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mudworm 10-10-2011 06:14 PM

A few wiring questions (GFCI, AFCI, 2011 NEC)
 
I'm making my wiring plan for our remodeling. Lots of circuits will be added (for the new kitchen), K&T's will be replace, and our service panel will be upgraded from 100amp to 200amp. A few questions came up. I know I can get all the answers by hiring a professional -- I probably will do just that for the panel upgrade, but this is a DIY chatroom so it's okay for me to ask questions, right? Thanks in advance!

1. We have an existing 20Amp circuit that supplies two receptacles above countertop in the kitchen as well as three receptacles in the living room. I will make sure the two receptacles in the kitchen are GFCI protected, but I assume in order to meet the 2011 NEC code (without changing the wiring of the circuit), we need to use an AFCI breaker for this circuit. Is that correct?



2. I also plan on wiring a dedicated 20Amp circuit for the entertainment center, and another one for all the computer equipments in the desk area (both are in the general living room area). I will be using a surge protector/APC unit on each circuit to protect the delicate equipments. I'll still need to use AFCI breakers for these two circuits, right? And will they not interfere with the APC/surge protector?



3. AFCI breakers are not required for any light only circuits (no outlets), correct?



4. Neither AFCI breaker nor GFCI receptacle is required for the dedicated appliance circuits (e.g. DW, range hood, fridge) regardless whether they are hardwired or plugged in, correct?


5. I will be adding a new 20amp small appliances circuit in the kitchen. I plan on using only a GFCI receptacle for the first one, and wire the rest down the stream from its LOAD SIDE terminals. That way, I don't need GFCI receptacles everywhere. This practice is not disallowed in 2011 NEC, correct?

Jim Port 10-10-2011 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mudworm (Post 745980)
1. We have an existing 20Amp circuit that supplies two receptacles above countertop in the kitchen as well as three receptacles in the living room. I will make sure the two receptacles in the kitchen are GFCI protected, but I assume in order to meet the 2011 NEC code (without changing the wiring of the circuit), we need to use an AFCI breaker for this circuit. Is that correct?

The small appliance circuit cannot be shared with the living room.

Quote:

2. I also plan on wiring a dedicated 20Amp circuit for the entertainment center, and another one for all the computer equipments in the desk area (both are in the general living room area). I will be using a surge protector/APC unit on each circuit to protect the delicate equipments. I'll still need to use AFCI breakers for these two circuits, right? And will they not interfere with the APC/surge protector?
You will need the AFCI protection. Whether there is a problem I do not know. A UL rep says there should be no issues.



Quote:

3. AFCI breakers are not required for any light only circuits (no outlets), correct?
Incorrect, the code says outlets of which lighting is an outlet by NEC definition.



Quote:

4. Neither AFCI breaker nor GFCI receptacle is required for the dedicated appliance circuits (e.g. DW, range hood, fridge) regardless whether they are hardwired or plugged in, correct?
Correct.


Quote:

5. I will be adding a new 20amp small appliances circuit in the kitchen. I plan on using only a GFCI receptacle for the first one, and wire the rest down the stream from its LOAD SIDE terminals. That way, I don't need GFCI receptacles everywhere. This practice is not disallowed in 2011 NEC, correct?
This would be fine.

AFCI protection requirements from the 2011 NEC.

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.
(A) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and
20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in
dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms,
parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation
rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall
be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter,
combination-type, installed to provide protection of the
branch circuit.

NEC defintion of outlet. This is different than receptacle outlet, although a receptacle is an outlet.

Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is
taken to supply utilization equipment.

mudworm 10-10-2011 06:51 PM

Thanks Jim for the quick replies. You rock!
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 745992)
The small appliance circuit cannot be shared with the living room.

I understand what I had would be big no-no if it were new wiring. But we are not touching that part of the wall (and the wiring inside). Per my understanding of the county requirements, we may not need to bring everything up to code if we are not making changes to that section of the house. Of course, I hear that in the end, it's all up to that field inspector's mood.

Jim Port 10-10-2011 07:01 PM

What you could do is removed the kitchen from the current circuit and leave it as a 20 amp LR circuit. Just run 2 new 20 amp circuits for the kitchen instead of the one you had planned.

mudworm 10-10-2011 07:05 PM

I already have two other 20Amp circuits for the kitchen (one existing and one new). But I suppose what you are suggesting makes sense too and is not too hard to implement. Thanks!

gregzoll 10-10-2011 07:33 PM

You should be going by the 2008 NEC, not the 2011. Check with your local code authority to see if they will let you go by the more updated rules, otherwise you may get an inspector that is not familiar with them yet, and Red tag you on the upgrades.

mudworm 10-10-2011 07:37 PM

Greg, thanks for the caution. It seems our county is going by 2011 NEC -- when I applied for the permit in July, it was one of the requirements that almost all circuits are protected by AFCI (except those that require GFCI).

gregzoll 10-10-2011 08:32 PM

I would double check, since majority are still using 2008, due to adoption is always January 1st, and 2011 was late release this time, due to the changes. Just saying, better to make sure you and code are on the same page.


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