Questions tagged [afci]

Arc-fault circuit interrupter are safety switches, similar to GFCI, that are used to detect electrical arcing and shutoff power to prevent the risk of fire.

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21
votes
6answers
88k views

Where should I NOT use a GFCI or AFCI?

There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of GFCI and AFCI and the places where they must or should be used. But are there any circumstances where you're better off without them? If I ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Loss of power when I remove item from the outlet

I have this unusual electrical issue in our master bedroom. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this. We have this $3 LED night light in our bedroom and when we take it out, the power/...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it worth it to replace old style breakers with GFCI or AFCI breakers?

I have older wiring on my house (2-wire) BX. And while it's all in good condition, and I do check the outlets monthly to make certain it's still grounded, I'm wary of the BX sheathing as the ground. ...
11
votes
5answers
16k views

What could be causing AFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle nuisance tripping?

I have a very unusual set of electrical issues that have proven difficult to troubleshoot. I live in a newly constructed house. Each bedroom has AFCI breakers. In the past 3 years living there, the ...
9
votes
5answers
19k views

Should I use a GFCI or AFCI circuit breaker with knob and tube wiring?

My American house was built in 1942, and much of the wiring is still knob-and-tube wiring (2-wire, no ground). Over the years new modern wiring has been added to the house, but we still have some KnT ...
8
votes
2answers
420 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter vs AFCI

What is the key difference between a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter? The Acronyms AFCI/GFCI kind of tell us that they do, detect ground faults and arc faults, ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

What should I do if my vacuum trips my AFCI device?

I have a vacuum that trips the AFCI device of the circuit that services my bedroom. The vacuum has some age on it, and there is some wear on the motor's commutator. This wear causes electrical ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

Can I put an AFCI receptacle on a branch circuit that shares a neutral with another branch circuit?

So, I have a Square D QO panel that had one of the original AFCI breakers go bad, and in the process of researching how to fix that, I learned a bit about this whole AFCI thing and how newer code ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

What should I do if the AFCI breaker neutral pigtail is too short?

I am wiring a house that I built, and code says I need an AFCI for the bedroom circuit. The panel that I will be installing this AFCI breaker in is a subpanel, so my ground/neutrals are on 2 ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Is there a good way to hunt down AFCI receptacle nuisance tripping causes?

So a few weeks after I installed a Leviton AFCI receptacle (NOT a breaker), per this question, I am finding that the receptacle constantly trips at random, usually once or twice a week. Some ...
5
votes
4answers
24k views

What rooms or loads require AFCI protection?

Do I need AFCI for dedicated circuits like sump pumps, furnaces, microwave, refrigerator etc.
5
votes
1answer
548 views

Do I need to upgrade my branch circuits to CAFCI/GFCI if I move my electrical panel?

I'm moving my main panelboard as part of a service upgrade. The panelboard is brand new (i.e. I'm not reusing the old board). Do I need to add CAFCI/GFCI breakers on the old branch circuits (as ...
5
votes
2answers
16k views

AFCI breakers/protection and refrigerators - a bad idea?

The 2014 NEC requires AFCI protection for refrigerators. I've read that one shouldn't use GFCI protection for a refrigerator, but I know that AFCI breakers do include ground-fault protection (at a ...
4
votes
1answer
367 views

How is “continuous wiring” defined in context of the 2017 NEC code?

First, some context: About AFCI protection in Dwelling Units, NEC 2017: 210.12(A) All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed [...] shall be ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

AFCI trips immediately

Out of no where, starting today, my Siemens AFCI breaker tripped. It trips immediately every time I attempt to reset it. Nothing has changed in my house. I turned off all light switches and unplugged ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

When replacing a circuit breaker in the service panel, how can I determine which neutral is associated with the hot wire?

In my service panel I would like to upgrade two standard circuit breakers with AFCI breakers. AFCI circuit breakers differ from standard circuit breakers in that you attach the hot an neutral to the ...
4
votes
6answers
10k views

Why is an AFCI tripping when a particular light on a different circuit is turned on?

