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Old 12-08-2008, 11:52 PM   #31
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by tonydiato View Post
Can i put a GFCI plug in the bedroom? I have my computer plugged into the bathroom via an extention cord and it has not tripped at all. Will this solve the problem, or will this still trip the AFCI?
Well this confirms there's no significant ground fault current, and it really is an arc-fault false alarm from the heavy load when the caps charge.

A GFCI outlet in your bedroom would not satisfy the AFCI code requirements for your bedroom outlets. You are free to install a GFCI in your bedroom, but it does not provide the same type of protection an AFCI provides, and it will not stop the AFCI from tripping.

You could replace the AFCI with a regular breaker and violate the code. Just keep the AFCI and reinstall it if you ever go to sell the house. If your house burns down it's not my fault. All I can say is that millions of houses out there do just fine without AFCI breakers.

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Old 12-09-2008, 06:03 AM   #32
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Do you have an APC (UPS) Unit? You know, one of them new-fangled boxes that keeps your computer going when the power fails?

I'd try using one of those, which could effectively limit the inrush current upon startup, as well as clean up surges/sags/spikes in your power supply.

This may solve your intermittent nuisance tripping problems as well ...
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:50 AM   #33
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Do you have an APC (UPS) Unit? You know, one of them new-fangled boxes that keeps your computer going when the power fails?

I'd try using one of those, which could effectively limit the inrush current upon startup, as well as clean up surges/sags/spikes in your power supply.

This may solve your intermittent nuisance tripping problems as well ...
That back up power supply would prevent it from flipping the switch?
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:13 PM   #34
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Most likely not. Modern home UPS systems pass through utility power mostly untouched* unless the voltage goes above or below the thresholds. As I doubt your inrush is dropping the voltage enough to trigger the UPS, it probably wouldn't help.


*Except for a low-pass filter for noise

That said, a UPS isn't a bad investment. Just make sure to get one that's at least 2000 volt-amps for a system as big as yours.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:56 PM   #35
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


No one really told me if i can put a GFCI plug in the bedroom. Is it easy to put this in (2 wires like a regular outlet). Would this trip before the AFCI would trip.

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:08 PM   #36
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by tonydiato View Post
No one really told me if i can put a GFCI plug in the bedroom.
You can.

Quote:
Is it easy to put this in (2 wires like a regular outlet).
It's not much more difficult than a regular outlet. You need to decide if you want to protect downstream outlets or not.

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Would this trip before the AFCI would trip.
No, because your problem isn't ground fault currents.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:16 AM   #37
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
No, I don't gamble and never agreed!

Anyway there are a couple of other things which might be interesting to try if you want.

One theory is that "arcing" of a switch or the sparking of the brushes in a motor (Or whatever) will cause this unwanted tripping of an AFCI.

So it has been suggested that a surge suppressor might keep the AFCI from seeing the arcing or some of this.

Also suggested that an isolation transformer might do the trick ($$).

I have not read if these work or not, so might want to borrow one first and give it a try.

Keep in mind that this may also defeat the intended purpose of the AFCI.
Seconds before I read your post, I thought of a surge supressor. I think you're right about this. You are going to protect from surges coming in on the line, but also from surges/noise getting out from the protected device. It works both ways. Besides, every computer should have a good surge protector. It's a good insurance policy!
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:18 AM   #38
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Do you have an APC (UPS) Unit? You know, one of them new-fangled boxes that keeps your computer going when the power fails?

I'd try using one of those, which could effectively limit the inrush current upon startup, as well as clean up surges/sags/spikes in your power supply.

This may solve your intermittent nuisance tripping problems as well ...
Great thought. Even better than just a surge protector!
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:21 AM   #39
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
Most likely not. Modern home UPS systems pass through utility power mostly untouched* unless the voltage goes above or below the thresholds. As I doubt your inrush is dropping the voltage enough to trigger the UPS, it probably wouldn't help.


*Except for a low-pass filter for noise

That said, a UPS isn't a bad investment. Just make sure to get one that's at least 2000 volt-amps for a system as big as yours.
You can buy UPS systems that don't pass through current. They actually re-generate 60HZ sine wave. These are very, very expensive. For a system that requires 2,000KVA, you might pay upwards of $1,000US!
In any case, even a standard type UPS will protect very well against surges and noise, so it would perform at least as well as the surge protector in possibly eliminating stray noise that may be causing your problem.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:26 AM   #40
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


There is one way, but a very expensive and not very practical one which you could use to save yourself the time of going downstairs to reset the breaker, while probably still meeting code.

Run a 40A or 50A feeder up from a regular breaker in your main panel to the second floor (or wherever your computer is located), and re-wire your bedroom circuit to that new panel. Install the AFCI breakers in the sub-panel.
Now, you really need to have a licensed electrician to do this kind of work, and at least it must be inspected before use.

You're grinning painfully, and maybe laughing. This wasn't intended as a real solution, just something that would physically and electrically work.

The real solution is not to change anything in the wiring of your home. It is to change the problem in the computer.
Apple should be forced to come up with a fix, considering that many users are having this problem.
Have you tried contacting Apple?
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #41
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


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For a system that requires 2,000KVA, .
Computers don't require a small power plant... yet.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:22 PM   #42
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


If I had a 2000kva ups...wait...2000?
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #43
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Anyone have an update?

Okay, so I have moved in to a new house and tried to setup my PC in my den. The outlets are connected to an AFCI breaker on the main circuit board in the basement. The breaker is 15A - everytime I turn on my computer it trips the AFCI breaker, even if I plug only the computer in with nothing else and no accessories. I normally have the computer plugged in to a surge bar.

I tried plugging the computer in to another outlet (i.e. the bathroom GFCI) and it boots up fine. I have other devices, such as the modem, phone, router, monitors, etc. plugged in to a power bar connected to the den outlet. None of these devices are tripping the AFCI.

After searching on Google as to what the cause it, it seems like AFCI breakers don't get along with computers much. This is also how I found this forum.

But so far, nothing helped.

I might be able to try changing the AFCI to a regular breaker, but I believe the bedroom outlets are connected to the two AFCI breakers too. But -changing to regular breakers would violate the building code. I currently have a Siemens AFCI with a blue test button.

I have a Enermax Liberty 500W power supply in my PC, it has Active PFC, but it still trips the breaker. I might try getting a new power supply for my PC, but not sure if it'll solve the problem.

Needless to say, this is annoying. Anyone have suggestions, especially those that are electricians? Maybe trying a different brand or newer AFCI breakers? Maybe try a 20A breaker? House is built 2004-2005, so it probably has one of the earlier versions of these AFCI breakers.

Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:28 PM   #44
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Well so much for the surge protector idea...

Still left on the list to try is a UPS or a "1:1" isolation transformer. I don't know if these will work or not...
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:38 PM   #45
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AFCI trip when computer turns on


Dont replace the breaker to a 20 unless all of the wiring is awg 12.

Try an isolation transformer.

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