I just bought a new computer monitor last night (a Viotek GN34C) and since then, the 15A AFCI breaker for my bedroom has gone off twice.

I doubt I'm drawing too much power, since only my PC, monitor, a ceiling lamp (two CFLs), small fan and phone charger are on the circuit. My rough calculations show that all of this could maybe draw up to 900 W. I'm also fairly certain the monitor is responsible for the issue as this never happened with my previous monitor which was a similar model. The trips happen at a seemingly random time, not when my PC is playing a game or anything power intensive.

Because of the way my apartment is laid out (student housing), it's not feasible to run the PC and monitor on another circuit.

One potential issue I could think of is that the monitor and PC are plugged into a power strip, not a surge protector. I never considered buying a surge protector because I live in an area without lightning, but if it could keep the breaker from tripping I will definitely buy one.

  • 1
    It's possible that it's just a bad connection. Unplug and replug everything on that circuit, including all extension cords and the appliance end of power cords, so that every connection is essentially wiped clean.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 0:25
  • 2
    Surge protector does nothing relating to GFCI tripping. That's not what triggers GFCI to begin with and it is simply completely unrelated.
    – Nelson
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 6:18
  • might try a big (microwave-size) ferrite bead/collar on the monitor's power cord. I've heard of some line harmonics over-toning with an SMPS's switching frequency and causing arc-seeming feedback. A power conditioning circuit (just some MOVs surrounding a common-mode choke) would likely help as well, if you don't mind modifying circuits.
    – dandavis
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


The concept of an AFCI is to sense an ARC occurring in a circuit. This can be caused by almost any dry set of contacts or any loose fitting in a circuit such as a poor connection at a receptacle or even a lamp loosely screwed into a socket. I can't think of anything in a monitor that would trip an AFCI unless you have a separate power supply for the monitor and a small arc may be occurring randomly in it.

Verify that the power supply is making a solid connect at is receptacle and check where the power supply cord is plugged into the power supply module.

Then again it may be a small arc in the power module itself. You might try and replace the power supply to see if the random trip is corrected. If that does the trick you usually can return the original power supply under warranty.

As far as a surge protector you would be better off using a small UPS and power your computer and it's monitor from it. A UPS because of its construction not only prevents sudden outages knocking you system offline, but it is actually a very good surge suppressor.

Hope this helps and good luck.


Since the only change is the monitor it must have a “noisy” power supply what I mean by noisy is lots of harmonics.

AFCI devices can not tell the difference between harmonics and arcs. This problem becomes more common with larger loaded electronic circuits.

In the comments Nelson is correct, AFCI devices are looking for arcs not surges.

It could be a loose connection as hot licks mentioned,

With such a light load I might return the monitor for this reason because you can’t try changing brands of the AFCI device since in a dorm, that has worked for me a few times but not always.

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