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Old 12-04-2008, 12:17 PM   #1
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


New home that is about 4 years old. Just moved into it. My Mac trips this AFCI breaker when i turn it on. Never happened in the older home. These AFCI are all in the bedrooms. If i plug the computer into the living room, it does not trip the swtich. I even replaced the AFCI and it does the same thing. Can i just replace it without a AFCI? The AFCI has 3 wires where the regular 20 breakers have one line going to it. I understand the white wire doesnt need to be installed..but what about the red and black if I switch it to a regular breaker?

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Old 12-04-2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


It sounds like you have a wiring problem. I would not replace the AFCI with a regular breaker until you investigate the wiring further.

They do make 2 pole AFCIs but they are rare and I doubt your builder used one for a simple bedroom circuit.

Posting pictures might be a good way to go, thanks.

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Old 12-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #3
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


I just thought of something, this could be a neutral to ground fault. Those will trip an AFCI only when you put a load on the circuit, because then it sees the current sharing. Try plugging a different device into the same outlet and turn it on.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


The AFCI manufacturers want to know about these problems...

AFCI Unwanted Tripping Report...
http://www.afcisafety.org/report.html
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
The AFCI manufacturers want to know about these problems...
I'll bet you $5 it's not an AFCI problem.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


I doubt its an afci problem.

Try different loads, like a space heater.

DO NOT replace the afci with a non afci, it violates the electrical code your house was wired under.

Maybe your psu is bad?

Red and black?

Please post pictures.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:03 PM   #7
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


I did put other devices into the plug. Also I did move the computer around the room and plugged it into different soccets. Same thing. There are alot of people with Mac Pro computers that are having this problem.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:11 PM   #8
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Try plugging it into a GFCI outlet and see if the outlet trips (like bathroom or kitchen).

It looks like Mac Pro power supplies might have ground fault problems.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:13 PM   #9
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Maybe an isolation transformer would help clear things up?
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:17 PM   #10
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
Maybe an isolation transformer would help clear things up?
Only if he runs the PC ungrounded, not a good idea because all PC SMPSs I've seen do leak a few ma current to ground.

It would need to be leaking 30ma+ to set off a regular AFCI though... That's dangerous levels.

I just looked and Mac Pros apparently can pull up to 12 amps too. 1000+ watts for a computer, heh. I doubt it's a straight load issue and would suspect ground current still, until proven otherwise.

Last edited by Gigs; 12-04-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
Only if he runs the PC ungrounded, not a good idea because all PC SMPSs I've seen do leak a few ma current to ground.

It would need to be leaking 30ma+ to set off a regular AFCI though... That's dangerous levels.

Your right...he should try the gfci.

Maybe apple can actually fix this anytime soon.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:14 PM   #12
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
Only if he runs the PC ungrounded, not a good idea because all PC SMPSs I've seen do leak a few ma current to ground.

It would need to be leaking 30ma+ to set off a regular AFCI though... That's dangerous levels.

I just looked and Mac Pros apparently can pull up to 12 amps too. 1000+ watts for a computer, heh. I doubt it's a straight load issue and would suspect ground current still, until proven otherwise.

My custom built pc pulls about 16 amperes...you need a 20 amp circuit.

I havn't seen many other psus like it. I think its an ultra brand. It also has a cable for people with 15 amp only, of course, it won't perform max. The cable has a circuit breaker built into it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:34 AM   #13
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Since the AFCI switch only trips a couple times a week, do you think its the computer power supply on the mac or would it trip all the time if it was that part?

Its a seiemens switch. Can i just change that to a reqular switch?
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:09 AM   #14
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Quote:
Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
My custom built pc pulls about 16 amperes...you need a 20 amp circuit.

I havn't seen many other psus like it. I think its an ultra brand. It also has a cable for people with 15 amp only, of course, it won't perform max. The cable has a circuit breaker built into it.
You computer doesn't actively use 16 amps; that's a max load capacity, try putting an ammeter on it; I'll bet its more like 5 or 6 amps (it will be a little higher if you are in game than out of game). A buddy of mine just built a massive gaming rig with that same Ultra power supply, the 1600 watt. When I metered his system it was only a couple amps, and he has dual GTX280's and dual water pumps for his cooling system, not to mention a few drives in the computer.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:21 AM   #15
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
You computer doesn't actively use 16 amps; that's a max load capacity, try putting an ammeter on it; I'll bet its more like 5 or 6 amps (it will be a little higher if you are in game than out of game). A buddy of mine just built a massive gaming rig with that same Ultra power supply, the 1600 watt. When I metered his system it was only a couple amps, and he has dual GTX280's and dual water pumps for his cooling system, not to mention a few drives in the computer.

I have two 9800 gx2s a few drives and a qx9650

I try crysis (game) and I don't pull that much. I am worried that I might as I am going to install a speaker system that may pull over 4 amps...

I don't like water cooling...kind of scary don't you think?

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