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International Mechanical Code 2015 (IMC 2015)

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Part 1 — Scope and Application

101.1 Title

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These regulations shall be known as the North Carolina Mechanical Code as adopted by the North Carolina Building Code Council on June 13, 2017 to be effective January 1, 2019. References to the International Codes shall mean the North Carolina Codes. The North Carolina amendments to the International Codes are underlined.
This code shall regulate the design, installation, maintenance, alteration and inspection of mechanical systems that are permanently installed and utilized to provide control of environmental conditions and related processes within buildings. This code shall also regulate those mechanical systems, system components, equipment and appliances specifically addressed herein. The installation of fuel gas distribution piping and equipment, fuel gas-fired appliances and fuel gas-fired appliance venting systems shall be regulated by the International Fuel Gas Code.
Exception: Detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories high with separate means of egress and their accessory structures shall comply with the International Residential Code.

101.2.1 Appendices

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Provisions in the appendices shall not apply unless specifically adopted or referenced in this code.
The purpose of this code is to establish minimum standards to provide a reasonable level of safety, health, property protection and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance or use of mechanical systems.
If a section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this code is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this code.

101.5 Requirements of Other State Agencies, Occupational Licensing Boards or Commissions

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The North Carolina State Building Codes do not include all additional requirements for buildings and structures that may be imposed by other State agencies, occupational licensing boards and commissions. It shall be the responsibility of a permit holder, registered design professional, contractor or occupational license holder to determine whether any additional requirements exist.
Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall govern. Where, in a specific case, different sections of this code specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern.
Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, a provision in this code shall not require the removal, alteration or abandonment of, nor prevent the continued utilization and maintenance of, a mechanical system lawfully in existence at the time of the adoption of this code.

102.3 Maintenance

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Mechanical systems, both existing and new, and parts thereof shall be maintained in proper operating condition in accordance with the original design and in a safe and sanitary condition. Devices or safeguards that are required by this code shall be maintained in compliance with the edition of the code under which they were installed. The owner or the owner's authorized agent shall be responsible for maintenance of mechanical systems. To determine compliance with this provision, the code official shall have the authority to require a mechanical system to be reinspected.
Additions, alterations, renovations or repairs to a mechanical system shall conform to that required for a new mechanical system without requiring the existing mechanical system to comply with all of the requirements of this code. Additions, alterations or repairs shall not cause an existing mechanical system to become unsafe, hazardous or overloaded.

Minor additions, alterations, renovations and repairs to existing mechanical systems shall meet the provisions for new construction, unless such work is done in the same manner and arrangement as was in the existing system, is not hazardous and is approved.
It shall be unlawful to make a change in the occupancy of any structure which will subject the structure to any special provision of this code applicable to the new occupancy without approval. The code official shall certify that such structure meets the intent of the provisions of law governing building construction for the proposed new occupancy and that such change of occupancy does not result in any hazard to the public health, safety or welfare.
The provisions of this code relating to the construction, alteration, repair, enlargement, restoration, relocation or moving of buildings or structures shall not be mandatory for existing buildings or structures identified and classified by the state or local jurisdiction as historic buildings where such buildings or structures are judged by the code official to be safe and in the public interest of health, safety and welfare regarding any proposed construction, alteration, repair, enlargement, restoration, relocation or moving of buildings.
Except as determined by Section 102.2, mechanical systems that are a part of buildings or structures moved into or within the jurisdiction shall comply with the provisions of this code for new installations.
The codes and standards referenced herein shall be those that are listed in Chapter 15 and such codes and standards shall be considered as part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference and as further regulated in Sections 102.8.1 and 102.8.2.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing and the manufacturer's installation instructions shall apply.
Where conflicts occur between provisions of this code and the referenced standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
Where the extent of the reference to a referenced code or standard includes subject matter that is within the scope of this code, the provisions of this code, as applicable, shall take precedence over the provisions in the referenced code or standard.
Requirements necessary for the strength, stability or proper operation of an existing or proposed mechanical system, or for the public safety, health and general welfare, not specifically covered by this code, shall be determined by the code official.
The provisions of this code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of local, state or federal law.
Reference to chapter section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to such chapter, section or provision of this code.

Part 2 — Administration and Enforcement

Section 103 Department of Mechanical Inspection

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See the North Carolina Administrative Code and Policies.

103.1 General

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103.2 Appointment

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103.3 Deputies

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103.4 Liability

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103.4.1 Legal Defense

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Section 104 Duties and Powers of the Code Official

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See the North Carolina Administrative Code and Policies.

