Common Sense Safety and the Codes - Some HVAC Installation technicians take pride in their work and make any installation job they perform look like a work of art. There are others who don’t care and want to install the unit as quickly as possible and move on down the road to the next job so they can do the same. It really does not take much more time do things right in the first place including reading the instruction manual that comes with every new condenser or air handler (actually all new HVAC equipment comes with instructions for installation).
Despite that, it should be common sense and common knowledge to the installation technician that a condenser must be able to get air flow through the coils and that installing the unit this close to the house will impede that needed air flow. Not only that but the condenser will eventually need service and maintenance and access to the panels including being able to wash out the coils that will be a necessity in the future.
Common Sense Safety and the Codes - Problems
Part of this can be attributed to homeowners who always go for the lowest bidder, however, the lowest bidder is not always the worst bid to accept but a lot of lowest bidders are quick-change artist who doesn’t care about how the job looks or if they do a quality installation……………..they only care about getting the money and moving on. Want to tell me different?
Leave a comment below but be warned. I have worked in residential and commercial HVAC for nearly 20 years and I have seen first-hand incompetent work. I have been behind people like this and fixed their poor work to not only improve the performance and efficiency of the HVAC equipment but also fix safety problems that are clear code violations.
Common Sense Safety and the Codes - Why?
The mechanical and electrical code is not there because a bunch of geniuses or government bureaucrats got together in a room and decided to come up with a lot of codes to make technicians’ lives miserable.
No, the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, gas, and building codes are there because of safety and many of the codes are there because of previous failures in the trades that caused any particular code to be written and included in the codebooks. I have worked hard over time to learn codes and proper way of doing things but that doesn’t mean I leave common sense at the door when I go to work. It also doesn’t mean I know everything even though I am a Master Electrician, Master Gasfitter, and HVAC Master.
People who make common sense mistakes like the person who installed these condensers in the photos here are sure to make mistakes that would be unsafe and violate basic code requirements designed to keep everyone safe. Whenever you hire someone to do a job for you that involves electrical, HVAC, plumbing, or gas make sure they are licensed, insured, and preferably bonded. Check with the state or city where you reside to make sure the person is licensed. You can also check the better business bureau to see if the contractor has any complaints against them. Make sure they pull permits for major work.
Common Sense Safety and the Codes | The Alternative
What can happen if you do not hire a licensed and insured contractor and instead opt for the quick change artist? Say an accident happens as a direct result of the work done by the quick-change artist. You find out this person does not have a license or insurance. You turn it into your homeowners’ insurance and they begin asking basic claim questions like: was the contractor licensed or insured?
If you answer no or the insurance company finds out the contractor was not licensed or insured then they will deny any claims as a result of the accident that took place because of the work the quick change artist did. Why? Because it is illegal in most states to do certain types of work without a license and the insurance company will not pay because the accident was a direct result of an illegal activity. Protect yourself and your home and do the right thing. Hire competent and vetted contractors to do your work and avoid problems including a large financial loss or worse.
Common Sense Safety and the Codes
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