I just would like some input to see if I am reading this code section correctly. Remember now that NJ is still using the 2002 NEC and we haven't even cracked open the 2005 yet. So I didn't get much time for study into this. The section 210.63 deals with the receptacle by the HVAC equipment. Now if you have an outside condenser a WP GFI recptacle will still be required, but if the outside HVAC equipment is just a "Cooling tower" a receptacle is NOT required. Did I read that right?
Make sure yuo use the term "HACR", not "HVAC". I find that that is where most people make their mistake.
To me, it is a question of what the product is listed as. If it is listed as Heating Air Conditioning or Refrigeration, 210.63 applies. If it is listed as, for example, ventilation, 210.63 does not apply. An example of this would be an evaporative cooler (AKA Swamp Cooler), that is listed as ventilation equipment, not HACR equipment.
I may be too simplistic but I look at the intent. If the cooling tower is just that, only a loovered fall tower and a tank it probably does not need the receptacle but if there is electrical equipment needing service I think the receptacle should be there. I think they are just trying to prevent long extension cords or jury rigged outlets from the equipment supply line.
That was my feeling also. If you have a piece of equipment outside that needs servicing, then a receptacle within 25' should be required. After all it is there for the HVAC guys when they need to evacuate the system to re-charge it. Also like you said, if it is just a tower, and the water just falls and cools, then I do not see a need for the recptacle. I was just wondering if I read that correctly.