Skip to content

Industry Call to Action:

Contact the State Electrical Board on GFCI HVAC Nuisance Tripping

In June, the Colorado State Electrical Board adopted a variance delaying implementation for one year of Sections 210.8(F) of the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) due to concerns around excessive nuisance tripping our homeowners are experiencing.  In July The State Electrical Board then amended the adopted Temporary Variance in July to be for ONLY ductless mini-split-type heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment and other HVAC units employing power conversion equipment as a means to control compressor speed. Unfortunately, this change further narrowed what was already a narrow variance, failing to address the concern. This variance does not cover all the HVAC units that are resulting in excessive GFCI tripping.

Section 210.8(F) of the NEC requires 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. Prior to the 2020 NEC, GFCIs were not required for outdoor condenser connections. Current products are not compatible with this new requirement, resulting in GFCI breakers tripping when air conditioning units are used, sometimes multiple times per day. Excessive air conditioning and cooling system failure and malfunction because of air conditioning unit incompatibility with the GFCI requirements will cause significant problems for Colorado citizens. In the state of Texas alone, multiple electric failures were reported related to this requirement.

Because of this requirement, there is also a shortage in GFCI breakers. Manufacturers are having a difficult time keeping up with demand and supply houses all over the metro area and along the Front Range are experiencing weeks to months long backlogs.

The Colorado Association of Home Builders (CAHB) is planning to submit a variance request to the State Electrical Board urging them to revert back to the June variance language and delay implementation of the entire part of the code for two years. We need you to take action to support our efforts.

The State Board needs to hear from builders and customers who are negatively impacted by this variance and the underlying NEC requirement. Please contact them at the below contact information urging them to revert back to their June variance language and grant the variance for a two year period. Potential draft language for your correspondence is also included.

Contact Information:

Colorado Electrical Board
c/o Gina Cullen, Chair
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
dora_electricalboard@state.co.us
303-894-7800

Sample letter/email:

Dear Ms. Cullen,

Section 210.8(F) of the NEC requires 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. Prior to the 2020 NEC, GFCIs were not required for outdoor condenser connections. Current products are not compatible with this new requirement, resulting in GFCI breakers tripping when air conditioning units are used, sometimes multiple times per day. Excessive air conditioning and cooling system failure and malfunction because of air conditioning unit incompatibility with the GFCI requirements are causing significant problems in the field.

In addition to nuisance tripping, the NEC requirement is resulting in a shortage of GFCI breakers. Manufacturers are having a difficult time keeping up with demand and supply houses all over the metro area and along the Front Range are experiencing weeks-long to months-long backlogs.

I urge the State Electrical Board to revise your July Revised Temporary Variance – Article 210.8(F), 2020 NEC and return to the June variance language. The July variance is too narrow and many homes are without functioning HVAC units due to the incompatibility of HVAC units and GFCI breakers.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

~~~

Thank you for your help by taking action!

Scroll To Top