I'm allowed only a 50 Amp service and I need AC

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by tallpaulge, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. tallpaulge

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 7, 2015
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    I just moved into a mobile home park and they will only allow me a 50 amp service. I have a new central heater that is designed to add AC to it. The problem is the start up current of the units I have looked at are all about 30 amps. I have an AC contractor who is unable to get a permit to install the 14 seer system they are recommending for my 1100 sq. ft home.

    Any idea on a system that uses less startup current? Any idea on a softer startup that is commercially available such as a capacitor start...?
     
  2. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    So where is the problem with drawing 30 amps from a 50 amp system? o_O
     
  3. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    With 50 amp service what is the problem? I live in an older home. Originally 60 amp service with a 4 fuse fuse box. While the wiring is slowly being updated a few years ago we added central air. The furnace is natural gas fired. My central air runs on 240 VAC off a pair of 20 amp breakers. That's a 3 ton system we run. Yes, when the central air compressor kicks on any incandescent lamps briefly dim but no problem, even with the electric clothes drier running. I have no idea what the A/C draws. I could go to 200 amp service but don't really need it.

    If where the mobile home is you are limited to 50 amp service then apparently 50 amp service is as good as it gets. If you want a soft start on the A/C compressor your best bet would be to get with the system manufacturer as a first stop.

    Ron
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    A 30,000 BTU air conditioner at a SEER of 14 will run on about 9 amps of 240 volts. The start surge will be about 113 amps, which a proper, 30 amp HACR breaker will sustain long enough to get it started. The problem is in what the 50 amp mains will sustain with the rest of 1100 square feet of housing connected.

    One person says you can't have better service. Another person says you can't have a permit. Your problem seems political to me. Will the trailer park refuse to let you pay to have better electrical service installed?

    If all else fails, you can obey the law by installing several smaller air conditioners which do not require permits. That might result in a lot worse efficiency, making even worse demands on your electric service in order to satisfy the building department's requirement that you are not allowed to cause the demands for electricity required by the more efficient, whole house unit.
     
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  5. tallpaulge

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 7, 2015
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    Thank you for your replies. My biggest problem is doing the installation legal by getting a permit. The park requires this.

    The park I live in has 156 units and everyone must have the same availability to power as I do. So if I get 100 amps the entire park must be able to get 100 amps. This equates to upgrading the entire system. This will not happen so I am limited to 50 amps.:(

    With this said I really hate to resort to several window units like AAC Fanatic threw out as a possibility. I'm hoping someone out there can recommend a unit that draws lower startup current.

    If I do manage to get it permitted do you think I may have a problem with the main breaker blowing? I have nothing out of the ordinary using electricity. I have a gas dryer, gas stove/oven.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  6. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    You should have no problem with that system on a 50 amp service. As I mentioned, I run a 3 ton home unit and I have yet to upgrade my service from 60 Amps. The inrush current at startup is not going to trip a breaker designed for it. My system runs on 240 volts with a pair of 20 amp everyday breakers and starts just fine.

    Ron
     
  7. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    In most places split type central air conditioners fit under the same installation jurisdiction as any common window unit as in anyone can install them themselves without a licence in their own home and usually without a permit as well provided they have enough basic mechanical and electrical skills of course. Or at least that's how it works here in the midwest rural and small town region of the country.

    I've installed many and never once had any issues over licencing, legality or permits tossed at me by anyone who had half a brain.
     
  8. be80be

    Senior Member

    Jul 5, 2008
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    There's something a little wrong here. First off 50 amps service this sounds like a camper park where you pull it with your truck or drive a camper that made out of a truck.
    Next there letting you use a bigger mobile home that using a standard split AC sys.
    Ok get a two ton there 20 amp's and install that tell who ever tell's you can't to to show you in the code book where he got
    the idea you can't in a nice way key here is in a nice way. Because i'm sure the rest have air in there mobile homes. Now how did they do that?? There using electric code for a house which would be like 100 amp service or bigger in most places.
    But mobile is not as high there at 50 amps which is why they have the park set up at 50 amps in the first place.
     
  9. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    Just rent two lots, bigger yard and 100 amp service.
     