I have 4 GE AFCIs in a GE subpanel in my basement. Occasionally, when I turn on a bank of dimmable CFL lights via a CFL-rated dimmer switch, I get a trip in a particular AFCI breaker that's on the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What could be causing AFCI breakers to keep tripping?

I recently had my basement remodeled by a general contractor. This included a bathroom, family room, wet bar, and home theater. The electrician added 4 circuits in total, all of them using arc fault ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

was it ever legal to use 3 wire cable to operate two circuits one neutral 120 volts?

My house was built in the early 60s, I have 4 circuits that are created by using 2 3 wire cables, each hot leg goes to a 120v breaker side by side in the panel. The neutral goes to the neutral bus. I ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Should I use DF (AFCI + GFCI) breaker for circuit sharing bathroom lights?

I have a bathroom which shares a lighting circuit with other living areas. In California this is required to be AFCI protected, but not required to be GFCI protected (receptacles are on a separate ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Use of combination CAFCI and GFCI breakers instead of recepticles

I am about to begin a project that will include one or two new circuit for outdoor lights and receptacles attached to the main building. I will probably installing a new home run line from the panel ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

When to change Cutler-Hammer electrical panel and breakers?

I bought a house about a year ago and I have an old Cutler-Hammer electrical panel. I see the number 2001 written on there, but no idea when it was installed. I have a few questions about this panel: ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Is it NEC-compliant to place a GFCI or AFCI receptacle or deadfront device in a location not readily reachable?

NEC 240.24 requires overcurrent devices (fuses/breakers, incl. AFCI/GFCI/DFCI breakers) to be placed so that their operating means is no more than 6'7" off the ground under most circumstances, and ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

Why does my microwave trip my AFCI only when it's mostly empty?

I live in a recently redone home and I'm having a very odd electrical issue. My microwave is intermittently tripping a combination arc fault breaker only when it is mostly empty, e.g. one slice of ...
3
votes
2answers
16k views

Why use AFCI receptacles rather than AFCI breakers?

Is there any reason to use an AFCI receptacle rather than replacing the breaker with an AFCI type? It seems that providing protection on the whole circuit makes much more sense than to just one ...
3
votes
1answer
918 views

Breaker feeding sub-panel causes other breakers to trip

I have a 40 amp circuit feeding a sub-panel in the garage. Sub-panel has 5 breakers (GFCI/AFCI combo breakers) feeding outlets for holiday lights. Our AC compressor breaker started tripping last week, ...
3
votes
2answers
648 views

Could my power strip have killed all my AFCI's?

Odd thing happened today. My wife plugged a 1700W (clothes) iron into a power strip and tripped the AFCI to the bedroom. I reckon with the TV and 2 lamps running it peaked over 15A and tripped out. ...
3
votes
0answers
498 views

Tankless 240V water heater in detached garage tripping AFCI/GFCI breakers in house

We have two separate buildings, a house and a garage/workshop, about 20 feet apart, sharing the same electrical service. On the service entrance, there's a Siemens whole-house surge protector. The ...
2
votes
3answers
511 views

Dual GFCI/AFCI breaker to support regular TRR USB outlets on kitchen counter: to code?

I would like to replace some outlets that run along my kitchen countertop because the TRR plugs are hard to plug in, and I would like to put ones that have USB jacks. I know that GFCIs are required ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a surge protector prevent nuisance AFCI breaker trips?

I have a problem with AFCI breakers tripping in my 2 and a half year old house. The builder's electrician said that the cause is from power surges coming from the electrical company and that I need to ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Wall outlet only works when AFI breaker is OFF?

Bit of a mystery here. We've got an outlet in our 2nd floor bedroom that I assumed was dead or disconnected. I poked it with my AC voltage detector to confirm — yep, nothing. I was wondering if maybe ...
2
votes
6answers
35k views

What would cause an AFCI breaker to trip under no load?

I have an AFCI breaker that trips with 0 load - nothing plugged in, no lights on. To test that power is getting to the room, I turn on the overhead CFL lights (very light load) and flip the breaker. ...
2
votes
3answers
298 views

EMT or PVC in Bathroom?

