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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25 votes
6 answers
128k 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 ...
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17 votes
3 answers
4k views

Bosch Drawer Microwave causes ARC Faults

I have a brand new Bosch Microwave (model: hmd8451uc) installed as the only device on the entire circuit. Anytime I use the Microwave on this circuit, it triggers the breaker's ARC Fault. Breaker (...
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15 votes
4 answers
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/...
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11 votes
1 answer
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. ...
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11 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
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9 votes
5 answers
27k 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
443 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
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8 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
14k 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 ...
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  • 287
7 votes
4 answers
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, ...
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7 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do AFCI and GFCI protect against cheap equipment and bad wiring?

Generally I only buy electrical fixtures (lights, fans, etc.) from a reputable seller out of concern for fire risks, but if AFCI breakers and GFCI receptacles are installed, would that eliminate any ...
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6 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
23k 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 ...
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  • 389
5 votes
2 answers
884 views

Is it possible to tell from labels if the breakers are AFCI / GFCI in the main panel?

I'm deciding if I should upgrade my main panel, and one of the input I want to understand is how different is this panel from modern code requirement. From the photos below, is it possible to tell if ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Looking for some guidance on knob and tube

I have recently moved into a 1920s apartment in Chicago. My landlord has only owned the building for a few years and does not know the details of the electrical system. I have some electrical devices ...
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5 votes
1 answer
526 views

Dual Function AFCI/GFCI breakers trip under any load

This is a new subpanel in a workshop and the electrician told me because it's new all circuits have to be AFCI and because it's an outbuilding it should be GFCI too. So, I purchased these breakers in ...
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5 votes
1 answer
159 views

AFCI trips when adjacent breaker is switched on

I added 2 separate circuits to a small space on the first floor. Both circuits were AFCI/GFI protected in the breaker panel. Both circuit home runs ran to one junction box before splitting. 1st ...
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5 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
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  • 287
5 votes
4 answers
34k views

What rooms or loads require AFCI protection?

Do I need AFCI for dedicated circuits like sump pumps, furnaces, microwave, refrigerator etc.
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  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
748 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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
7k 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: ...
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4 votes
2 answers
753 views

Is there a problem with using a dual function breaker when a CAFCI would suffice?

I am upgrading a handful of breakers - a couple of circuits with lighting need CAFCI and two with outlets need GFCI (I am going with dual function breakers rather than GFCI outlets). I have two ...
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4 votes
1 answer
682 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 41
4 votes
6 answers
12k 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Two hots, one shared neutral, can it work with plug on neutral GFCI/AFCI breakers?

Situation: A 1950s house with some equally old wiring, and some remaining EMT wiring that is being put onto a new QO main svc panel (QO142M200PCAFVP). This is a plug-on-neutral panel. I believe per ...
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  • 503
4 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
164 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
4k views

should 30 yr old home have some/all breakers replaced with AFCI /GFCI? If so, which ones?

My brother-in-law, licensed master electrician was just visiting us. After looking at my break panel he strongly suggested I should replace most, if not all, of my CBs with AFCI. I have a 200A GE ...
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  • 1,061
3 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
47k views

Configuring a plug-on-neutral breaker panel as a subpanel

I recently learned about a new species of breaker panel known as the "plug-on-neutral" design. All the major load center manufacturers seem to be making these now. The idea is to provide a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
190 views

Installing an AFCI circuit breaker - any easy way to find a hot wire's corresponding neutral wire?

I'm trying to replace a regular 20A circuit breaker with an AFCI circuit breaker. I understand an AFCI circuit breaker requires both hot and neutral wires. I assume I need to connect the hot and ...
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  • 315
3 votes
2 answers
13k views

Refrigerator trips new AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers

Remodeled kitchen and electrician had to install new AFCI/GFCI Seimens circuit breakers to comply with code. Now my 8 yr old Samsung 24 cu ft refrigerator trips the c/b every 12 minutes to as long as ...
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  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
11k 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 1,042
3 votes
2 answers
196 views

Refrigerator on GFCI is tripping other AFCI breakers in the house

This is going to sound really weird, but it has been going on for 6 years and the electricians that wired our house spent multiple days trying to figure it out before we found it was definitely the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
255 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
231 views

Running new fridge line, get regular breakers, AFCI, combo with GFCI, GFCI outlet, etc?

My fridge (2017 GE upper double doors 1500 W, 145 W icemaker) is now on part of a four-outlet circuit with a microwave. An electrician is going to run a new circuit to the fridge only. He said I can ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 1,731
3 votes
2 answers
24k 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 ...
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  • 33.2k
3 votes
1 answer
459 views

AFCI Compliance with Multiple First Outlets on [Multiwire] Branch Circuit

I've pulled a MWBC into the crawlspace of my house, with one phase supplying outdoor GFCI receptacles and the other phase supplying nothing so far. The conductors are enclosed in a combination of all-...
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  • 111
3 votes
1 answer
1k 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, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k 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. ...
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3 votes
0 answers
842 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 ...
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