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Old 04-06-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
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New AFCI requirements


Hi;
I would like to protect my bedrooms (previously wired) with AFCI protection.
I just read an article online that said 2002 code requires the entire branch to be protected by an AFCI breaker, and that AFCI receptacles will not meet code.

I can understand that if the receptacles are wired parallel, the receptacle will not protect the entire branch, but what if all of the receptacles are wired in series?
Couldn't I then use an AFCI receptacle?

My argument is mainly one of convenience. I assume that there will be occasional "nuisance" trips, and having the reset button on a receptacle in the room would be nice.
If a breaker is required by code, then that is how I will do it.

Thanks for advice

FW

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Old 04-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #2
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New AFCI requirements


There is NO such thing as an AFCI receptacle (Yet).

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Old 04-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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New AFCI requirements


And receptacles are NEVER wired in series...
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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New AFCI requirements


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And receptacles are NEVER wired in series...
I think he probably means line and load like a GFI.
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
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New AFCI requirements


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I think he probably means line and load like a GFI.
I should have used the term "daisy chain". Sorry about that. I should know better. I certainly know the difference between parallel and series circuits.

FW
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:09 PM   #6
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New AFCI requirements


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
There is NO such thing as an AFCI receptacle (Yet).
So that's why Home Depot doesn't sell them<g>.
I was reading somewhere about wiring device manufacturers wanting to make them, but apparently after 2005 code rev they dropped the concept.
Actually, I learned this after I posted the question when I remembered that I had just received my copy of Rex Cauldwell's "Wiring a House", 3rd ed. He discusses AFCI in a chapter of it's own.

The AFCI breaker will cost me $30. Unfortunately, if I really want to completely protect just the two bedrooms that have been most recently wired, I would have to buy 3 of these. The AC receptacles in each room are on dedicated lines. I would also have to rewire the lighting to utilize the same branch with the AFCI (or install at least one additional AFCI breaker for those circuits).

I do not like the fact that NEC requires bedroom smoke alarms to be on AFCI breakers.
IMO, it is much more likely that the owner will have forgotten to replace the batteries, rendering the alarms mute when a fire occurs than it is likely that the alarm wiring will cause an arc fault and result in a fire itself!

In my home, the smoke alarms are all on the same breaker, and wired together as a system.
There is no alarm to tell me that the mains power has been lost. Only a little green light that I see every night when I am lying in bed with the lights out.

Fortunately for me, this wiring was done before the 2002 code requirement was written, let alone the 2005 revisions, so I need not do anything at all!
I like the concept of protecting the wall receptacles with AFCI breakers, as it is the cords plugged into these that are most likely to break and cause a fire.

My first priority is my niece's room. She is most likely to have things plugged in and table legs, etc running over the cords. My sister would be the second priority, and thanks to the electricians who wired their rooms, they are both on the same branch.
As for the AC, they are wall mounted, their cords are not likely to become frayed, or pinched, so I think of these as low priority for AFCI.

I find it odd that those who write the NEC have decided that only bedrooms must be protected by AFCI breakers.
When everyone's asleep, it is just as likely that a bad lamp cord in the living room will cause an arc-fault leading to a fire (especially if you have a kitten in the house<g>) as it is a cord in the bedroom will start that fire.
I suppose their thinking is that if the fire starts outside a bedroom, there is a better chance that the sleeping occupants will be awakened and be able to escape than if the fire started in the bedroom.
OTOH, what if the fire starts in the living room, and there is no smoke alarm there, but the fire burns through the wire to the smoke alarms in the bedrooms, and trips that breaker, and the batteries in the smoke alarms are dead?

This could go on and on, couldn't it?

FW
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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New AFCI requirements


Quote:
Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
So that's why Home Depot doesn't sell them<g>.
I was reading somewhere about wiring device manufacturers wanting to make them, but apparently after 2005 code rev they dropped the concept.
Actually, I learned this after I posted the question when I remembered that I had just received my copy of Rex Cauldwell's "Wiring a House", 3rd ed. He discusses AFCI in a chapter of it's own.

The AFCI breaker will cost me $30. Unfortunately, if I really want to completely protect just the two bedrooms that have been most recently wired, I would have to buy 3 of these. The AC receptacles in each room are on dedicated lines. I would also have to rewire the lighting to utilize the same branch with the AFCI (or install at least one additional AFCI breaker for those circuits).