104.1 General

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104.2 Applications and Permits

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104.3 Inspections

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104.4 Right of Entry

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104.5 Identification

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104.6 Notices and Orders

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104.7 Department Records

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Where there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this code, the code official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases upon application of the owner or owner's authorized agent, provided that the code official shall first find that special individual reason makes the strict letter of this code impractical and the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of this code and does not lessen health, life and fire safety requirements. The details of action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the mechanical inspection department.
The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material or method of construction shall be approved where the code official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the code official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons the alternative was not approved.
Supporting data, where necessary to assist in the approval of materials or assemblies not specifically provided for in this code, shall consist of valid research reports from approved sources.
Where there is insufficient evidence of compliance with the provisions of this code, or evidence that a material or method does not conform to the requirements of this code, or in order to substantiate claims for alternative materials or methods, the code official shall have the authority to require tests as evidence of compliance to be made at no expense to the jurisdiction.
Test methods shall be as specified in this code or by other recognized test standards. In the absence of recognized and accepted test methods, the code official shall approve the testing procedures.
Tests shall be performed by an approved agency.
Reports of tests shall be retained by the code official for the period required for retention of public records.
Materials, equipment and devices approved by the code official shall be constructed and installed in accordance with such approval.
Materials, equipment, appliances and devices shall not be reused unless such elements have been reconditioned, tested and placed in good and proper working condition and approved.
An owner, owner's authorized agent or contractor who desires to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace a mechanical system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause such work to be performed, shall first make application to the code official and obtain the required permit for the work.
Exception: Where equipment and appliance replacements or repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day of the department of mechanical inspection.

106.1.1 Annual Permit

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106.1.2 Annual Permit Records

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106.2 Permits Not Required

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106.3 Application for Permit

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106.3.1 Construction Documents

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106.3.2 Preliminary Inspection

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106.3.3 Time Limitation of Application

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106.4 Permit Issuance

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106.4.1 Approved Construction Documents

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106.4.2 Validity

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106.4.3 Expiration

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106.4.4 Extensions

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106.4.5 Suspension or Revocation of Permit

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106.4.6 Retention of Construction Documents

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106.4.7 Previous Approvals

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106.4.8 Posting of Permit

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106.5 Fees

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106.5.1 Work Commencing Before Permit Issuance

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106.5.2 Fee Schedule

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106.5.3 Fee Refunds

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Section 107 Inspections and Testing

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See the North Carolina Administrative Code and Policies.

107.1 General

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107.2 Required Inspections and Testing

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107.2.1 Other Inspections

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107.2.2 Inspection Requests

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107.2.3 Approval Required

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107.2.4 Approved Inspection Agencies

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107.2.5 Evaluation and Follow-Up Inspection Services

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107.2.5.1 Evaluation Service

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107.2.5.2 Follow-Up Inspection

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107.2.5.3 Test and Inspection Records

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107.3 Testing

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107.3.1 New, Altered, Extended or Repaired Systems

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107.3.2 Apparatus, Material and Labor for Tests

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107.3.3 Reinspection and Testing

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107.4 Approval

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107.4.1 Revocation

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107.5 Temporary Connection

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107.6 Connection of Service Utilities

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Section 108 Violations

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See the North Carolina Administrative Code and Policies.

108.1 Unlawful Acts

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108.2 Notice of Violation

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108.3 Prosecution of Violation

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108.4 Violation Penalties

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108.5 Stop Work Orders

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108.6 Abatement of Violation

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108.7 Unsafe Mechanical Systems

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108.7.1 Authority to Condemn Mechanical Systems

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108.7.2 Authority to Order Disconnection of Energy Sources

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108.7.3 Connection After Order to Disconnect

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Section 109 Means of Appeal

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See the North Carolina Administrative Code and Policies.

109.1 Application for Appeal

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109.1.1 Limitation of Authority

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109.2 Membership of Board

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109.2.1 Qualifications

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109.2.2 Alternate Members

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109.2.3 Chairman

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109.2.4 Disqualification of Member

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109.2.5 Secretary

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109.2.6 Compensation of Members

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109.3 Notice of Meeting

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109.4 Open Hearing

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109.4.1 Procedure

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109.5 Postponed Hearing

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109.6 Board Decision

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109.6.1 Resolution

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109.6.2 Administration

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109.7 Court Review

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The code official is authorized to issue a permit for temporary equipment, systems and uses. Such permits shall be limited as to time of service, but shall not be permitted for more than 180 days. The code official is authorized to grant extensions for demonstrated cause.
Temporary equipment, systems and uses shall conform to the structural strength, fire safety, means of egress, accessibility, light, ventilation and sanitary requirements of this code as necessary to ensure the public health, safety and general welfare.
The code official is authorized to give permission to temporarily supply utilities before an installation has been fully completed and the final certificate of completion has been issued. The part covered by the temporary certificate shall comply with the requirements specified for temporary lighting, heat or power in the code.
The code official is authorized to terminate such permit for temporary equipment, systems or uses and to order the temporary equipment, systems or uses to be discontinued.
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