Written on: October 10, 2012 by ICM
Yesterday FMA testified before The Red Tape Review Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, regarding the proposed HVAC Licensing regulations which would limit a HVAC contractor to working on condensate lines only at 1 and 2 family homes and certain group homes. Testifying along with me was Bob McAllister, McAllister…The Service Company, who testified on behalf of the NJ Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). FMA brought a piece of vinyl tubing and PVC piping to provide a visual to the committee members. Legislators on the panel and in attendance were Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex), and Assemblymen John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) and Scott Rumana (R-Passaic).
Under the state’s plumbing statute, enacted in 1968, condensate lines are within the purview of plumbing work and while a plumbing permit and inspection are needed, HVAC contractors have been able to install and service condensate lines forever. Specifically FMA testified, that in the 100 years since Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning and the nearly 45 years since “The State Plumbing License Law of 1968” was enacted, a licensed master plumber never had to install the condensate line, unless it discharged into a sanitary sewer.
FMA questioned why all of a sudden there was a new interpretation, who specifically made it, and would 1 and 2 family homes eventually fall into the purview of plumbers also?
Last week FMA sent a letter to the Lieutenant Governor on the absurdity of this new interpretation regarding the condensate line. The Lieutenant Governor and legislative members of the committee were well versed on the issue even before FMA and ACCA sat down to testify.
The Lieutenant Governor and members of the Red Tape Review Commission were perplexed by the need for a plumber to install a “drip tube” which wasn’t connected to a potable water supply. After being informed this was a decision reached by the Board of Examiners of HVACR Contractors in consultation with the Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, the Lieutenant Governor stated something to the effect that this sounded like a full employment act for plumbers.
The HVACR regulations have been approved by the Board of Examiners of HVACR Contractors but must still work their way through the administrative rule making process and be reviewed by the Office of Governor’s Counsel. The Lieutenant Governor gave her assurance that Governor’s Counsel would be made aware of this issue.
It is anticipated the HVACR regulations will be formally adopted in late February or early March 2013 after which time the 6 month clock will begin ticking for all HVACR contractors to prove they have been in business for at least 2 years prior to the regulations taking effect if they wish to be grandfathered. If you miss the 6 month window you will not be grandfathered.