Building Codes For Contrators

CODES FOR Contractors

ACCA Support for HVAC Contractors and Complying with Building Codes

The purpose of building codes are to guide government agencies in meeting their minimum obligations to protect the general welfare of the population they serve. Codes are designed to prevent damage to property, as well as injury or death to persons, and these objectives are accomplished by applying accumulated knowledge to the avoidance, reduction, or elimination of definable hazards.

NFPA Issues TIA to Exempt Outdoor HVAC Equipment from GFCI Protection in the 2020 NEC

On August 12, 2022, the NFPA Standards Council issued a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC). The TIA became effective September 1, 2022.The new TIA adds Exception No. 2 to 210.8(F) and states that “ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection shall not be required for listed HVAC equipment. This exception shall expire September I, 2026.” Many states have already deleted or delayed 210.8(F) in their adoption of the 2020 NEC. This is due to widespread reports of nuisance trips because of the electrical incompatibility between Class A GFCI devices and outdoor HVAC equipment. The industry is already conducting research to determine the cause of the tripping and determine technical solutions for the applicable standards.

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ACCA Template to Request Jurisdictions Not to Adopt GFCI Protection for Outdoor HVAC Equipment in 2020 NEC – Nuisance Trip Issue

The 2020 Edition of NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC) now requires ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection for outdoor outlets, which would include disconnects for HVAC/R condenser units and other outlets.

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ACCA Releases Template to Request Jurisdictions To Exempt Leak Testing of Ducts Within Thermal Envelope – New Energy Code Requirement 

The ACCA Codes Subcommittee developed a Template for members to request an exemption from this testing requirement.   Different states adopt codes at different times, Missouri recently adopted the IRC even though it is not published.  A useful tool to determine which code is adopted and enforced in your state can be found on ICC’s website.

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Adoption of ICC Codes in the U.S.

The International Code Council’s (ICC) website details “State Adoptions” and “Local Adoptions” of the varied ICC codes (e.g., IBC, IECC, IMC, IPC, IRC, etc.) across the U.S. ICC’s “State Adoption” link provides information as to when the codes where adopted as well as to the key code contacts within a State. ICC’s “Local Adoption” link details county-by-county breakdowns of which version of the varied ICC codes are utilized in a given county by State. Learn more here.

A number of substantive changes have been made during ICC’s last code change cycle, which culminated in the publication of the 2021 editions. Below is a summary of those changes.  More summaries will be added as ICC publishes their new editions.

Summary of Significant Changes in the 2021 Edition of the International Mechanical Code

Reciprocal ICC Membership for ACCA Members

Through a special agreement between ACCA and the International Code Council (ICC), ACCA Members may apply for a free membership to the Code Council. No other building code association offers you more I-Code resources to help enhance your code knowledge. Take Advantage of These Code Council Benefits:
  • Discounts on ICC certification renewals
  • Best pricing on I-Code resources and online training
  • Free access to ICC’s online Career Center
  • Discounts up to 25% off code publications
  • Opportunities to participate in member councils, committees and more
To receive these benefits, download, complete and submit this simple application.

Codes 101 Brochure

This brochure covers the basics of codes and standards and is aimed at providing contractors with a general understanding of these issues so that they can become more involved in the code development processes that affect the HVAC industry. 

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Residential System Design Review Form

ACCA has crafted an easy-to-use evaluation of HVAC system design elements in the pertinent building codes.

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Computing Infiltration Loads based on a Target Envelope Leakage Requirement

This Technical Note shows how to convert a maximum code allowable leakage limit (say, 3 or 5 ACH 50 per the ICC International Energy Conservation Code) to a Manual J infiltration CFM value, and then to the infiltration load contributions (Btuh) for sensible heating, sensible cooling, and latent cooling. It also discusses the use of blower door data for one or more test points.

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ACCA Codes Committee (committee members only)

Get involved in ACCA’s Codes Committee and make a difference in the development and adoption of good building codes. For more info about becoming involved in the Codes Committee and ACCA's building code efforts, contact

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