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Old 09-16-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


From what I've read here NEC requires AFCI protected circuits in all bedrooms and GFCI protected circuits in the kitchen, even if not near the sink. (I think) Is this also the case in Canada? In my house there was no GFCI plugs at all and no AFCI either so I put a GFCI in the bathroom and put two in the kitchen near the sink (two outlets, not chained together). The other counter outlets on the other side don't have GFCI protection, should they have it?

I hear there's lot of issues with AFCI breakers, do lot of people just, skip on this? I see why they would be needed as arcs can be a big cause of fires, such as a faulty lamp cord that has been steped on by the dresser etc.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


I don't know about Canada, but in the U.S. there is the NEC or National Electrical Code... BUT local states or areas will "adopt" this and use it. Or they will adopt it and modify certain rules. Or they may have adopted an older NEC, but choose to not adopt a newer NEC.

So according to this page, some areas of Hawaii are still going by the 1993 NEC!
http://www.nema.org/stds/fieldreps/N.../implement.cfm

So check your local electrical inspector department whatever that may be???

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


An older house i would not worry about AFCI's .How close is the other rec to the sink would the cord reach the sink or any water source?
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


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Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
How close is the other rec to the sink would the cord reach the sink or any water source?
Proximity to the sink or water source in the kitchen is a non-issue. All kitchen countertop receptacles must be GFCI protected, even if they're across the room from the sink.

So yes, all the receptacles that serve your kitchen countertops should be GFCI protected in order to comply with the NEC and the ICC codes. You also need those countertop receptacles on two separate circuits....One circuit isn't adequate per code.

As for arc faults, they started out being required in sleeping areas' branch circuits. The 2008 expands that to pretty much everything 20 amps and under in the home. All arguments aside, they increase the level of safety in the home.

Do people skip AFCI's? Not if they're doing the project legally they don't!
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Proximity to the sink or water source in the kitchen is a non-issue. All kitchen countertop receptacles must be GFCI protected, even if they're across the room from the sink.

So yes, all the receptacles that serve your kitchen countertops should be GFCI protected in order to comply with the NEC and the ICC codes. You also need those countertop receptacles on two separate circuits....One circuit isn't adequate per code.

As for arc faults, they started out being required in sleeping areas' branch circuits. The 2008 expands that to pretty much everything 20 amps and under in the home. All arguments aside, they increase the level of safety in the home.

Do people skip AFCI's? Not if they're doing the project legally they don't!
I Aree with a new house or remodle things must be to code but a 30 year old house did not call for this when it was built .I think he is just replacing outlets not doing a remodle.It is wise to do thing right like you said.

Last edited by 300zx; 09-16-2009 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


My house is close to 60 years & I have already upgraded to GFCI where required
My house had GFCI in the bathrooms & 1 outside outlet
Sometimes its best to go beyond what is required

I haven't upgraded any existing circuits to AFCI...yet

Should the other side have it?
Any chance of someone having a liquid on that countertop ?
Or having wet hands from the sink & then using an appliance on that side?

IMO the cost of the GFCI's is low compared to the possible danger

I agree not required if not renovating, but I'd still do it
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


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Should the other side have it?
Any chance of someone having a liquid on that countertop ?
Or having wet hands from the sink & then using an appliance on that side?
Maybe not, but by the letter of the code it does not matter. GFCI's are required for all kitchen countertop receptacles.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:21 PM   #8
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


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Originally Posted by 300zx View Post
I Aree with a new house or remodle things must be to code but a 30 year old house did not call for this when it was built .I think he is just replacing outlets not doing a remodle.It is wise to do thing right like you said.
Agreed, didn't have to do it when it was built so current codes are not applicable. That is, until you start replacing devices and doing electrical work. Replacement of the receptacle itself is covered under the NEC's permit requirements and the particular receptacle being replaced would be required to be brought up to code. Simple enough to do with a GFCI device.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:14 AM   #9
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


