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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24
votes
6answers
109k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k 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 (...
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
17k 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
23k 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
426 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
8
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
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
2answers
12k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
13k 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
797 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
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
30k 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
645 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
19k 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
3answers
4k 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
452 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
6answers
11k 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
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
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
2answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
3
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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
2answers
19k 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
120 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-...
3
votes
1answer
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, ...
3
votes
2answers
902 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
685 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
778 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
3answers
37k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

AFCI / GFCI Circuit failure

I've been unable to diagnose why a circuit in my house no longer works. It's a 20 amp circuit that feeds 4 outlets in my kitchen area, and it has both a GFCI(link) and AFCI. The entire house is ...
2
votes
2answers
217 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
2answers
95 views

MWBC for split kitchen receptacle

When installing a split receptacle in a kitchen, where the top and bottom are each their own circuit, is there any way you can use an MWBC, or is your only option to run two normal circuits with two ...
2
votes
6answers
38k 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
1answer
109 views

Paint on stranded copper wire twisted together with a wire nut — dangerous?

Putting new light fixtures into an old house. Wires are stranded copper with a little paint on some of the stranded copper part. Normally I'd cut it off and expose a little more wire, out of an ...
2
votes
3answers
503 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
9k 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
5k 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
1answer
344 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
68 views

Are you supposed to leave the pigtail lead on an GCFI / AFCI breaker curled up?

Here's an example of the kind of breaker I'm thinking of: They come with the lead neatly curled up. Is this curl meant to be maintained for some reason once the breaker in installed? Or is it just a ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

How to find a neutral to ground short on my main panel

I've just installed a subpanel in my attached garage. The rough in has passed inspection, however my main panel has standard breakers and has never had fault finding interrupter breakers in it, and ...
2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...