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I had a new HVAC system installed in a townhouse I am rehab'ing. The contractor inspected the old system and the electrical panels beforehand and quoted an all-inclusive price for the new system. It seems to work well. It replaced a system with a dead compressor that was more than 32 years old.

Later I was told by a couple of electricians that the entrance service (which was 70A) was too small for the house and that the HVAC contractor should have upgraded the entrance service, or told me in advance that I would be separately responsible for this. I have a copy of the contractor's inspection sheet. It has a question mark circled next to the line "Upgrade panel".

This issue did not come to light until I started to do additional electrical work. Apparently an electrical permit and/or inspection is not required for a permitted and inspected HVAC installation.

Is an HVAC contractor who modifies or adds additional load to the electrical system responsible for doing this work in a manner that is compliant with all applicable building codes? Should I require a contractor (any contractor in the future) to agree in writing that all work done will be performed in a manner that is compliant with all applicable building codes?

Thanks,
Lynnx
 

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2 of the companies i worked for in the past were HVAC/Electrical companies.

HVAC contractors don't do electrical service upgrades unless they are also Electrical contractors.

Service upgrade would be on you to do or have done by an Electrician. While many HVAC contractors would be able to spot a smaller then desirable electrical service. It is actually outside of the full scope of our trade.

Nothing wrong with having it in the contract that work will conform and comply with current building codes.

There are still a fair amount of smaller houses around here with 60 AMP services. Depending on the size of an A/C being installed/changed out, they don't need to upgrade their service. Your new system should use less electric then the old. So upgrade probably isn't needed for the new HVAC system. But the additional electrical work your doing may be adding loads that will require it.
 
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