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Old 01-31-2013, 11:48 AM   #16
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AFCI Tripping


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Originally Posted by silversport View Post
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....


If it's the fan you'll know by the 3rd try.

If this is the problem, sounds like it would be a lifelong problem huh? I can never have the fan on by just flipping the switch...

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #17
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AFCI Tripping


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Originally Posted by silversport View Post
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....
Pull string, reset breaker, flip switch....


If it's the fan you'll know by the 3rd try.
Sorry not following ...
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:50 AM   #18
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AFCI Tripping


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Sorry not following ...
I think he is saying that if the fan comes out of the package with the fan switched to the on position, say high, that the initial load of the fan being on high will cause the breaker to trip. Whereas if the fan motor was in the off position, it wouldn't.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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AFCI Tripping


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Originally Posted by GOLDBIO View Post
I think he is saying that if the fan comes out of the package with the fan switched to the on position, say high, that the initial load of the fan being on high will cause the breaker to trip. Whereas if the fan motor was in the off position, it wouldn't.
Doubtful afci doesn't give a hoot about whether a fan is on high .. better to isolate if it is in the cable to the ceiling fan or the ceiling fan/light fixture
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
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AFCI Tripping


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Doubtful better to isolate if it is in the cable to the ceiling fan or the ceiling fan/ight fixture
That is the plan tonight. Disconnect outgoing wire on switch, test breaker. If it stays on, disconnect fan, test switch. If it doesn't stay on problem is in the wire between the switch and fan. If it stays on, problem is in the fan or connection to the fan. This is correct right? If I find the problem to be either in the fan or the connection to the fan, what is the best way to fix?
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:09 PM   #21
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AFCI Tripping


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Originally Posted by GOLDBIO View Post
That is the plan tonight. Disconnect outgoing wire on switch, test breaker. If it stays on, disconnect fan, test switch. If it doesn't stay on problem is in the wire between the switch and fan. If it stays on, problem is in the fan or connection to the fan. This is correct right? If I find the problem to be either in the fan or the connection to the fan, what is the best way to fix?
Yes
Also one more question did you operate a high amperage load like a vacuum cleaner from the receptacle circuit? I'm asking because a loose connection of the hot wire at the afci breaker could be arcing under a high amperage load. If all you were plugging in was a light load this may not have been enough amperage for the arc to show itself.

I doubt you have a problem with the fan and light fixture, its possible. first make sure the problem exits only if the ceiling fan is connected to the circuit.

Also a continuity check (power off) of the wiring from the receptacle that feeds the light switch would be a good idea. Look at it this way .. if the light is getting its power from a connection to a receptacle then if a neutral to ground fault existed at that receptacle or in the wiring from that receptacle to the light switch as soon as you completed the circuit by turning the fan on the afci would trip. Without the light switch turned on and connected to the load this fault will not show itself at the afci. So good idea to check this. Simply turn the power off disconnect the cable to the light switch at the receptacle and at the light switch, test continutiy between white and bare .. should not be any continuity.

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-31-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #22
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AFCI Tripping


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Yes
Also one more question did you operate a high amperage load like a vacuum cleaner from the receptacle circuit? I'm asking because a loose connection of the hot wire at the afci breaker could be arcing under a high amperage load. If all you were plugging in was a light load this may not have been enough amperage for the arc to show itself.
I went through and tested each receptacle with a cd player/radio. Each one worked fine and did not trip the breaker. Should I go through and hook up the shop vac to each one?
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #23
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AFCI Tripping


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I went through and tested each receptacle with a cd player/radio. Each one worked fine and did not trip the breaker. Should I go through and hook up the shop vac to each one?
That would be a better test because of the higher amperage.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:23 PM   #24
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That would be a better test because of the higher amperage.
I will try this too. I suspect though, because the breaker is tripping the very second I move the light/fan switch to the on position, that it has something to do with that and not the receptacles. I will definitely try it though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:25 PM   #25
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AFCI Tripping


After reading this thread again it sounds like your feeding the light switch from a connection to a receptacle. A neutral to ground fault in the cable to the light switch from the receptacle could also be causing this ... reread my last paragraph previous to this post.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:29 PM   #26
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AFCI Tripping


Maybe a hair dryer. A vacuum cleaner or shop vac motor can trip an AFCI breaker too. Happens to me with both occasionally.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:30 PM   #27
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I went through and tested each receptacle with a cd player/radio. Each one worked fine and did not trip the breaker. Should I go through and hook up the shop vac to each one?
Connecting it to one receptacle will do the trick since the connection at the breaker is what we are intersted in.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:32 PM   #28
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AFCI Tripping


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After reading this thread again it sounds like your feeding the light switch from a connection to a receptacle. A neutral to ground fault in the cable to the light switch from the receptacle could also be causing this ... reread my last paragraph previous to this post.

Stubie. Thanks for all the insight. Here is exactly how it is wired. 14-2 from the panel to receptacle1. Pigtailed connections to the receptacle. Same wiring through receptacle #6 which leads to the switch instead of another receptacle. That is what is killing me here. It isn't that freaking complicated!!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:33 PM   #29
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AFCI Tripping


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Connecting it to one receptacle will do the trick since the connection at the breaker is what we are intersted in.

I am 99% sure the connection at the breaker is rock solid. I could be wrong though. I will redo it just to be sure.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:50 PM   #30
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AFCI Tripping


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I am 99% sure the connection at the breaker is rock solid. I could be wrong though. I will redo it just to be sure.
I would agree we are just trying to elimate areas that might be causing your problem.

Heres how I would approach this .. I'd check continuity in the cable that feeds power to the light switch from the receptacle. Check neutral to ground .. no continuity. Any phase (hot wire) fault to neutral or ground will show itself whether fan switch is on or not in this part of the circuit. Now check wiring to fan with fan out of the circuit. It the afci trips with switch on and no fan/light connection then you have a phase fault to ground or neutral. If the afci holds then check continuity between neutral and ground with the fan disconnected and power off (remember power off for continuity). Should be no continuity. What we are doing here is determining if when the fan is turned on and assuming it is fine is there a connection between neutral and ground in the wiring from the receptacle to the fan. If that is the case the afci ground fault circuitry will see this current imbalance and trip.

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