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-   -   Need help understanding GFCI & AFCI (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/need-help-understanding-gfci-afci-85276/)

sheslostcontrol 10-30-2010 07:24 AM

Need help understanding GFCI & AFCI
 
I learned a little about GFCI & AFCI yesterday at the Home Depot. The electrical guy explained it like this:

GFCI protects humans against being shocked.
GFCI are required in any room with water or a bare concrete floor (local code)
GFCI can be a breaker or receptacle. If installed as receptacles -- one GFCI receptacle at the beginning of the circuit will protect non-GFCI receptacles further down the circuit.

AFCI protects houses against fire
AFCI are required in bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, ect where there is no water
AFCI are breakers and protect the entire circuit

I may be misstating what he said but that is how I remembered it.

He said something else that confused me - AFCI breakers cannot be used on the same circuit as GFCI receptacles. Then he said that maybe you could but it might not pass code.

Why can't GFCI receptacles be used on AFCI protected circuits?

Why would this be against code?

brric 10-30-2010 07:39 AM

GFCI receps will work fine on AFCI protected circuits.

sheslostcontrol 10-30-2010 08:11 AM

Is there a reason a circuit with AFCI & GFCI would not meet code and fail inspection?

Jim Port 10-30-2010 08:39 AM

Going above what the code requires is fine.

Lurlene 10-30-2010 09:08 AM

You need both if there is an aquarium in the bedroom.

brric 10-30-2010 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lurlene (Post 525366)
You need both if there is an aquarium in the bedroom.

Where could I find this in the NEC?

Lurlene 10-31-2010 12:24 AM

My preference, maybe not NEC's. I've got both in my bedroom, no problem so far.

Speedy Petey 10-31-2010 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lurlene (Post 525918)
My preference, maybe not NEC's.

You didn't say that. You said "You need...". This implies it is mandatory, which it is not.

This is why non-professionals should refrain from giving advice on boards like this.

secutanudu 10-31-2010 07:10 AM

I wonder if anyone will manufacture AFCI/GFCI combination (not a combination-type AFCI) breaker. I mean one that truly does the job of both a standard GFCI breaker and an combination-type AFCI.

I wonder if it would be too big to fit in a standard panel?

Speedy Petey 10-31-2010 08:28 AM

I am waiting for padded walls and floors to become mandatory in a home. Oh, and no sharp edges or corners either. :thumbsup:

I really do feel that electricity is just too unsafe to have in a home. There ought to be a law against it.

Lurlene 10-31-2010 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 525957)
You didn't say that. You said "You need...". This implies it is mandatory, which it is not.

This is why non-professionals should refrain from giving advice on boards like this.

You're right, Pete. I'll stick to asking embarrassing questions and telling amusing stories till I'm a professional.

frenchelectrican 10-31-2010 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by secutanudu (Post 525981)
I wonder if anyone will manufacture AFCI/GFCI combination (not a combination-type AFCI) breaker. I mean one that truly does the job of both a standard GFCI breaker and an combination-type AFCI.

I wonder if it would be too big to fit in a standard panel?

I just want to clearify the poster comment about the combation AFCI/GFCI and yes there are few manufacter do make the combo verison I know SqD, ClutterHammer , GE , Seimens and few others do make them and the combo vierson is avibale but the cost will varies a little depending on what brand and which place will stock it.

Merci.
Marc

brric 10-31-2010 06:32 PM

The 'combination' feature of arc fault circuit breakers pertains to the fact that they detect both series and parallel arc faults. It has nothing to do with the inherent (50mA or so) ground fault detection of arc fault circuit breakers.

frenchelectrican 10-31-2010 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brric (Post 526326)
The 'combination' feature of arc fault circuit breakers pertains to the fact that they detect both series and parallel arc faults. It has nothing to do with the inherent (50mA or so) ground fault detection of arc fault circuit breakers.

Maybe so but with new combo AFCI/GFCI it will protect personals I will find a link with this set up.

Merci.
Marc

md2lgyk 11-01-2010 11:59 AM

The Home Depot guy's explanation of the two breaker types is pretty much correct. Not so much his code knowledge. I've never heard of using a GFCI on an AFCI circuit (or vice versa) but I don't think it's prohibited.

Were you asking about this for a specific reason? Code requirements vary widely by location. For example, where I live the applicable code is still NEC 2005. In the log house I built I only had to have AFCIs for the bedroom circuits.


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