2016 Title 24, Part 6 & mechanical acceptance testing: The basics

Person fixing mechanical box

California's Title 24, Part 6 building energy code is complex and can be confusing. Here's the basic run-down to help you and your customers ace mechanical acceptance testing.


What is mechanical acceptance testing?

  • Mechanical acceptance testing is functional testing and is associated with most mechanical equipment changeouts and/or new installs.
  • Title 24, Part 6 breaks down mechanical equipment as either:
    • Simple: unitary or packaged equipment that services one zone or a 2-pipe system serving multiple zones or
    • Complex: anything that is not considered simple.
    • Acceptance testing is required for all projects that trigger Title 24, Part 6 and it is documented in Certificate of Acceptance (NRCA) forms.


Who does the acceptance testing?

  • Mechanical acceptance testing is performed by the onsite field technician (installing contractor).
  • Certified Acceptance Test Technicians are NOT yet required for mechanical acceptance testing compliance.
  • The Energy Commission would prefer people testing this equipment to be certified, but that requirement has not been put in place yet.
    • Per Section 10-103.2 of Title 24, Part 1 (the administrative code), this will happen when 300 or more Certified Acceptance Test Technicians are available as demonstrated by Acceptance Test Technician Providers (ATTCP) and approved by the Energy Commission. This has not happened yet.


When does the testing happen?

  • Mechanical acceptance testing must be done before the final permit is issued for all projects that trigger Title 24, Part 6.


How do you document mechanical acceptance testing?

  • The applicable NRCA-MCH form must be completed to document mechanical acceptance testing.
  • After it's completed, the form must be but made available on the project site for the building inspector and then provided to the building owner when the project is complete.
  • It is a good idea to review the form and its requirements before going out in the field, because many times it requires testing with other system features, such as the thermostat and other controls that may require the control contractor and/or others to perform the test properly.


Where can I find resources to help me comply with this requirement?


Visit EnergyCodeAce.com to find out how the program's free tools, training and resources can help you play your cards right by complying with California's building and appliance energy efficiency standards. And while you're there, register to receive updates about new offerings, and Title 20 and Title 24, Part 6 news.