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Old 06-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
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AFCI Help Please - Victorian w/ knob/tube - but running new circuits


In case it matters, we're in PA - North of Philly in Bucks County.

I've gutted out the 1st floor of my Victorian multi-family, in prep to redo our dining room, kitchen and move a bathroom. The ceiling above the dining room and kitchen contains some knob and tube wiring. ALL of this is actually supporting circuits for the 2nd floor apartment upstairs, with it's own 100 amp main panel. The wires come from that panel down into my ceiling up in the joists, across to where they need to go and then up into his closed and sealed walls (lath and plaster).

We have already done the really easy stuff. We replaced the wiring for the 6 Outlets in the BR and LR upstairs with a single 20 amp 12 gauge circuit. And replaced an outlet in the kitchen with another dedicated 20amp 12 guage for the fridge (was shared with other stuff). The kitchen is on a normal 20 amp breaker and I'll be buying a 20 amp ACFI for the outlet branch circuit. 210.12 is really clear on ACFI for outlet branch circuits.

BUT, it is NOT Freak'n clear if any LIGHTING circuits must be ACFI protected. 210.12 A is VERY clear that it refers only to outlet branch circuits. 210.12 B simply REFERENCES A but then mentions modifications or extensions. But it says nothing about being "only outlets" or "all circuits, lighting or outlets, etc".

So ... here's the rub and my real concern. One or two of the K/T circuits left to be replaced in my exposed ceiling are supporting Lighting in the upstairs APT (wall switches and ceiling fixtures - BACKFED from fixture). We do NOT HAVE ACCESS to the K/T from the point where it enters the walls above my ceiling - those are lath and plaster and completely sealed.

So ... I'm thinking that all I do is install new home runs to junction boxes with access panel covers up in the ceiling and use normal breakers for those lighting circuits? And my thinking is ACFI breakers wouldn't work if part of the circuit were K/T? Gosh only knows if there are shared hots/neutrals in those ...

I'd really appreciate some help here! THANKS!

Jeff

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Old 06-26-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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AFCI Help Please - Victorian w/ knob/tube - but running new circuits


I can help you with part of this.

An "outlet" is a point of use for electricity. It includes light fixtures, smoke detectors, and receptacles.

The NEC would use the term receptacle, not "outlet."

Check with the AHJ (wiring inspector) if there is any doubt.

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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AFCI Help Please - Victorian w/ knob/tube - but running new circuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferson17 View Post
210.12 A is VERY clear that it refers only to outlet branch circuits. 210.12 B simply REFERENCES A but then mentions modifications or extensions. But it says nothing about being "only outlets" or "all circuits, lighting or outlets, etc"
As AandPDan said, every point of use for electricity is an "outlet". Read the definition in Article 100. Receptacles are one type of outlet; light fixtures are another. All circuits with any outlet in the specified areas require AFCI protection.

Quote:
And my thinking is ACFI breakers wouldn't work if part of the circuit were K/T? Gosh only knows if there are shared hots/neutrals in those ...
AFCI can be used on K&T wiring, but only if the neutral is not shared with other circuits. You'll need to figure that out! If it is, but it's only shared with one other circuit, then you may be able to use a 2-pole AFCI to protect both of them together.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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AFCI Help Please - Victorian w/ knob/tube - but running new circuits


Around here, you need a license to wire a tenant space, its okay to wire your own place though. I would ask to make sure you are qualified to do the work to begin with.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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AFCI Help Please - Victorian w/ knob/tube - but running new circuits


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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Around here, you need a license to wire a tenant space, its okay to wire your own place though. I would ask to make sure you are qualified to do the work to begin with.
As far as I know as a homeowner I can wire whatever I want but a friend who is an electrician is helping me. The electrical inspector approved the permit so ... it's not like I didn't go through the proper channels when I applied for it - he was in the office when I applied and helped explain what he wanted in the diagram.

To EVERYONE - a big THANK YOU for the assistance. It sucks that I need to ACFI a lighting circuit since it's not like a cord can get run over by a chair or chewed by an animal but ... code is code ...

Also thanks for clarifying the tie-ins to the K/T. I guess we'll just have to try and figure out if there are any weird tie-ins in the KT for the hots/neutrals. These damn ACFI breakers are gonna really add up when we redo my area.

Jeff
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