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Old 01-15-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Total noob here, so I would appreciate any advice or insight . This morning I wanted to disconnect and remove a ceiling fan from a bedroom because I thought it had a problem preventing it from turning on. The light works but not the motor for t he fan. You can hear the motor hum but the blades were not turning. Anyway I wasn't sure which circuit to turn off. One is labeled bedroom 2, another is bedroom 3, and still another "general lighting". To be safe I turned off all 3. I then checked the wall switch that turns the fan on and confirmed the power was off. I unscrewed the fan from the mount, realized I didn't know know to disconnect the wiring (new homeowner!) and proceeded to screw it back in to deal with another day. I then went back downstairs and turned the three circuit back to on. When I flipped "general lighting" back to on, the tiny yellow light next to "arc fault" lit for about 3 - 5 seconds and then the light turned off and stayed off. My question is this: is this temporary lighting of the arc fault light normal when switching the circuit back on? As an aside, the fan now works fine ... As it did when we closed on the house. Weird. Thanks!

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Sounds like a loose connection in the wire nuts in the fan.

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


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Sounds like a loose connection in the wire nuts in the fan.
Causing the fan to now work or causing the arc fault light to light briefly then turn off?
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:08 PM   #4
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Okay, lets start from the beginning. How old is this house? Did it have a home inspection and that it was verified in the report that everything worked like it should? Before you started to have problems with the ceiling fans, were they ever in this home before you moved int? Were they working when you walked through looking at it, or when the home inspector did their walk through, and report any oddities?

There are a lot of questions here. BTW, if a fan motor is not working, then when you make a change somewhere and it starts working, that leads me to believe that there is more at stake here, than you have found, and I would go through and double check stuff. Possibly, it was either a loose neutral, or miswired circuit, that had two hots up there, and someone screwed up, when they hooked up the fan and light kit.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


What brand panel? What brand circuit breaker?

If you say Murray, I'm going to say you saw the LED trip indicator on the AFCI breaker functioning.

From the Murray website:

The LED indications will appear for 5 seconds each time the AFCI is turned “ON” up to 30 days after the last trip. One LED will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault. Two LEDs will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault to ground. No indication will be displayed if the AFCI trips as a result of an overcurrent condition. The last known trip indication can also be manually cleared from memory to assist with verifying resolution of the problem.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


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Okay, lets start from the beginning. How old is this house? Did it have a home inspection and that it was verified in the report that everything worked like it should? Before you started to have problems with the ceiling fans, were they ever in this home before you moved int? Were they working when you walked through looking at it, or when the home inspector did their walk through, and report any oddities?

There are a lot of questions here. BTW, if a fan motor is not working, then when you make a change somewhere and it starts working, that leads me to believe that there is more at stake here, than you have found, and I would go through and double check stuff. Possibly, it was either a loose neutral, or miswired circuit, that had two hots up there, and someone screwed up, when they hooked up the fan and light kit.
Don't know if I can properly answer all of these but ... Brand new home. Fan worked during walk through. After that the light worked, the motor hummed, but it's as if the fan part wouldn't catch and rotate. That's why I suspected the fan was the issue, not the wiring. Maybe in playing with it today I somehow got it catch?
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


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What brand panel? What brand circuit breaker?

If you say Murray, I'm going to say you saw the LED trip indicator on the AFCI breaker functioning.

From the Murray website:

The LED indications will appear for 5 seconds each time the AFCI is turned “ON” up to 30 days after the last trip. One LED will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault. Two LEDs will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault to ground. No indication will be displayed if the AFCI trips as a result of an overcurrent condition. The last known trip indication can also be manually cleared from memory to assist with verifying resolution of the problem.
It's actually Siemens. I wonder if that behaves similarly?
I actually ran into my contractor in the grocery store today and mentioned it. He said he assumes the arc light turning on while switching it back to ON and then going out could be just a test feature. I would assume (in my zero amount of knowledge on this) that if there was a problem the arc light would stay on, rather than only listing up or a few seconds. Is that a reasonable assumption?
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Ok found this on Siemens website, which sounds like the Murray one :

"Here is how the trip indicators work:
The LED indications will appear for 5 seconds each time the CAFCI is turned “ON” up to 30 days after the last trip.
One LED will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault. On the 2-pole CAFCI, the leg on which the arcing fault was detected can be determined based on which single LED was illuminated.
Two LEDs on the 1-pole CAFCI device or*three LEDs on the 2-pole CAFCI device*will be illuminated if the last trip was a result of an arcing fault to ground.
No indication will be displayed if the CAFCI trips as a result of an overcurrent condition."


So bottom line ... Since the light appears when i switch to ON, Do I have a problem in my electrical? ( I am so uneducated on this, so go easy on me ).
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Siemens has the same indicator LED.

Murray and Siemens are "related" companies.

About that fan not working...that you need to look at.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:17 PM   #10
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


You don't necessarily have a fault.

If you "test" the AFCI with the button, the light will come on. Has it ever tripped?
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #11
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Not that I am aware of.

So if I leave it ON and press test, what should I expect to see if all is normal?

(and yes I plan to return the fan. Right now it is in a bedroom we do not use and the switch on the wall is off, so it hasn't been a priority. Today it was just me trying to finally get around to it as long as its not dangerous I will have to wait a few more days to take care of it.)

I apologize for the lack of knowledge.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #12
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


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Originally Posted by darthsmozers View Post
Not that I am aware of.

So if I leave it ON and press test, what should I expect to see if all is normal?
It should trip.


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I apologize for the lack of knowledge.
No need to apologize. You ask, you learn.

Last edited by AandPDan; 01-15-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


If this is a brand new home, as in just built, the contractor who built it, should be taking care of these issues.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


Is the fan connected to a dimmer or speed control? If so, try temporarily replacing it with a standard switch, and then see if the fan runs.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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Arc fault light briefly lit when turning circuit back on...


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It should trip.




No need to apologize. You ask, you learn.
Yes it moves the switch to the middle position, which I assume is trip. I then push it to off and then back to on? If so, is it ok if I see the light for a few seconds again?

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