Does a Mini Split Need a Fused Disconnect?

A mini split system does not necessarily require a fused disconnect, but the decision depends on various factors, including the specific requirements of the unit, local electrical codes, and the installer’s preference. The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates a disconnecting means within sight and within 50 feet of the outdoor unit, which can be a circuit breaker, fused disconnect, or non-fused disconnect. However, the NEC does not explicitly necessitate a fused disconnect for mini split systems.

Understanding the Electrical Requirements for Mini Split Systems

Mini split systems, also known as ductless air conditioning or heat pump systems, are designed to provide efficient heating and cooling for specific areas or zones within a building. These systems typically consist of an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and one or more indoor air-handling units connected by refrigerant lines.

The electrical requirements for a mini split system can vary depending on the manufacturer, model, and local electrical codes. Generally, the outdoor unit requires a dedicated electrical circuit with a disconnect switch or circuit breaker located within sight and within 50 feet of the unit, as per the NEC.

Fused Disconnect vs. Non-Fused Disconnect

does a mini split need a fused disconnectImage source: Flickr

A fused disconnect is an electrical device that combines a disconnect switch and fuses in a single enclosure. The fuses provide overcurrent protection for the equipment, while the disconnect switch allows for the safe isolation of the system during maintenance or repairs.

On the other hand, a non-fused disconnect is an electrical device that only provides a means of disconnecting the power supply to the equipment, without any built-in overcurrent protection. In this case, the overcurrent protection is typically provided by a separate circuit breaker or fuses located elsewhere in the electrical system.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Disconnect

When deciding whether a fused or non-fused disconnect is appropriate for a mini split system, several factors should be considered:

  1. Manufacturer Recommendations: Always consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions and recommendations for the specific mini split system being installed. They may have specific requirements or preferences regarding the type of disconnect to be used.

  2. Local Electrical Codes: Different regions and jurisdictions may have their own electrical codes and requirements. It’s essential to check with the local code enforcement authority to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

  3. Overcurrent Protection: Both fused and non-fused disconnects can provide overcurrent protection, but the method may differ. With a fused disconnect, the fuses provide the overcurrent protection, while with a non-fused disconnect, a separate circuit breaker or fuses located elsewhere in the electrical system provide this protection.

  4. Startup Considerations: In some cases, such as with the MrCool DIY 4th gen 12kbtu mini split, an electrician may recommend using a fused disconnect for startup purposes, as the fuses can help manage the initial inrush current. However, this may not be strictly necessary if the circuit breaker already provides adequate overcurrent protection.

  5. Installer Preference: The installer’s experience and preference can also play a role in the choice between a fused or non-fused disconnect. Some installers may have a preference for one type over the other, based on their familiarity and comfort level with the installation process.

Real-World Examples

Let’s look at a couple of real-world examples to further illustrate the decision-making process:

  1. MrCool DIY 4th Gen 12kbtu Mini Split: In this case, the original setup included a non-fused disconnect with a 20A 240V circuit breaker. An electrician recommended changing it to a fused version with 25A fuses for startup purposes. However, the breaker already provided adequate overcurrent protection, so the fused disconnect was not strictly necessary.

  2. Mitsubishi Mini Split System: For a Mitsubishi mini split system, the installer was comfortable using an unfused local disconnect for the outdoor unit, indicating that a fused disconnect is not always required.


In summary, while a fused disconnect is not strictly necessary for a mini split system, the decision ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the unit, local electrical codes, and the installer’s preference. A non-fused disconnect with a circuit breaker providing overcurrent protection is often sufficient, but it’s always best to consult with a licensed electrician and local code enforcement officials to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.


  1. Reddit – Fused or Non-Fused Disconnect
  2. Terry Love Plumbing & Remodel DIY & Professional Forum
  3. Garage Journal – Disconnect: Fused or Non-Fuse
  4. DIY Stack Exchange – Is a Fused Disconnect Essential for Mini Split Outdoor Unit?
  5. Electrician Talk – Mini Split Inside Unit Disconnect