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Old 01-20-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
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afci breakers.?

In a new panel does everthing need to have afci breakers and what is the difference in afci and gfci.?


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Old 01-20-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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Ask you local authority for requirements.

AFCI = arc fault circuit interrupter. Activates in the event of arcing.

GFCI = ground fault circuit interrupter. Activates in the event of a ground fault.


Last edited by jlmran; 01-20-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:22 AM   #3
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AFCI Breakers

2011 changes.

The combination AFCI is a circuit breaker that protects downstream branch-circuit wiring as well as cord sets and power-supply cords; an outlet branch circuit AFCI (receptacle) is installed as the first outlet in a branch circuit to protect downstream branch-circuit wiring, cord sets, and power-supply cords.

All 15A or 20A, 120V branch circuits in dwelling units supplying outlets in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun-rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas must be protected by a listed AFCI device of the combination type [210.12(A)]. Figure 210–15
This is for new work.

Old work panel upgrades-good luck with the AFCI breakers. It will depend on your inspector.

Basically if it isn't GFCI then just use an AFCI on new work or rehabs..

See if your insurance company will give you a discount on the AFCI protection. My insurance discount will pay for the AFCI breakers in 5 years.

In basic terms, an AFCI breaker monitors the frequency ( 60 hz) on the circuit. When an arc happens for a certain length of time the frequency is changed and the breaker trips.

A GFCI monitors the current balance on the circuit between the hot and neutral. When that balance is uneven the breaker will trip.

Happy spending,

Last edited by Hourglass52; 01-20-2011 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #4
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Depends on your location and which version of the code applies. I am in the process of building my own house and the applicable code is NEC 2005. AFCIs are required only for the bedroom circuits. Later code versions require them in more places. Just pray you live where they aren't required everywhere - the price is probably coming down, but they are much more expensive (like 10X) than ordinary breakers.
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