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Old 11-14-2007, 09:34 PM   #31
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Stubbie-

There is no denying that you may give Mike Holt a run for his money!

Seriously though, code aside, based on my experience (noted in previous posts w/in this thread), the possibility of arcing faults is present regardless of whether an "outlet" is involved or not. I mean, Andy's switch in the master bedroom represents the same potential for fault as I experienced: wires in a box, terminated to a device (switch or recept, it does not matter), and a grounded box/plaster ring. And as I mentioned, why require AFCI's for bedroom circuits only? Why aren't they required for every circuit (aside from cost which shouldn't be an issue)?

I bet the Amish electrical inspectors don't get into this sort of detail!

Jimmy

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Last edited by BigJimmy; 11-14-2007 at 09:37 PM. Reason: I spelled Stubbie's name wrong!
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:37 PM   #32
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Andy for what it is worth I have the exact set up in my master bedroom. Installed long before afci but very common still today. I listened to some inspectors over at the 56 Highway cafe one morning, sometime ago, argue the question you posted. It was never a unanimous decision between them... outlet or not an outlet.... I stayed out of it and finished my eggs.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:00 PM   #33
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I don't think my French buddy is from Canada. I think he is from France.

Marc, I don't know why I thought you were from Canada. Seriously. No idea.
Sorry about that.
I've said it before but Stubbie said it better. Switches don't utilize current. Great thread by the way.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:35 PM   #34
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Big Jimmy

You posted a good argument and in many cases like this we all have to just be respectful and agree to disagree. You will be hard pressed to find any documentation that refers to a switch box as a point in the branch circuit that requires afci. If it has a receptacle in the box with it then that box becomes a point of utilization in the premise wiring for cord and plug equipment therefore an outlet requiring afci. The switch controls an outlet.

Now think about something give me an example where a switch would not inherit afci if we specify outlets in bedrooms being anything but switches? Whether it is a point of use afci or branch circuit breaker type afci.

Even if the switch was outside the bedroom it would need afci if it controlled a lighting outlet in the bedroom. What choice would you have? It's on a branch circuit serving a bedroom outlet.

CMP-2 knew all this from the git go because the nature of the beast was afci protected the entire branch circuit. They also new that bedrooms were one of the few places in the home where gfci protection (human safety) wasn't required so this all proved to be a great place for the NEC to mandate afci to address property protection due to all the bedroom fires from electrical arcs documented by the NFPA. This was all carefully thought out by the Afci manufacturers and the NEC Cmp 2 for article 210.

Now having said all that the possibility of an arc in a switch box is certainly there but if memory serves me 600 people died in the US last year from fires originating in the bedroom. Some fires were from arcs in the premise wiring located in bedrooms. I think the figure was 90% of arc caused fires or so were bedrooms without afci protection. That is a pretty good testament to the effectiveness of afci. Series arc remained a problem point but it appears the engineers have cleared that hurdle also with the combination afci.

With Andys question we had to think outside the box some and that always becomes an interesting endeavor. This whole deal with Andy's question should not be about definitions it should be about if that switch needs afci. As I see it the switch inherits afci if the outlet it controls is in the bedroom. This example of Andy's placed a lot of attention on a single switch box in the bedroom with no outlet that it controlled in the bedroom. I'm not sure I proved that the potential for arc was so miniscule (as you very well pointed out) that afci should not be mandated for Andys situation. But the new 2008 NEC puts this question behind us.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:14 AM   #35
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The '08 nputs the queation behind us? What about the hallway switch controlling kitchen or garage lights?
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:26 AM   #36
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Please Andy.... lets don't get into that......
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:40 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Please Andy.... lets don't get into that......
Yea Andy. We have a bout 13 months before we have to worry about that. Just about the time I gonna be building my house!
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:14 PM   #38
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Based on the comments by the pros it appears to me the code writers' intent for AFCI is to protect against arcs from sources external to the house wiring. BY external to the house wiring I mean external to the outlet such as a light fixture, fan or anything plugged into an outlet. As BigJimmy pointed out, the potential for an arc (within the box) is the same for a switch box and an outlet box.

Stubbie, I'm not sure you can make any conclusion about this statement:

" 90% of arc caused fires or so were bedrooms without afci protection."

Most likely, 90% of homes do not have any type of AFCI protection.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:26 PM   #39
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Yea Andy. We have a bout 13 months before we have to worry about that. Just about the time I gonna be building my house!
Jb, you know just as well as I do that it don't matter where you live...As soon as you get the CO you (as a pro) can do as you please.

The AFCI (my opinion) code is very confusing as to what it is trying to protect. If it were for protecting stuff outside of the branch circuit, then the code wouldn't be so adamant about protecting the WHOLE branch circuit. In the "hot tub thread" It has been established that perhaps the GFCI is better served by the tub. But that leaves the whole of the branch circuit from the panel to the tub unprotected. And the code and Andy is fine with that. But AFCI protection MUST start at the panel. WTF? A properly installed device (no matter what it is) should never fail. A loose connection from improper installation ALWAYS has a good chance to fail. But using that logic, then why isn't the AC or the dryer, etc AFCI protected? The same electrician wired the dryer as wired the ceiling fan in the bedroom, right?

This thread was started out of a bit of boredom...but I think it provoked some thought and has been interesting. Remember DIYers who chimed in with a "wrong" answer, I can assure you that I can drum up a licensed electrical inspector who would agree with you. Ain't the code great?
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:45 PM   #40
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Marc, I don't know why I thought you were from Canada. Seriously. No idea.
Sorry about that.
I've said it before but Stubbie said it better. Switches don't utilize current. Great thread by the way.

That allright anyway let me fill the fact a little more about myself to clear up few " clouds " here

I am dual ciztenship and also have master electrician licsine for both state of wisconsin and also Metro De Paris area

Merci, Marc
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:18 PM   #41
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...so, does the circuit for the light need to be on an AFCI breaker, or not?
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:02 PM   #42
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...so, does the circuit for the light need to be on an AFCI breaker, or not?
Who are you asking? This thread is almost two years old.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:20 PM   #43
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" No " Only receptacles in new construction .
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #44
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" No " Only receptacles in new construction .
Really? Under what code cycle?
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:56 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
" No " Only receptacles in new construction .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Really? Under what code cycle?

I have feeling that Electro is still on 2005 code cycle

So I think some part of AFCI is throwed out of the window ditto with state of Wisconsin but we will have to take that stuff starting after the first of the next year { 2010 }

Merci.
Marc

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