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  10. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    A buddy of mine rents a lot for an old trailer he uses for storage in an older trailer park and they only have 50 amp services for each lot but as far as what a person can do there they really don't care just as long as you pay your rent and the neighbors dont complain.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Rejoice about how far back in the woods you live. Around here, the Government says we need a permit to replace a water heater with the same size, type, and brand. Today I'm going to pick up my next car and I was thinking...How long will it be until I am supposed to get a permit and inspection for fixing my own car? :(
     
  12. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    It's not about being in the back woods.

    Its about living in a place where every government agency is not in debt and trying to squeeze every penny out of every one for anything they can remotely try and justify permits, regulations costs or outright fines for. ;)

    When you have the right type of people running things this sort of nonsense doesn't happen. :D
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    So? What's your point? "Some places way far from crowded populations also have thousands of Laws to milk the herd", or "Some well populated places don't have their Government milking machine honed to a fine edge"? Either way, Rejoice, for you don't live there.

    Meanwhile the Thread Starter does live there and he's caught between two milking machines. 1) Must milk whole trailer park for equal electric service. 2) Must milk trailer owner for permit demanding service that our other Law makes impractical.

    If not being there doesn't make you rejoice, you're just a wet blanket today.:p
     
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  14. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
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    As in post #4, window units may result in better budgetary efficiency if you educate yourself to turn on only the ones in rooms that are being occupied, instead of the typical seen waste of leaving them on 24/7 for the laziness/discomfort of turning a knob. Way too many people leaves the stuff on and leaves to work for 9 hours just for the senseless pleasure of arriving to an instant cold home. And a booted computer. And a flatter wallet.
     
  15. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    You know me better than that! I rarely make comments with any specific point intended. :D
     
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  16. tallpaulge

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 7, 2015
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    Thanks everyone for the input. We had a different electrician come out and redo the load calculation. With this the state permitted us to put in a 3 ton goodman ac along with a coleman central heater. Now that the heat is almost over we will get our a/c!!
    I enjoyed the banter here
    Paul
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    So you paid someone to doctor the paperwork. What changed?
    What did the government want before they would let you implement the most practical and efficient solution?
    And, no, it wasn't the start current. It takes about 130 amps to start a Goodman 3 ton A/C.
    How do I know? That was my day job for 30 years.
    So, what changed? The right bribes in the right places?
     
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  18. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Are you disgusted or admiration if such a non-technical solution if a bribe did happen (given the details of the problem)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
    Reloadron likes this.
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    My emotional state? I am very much against Government trying to legislate Physics (and a few other categories). All it does is give power to the Government in the form of office workers that, if they have any education, is more likely to be an English Literature major than anything about Newton. You have to be smart AND lucky to avoid the red tape traps, and you still get caught occasionally.

    My last snafu involved new A/C's and ductwork in a ground floor doctor's office. The whole upstairs was an add-on with metal stairs on the outside of the building. We weren't working on that space. The local building department demanded (at minimum) 17" by 22" drawings of the floor plans for downstairs and upstairs, and a third page showing the openings we were not making between the two levels of the building. I don't know how to draw a, "notahole" so I just photocopied the first floor page and labeled it, "penetrations to the second story". The building department idiot then approved the plans.

    This is why I tell tcmtech to rejoice about not living in a big city.

    Edit: Any way to get around bureaucracy or idiots is OK with me. Sometimes the bribe is to the second electrician. I don't care, as long as the job gets done. I have even done it the way the inspector wanted it, then installed improvements after he left. The fact that the government can not pass new laws as fast as technology advances should not surprise anyone. The fact that the government can not pass new laws (or building codes) as fast as I can design air conditioners shouldn't surprise you, either!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
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  20. lorenkinzel

    New Member

    Aug 13, 2013
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    If the average humidity in your area is not too high, consider looking into a modern evaporative cooler.
    Much lower power demand & work very well; unless it is very humid outside.
    I keep a small one in my bedroom made of a 5 gal. bucket, 3 computer case fans & 1 pond-fogger.
    Takes the edge off of 1 room, but it sounds like you need a larger commercial unit
     
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