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10-03-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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## NEC 2008 Code Cycle

Am I understanding the 2008 code cycle change properly.

The way I am reading the changes, basically all living areas in a home (other than bed and bath) need to have the Arc Fault Breakers installed. And the bathroom / kitchen / outside outlets need Ground Fault breakers.

So the only place you use normal breakers is maybe the garage and unfinished basement areas?

If I am understanding this correctly, it will cost me over \$1,000 to comply with 2008 code change.

Here are my questions:

Am I understanding the changes / new Requirements correctly?

Other than complying with the new code, how much additional safety do the arc fault breakers really provide? I tried to research it, and it seems like it is debated quite a bit.

Thanks
Jamie

10-03-2008, 08:04 PM   #2

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It IS highly debated, so I won't go into that.

What do you mean it will cost \$1500? To comply with what; wiring a new house or renovation?

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10-03-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Speedy Petey It IS highly debated, so I won't go into that. What do you mean it will cost \$1500? To comply with what; wiring a new house or renovation?
The arc fault breakers @ around \$45 each X 25 circuits* = \$1125
Vs.
regular breakers @ around \$4 each X 25 circuits = \$100

*give or take a couple breakers, I need to add a couple, (that covers nearly 2900sqft, not including the basement.)

I am just talking about changing my panel and upgrading to 200A service. My understanding is that in changing the panel, my new panel would have to comply with the new code, hence having all of the arc fault & gfci breakers.

Jamie

 10-03-2008, 09:24 PM #4 Licensed electrician   Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: Maryland Posts: 10,428 Rewards Points: 1,010 Only your local building authorities would be able to answer if you needed to upgrade to AFCI protection just by doing a panel change or upgrade. The bedrooms have required the AFCI protection in varoius forms for several years.
 10-03-2008, 09:29 PM #5 Registered User     Join Date: Apr 2008 Posts: 6,520 Rewards Points: 2,000 A new panel is just that. A new panel. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to put AFCI breakers on all the circuits in the home. Here's the way I handle this... If you're replacing the panel and you don't currently have AFCI's, the new panel and service must comply with code, but it is often unreasonable to require branch circuits to comply as well. You haven't made the house any less safe than it was with the old panel. I wouldn't require AFCI's on a service upgrade unless the person was also re-wiring affected parts of the house. If you're remodeling your bedroom (or another area requiring AFCI protection) and are opening the walls up and doing electrical work, I'd require that you bring that particular room up to code and install an AFCI breaker. That's just my take, and it is subject to scrutiny I'm sure. Best to check with your local codes official. This is definately a hot topic, and many jurisdictions are hesitant to adopt the '08 for this reason. They do increase the level of safety, but add to the cost. Give it a couple years and the code will require sprinkler systems in residential (think I'm kidding?).
10-03-2008, 09:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Jim Port The bedrooms have required the AFCI protection in varoius forms for several years.
Yup, it came about in the '99 NEC and was mandated in '01. They gave everyone two years to get used to the idea, but many didn't!

10-03-2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by thekctermite This is definately a hot topic, and many jurisdictions are hesitant to adopt the '08 for this reason. They do increase the level of safety, but add to the cost. Give it a couple years and the code will require sprinkler systems in residential (think I'm kidding?).
I read a lot of posts on here, and I have realized that my well built home that was built in 1963, would need an incredible amount of work to be compliant with all the current codes.

I know it is of course not required to change old work to become compliant with the new codes, but when I do a little project, many times I am realizing that there are many parts of my project that are in violation of the current code. i.e. I am insulating an attached porch room, seems simple, I am planing on putting in a new insulated door. Well there is an attached garage right off the porch, so I know I am suppose to get a fire door. Then I realized that there is no fire wall, it is all just plywood in the garage. So where does one stop, changing the door, do I change it to a fire door and leave the wall alone even though it is pulled open to insulate?

The home "upgrades" start to feel all consuming! and the home projects are more or less what I am working on full time right now.

Thanks
Jamie

 10-03-2008, 09:46 PM #8 Registered User     Join Date: Apr 2008 Posts: 6,520 Rewards Points: 2,000 Trust me, I understand. That's why I posted what I did. I work in a town full of 40-100 year old homes, and constantly struggle with decisions on what to apply new code to and what to leave alone. I wouldn't advise anyone to try to bring their old house into total compliance with the modern code. It isn't possible or practical without starting over. Just do the best you can to make it as safe as you can. To answer your question, yes, I believe you are understanding the '08 correctly based on what I know about it. Haven't got one myself, so call the codes official to double check. My understanding is that all branch circuits 20 amps or less must be AFCI protected.
10-03-2008, 10:20 PM   #9

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by thekctermite To answer your question, yes, I believe you are understanding the '08 correctly based on what I know about it. Haven't got one myself, so call the codes official to double check. My understanding is that all branch circuits 20 amps or less must be AFCI protected.
The kitchen and bath GFI circuits are exempt from the AFCI requirement.

 10-03-2008, 10:27 PM #10 Member   Join Date: Sep 2008 Location: Oregon Posts: 1,497 Rewards Points: 500 Check to see if your area has modifications to the NEC. In my state they substituted the word "bedroom" for all the rooms listed in the NEC 210.12 (B). See page 18 210.12 (B) http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/...918-305_pr.pdf
10-04-2008, 10:21 AM   #11

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by thekctermite A new panel is just that. A new panel. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to put AFCI breakers on all the circuits in the home.
EXACTLY.

The requirement is for "outlets on <certain> branch circuits", NOT breakers.
A service upgrade DOES NOT change or affect the outlets on a branch circuit.
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10-04-2008, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Speedy Petey EXACTLY. The requirement is for "outlets on branch circuits", NOT breakers. A service upgrade DOES NOT change or affect the outlets on a branch circuit.
An interesting thought... I called my dad and asked him about a building that he contracted that we both worked on this past year. It was a 3000+ sqft building that is setup as 1/3 living area and 2/3 workshop. It was new construction - we planed and built it from the ground up. It was a fully licensed, permitted, job. The electrical was installed by a licensed electrician and all the work was inspected and approved.

There were no Arc fault or Ground fault breakers installed at all, none. Just a full box of plain old breakers.

I wonder if they area using a really old code cycle that they were allowed this? weird.

Jamie

10-04-2008, 01:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jamiedolan The way I am reading the changes, basically all living areas in a home (other than bed and bath) need to have the Arc Fault Breakers installed. And the bathroom / kitchen / outside outlets need Ground Fault breakers. Jamie
I thought it was Ark Fault just for bedrooms.

10-04-2008, 02:07 PM   #14

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jamiedolan There were no Arc fault or Ground fault breakers installed at all, none. Just a full box of plain old breakers.
What code cycle are you under?
Maybe your area does not require AFCIs.

Don't automatically assume you are under the newest codes.
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10-04-2008, 02:08 PM   #15

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by J. V. I thought it was Ark Fault just for bedrooms.
The 2008 NEC changed that.

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