ›

When it comes to wiring air conditioners, choosing the right wire size is crucial. In the case of 10/2 or 10/3 wire for air conditioners, the better choice is 10/2 wire.

What size wire for a 36 000 BTU mini split? ›

What is the amp draw for the 36000 btu mini split and or wire gauge recommended from outside unit to disconnect box? Amp draw is 18.5A in cooling and 16.7A in heating. This system would take a 30A double pole breaker with 10 AWG wire. This particular system will heat and cool down to +5°F outside temperatures.

How many amps does a mini split unit pull? ›

You don't need too many amps to run your ductless mini split system. Each one of your air handlers needs about 15 to 45 amps. This means that, as a whole, you'll need about 110 to 120 volts on the low end or 208 to 240 volts on the higher end.

Does a 12000 BTU mini split need a dedicated circuit? ›

You might be wondering, "Do I really need a disconnect?" All mini split systems require a dedicated circuit to supply power to the system.

Does a mini split need 12 2 or 12 3? ›

Most of the residential sized mini-splits are going to require 12/2, some of the larger ones 10/2. I've installed both an 18kBTU and 24BTU unit, and both required 12/2 wire.

How many amps does a Mr Cool 12k mini split use? ›

MrCool 12000 BTU/H Ductless Mini-Split System, Up to 600 Sq Ft, 20 Amp, 120V
Part NumberA-12-HP-C-115C A-12-HP-WMAH-115C, A-12-HP-115C
Maximum Amperage20 Amp
Maximum Voltage115V
Power12000 BTU/H
15 more rows

What size line set for 24000 btu mini split? ›

Diameter Selection Guide (FOR HYPERFORMANCE WYF-25 SERIES)
9,000 BTU - 12,000 BTU1/4"-3/8"
18,000 BTU1/4"-1/2"
24,000 BTU3/8"-5/8"

How many amps does a 30000 BTU mini split use? ›

Unit Features:
Product TypeDuctless Mini split air conditioner
BTU Cooling30000 BTUs
Amperage12 Amps
Wattage2900 Watts
PhaseSingle phase
37 more rows

How many amps does a 28000 BTU mini split use? ›

Technical Specifications
Model NumberSENA-30HF-MOQ
COP W/W3.73
Minimum Circuit Ampacity (A)24.5
Max. Fuse (A)30
Outdoor Dimensions (WxDxH) (in.)37.24x16.14x31.89
21 more rows

How many amps does a mini split pull on average? ›

This will actually vary, based on how many British thermal units, BTUs, the system uses–usually 15-45 amps per mini-split is needed.

How to determine the correct size for your main breaker in amps? ›

The general rule of thumb is that circuit breaker size should be 125% of the ampacity of cable and wire or the circuit which has to be protected by the CB.

How can I tell what breaker I need? ›

Check the circuit breaker box label
  1. The manufacturer's label will provide information on the model number, amperage, voltage rating, and other specifications (Figure 1). ...
  2. If the label is not visible or the information is unclear, use a multimeter to measure the voltage and amperage of the circuit breaker.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated:

Views: 6392

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.