Most AFCI questions here revolve around existing circuits, and AFCI Circuit breakers, but my situation is a little different.
Here's the details:
- Renovation to add a half bath and laundry room in the basement
- 2 of the 3 circuits require AFCI protection by code. No circuits in the house have had AFCI up until this point
- They do not make AFCI breakers for my panel, hence I have had to use faceless branch circuit AFCI's, connected as per the picture
- One circuit is for lights and plugs, other circuit is dedicated for the washer
- AFCI's both trip immediately when attempting to reset
- Confirmed all wiring of the AFCI units
- Found that grounding for the panel had been isolated by previous renovations that put PVC Pipes between where it was connected to the water main and where it actually goes into the ground (I have since addressed this and I am running a bonding cable to the water main at the entrance - I knew this needed to be done regardless...freaked me out a little discovering that!!)
- AFCI's still tripping with this grounding addressed
- I have swapped AFCI units around, no change
- I have tried them on other breakers, no change
- These are completely separate and newly run circuits - No shared Neutrals
- I have completely removed the loads (load conductors removed at the AFCI units) No change
- I have shut down all the other circuits in the panel to see if there was possible arcing on other circuits that the AFCI units were seeing - No Change
- Bypassing the AFCI's: Circuits appear to work just fine
Other useful info:
- about 60% of my branch circuits are aluminum (built 1975)...slowly working on removing these...
- This is the main home panel, thus ground and Neutral are shared in the panel (However all branch circuits neutrals and grounds are run into the panel separately)
I am at a loss now...I figured that fixing the panel grounding and removing the loads would have at least got me to a starting point, but no dice.
I'm still a little suspicious of the units themselves but I'm more suspicious of my house given that I have two AFCI's and they are behaving the same.
I'm a little reluctant to bring in an electrician just yet for fear I'm missing something obvious...but that will be my next call.