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    HVAC Codes in Rural Areas

    HVAC Codes in Rural Areas

    New postby cdvcgv85 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:05 pm

    I need to clarify my question on HVAC codes in rural areas of Texas. Our county's code states, We have no building codes excecpt the installation of septic systems.

    Our county seat city does not enforce codes outside of the city and if working within the city, must be licensed by the city.

    I'm being cited codes from the Universal Mechanical Code. I'm not asking to keep from doing something that will have my house burn down. I just don't believe that putting a 4" pad on top of my perfectly good patio in necessary. This supposedly falls under code 405.3. I also believe that I should be able to dispose of the old unit myself. Supposedly under code 308-f-98-020. Both of these things are ridiculous.

    This all stems from a HVAC company who is hired by my home warranty company to install a new heat pump condenser. I believe just like many others that this is their way of making money since the warranty company barely compensates them for their labor and don't let them supply their own units to mark up.

    Please help me with these questions.

    Thank you.
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    Re: HVAC Codes in Rural Areas

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:49 pm

    I believe you are referring to the International Mechanical Code, however, for dwelling units, the applicable code would be the International Residential Code.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan

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    Re: HVAC Codes in Rural Areas

    New postby Nolan Kienitz on Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:13 pm

    As I noted in a reply to your other post the State of Texas has adopted minimal guidelines for residential construction. Those rules are based on the IRC (International Residential Code) and the NEC (National Electrical Code) ... for "residential". Often plumbers will quote the UPC as opposed to the IRC and there are some commonalities, but yet there are differences.

    As for the HVAC details. The recover/disposal of freon-related items and the product (freon) itself it is tightly regulated as to how it is handled due to the "greening" of America and all the new rules regarding the 'old' freon and the 'new' freon. The HVAC contractor can be fined big time for not following the rules as outlined by (often) their licensing agency.

    Yes, it seems easy that you can do a lot easier and for less $$ ... makes no difference if it is in rural Texas or in a metro area. The rules with respect to the recover/disposal of the gas and the product still apply. Those rules are outside of the relative codes that we rely on for the construction of a property.

    In fact I'm experiencing similar in that I'm having my entire HVAC system replaced next Thursday. Part of the contract includes 'recovery' fees that I'm being assessed that are merely being 'passed along' from the HVAC contractor as they have to cover their time/materials with respect to the removal/disposal of my old system. All those steps are following a certain protocol ... no way around it these days.

    If you dig further you can learn about the mandated changes currently in process regarding the change from the R-22 to the R-410A freon products.

    Another comment I'll make about Home Warranties and the companies that 'usually' sign on to do work with them. Such companies are not always the ones that have the sharpest crayons in the box and their diagnostic and maintenance skills are not always 'on par' with the very strong professionals. That being said ... my comment is not an indictment against all such companies, but I've seen plenty of such in the various markets I'm an inspector in.

    Back to the disposal, etc., etc.. Regardless of the HVAC company (warranty or not) they still have rules to live by and follow and I think that is what you are being presented with. Some of those rules are way beyond our control and we just have to live with them.

    It gets down to fighting 'city hall'. The Montreal Protocol that specified the freon change was kicked off and signed back in 1987 ... that is quite some time ago and has been and continues to be a long/ongoing process.
    Nolan E. Kienitz - ICC R5 Residential Combination Inspector, TREC #7095
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