Outdated CS rules make no sense today

Is air conditioning important to you? If so, I want to alert you to future trouble. College Station now requires that every new AC unit installed have locking caps on the Freon ports. To prevent unauthorized entry is a good idea, but at what price?

Once the locking caps are in place, technicians must have the correct key before they can adjust the Freon charge. The keys are different. Imagine your house hotter than Hades on a Saturday afternoon, and your tech is locked out.

I've been an AC repairman for 29 years, and I have never once had to deal with unauthorized entry to the Freon ports. I know it's a problem in some locations. When the problem arises, the homeowner can arrange for the locking caps to be installed. He also can be custodian of the key -- but that won't happen because codes must be enforced.

One more illustration: It's been almost 20 years since furnace efficiency was increased from 68 percent to 80 percent. For decades now, we have used double-wall vent pipe. Vent pipes no longer get hot; they get warm, but not hot enough to burn anyone or anything. Still, inspection requires vent pipe clearance from combustible materials.

No one has bothered to have the code updated, so College Station inspectors routinely enforce it. I once was cited because my warm vent pipe was in contact with fiberglass, which is noncombustible?

There's no end to the rules, regulations and ordinances. Everything is so robotic.

C. RUSSELL YATES

College Station

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