In Reply to: Use of 50 amp breaker, 10 gage wire for A/C unit posted by Sam on 09/06/01 at 11:54 PM:
Surely your local city library has an up-to-date copy of the National Fire Protection Association's National Electrical Code where you should be able to find that little tidbit.
But don't forget that the NEC is not law. It only becomes as such if some local governing agency adopts it as such. Otherwise, it's no more than a "suggestion". Also, some local governments may modify the code, requiring more robust wiring.
Personally, I'd agree with the inpector. 30A is about the limit for #10, and with a 50A breaker and high starting currents, I'd probably defer to the more conservative wiring. Of course, if it means a really expensive replacement, one does hedge a little!