87-58. Definitions; contractors licensed by Board; examinations.

(a) The provisions of this Article shall not repeal any wording, phrase, or paragraph as set forth in Article 2 of this Chapter. The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Commercial refrigeration contractor. - All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the installation, maintenance, servicing and repairing of refrigerating machinery, equipment, devices and components relating thereto.

(2) Industrial refrigeration contractor. - All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in commercial refrigeration contracting with the use of ammonia as a refrigerant gas.

(3) Refrigeration service contractor. - All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the maintenance, servicing, and repairing of refrigerating machinery, equipment, devices, and components relating thereto.

(4) Transport refrigeration contractor. - All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the business of installation, maintenance, repairing, and servicing of transport refrigeration.

(a1) This Article shall not apply to any of the following:

(1) The installation of self-contained commercial refrigeration units equipped with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) molded plug that does not require the opening of service valves.

(2) The installation and servicing of domestic household self-contained refrigeration appliances equipped with an OEM molded plug connected to suitable receptacles which have been permanently installed and do not require the opening of service valves.

(3) Employees of persons, firms, or corporations or persons, firms or corporations, not engaged in refrigeration contracting as herein defined, that install, maintain and service their own refrigerating machinery, equipment and devices.

(4) Any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of selling, repairing and installing any comfort cooling devices or systems.

(5) The replacement of lamps, fuses, and door gaskets.

(b) The Board shall establish and issue the following licenses:

(1) A Class I license shall be required for any person engaged in the business of commercial refrigeration contracting.

(2) A Class II license shall be required for any person engaged in the business of industrial refrigeration contracting.

(3) A Class III license shall be required for any person engaged in the business of refrigeration service contracting.

(4) A Class IV license shall be required for any person engaged in the business of transport refrigeration contracting.

(b1) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-10, s. 2.7(a), effective January 1, 2018, and applicable to applications submitted and Board membership appointments on or after that date.

(c) Any person, firm or corporation who for valuable consideration engages in the refrigeration business or trade as herein defined shall be deemed and held to be in the business of refrigeration contracting.

(d) In order to protect the public health, comfort and safety, the Board shall prescribe the standard of experience to be required of an applicant for license and shall give an examination designed to ascertain the technical and practical knowledge of the applicant concerning the analysis of plans and specifications, estimating cost, fundamentals of installation and design as they pertain to refrigeration; and as a result of the examination, the Board shall issue a certificate of license in refrigeration to applicants who pass the required examination and a license shall be obtained in accordance with the provisions of this Article, before any person, firm or corporation shall engage in, or offer to engage in the business of refrigeration contracting. The Board shall prescribe standards for all license classifications.

Each application for examination shall be accompanied by a check, post-office money order or cash in the amount of the annual license fee required by this Article. Regular examinations shall be given in the Board's office by appointment.

(e) Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 843, s. 1.

(f) Licenses Granted without an Examination. - Persons who had an established place of business prior to July 1, 1979, and who produce satisfactory evidence that they are engaged in the refrigeration business as herein defined in any city, town or other area in which Article 5 of Chapter 87 of the General Statutes did not previously apply shall be granted a certificate of license, without examination, upon application to the Board and payment of the license fee, provided completed applications shall be made prior to June 30, 1981.

(g) The current license issued in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be posted in the business location of the licensee, and its number shall appear on all proposals or contracts and requests for permits issued by municipalities.

(h) A transport refrigeration contractor having an established place of business doing transport refrigeration contracting prior to October 1, 1995, shall be granted a transport refrigeration contracting specialty license, without examination, if the person produces satisfactory evidence the person is engaged in transport refrigeration contracting, pays the required license fee, and applies to the Board prior to January 1, 1997. The current specialty license shall be posted in accordance with subsection (g) of this section.

(i) Nothing in this Article shall relieve the holder of a license issued under this section from complying with the building or electrical codes, statutes, or ordinances of the State or of any county or municipality or from responsibility or liability for negligent acts in connection with refrigeration contracting work. The Board shall not be liable in damages, or otherwise, for the negligent acts of licensees.

(j) The Board in its discretion upon application may grant a reciprocal license to a person holding a valid, active substantially comparable license from another jurisdiction, but only to the extent the other jurisdiction grants reciprocal privileges to North Carolina licensees.

(k) Upon application and payment of the fee for license renewal provided in G.S. 87-64, the Board shall issue a certificate of license to any licensee whose business activities require a Class I or Class II license if that licensee had an established place of business and was licensed pursuant to this Article prior to January 1, 2018. (1955, c. 912, s. 7; 1959, c. 1206, s. 1; 1979, c. 843, ss. 1, 2; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1082, s. 5; 1989, c. 770, s. 13; 1995, c. 376, s. 2; 1998-216, ss. 1, 2, 2.1; 2009-333, ss. 1, 2; 2017-10, s. 2.7(a).)