ECN Forum

A/C Condenser working clearances

Posted By: akmaster

A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/06/13 09:21 PM

Hi,
Does article 110.26 (A)(1) apply to the disconnect for the condenser unit?

or would this fall under 440.14 only required to be in sight?

I have two units with the disco mounted behind the units less than 2 feet away from the condenser..

I am thinking you need width of equipment or 30" and mounted to the left or right.

thanks

for any replies.

greg
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 02:24 AM

It is unclear.
Most AHJs do require working space in front of the condenser disconnect. The strange thing is the same guys don't seem to care about the air handler, that might be in a closet or up in the attic where is no way you can push Jim Pauley's mythical refrigerator box up to the disconnect (a rough idea of what working space looks like that he uses in his road show).
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 03:07 AM

If we are talking resi, clearance issues on new construction arise when 'who is there first'. When the EC is doing trim out for finals, he mounts the discos at the location. The CUs are dropped after, and sometimes the disco is behind them, or the tall units block the disco.

When the AC line set is in & charged, guess who has to move what??

Replacement CUs usually are OK. Best comment I can add is each job has to be treated individually.

Commercial RTUs are usually no issue.

Do we live in a perfect world, No.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 03:50 AM

The world is not even perfect at my house We put in a mini split and I wanted the condenser set near the existing one but about 3' away so I would maintain my 30" in front of the grouped disconnects with a little wiggle room to spare. I even put the pad in with the center that far away. The <expletive deleted> installer put it near the close edge of the pad!!! I ended up with about 28" as far as we could push it without running another line set.
Fortunately the inspector left his yard stick in the truck.

Posted By: HotLine1

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 01:29 PM

In areas that were inundated by "Sandy":

It is getting real interesting with the attempts to comply with elevation heights above the proposed new flood levels.

Replacement CUs range from the 'I don't care it staying on the grade' to 3'-8' above grade.

Posted By: akmaster

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 03:54 PM

Thank you guys for the comments..very insightful..

regards

Greg
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/07/13 07:09 PM

Putting A/C condensers (water heaters etc) above the FEMA flood plane has been standard here for years if the finished floor of the home is FEMA compliant.
You see blocked up platforms under the condenser or water heaters in garages that are below the FEMA level.

If the house is grandfathered below FEMA, they usually ignore the water heater and AC.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/08/13 11:11 PM

John,

Do you have many Cu's up in the air on the second floor? I have them here in my town. Nothing sillier than looking out a second floor window and seeing a tiny deck with an HVAC unit sitting on it.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/09/13 06:29 AM

Is that an indication of where FEMA says the flood plane is?
We see that at the beach where they have to build piling houses. These days the FF is about 14 feet off the sand and that is up hill from the water. They are usually 10'-12' higher than the road out front.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/09/13 04:13 PM

Greg,

In one of the towns I inspect, the town gave people permission to raise their houses as long as it was the height that was governed by FEMA. The heights were different in several parts of town. Needless to say, the closer you were to the river, the higher the flood plane was. They will even allow you to build a new house in the flood plane, but there is no basement and no walls on the first floor. The water has to be allowed to flow in, under, and around the house. So all of your utility services enter in on the 2nd floor.

The water and sewer comes up out of the ground and is wrapped around with all sorts of protection from cold, inside of a hollow column.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/09/13 04:31 PM

Except for the freeze protection, that is how they have built houses here for decades. In places where they only need a few feet to comply they just truck in enough dirt to get up to FEMA. Back in the good times, there were more dump trucks on the road than cars at some times of day.
The neighborhood my wife brought out of the ground had 3 feet of dirt trucked in before they started building and then the house was built on a 5 block stem wall above that.
The W/H and HVAC was on a 5 block platform too.
There was a big debate about whether the pool equipment should be elevated too but they decided in stayed at grade.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/15/13 03:55 PM

Greg,


Around here in the flood zone, with the houses raised up so high, and on columns, etc. It is starting to look like a Polynesian village. Not that there is anything wrong with a Polynesian Village. ( Spoken in my best Jerry Seinfeld imitation)
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/15/13 04:58 PM

That is the way it is here too at the beach. Everywhere else, they just have houses on little hills. For a while here, fill dirt was over $10 a yard plus the truck. Now it has settled down to a couple bucks plus the truck ride.
When I put in my pool the dirt guy did all my digging, grading and back fill, just for the left over dirt.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: A/C Condenser working clearances - 06/16/13 04:22 PM

Back to the original point of this post. I hated to work on the HVAC disco when it was behind the CU. I hated it then and I hate it now when I have to inspect it to make sure the OCP is the right size. I know that through our "Rehab Code" it can stay there but I still don't have to like it. smile
© 2021 ECN Electrical Forums