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Old 05-25-2009, 01:13 AM   #1
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Arcfault grandfathered?


My house was built in 97, way before the advent of AFCI breakers. We had a generator subpanel/transfer switch years ago but haven't gotten around to getting it inspected. I moved several circuits over to the subpanel which would require AFCI breakers under the new NEC.

Am I grandfathered in since these were preexisting circuits under the old NEC? Or do I have to comply with the new NEC and instsll AFCI breakers as if it were new work because the circuits have been moved? I ask this because AFCI breakers will not fit in my generator subpanel, and that is pretty much what my gen panel is for, to provide bedroom and living area lights/fans during a power outage.


Last edited by Miranda7; 05-25-2009 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:12 AM   #2
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Arcfault grandfathered?


In my experience, it depends on when the permit was pulled. If you pulled the permit when the generator subpanel was first installed, where I am from you would not have to install new afci breakers. However if you have to pull a new permit then you will be required to install afci breakers. But, after everything is said an done, if the inspector says you need it regardless of when the permit was issued you will have to either way.

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Old 05-25-2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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Arcfault grandfathered?


The circuits are what would need to be AFCI protected. So if the circuits are existing there is no requirement to use AFCIs.

The branch circuits were inspected in '97 and are still legal today without AFCI.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:28 AM   #4
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Arcfault grandfathered?


Two different opinions....thanks very much fellas. The house was built in 97, the gen panel was done in 03, the permit was pulled 6 months ago and the inspection is upcoming, so I guess its a roll of the dice how the inspector will see it. I hope Petey is right.

Also, the panel is fed with a 60A breaker, with manual lockout switch to 30A breaker when fed by the portable generator. I have several circuits on this panel including water heater and pump) and it all runs fine on utility l. However, there is no way the generator can run the whole subpanel simultaneoulsy. Is that code compliant?

I set it up this way deliberately, because it allows me to pick and choose which circuits I need at different times during a power outage. For example, the well pump and water heater can't run simultaneously, so I leave the HWH breaker off all the time, until needed. Before showertime, I shut off everything except the HWH, then after an hour I shut the HWH back off, turn the pump on and voila hot showers for everyone. Same thing if I need to use the microwave, I just make sure the pump is off. Works for me, but will the inspector have a problem with this? When I was testing various loads the breaker on the generator would pop when overloaded, the breaker on the 30A panel never tripped once.

Last edited by Miranda7; 05-25-2009 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #5
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Arcfault grandfathered?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miranda7 View Post
However, there is no way the generator can run the whole subpanel simultaneoulsy. Is that code compliant?
Technically no.
There is another stupid change in the 2008 NEC stating that any automatically transferred load must be connected to a generator capable of handling the whole attached load.

I am not under the 2008 NEC (THANKFULLY!!) so I cannot say if this is something that is typically enforced.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Arcfault grandfathered?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Technically no.
There is another stupid change in the 2008 NEC stating that any automatically transferred load must be connected to a generator capable of handling the whole attached load.

I am not under the 2008 NEC (THANKFULLY!!) so I cannot say if this is something that is typically enforced.
We went to 2008 in April, but I got the permit in October, so maybe that brings me in under the old code. It is also a manual transfer switch, so I don't know if it would count as "automatically transferred load".


I hope so, because if I have to take off the bedroom circuits, the living room (for AFCI) and the heavier loads because of the above, there wouldn't be much point in having the panel.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:57 AM   #7
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Arcfault grandfathered?


our generator (and so it seems, many others) does not like to run the hot water heater during powerouts. next time, trip the breaker in your panel for the HWH before running generator, and i bet everything else will run just fine.

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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our generator (and so it seems, many others) does not like to run the hot water heater during powerouts. next time, trip the breaker in your panel for the HWH before running generator, and i bet everything else will run just fine.

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Yes, that is what I said. The generator will run our HWH just fine, but not simultaneously with other loads, so I keep the HWH breaker off most of the time, and when I need it I cut off the other loads first then cut on the HWH by itself just long enough to heat the water.

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