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Old 04-01-2014, 08:02 PM   #16
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NEC 2014 AFCI & GFCI thought


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Originally Posted by IslandGuy View Post
I wonder if nuisance trips on all those AFCIs and GFCIs could present more of a hazard to life and safety than they'll provide?
GFCI's don't create nuisance trips, AFCI's on the other hand....

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:51 PM   #17
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NEC 2014 AFCI & GFCI thought


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Originally Posted by Toller View Post
Why not use GFCI outlets at the first outlet? Obviously that won't work for lighting circuits, or do you want to put them there also?

Speaking of which, how effective is the GFCI protection on a AFCI? I know it is 60ma rather than 6ma, so it won't prevent a shock; but does it really do anything at all useful? It wouldn't keep you from falling off a ladder, but would it offer protection is someone throws a toaster in your bathtub?
I may use a GFCI duplex at the first outlet, but I also want to protect the lighting circuits too.

AFCI and GFCI play nice. The class A, 5ma GFCI would trip on a ground fault. The Arc Fault would still trip on an arc detection. They are two different devices that detect different types of hazards. There is GFCI built into some AFCI devices but they are not Class A, depending on the manufacturer the threshold for tripping 30MA and up. You have to read the description carefully, if the breaker does not explicitly state Class A GFCI it is not going to satisfy code for Kitchen, Bath, outdoor, or laundry spaces. I was reading the Cutler-Hammer may have a Class A GFCI combined with a Combination AFCI (combination AFCI meaning it detects series and parallel arc faults). I'd be thrilled if Siemens came out with something. I'll definitely keep an eye out.

I'm hiring someone to upgrade the panel to a full Siemens 40/40 200A from a 12/12 Sears homart panel with a 8/8 sub panel right next to it.

When my house was originally wired in the 60's grounding was optional, and many outlets are not grounded. 2014 NEC requires most circuits within a home to have AFCI, at nearly $40/breaker it is expensive. The GFCI is not required everywhere, at $12 GFCI (faceless or receptacle) it's inexpensive in the long run.

Part of this is to prep our home for a Heat Pump for heating and cooling, as well as other projects, like installing a hookup for an emergency generator, and in the looooong run maybe a hot tub (they are a lot of work).

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Originally Posted by pondo21 View Post
I don't see any code issues but it does seem like this could be a logistical issue. I don't know how big your house is but most houses would need at least 30 circuits. Some of them will be 240V and not GFCI'd so you will still probably have about 20 120V circuits requiring it. That is a lot of blank face GFCI's at the panel. I'm not sure how your planning on mounting and wiring them all without it looking like a disaster.

If you are intent on GFCI protecting everything I would probably just focus on on receptacles. GFCI protect the first receptacle on each circuit and call it a day. I can't really think of a scenario where GFCI protecting lighting would be useful.
I'll have between 16-18 120v circuits serving lighting and receptacles throughout the house. I've also pondered how this is going to work, and may end up using a GFCI on the first outlet of a chain, and only using the blanks for non-receptacle circuits (like my lighting circuit). This may present the best logistical option. I want to protect my lighting since all of the main floor (including bath) and all of my basement (including bath) are going to be one one circuit each.

The panel is located in a utility area, so it does not have to have a finished look, but I do want it to be neat and orderly for my own sanity.

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Originally Posted by pondo21 View Post
For dedicated circuits your also probably better off just putting the GFCI at the device rather than at the panel. Anywhere you add a splice your are introducing a failure point. No reason to add more than necessary.
This is a good point.

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Originally Posted by IslandGuy View Post
I wonder if nuisance trips on all those AFCIs and GFCIs could present more of a hazard to life and safety than they'll provide?
I hope the GFCI won't be tripped, but if it does it will likely save a life. As far as nuisance trips on AFCI . . this technology has allegedly gotten better. It's required by code, so I don't have a choice.

If nuisance trips become an issue, I did read you could get a good quality surge suppressor to help isolate the appliance causing issues, something like the Tripp-Lite ULTRABLOK. I was reading reviews on the tripp-lite isobar surge suppressors in particular, and one person commented that it prevented their treadmill from tripping the AFCI.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. They are definitely helpful.

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