How Large a Breaker Does a Mini Split Require?

A mini-split system typically requires a dedicated circuit with a breaker that can handle the amperage draw of the unit. The size of the breaker needed depends on the specific model and size of the mini-split. To ensure the proper breaker size, it’s crucial to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and consider the gauge of the wire used for the circuit.

Determining the Correct Breaker Size

The size of the breaker required for a mini-split system can vary depending on the BTU capacity of the unit. Here’s a general guideline:

BTU Capacity Breaker Size
12,000 BTU 15-amp
18,000 BTU 20-30 amp
24,000 BTU 30-40 amp
36,000 BTU 40-50 amp

It’s important to note that these are just general recommendations, and the actual breaker size may differ based on the specific model and manufacturer. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to determine the correct breaker size for your mini-split system.

Factors to Consider When Sizing the Breaker

how large a breaker does a mini split requireImage source: Flickr

When determining the appropriate breaker size, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Amperage Draw: The breaker size should be able to handle the maximum amperage draw of the mini-split system. This information can be found in the manufacturer’s specifications or on the unit’s nameplate.

  2. Wire Gauge: The size of the wire used for the circuit also plays a role in determining the breaker size. For a 20-amp circuit, 12-gauge wire is typically sufficient, while a 30-amp circuit may require 10-gauge wire.

  3. Continuous Load: Mini-split systems are considered a continuous load, meaning the system will be running for extended periods. The breaker should be sized to handle the continuous load without tripping.

  4. Voltage: Most mini-split systems operate on 208-230V single-phase power. Ensure that the breaker is rated for the appropriate voltage.

  5. Overcurrent Protection: The breaker should provide overcurrent protection for the mini-split system, preventing damage to the unit and potential fire hazards.

Hiring a Licensed Electrician

If you’re not comfortable working with electrical systems, it’s highly recommended to hire a licensed electrician to handle the installation and wiring of your mini-split system. Electrical work can be dangerous if not performed correctly, and a licensed professional can ensure the system is installed safely and in compliance with local building codes.


Determining the correct breaker size for a mini-split system is crucial for the safe and efficient operation of the unit. By considering the factors mentioned above and consulting the manufacturer’s specifications, you can ensure that your mini-split system is properly protected and functioning at its best.

Remember, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the electrical work, it’s always best to hire a licensed electrician to handle the installation and wiring of your mini-split system.