On GFCI, no argument. But AFCI? How large a motor can you run w/o tripping the things? I discovered my chop saw motor was too large (when I was putting the wood floor in the new bedroom). Only solution was to put the old breaker back in as soon as the inspector left. Will a vacuum cleaner trip it? How about a large floor fan? I'll find out soon enough since I'll put the AFCI back in soon as I get back in town. But I'm curious what other's experience has been. FWIW, my panel is SqD QO.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:32 AM   #10
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Agreed, didn't have to do it when it was built so current codes are not applicable. That is, until you start replacing devices and doing electrical work. Replacement of the receptacle itself is covered under the NEC's permit requirements and the particular receptacle being replaced would be required to be brought up to code. Simple enough to do with a GFCI device.
. An electrical permit is not required for replacing outletss, switches, light fixtures, or appliances in the same locations and no alterations done. However, we will advise that the replacement obe G.F.I.C. protected type and the kitchen light fixture will be fluorescent type to meet title 24
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #11
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


I have 2 old lamps that will trip an AFCI
Some Vacuums will trip certain AFCI's - supposedly fixed by Mfg now

The question on needing a permit to replace an outlet/switch has come up before
According to the NEC a permit is needed, but I doubt anyone tries to pull a permit to replace one
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #12
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


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. An electrical permit is not required for replacing outletss, switches, light fixtures, or appliances in the same locations and no alterations done.
Sounds like your locality isn't enforcing the I-codes' requirements for permits, but I should clarify/correct what I said regarding the NEC. 80.19(c)(1) of the NEC permits replacement of snap switches and receptacles without a permit. The residential code absolutely requires a permit for that scope of work however.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


The requirement to pull permits for replacement of duplexes, switches, and fixtures is a state to state requirement and then can vary from locality to locality within the state. The states and localities decide what parts of the model codes they will adapt and enforce. I can tell you in my location permits are not required for these applications and can be done by anybody (no license electrical or otherwise required). The correct answer here is check with your local building department with regards to requirements and permit necessity for replacing the aforesaid items.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


Never realy considered the possibility of having wet hands and using an appliance. That makes sense. Ex: rinse something in the sink, go put toast in the toaster on the other side, etc. Now, do they make split GFCIs? I would need at least one. Or would I be better off with a DP breaker for that one? My panel is a stab lok, should I even bother, given they don't trip? j/k
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:58 AM   #15
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code question - AFCI / GFCI breakers


When is a building permit necessary?
A building permit is required for all projects to construct, enlarge, alter repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy or occupant content of a building or structure, or any outside area being used as part of the building's designated occupancy, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, relocate or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system which is regulated by the technical codes. A permit is not required for the following:
  • Ordinary minor non-structural repairs, provided that such repairs shall not violate any of the provisions of the technical codes.
  • Install A/C units (less than 3 tons), cord & plug w/existing electrical outlet, not connected to ducts.
  • Any portable heating appliance, portable ventilation equipment, or portable cooling unit.
  • Painting, replacing cabinets, carpet, vinyl, tile, gutters.
  • Roofing 500 square feet or less.
If your intended work can be described by these words then you probably do not need a permit; portable, replacement of parts, replacement of non-structural components, no added capacity.

This type of work would include the replacement of most interior items such as interior doors, kitchen cabinets, floor coverings (tile, carpet, wood, etc.), light fixtures, switches, outlets sinks, toilets etc.
http://www.ci.maitland.fl.us/build_faq.asp
Issuance of Permits.
The authority having jurisdiction
shall be authorized to establish and issue permits, certificates,
notices, and approvals, or orders pertaining to
electrical safety hazards pursuant to 80.23, except that no
permit shall be required to execute any of the classes of
electrical work specified in the following:
(1) Installation or replacement of equipment such as lamps
and of electric utilization equipment approved for connection
to suitable permanently installed receptacles.
Replacement of flush or snap switches, fuses, lamp
sockets, and receptacles, and other minor maintenance
and repair work, such as replacing worn cords and
tightening connections on a wiring device
(2) The process of manufacturing, testing, servicing, or repairing

electrical equipment or apparatus



Here anyone can change out rec and lighting fixtures

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