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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    156

    Flush mount condenser disconnect on wall?

    I think it would be nicer on the wall (and more secure from bumping from our gardening activities etc) if the condenser disconnect is mounted somewhat flush with my exterior stucco, rather than having the box stick out using the screws in the back.

    It's going to be a Square D 60A disconnect. This disconnect has two knockouts in the bottom and two in the back.

    But if I have it installed flush, then how should the conduit enter the wall, since the bottom knockouts would be inside the wall? For example, would it be just a section of metal conduit sticking out of the wall that a plastic condenser conduit can screw on to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
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    4,930
    If you do that, pray to god that disconnect doesn't break, because you'll never get a new one. Not all disconnects are the same size. Infact, all disconnects are different sizes. So when it comes time to replace it...your screwed.

    What if you burn a wire (which happens more than you think)? Could be hard to pull a new one.

    I see nothing but problems.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,770
    It would need to be a disconnect approved for flush mounting. The common one used, is not approved for that. And it will cost you more to have one done that way.

    Might want to talk to your electrician or HVAC contractor before deciding thats what you want.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    156
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    If you do that, pray to god that disconnect doesn't break, because you'll never get a new one. Not all disconnects are the same size. Infact, all disconnects are different sizes. So when it comes time to replace it...your screwed.

    What if you burn a wire (which happens more than you think)? Could be hard to pull a new one.

    I see nothing but problems.
    The Square D disconnect is pretty rugged, and the replacement Square D switches are readily available and will be for a long time to come. I don't see this any different than the possibility I might have to someday replace my Square D electrical subpanel with a different one, which would be a much larger job. In the worst case if the condenser has to move somewhere else, break open the stucco wall.. not a big deal.

    So back to the original question, no one here likes to flush mount these? If so, how do you like to run the conduit back out the wall?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    156
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    The common one used, is not approved for that. And it will cost you more to have one done that way.
    I was looking for one that says it is approved for flush mount.. wasn't sure where to look. Anyone seen one of these before? The labor part I'm not worried about, I will pay a little more if it's not sticking out so much..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ripley, WV
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    1,149
    Just curious, whats on the other side of the wall that the disconnect will be mounted on? It might require some steel electrical conduit to be ran from the breaker box to where it feeds into the back of the disconnect box, then from there to the outside unit is where it might get tricky.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    I think you'll have a problem finding one that is made for flush mounting.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_in_WV View Post
    Just curious, whats on the other side of the wall that the disconnect will be mounted on? It might require some steel electrical conduit to be ran from the breaker box to where it feeds into the back of the disconnect box, then from there to the outside unit is where it might get tricky.
    There's just empty wall cavity on the other side. Indeed, the conduit from the disconnect to the outside condenser is where it would be tricky (I guess a piece of metal conduit would just poke through the wall). However as beenthere pointed out, it's hard to find a disconnect that is approved for flush mounting.

    Here is an opportunity for one of the electric panel manufacturers to design an HVAC disconnect that is approved for flush mounting and has one of the knockouts on the front. Probably just a product idea they haven't thought of yet, and I'm sure they'd sell plenty..

  9. #9
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    I doubt they would sell many at all. Most people wouldn't pay the extra money for it, let alone the extra cost of having it installed.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    156
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    I doubt they would sell many at all. Most people wouldn't pay the extra money for it, let alone the extra cost of having it installed.
    What about new construction? Before the exterior lathe and wall is put in place, this would be super easy to install.

    I can understand, though, that old construction would be a lot harder for flush mount.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    What builder is going to spend the extra money for it?
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
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    1,247
    You can mount the disconnect on the condensing unit if you want. Maybe find a way to run the conduit out the wall down low near the ground and then go up to the disconnect mounted on the unit somewhere. Maybe you could even bury the conduit and have it come up right behind the unit. I am not an electricion so I dont know for sure how that would work, but it might be an idea. Also, they do make smaller disconnects that look like heavy duty light switches that can be mounted in a small weather tight enclosure. Something like that could probably be mounted in the wall if you really wanted.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
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    6,142

    Cool

    Cutting a hole in a stucco wall is just begging for water damage. It's hard enough to keep the water out of windows and doors. If it is in the thermal envelope of the house then it would have to be listed as 'fenestration' per the energy code. Otherwise, it would be a cold hole in the wall. It would also flunk a blower door test.

    Replacement dilemma as others noted.

    Why are you gardening so close to the wall next to the condenser? Landscape it with a bed of stone and you won't need to be in there anyway.

    FYI, need 30" wide by 36" deep in front of d/c AND corner panel on condenser for service per NEC. That means the d/c cannot be located behind the condenser and you cannot put an obstruction such as plants or another condenser within this zone. The d/c must be within 50 feet of the condenser without obstructions such as fences. There must be a GFCI service outlet within 25 feet of the condenser but nobody does this.

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