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I have run out of room in my breaker panel, so I'm looking to double up with a tandem breaker. The problem is, it seems there are no AFCI tandem breakers, but I found these dual function AFCI / GFCI outlets and I'd like to use them to protect any downstream outlets from any detected arcs or a ground fault. I know the NEC permits the use of GFCI outlets to protect any outlet downstream, but does the same rule apply for AFCI? Will a dual function AFCI / GFCI receptacle meet the NEC requirements for protecting any downstream devices from potential arcs? Does it matter if, for example, the first outlet is ~15 feet from the breaker panel? An arc could happen somewhere in the middle of that first 15 feet of upstream cable if there's a break in the wire.

Edit: This is for a Square-D Homeline panel. All wiring is NM/B.

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    What is the make of your service panel? Feb 15 at 22:43
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    How far from the panel? What type of wiring method/ Romex/ NMB or a metal flex ?
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 16 at 1:18
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    Might be time to consider a panel upgrade or the addition of a subpanel. This probably won't be the last time you need to add a circuit and doing so in accordance with modern code will require more *FCI protection which, generally, take full size spaces.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 16 at 13:58
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica it's a Square-D Homeline panel.
    – senfo
    Feb 16 at 16:03
  • @EdBeal the panel is approximately 15 feet from the receptacle. All wiring is NM/B.
    – senfo
    Feb 16 at 16:03

1 Answer 1

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If the cable from the panel to the AFCI as first device is metallic sheathed, or the run is in metallic conduit, yes - otherwise, no.

If you have "a standard house with NM/B cables for everything" you'll need to replace the 15 feet to the first device, or add a first device nearer the panel by metallic means and connect the cable for the rest of the circuit to it.

For "restricted" circuits that would have to be a "deadfront" device with no outlet so as not to put an outlet in a place not permitted for that circuit.

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    Some jurisdictions also permit NM to the AFCI as long as it is a single unspliced run. Feb 16 at 16:32
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    I decided to run BX from the panel to the first outlet. This will work just fine and give me some peace of mind (not to mention, passing inspection). Thank you very much for your answer.
    – senfo
    Feb 18 at 4:03

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