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Old 11-28-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


A while back I had the AFCI trip on me in the master bedroom, I unplugged everything and then plugged them in one at a time until it tripped and then found the culprit (it was when I plugged in a heated fragrance thing in one of the outlets). I stopped using the outlet and didn't mess with it, all is working well for everything else.

Today there was a pretty good wind storm with warnings that power may go out by down power lines, power was out in the master bedroom. I figured the whole house was off until I heard the timer on the microwave go off. I realized it was just the master bedroom again. I tried reseting the switch and it tripped immediately after that. I went in the room and unplugged and switched everything to the off position. I reset the AFCI and it did not re-trip. I started to turn things on and it immediately tripped after plugging one thing into the wall, I thought I found the culprit. I tried everything one at a time and each and everything, including the ceiling fan and light, would trip it except if I plugged in the surge protector with the phone charges on it with the phones plugged in. I tried turning on the lamp that was also connected to the surge protector with the charging phones attached and it tripped the AFCI.

Please help. IMO I think it is a short between the AFCI and the first thing in the circuit, but I really don't know.

This house was just built in 2008.

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Old 11-28-2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


This is little tricky to troble shooting and what brand AFCI breaker you have in there ?

One of my trick I have done is get a GFCI breaker and test it to rule out the ground fault issue first If the GFCI hold in place some case the AFCI breaker do go bad but if the GFCI breaker trip before you plug in anything then you have issue with wiring.

That part you will have to check all the receptales , switches and luminaires to make sure the conductors are not touching like netural to ground or otherwise.,,

I know the AFCI breakers are not cheap so do you have any other AFCI breaker in your load centre ?? if so try to swap it around to see if that work if not try the GFCI breaker if you have one there.

{When you swap the AFCI breaker or GFCI breaker make sure you use proper netural connections otherwise it will not function and make a note how it hook up }

Merci,
Marc

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Old 11-28-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


I don't know which information you need off the AFCI, but it is a Siemens HACR SWD.

I will have to buy a GFCI because the builders didn't leave any behind.

How do I go about switching the two out?

Thank you in advanced.

Great website by the way, I know some people that wanted to learn about this kind of stuff, I will let them know about this site.

I also just downloaded the android app.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:32 PM   #4
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyzzx85 View Post
I don't know which information you need off the AFCI, but it is a Siemens HACR SWD.
Ok that help a bit and Siemens are pretty good item to me and do you have one more AFCI breaker in there as well ??

Quote:
I will have to buy a GFCI because the builders didn't leave any behind.
Maybe not if you have already have GFCI receptatles in bathroom and kitchen and garage area then you don't have to worry about this part.

Quote:
How do I go about switching the two out?
That useally not super hard to swap the AFCI breakers before you swap it around follow the way the conductors hook up and it is easy to do it once you see how it hook up.

Quote:
Thank you in advanced.

Great website by the way, I know some people that wanted to learn about this kind of stuff, I will let them know about this site.

I also just downloaded the android app.

I lay out the answer for ya and be aware the AFCI breaker are usally run in 30 Euros +- few Euros.

How new this place is ??

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


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Ok that help a bit and Siemens are pretty good item to me and do you have one more AFCI breaker in there as well ??



Maybe not if you have already have GFCI receptatles in bathroom and kitchen and garage area then you don't have to worry about this part.



That useally not super hard to swap the AFCI breakers before you swap it around follow the way the conductors hook up and it is easy to do it once you see how it hook up.




I lay out the answer for ya and be aware the AFCI breaker are usally run in 30 Euros +- few Euros.

How new this place is ??

Merci.
Marc
I appreciate all your help Marc,

I went in and reset my AFCI today and it is working fine with everything plugged in and getting power. My question is why? I had the problem before with just one outlet and then with everything connected to that one AFCI, I was talking to a local electrician to see if it was in this area that people where having a similar problem, I heard that the problem "could" be because the builders of this newly developed area, started in 2008, wasn't putting the wires around the screws on the back of the outlets but rather just shoving them in the holes.

What do you think Marc?

Zyzzx
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


backstabbed outlets ain't nuttin' but trubble....

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Old 11-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


Ici la réponse courte et sucrée., { Here the short and sweet answer }


Get rid of backstabbers they are not my favour item due few callback and they don't really last long as the screw in verison is.

But the AFCI some can get pretty senstive like your vaccum cleaner it sometime can trip some case TV is turn on that can kick { even turn off can do the same result }

So if that happend just once just wait until next time it trip then you make a note what items it was on or plugged in that time so some of the AFCI breaker manufacter will like to know and try to slove it { the early models were alot of issue but seems most of them got the kinks iron out but a odd situatuion may show up }

Merci.
Marc
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


So, I reset it and it worked. Now today it went out overnight with nothing extra running. The AFCI was fine going to bed and then tripped by the time we got up. The only things that had power the hole night in the room was an alarm clock, cell phone charging and the TV was in standby.

I guess I will change the backstabbers to huggers and see if the alleviates the problem.

Thanks,
Zyzzx
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:03 PM   #9
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


while you do that,make sure grounds and neutrals are seperated and not touching.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


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while you do that,make sure grounds and neutrals are seperated and not touching.
Not sure what you mean, I thought they are all separated by the location of the holes/screws. Sorry about my ignorance, but, what do you mean?
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


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Not sure what you mean, I thought they are all separated by the location of the holes/screws. Sorry about my ignorance, but, what do you mean?
What he mean when you push the switch or receptale back in the box and watch the conductors are not touching each other when they fold back in the box.

Myself I give them a quick half or a full twist then fold it back the reason why due the conductors can not touch the termation screw at all.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:14 AM   #12
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Any power trips the AFCI...help please?


Well, sure enough them backstabbers were messing with my circuit. I pulled out the original outlet from the first incident and noticed that the ground wire and the hot wire were close enough to form an arc, the AFCI went from immediately tripping to not again. I am pretty sure this fixed our problem without spending a whole lot of money, thank you everyone.

I will keep updating as time goes on and I find more issues. I am probably going to go through and fix all the sockets to be huggers.

Thank you,
Zyzzx

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