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45 votes

Loss of power when I remove item from the outlet

Defective receptacle. Kill it with fire, before it kills you with fire. And if it has backstab connections (wires jabbed in back holes that auto-grab them) this is a good time to get rid of em. ...
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28 votes

When to change Cutler-Hammer electrical panel and breakers?

Not in your lifetime. Nah, it's cool. Eaton has owned Cutler Hammer since 1978. Alien breakers require immediate attention! BRLAFGF115 and BRLAFGF120 are fine. This looks like a Cutler Hammer "BR" ...
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23 votes
Accepted

Looking for some guidance on knob and tube

Thus far, I've replaced the first receptacle in most of the series of receptacles with an AFCI/GFCI because I'm so confused. Don't do electrical work in a building owned by someone else. To do that ...
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20 votes

Bosch Drawer Microwave causes ARC Faults

Dealing with the problem now: One of the first things to try is just swapping the breaker with an identical one in the same panel. In my experience, there's a lot of individual variation in the exact ...
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  • 1,795
19 votes

Loss of power when I remove item from the outlet

Chances are about 90% that you have a loose connection in the outlet. If I had to guess, I'd say it is a "stab-in" wire connection on the back of the outlet (as opposed to the wire attaching with a ...
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  • 14.4k
19 votes

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

First, none of you current breakers are GFCI or AFCI. If they were, they would have a "Test" button. Second, you will not be able to fit enough AFCI/GFCI breakers in your panel, even if the ...
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  • 7,851
14 votes
Accepted

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter vs AFCI

What can happen... If you look closely at the way many AFCIs behave, they will trip on a gross ground fault. This is no accident; instead, they rely on this behavior to catch arcs-to-ground ...
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14 votes
Accepted

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

Do AFCI and GFCI protect against cheap equipment? Not really. A GFCI will limit a shock and an AFCI will limit arcing. There are many other things that can happen with non listed equipment. I ...
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  • 95.7k
14 votes
Accepted

Dual Function AFCI/GFCI breakers trip under any load

It looks like your photographs show the neutral wires landed on the neutral bar. This is wrong. For GFCI breakers, the neutral wire must be connected to the neutral screw on the breaker and the white ...
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  • 7,851
11 votes

Bosch Drawer Microwave causes ARC Faults

Don't ignore the possibility that this may be an actual fault in the appliance, or at least that the manufacturer may accept responsibility. I have had a similar issue with two different appliances (...
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  • 4,934
10 votes

When to change Cutler-Hammer electrical panel and breakers?

Panels normally get replaced because more breakers are needed than are available in the existing panel or the total load requirements exceed the panel rating. Panels can also be replaced because the ...
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  • 53.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Bosch Drawer Microwave causes ARC Faults

Just got off the phone with both Leviton and Siemen! Thank you to Peter Duniho for having me file that AFCI Safety form, was super helpful in me getting in touch with Siemen! I'll put everything I've ...
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  • 371
9 votes

Where should I NOT use a GFCI or AFCI?

For all new construction residential dwellings the answer is not too complicated. For older homes with existing wiring the answer is not as easy. A qualified electrician would need to assess the ...
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  • 4,765
9 votes

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter vs AFCI

GFCI and AFCI are as different as a seat belt, vs. the barrels on the highway that absorb impact energy if you would otherwise smash into a concrete bridge abutment. They are both vaguely about ...
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9 votes
Accepted

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

Nope. Nope nope nope. You cannot use 210.12(A)(4) to put AFCI at an outlet. There are certain fairly rare cases where you can put AFCI at the first outlet. However, there is a misconception that ...
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9 votes
Accepted

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

There's no downside to over-protecting a circuit beyond cost. So having GFCI on a circuit that isn't required to have it isn't an issue. You're more likely to have an arc fault on a lighting circuit ...
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  • 19.8k
8 votes
Accepted

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

The AFCI wire needs to connect to the neutral bus. Put it on the other side, or add on to the length of the wire with a wirenut.
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  • 18.8k
7 votes

AFCI trips when adjacent breaker is switched on

Neutrals were crossed in the breaker panel. AFCI is happy now. Many many thanks 🙏 to everyone who took a few seconds from their busy day to help me.
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  • 121
7 votes

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

What you have there is a 10-space panel. The 100A main breaker is on the upper right. It is intended for 10 circuit breakers, but the panel permits use of "double-stuff" breakers. This ...
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6 votes

Where should I NOT use a GFCI or AFCI?

GFCIs will often nuisance trip with certain types of loads. For example many motors will trip the GFCI even though there is no leakage to ground. This is why there is an exception for the ...
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6 votes

Where should I NOT use a GFCI or AFCI?

National Electrical Code 2014 requires ground-fault protection for personnel in dwelling units for all 120 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere receptacles installed in the following locations: ...
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  • 128k
6 votes

Device keeps tripping AFCI device

we are the manufacturer of this device. We've never recommended to a customer to replace an AFCI with a non-AFCI breaker. What we recommended is simply to get your AFCI circuit breaker replaced with ...
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6 votes
Accepted

What parts of a circuit does an AFCI receptacle protect?

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) receptacles only provides sufficient arc fault detection and protection in the portion of the circuit downstream from the receptacle. If AFCI receptacles offered ...
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6 votes

AFCI trips immediately

There is an easy way to find out if your AFCI is bad. Disconnect the circuit but not the neutral from the breaker and see if it resets. If it does reset your AFCI is working and somewhere in your ...
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6 votes

Loss of power when I remove item from the outlet

This could happen if the bedroom wall switch controls both the switched outlet and the overhead light, and is also a digital switch without a neutral wire. Try putting incandescent bulbs back in the ...
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  • 4,641
6 votes
Accepted

AFCI receptacles vs GFCI receptacles for non-grounded outlets

TL;DR Install GFCI receptacles Grounding, AFCI and GFCI perform three different, but complementary, functions. Grounding takes care of a few different things, including providing a path for static ...
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6 votes
Accepted

AFCI - worth installing and not just GFCI?

They protect from different things. AFCIs are primarily about preventing fires started by electrical arcs. They were (IMHO) not ready for prime time when they first hit the market, I think they have ...
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  • 133k
6 votes

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

If the cheap equipment is so cheap, that you experience a live-neutral shock, you will die, and neither the GFCI/AFCI will trip, because killing you became the load. You'll be long dead before the ...
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  • 799
6 votes

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

It would give you more protection than maybe you want. The trouble with installing safety systems, is the darn things go off on you. And then, you have to deal with the problem. Safety is always ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Wall outlet only works when AFI breaker is OFF?

Mystery solved. We had a bit of a Car Allergic to Vanilla Ice Cream problem. Turns out the bedroom outlet is on the same switch as the basement lights. Whenever I went down to the basement and flipped ...
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