I'm installing a mini-split and need to run power outside to the disconnect box, then an additional line from the disconnect to the compressor unit. In most installs I've seen, power to the the disconnect (in circumstances where the line is not coming through the wall directly into the back of the disconnect--which is not an available option to me) comes through a conduit; in this case, I expect I'd use THHN in the conduit. Then, a whip is used from the disconnect to the compressor.
So, my questions:
Since UF cable is OK for use outdoors in exposed conditions, can I run UF (not in conduit) to the disconnect? (FWIW, I'll be using 12/2 UF on a dedicated 20A 240V circuit, although I don't think that detail is necessary for the question.)
A secondary question to #1: The lineset for the minisplit will be run in a decorative PVC cover secured to the outside wall. With the lineset inside the decorative cover will be the 14/3 communication wire between the compressor and the indoor air handler. Can I run the UF to the disconnect inside the decorative cover?
Instead of a whip (which is essentially a waterproof flexible conduit with THHN or such inside) can I use UF from the disconnect to the compressor unit?