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Old 08-13-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
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AFCI for garage circuits


It seems the latest edition (2011) NEC does not specifically state any requirement for AFCI protection on branch circuits supplying outlets in garages (as well as kitchens, laundry, baths), or what appears to be locations which specifically require some form of GFCI protection.

I understand that AFCI and GFCI protect against different types of circuit faults, and one discrete device does not substitute, supercede nor encompass the functionality of the other.

Therefore, is there a safety reason why the NEC omits from AFCI protection requirements the above-mentioned dwelling unit locations?

Are there any performance or safety issues with any of the protective devices when an AFCI circuit breaker is installed to protect a branch circuit where GFCI receptacles and GFCI-protected outlets are present?

Is there any reason why AFCI protection should NOT be installed on garage/workshop branch circuits, or on any other circuits which may require GFCI devices to be installed?

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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AFCI for garage circuits


Obviously it's a scam, otherwise it would be required on every circuit.

With that said, I have no idea why they chose the selected locations to require AFCI, it used to be just the bedrooms, now it is every location that does not already mandate GFCI protection.

The real problem is that anyone can submit a code change, and only offer a small fraction of a safety concern of why it SHOULD exist, look at tamper proof receptacles, it could only take one case that would make it a safety issue, and next thing you know were installing tamper proof receptacles... of course, money, lobbyist, and manufactures usually drive the wheel on some of these code changes... think about it, what better way to sell a product than make that product a code requirement.


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Old 08-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #3
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AFCI for garage circuits


If you want the thought of sleeping in bed that you are protected with AFCI breakers, sure, go ahead and install them if you wish.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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AFCI for garage circuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by sixspeed View Post
Is there any reason why AFCI protection should NOT be installed on garage/workshop branch circuits, or on any other circuits which may require GFCI devices to be installed?
some power tools with motors (saws, grinders, shop vacs, etc) may not play well with AFCI.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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AFCI for garage circuits


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Originally Posted by silversport View Post
some power tools with motors (saws, grinders, shop vacs, etc) may not play well with AFCI.
I suppose such tools are designed to operate with a certain amount of arc that is deemed safe within some specification.

But there is no such thing as an AFCI that has a "tool tolerance" but would still protect against, say, arcing as a result of a chafed power cord? Something akin to a GFI designed to trip at 30ma, used to protect equipment only.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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AFCI for garage circuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by sixspeed View Post
It seems the latest edition (2011) NEC does not specifically state any requirement for AFCI protection on branch circuits supplying outlets in garages (as well as kitchens, laundry, baths), or what appears to be locations which specifically require some form of GFCI protection.

I understand that AFCI and GFCI protect against different types of circuit faults, and one discrete device does not substitute, supercede nor encompass the functionality of the other.

Therefore, is there a safety reason why the NEC omits from AFCI protection requirements the above-mentioned dwelling unit locations?

Are there any performance or safety issues with any of the protective devices when an AFCI circuit breaker is installed to protect a branch circuit where GFCI receptacles and GFCI-protected outlets are present?

Is there any reason why AFCI protection should NOT be installed on garage/workshop branch circuits, or on any other circuits which may require GFCI devices to be installed?
Since some of these ares require GFI protection, AFCI protection is not required. Having both on the same circuit sometimes causes problems.

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