OK, so I am wiring my cabin (actually a small house, 16x24), and I have a 6x8 room that will eventually become a bathroom, and a nook that will be a kitchenette. All the wiring in the house is surface ...
2
votes
1answer
8k views

Do I need AFCI protection on new lighting circuits or just for outlets?

I am in the process of re-wiring a 100 year old house. I want to make sure everything is done to the new NEC codes. I need to know if arc fault protection is required on lighting circuits or just ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Do 240 volt dryers need to be AFCI protected

Under 2014 NEC do 240 volt dryer sockets need to be AFCI protected? I see paragraphs specifying that single phase 125 volt circuits must be protected, but I have not found specifications for two ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What parts of a circuit does an AFCI receptacle protect?

I'm assuming that it will protect against arcing in the appliance that is plugged into it. Will the AFCI receptacle trip if an arc is detected in the wiring from the panel to the receptacle? Will ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

Combination AFCI/GFCI breaker with GFCI receptacle

Is there any issue with having a GFCI receptacle connected (terminally) on a circuit with a AFCI/GCFI combination breaker? If not, is there any advantage to having a GFCI outlet on this circuit (wet ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Will a SimpliSafe security system which include smoke detectors qualify under fire panel exception for the NEC's AFCI requirements?

To expand on the question I'm trying to put these AFCI's and GFI's everywhere I need them, but nowhere I do not. Also my experience with AFCI's up to this point have been poor. They trip when the ...
2
votes
2answers
524 views

AFCI trips when neutral and ground touched

Is this normal? I find an answer here that this is normal but I do not understand. Can anyone add an explanation, please. AFCI is Square D 20A HOM120CAFIC, Issue No. DP-3640 HACR Type
2
votes
1answer
859 views

Combination GFCI/AFCI Breaker not working when replacing regular breaker

First time posting. I'm doing some upgrades to our house electrical. We live in a 1950s home. An electrician recommended I replace the old breakers on ungrounded circuits off the house sub-panel ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Upgrading 2 breakers to AFCI, always trips

I'm doing some electrical work in the upstairs bedrooms, and part of the permit is to add AFCI protection. The house was built in 1968, has a 100A service and a Square D breakers panel. Currently ...
2
votes
2answers
890 views

Device keeps tripping AFCI device

I have a BedJet device that I run at night that keeps tripping the ARC-fault breaker in my bedroom after about 30 minutes of running nearly 70% of time (other times it works just fine). I have tried ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What options are there to achieve both grounding/ground-fault and arc-fault protection on old 2-wire circuits?

The three receptacle circuits in my house are 2-wire NM, but have 3-prong receptacles. My electrician recommended and installed GFCI breakers to provide "grounding" to these circuits. I now realize ...
2
votes
2answers
985 views

AFCI breaker tripped when there was no power to wire

I was wiring a ceiling fan in my new home, and I am not used to working with some of the newer electrical devices. I know very little about AFCI breakers, however I think I was somehow able to trip ...
2
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is my AFCI breaker tripping and my surge protector clicking?

I've really got two possibly related issues here. We have a basement office that we wired ourselves. Code required that we put in an AFCI breaker. From what I've read these can be pretty temperamental ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

2 AFCI Breakers Tripping - One instantly and the other after a few minutes

I have 2x 15amp AFCI Siemens breakers, both are tripping. One breaker would trip instantly and the other one after a few minutes. Nothing new was plugged in into these circuits. It just happened out ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

AFCI Trips When Stainless Steel Hoses Touch Washing Machine Cabinet. Why?

I noticed the hot water hose on my washing machine (SpeedQueen Top Loader) was corroded, so I decided to replace the hoses. I bought braided stainless steel hoses and installed them. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

GFCI/AFCI Trips With No Load And New Wire

I moved into a house last year that has some 2-wire receptacles, and some 3-wire receptacles. I have been adding GFCIs and AFCIs where required. I recently removed the conductors and old receptacles ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Should smoke alarms be on AFCI circuit?

I'm migrating my smoke alarms from the main panel to a generator-backed-up subpanel so I'll have fire protection during a power outage. I'm simultaneously replacing the old smoke detectors. I read ...