I do not like the fact that NEC requires bedroom smoke alarms to be on AFCI breakers.
IMO, it is much more likely that the owner will have forgotten to replace the batteries, rendering the alarms mute when a fire occurs than it is likely that the alarm wiring will cause an arc fault and result in a fire itself!

In my home, the smoke alarms are all on the same breaker, and wired together as a system.
There is no alarm to tell me that the mains power has been lost. Only a little green light that I see every night when I am lying in bed with the lights out.

Fortunately for me, this wiring was done before the 2002 code requirement was written, let alone the 2005 revisions, so I need not do anything at all!
I like the concept of protecting the wall receptacles with AFCI breakers, as it is the cords plugged into these that are most likely to break and cause a fire.

My first priority is my niece's room. She is most likely to have things plugged in and table legs, etc running over the cords. My sister would be the second priority, and thanks to the electricians who wired their rooms, they are both on the same branch.
As for the AC, they are wall mounted, their cords are not likely to become frayed, or pinched, so I think of these as low priority for AFCI.

I find it odd that those who write the NEC have decided that only bedrooms must be protected by AFCI breakers.
When everyone's asleep, it is just as likely that a bad lamp cord in the living room will cause an arc-fault leading to a fire (especially if you have a kitten in the house<g>) as it is a cord in the bedroom will start that fire.
I suppose their thinking is that if the fire starts outside a bedroom, there is a better chance that the sleeping occupants will be awakened and be able to escape than if the fire started in the bedroom.
OTOH, what if the fire starts in the living room, and there is no smoke alarm there, but the fire burns through the wire to the smoke alarms in the bedrooms, and trips that breaker, and the batteries in the smoke alarms are dead?

This could go on and on, couldn't it?

FW
Even AC smokes will chirp when the battery is low or dead. So, if a fire is caused, and the AC power gets cut to the smokes it is the fault of the dumb ass owner who didnt bother to replace the battery when they heard the smoke chirping.

The scenerio that a fire would cause because an arcing wire on the smoke circuit is highly unlikely. If an acr would occur, it would be dead in the water because of the arc fault breaker.

If a fire were to occur because of something else arcing, then the smokes would most likely be going off LONG before the wiring for the wiring for the smokes gets burnt.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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New AFCI requirements


2008 code revisions have taken care of the living rooms now.

Not to mention gfi protection for freezers.

I'm sure there won't be any fallout from that one.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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New AFCI requirements


Move to Canada. We must NOT put smokes on AFCI.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:08 PM   #10
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New AFCI requirements


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Originally Posted by CowboyAndy View Post
Even AC smokes will chirp when the battery is low or dead. So, if a fire is caused, and the AC power gets cut to the smokes it is the fault of the dumb ass owner who didnt bother to replace the battery when they heard the smoke chirping.
We are very good about replacing batteries regularly. If you don't, they always decide to start chirping in the middle of the night, waking you up and having to go downstairs to get a 9V battery!

FW
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:10 PM   #11
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New AFCI requirements


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Originally Posted by NAIL View Post
2008 code revisions have taken care of the living rooms now.

Not to mention gfi protection for freezers.

I'm sure there won't be any fallout from that one.
While talking about GFCI protection for freezers, should I have one for my electric-ignition gas stove?
The stove IS located within 3ft of the sink.
This just occurred to me this evening.

FW
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:18 PM   #12
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New AFCI requirements


Quote:
Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
While talking about GFCI protection for freezers, should I have one for my electric-ignition gas stove?
The stove IS located within 3ft of the sink.
Is the receptacle behind the stove?
If yes, then no.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:31 PM   #13
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New AFCI requirements


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Move to Canada. We must NOT put smokes on AFCI.
Or Connecticut...
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
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New AFCI requirements


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Is the receptacle behind the stove?
If yes, then no.
The receptacle is in the cabinet space under the stove, and the stove is the only thing plugged into it.

FW
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #15
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New AFCI requirements


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Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
The receptacle is in the cabinet space under the stove, and the stove is the only thing plugged into it.

FW

No gfi required, only the receptacles serving the counter top are required to be GFCI protected in a kitchen...

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