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Old 06-23-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
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arc fault keeps tripping


I installed a new circuit in my house and wired it to a 15 amp arc fault circuit breaker. I just wired the first plug only and tested it. The Tester lights show its wired properly but when I put any load on it the breaker trips. The Romax is about 40 ft from the circuit. I wired it with 14/2 wire. Is this indicating I have an issue with the wire going to the breaker I would figure if there was a short in this wire that it would trip the circuit immediately. could I installed the breaker wrong? it has a test switch on it which appears to work? I already have the drywall up so would be in trouble to rewire this

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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arc fault keeps tripping


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I installed a new circuit in my house and wired it to a 15 amp arc fault circuit breaker. I just wired the first plug only and tested it. The Tester lights show its wired properly but when I put any load on it the breaker trips. The Romax is about 40 ft from the circuit. I wired it with 14/2 wire. Is this indicating I have an issue with the wire going to the breaker I would figure if there was a short in this wire that it would trip the circuit immediately. could I installed the breaker wrong? it has a test switch on it which appears to work? I already have the drywall up so would be in trouble to rewire this
Did you terminate the white neutral from the 14/2 on the neutral lug of the breaker? Did you connect the white pigtail from the breaker to the neutral bar?

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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arc fault keeps tripping


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Did you terminate the white neutral from the 14/2 on the neutral lug of the breaker? Did you connect the white pigtail from the breaker to the neutral bar?
I did both of these, If did wire the 14/2 wires incorrectly wouldn't I get a false indication on my tester lights.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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arc fault keeps tripping


Then check for contact between the neutral and ground at the receptacle.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
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arc fault keeps tripping


Reversed hot and neutral wires

Shared neutral wiring on single pole circuit breaker circuits: this is already an existing problem with GFCI's on multiwire branch circuits.

Incorrect or accidental connections between the ground and neutral wire:

A common source of accidental ground-neutral connections occurs when an electrician over-tightens the clamp connector on BX (armored cable) where it connects to a steel junction box.
We saw that his over-tightening the connector pinched inwards the edges of the BX cable. If the BX cable edge cuts into the hot wire the electrician discovers this fault immediately when power is restored to the circuit. But if the cable edge cuts into the neutral wire, the electrician does not discover this fault until a GFCI or an AFCI is installed on the circuit, or until someone touches a supposedly safe armored cable wire exterior and gets a shock.

Normal arcing in appliances: Nuisance tripping that could occur from the normal arcing that occurs in some appliances (such as a vacuum cleaner motor) has been considered in the design of the AFCI circuit. The AFCI is designed to tell the difference between this ordinary arcing and the type of arcing in a circuit that may cause a fire.

I guess there could also be a ground fault.

And one OP lived near a radio station and had to get filters from the AFCI manuf. for the thing to work properly.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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arc fault keeps tripping


so if the case was a short between the white and ground , if I disconnected the white wire from my breaker box and put an ohm meter on the white and ground at the outlet I should get a shorting tone?
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
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arc fault keeps tripping


when a Hot wire makes a solid contact with a ground or a neutral, the current draw will be high enough to trip the breaker. But if the contact is intermittent and not a solid contact due to loose or corroded connections or failing insulation, what develops is an arc. The arc causes heat, which left uncorrected could eventually wind up causing a fire. The AFCI breaker detects an arc by the characteristic wave an arc causes in the electrical flow. When it sees an arc fault of large enough magnitude, it will trip the breaker.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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arc fault keeps tripping


What load are you putting on the circuit? Id the load is on or like a new TV has an always on circuit you are probably getting a spark when you plug it in and that is tripping the breaker.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:23 PM   #9
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arc fault keeps tripping


I got it fixed, I had the white on the breaker box bar not the breaker as HouseHelper suggested that I check, just a bit confused, appears to be working now. Had quite a scare was worried I might have to add ripping out walls and rewiring to my long list of jobs that I have now
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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arc fault keeps tripping


Glad you fixed the problem.Sometimes you have to check and check agian.Good job HouseHelper.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
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arc fault keeps tripping


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Old 06-23-2009, 09:33 PM   #12
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arc fault keeps tripping


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[Then check for contact between the neutral and ground at the receptacle.]
Not only at the receptacle but at several other points. As all the other pro's (the apostrophe is not grammatically correct. But the most practical way to convey my message clearly) have posted. The reason for a Combination AFC tripping is always a GROUNDED NEUTRAL! No. That statement is incorrect. Put another way. A GROUNDED NEUTRAL will always cause for a Comb. AFC to trip. And it (contact between NEUTRAL and GROUND) could be intermittent, too! One way to trace the problem could be with a GFI breaker, and visual inspection. Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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arc fault keeps tripping


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[Reversed hot and neutral wires]

Shared neutral wiring on single pole circuit breaker circuits: this is already an existing problem with GFCI's on multiwire branch circuits.

Incorrect or accidental connections between the ground and neutral wire:

A common source of accidental ground-neutral connections occurs when an electrician over-tightens the clamp connector on BX (armored cable) where it connects to a steel junction box.
We saw that his over-tightening the connector pinched inwards the edges of the BX cable. If the BX cable edge cuts into the hot wire the electrician discovers this fault immediately when power is restored to the circuit. But if the cable edge cuts into the neutral wire, the electrician does not discover this fault until a GFCI or an AFCI is installed on the circuit, or until someone touches a supposedly safe armored cable wire exterior and gets a shock.

Normal arcing in appliances: Nuisance tripping that could occur from the normal arcing that occurs in some appliances (such as a vacuum cleaner motor) has been considered in the design of the AFCI circuit. The AFCI is designed to tell the difference between this ordinary arcing and the type of arcing in a circuit that may cause a fire.

I guess there could also be a ground fault.

And one OP lived near a radio station and had to get filters from the AFCI manuf. for the thing to work properly.
In your first paragraph you pointed to a common problem in some older house wiring. Reversed HOT and NEUTRAL. But not by the installing electrician. This could be the result of a "quick fix" of a short circuit in the wiring on a prior occasion. I've found this phenomenon on some service calls. Instead of tracing and correcting the "short", the wires were simply reversed at the "breaker", resulting in a GROUNDED NEUTRAL!Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:06 AM   #14
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arc fault keeps tripping


Im a big advocate of the arc fault breaker. Earlier this year during my remodel when my furnace was out of commission I ran a space heater in my bedroom all night when I woke up there was a terrible electrical smell which I couldn't locate. a few weeks back I found out it was a receptical on the other side of the wall the Space heater was plugged into. this receptable was totally melted and I nearly avoided a house fire
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:09 PM   #15
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Im a big advocate of the arc fault breaker.
it was a receptical on the other side of the wall the Space heater was plugged into. this receptable was totally melted and I nearly avoided a house fire
High contact impedance due to a worn out receptacle was the likely cause of the melting, which shouldn't be detectible by AFCIs.

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