HBA of Georgia Secures Emergency Relief from 2020 Electrical Code

Codes and Standards

The State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) of Georgia voted unanimously this week to amend the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) to address nuisance tripping and supply issues associated with the expanded GFCI requirements in the 2020 NEC.

The Home Builders Association of Georgia led the charge in getting the favorable amendment.

The 2020 NEC contained provisions in section 210.8(F) which require a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breaker to be installed on connections between a new home’s electrical system and the air conditioning condenser unit – the part of the HVAC system that resides outside. This requirement has caused nuisance trips on this equipment, compromising the air quality and comfort in new homes.

The Georgia SCAC voted this week to remove Section 210.8(F) from the 2020 NEC, subject to a public hearing and ratification by the Department of Community Affairs Board with an expected effective date of Sept. 1.

In the meantime, the department has issued a memo to all local building officials to reinforce their ability to revert to the relevant provisions from the 2017 NEC.

The HBA of Georgia worked hard to lobby the codes committee for the change. Using the suggested 2020 NEC amendments published by NAHB, the HBA had a reasonable request for the committee and supported their position in live testimony using resources provided by the NAHB codes staff.

Other states have taken similar emergency action to address the incompatibility issues between HVAC systems and the GFCI requirements in the 2020 code. And the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers last month released new recommendations for home builders and electrical contractors aimed at reducing nuisance tripping due to the use of GFCIs for electric ranges in new construction and remodeling projects.

For questions about the electrical code and state adoption efforts, please contact Dan Buuck.

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